COVID-19 testing requirement starts this week

The University of Oregon’s weekly testing requirement for unvaccinated employees and students, including those who chose an exemption or are partially vaccinated, started Sept. 27.

Due to the very high campus vaccination rate, there are about 250 or 5 percent of employees who will be required to test. This means about 95 percent of our employees are fully vaccinated and will not be involved in the testing requirement. As for students, 4 percent of those who have completed the reporting requirement will begin weekly testing.

A more definitive picture of the UO campus-wide vaccination rate and the total number of students in the testing program will be available following the Sept. 27 final deadline for students to meet the university’s vaccination requirement. 

The weekly COVID-19 testing program is one tool among a set of safety strategies the university has implemented to protect the UO community. Testing follows recommendations from the local health authority and reflects the close partnership between UO and Lane County Public Health as they work together to account for local conditions. The UO also continues to follow the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Guidance for Institutions of Higher Education at the direction of the Oregon Health Authority.

“The weekly testing requirement is one measure in our layered approach because it helps detect cases earlier and helps reduce the spread of COVID-19,” said André Le Duc, chief resilience officer and associate vice president. “As a community, we will continue to rely on our suite of safety strategies as we move forward together.”

The initial notifications to affected employees and students were emailed last week prompting them to schedule their first testing appointment, and these reminders will continue on a weekly basis thereafter.

The UO coronavirus website has been updated with information about the UO required COVID-19 testing program.

As a reminder, COVID-19 testing is also encouraged for vaccinated individuals. Free COVID-19 testing through the Monitoring and Assessment Program is available for all asymptomatic employees. Testing times are published on the UO coronavirus testing webpage with instructions for registering for an appointment.