The University of Oregon and Oregon State University announced on Wednesday that they are requiring weekly COVID-19 testing for unvaccinated students and employees.
The universities, along with all of Oregon’s other public universities, are requiring COVID-19 vaccines for students and employees who will be learning and working on campus. People are legally allowed to request exemptions, but the weekly testing requirement includes those who are exempt.
“We made this decision after consulting with public health authorities and employee groups, and reviewing scientific data and best practices,” UO leaders wrote in a message to the campus community on Wednesday. “Current data show that unvaccinated people are at very high risk of contracting the Delta variant of COVID-19 and at significantly greater risk of suffering severe illness from COVID-19. Requiring regular COVID-19 testing for unvaccinated UO community members will help protect this population, detect cases earlier, and help reduce the spread of COVID-19.”
The University of Oregon’s weekly testing requirement takes effect the first day of the fall term on Sept. 27.
At Oregon State, unvaccinated students and employees will be required to test weekly for COVID-19 beginning Sept. 15.
If students and employees are not following the requirements at Oregon State by the beginning of the term, they could face disciplinary action, said Dan Larson, OSU’s coronavirus response coordinator and vice provost for student affairs.
“Employees who are found to not be in compliance with this weekly testing requirement beginning the week of Sept. 27 may face disciplinary action, up to and including termination of university employment,” Larson wrote in a message to OSU community members. “Students who are not in compliance may face disciplinary action, up to and including suspension from the university.”
The University of Oregon said it will provide information on potential consequences for not complying with the requirement closer to the deadline.
OSU will provide testing options on its Corvallis and Bend campuses. UO will provide testing at its Eugene campus with more details to come on testing options at its campuses in Portland and on the south coast in Charleston.