As the start of fall term approaches, the University of Oregon is working to provide accurate and timely information about COVID-19 prevention, testing and verified positive case numbers to keep the campus and community informed.
Lane County is experiencing an increase in COVID-19 cases, which has raised the alert level to “high.” The university is partnering with the community to provide comprehensive information about COVID-19 indicators and establish alert levels that the county can act on to reduce the virus’ spread.
Andre Le Duc, UO’s chief resilience officer and associate vice president, said the change to high does not change the UO’s operations, but it can serve as a reminder of the importance of people doing their part to prevent the spread of the virus.
“The university had already put into place safety and prevention initiatives that would address an increase in cases,” Le Duc said. “The county has had such low numbers, we anticipated that at some point that would increase, and our plan is adaptive and will adjust to the dynamic situation.”
As it has since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the UO is working closely with state and county health authorities to provide a full range of information to help students, families, employees and the community understand the steps being taken to safeguard campus and reduce the spread of COVID-19. That information is available on the university’s COVID 19 Resources website. The site includes an FAQ and information about prevention.
The university is working to help students in both on-campus residence halls and off-campus housing. For those students living in Eugene this term but who are not housed on campus, the UO is providing information about access to COVID-19 testing at locations around the city, including University Health Services.
Students who suspect they have symptoms of COVID-19 are asked to call University Health Services at 541-346-2770 or their own health provider before visiting in person.
In addition, students who need to isolate or quarantine can contact the UO’s Corona Corps Care Team at 541-346-2292 or COVIDCare@uoregon.edu. The team can help off-campus residents get hotel space, food delivery or financial support.
The university is working with sororities, fraternities and large student housing complexes to help identify isolation and quarantine spaces in their facilities or otherwise help residents.
All students living in residence halls are required to be tested for COVID-19 in Eugene before moving in, again three to seven days later and then regularly throughout the term. University Housing also provides details on its cleaning and disinfection protocols, steps to enforce physical distancing and other work to keep residents safe.
UO housing residents who are identified through the UO Case Management Team as requiring isolation or quarantine will be assigned to a quarantine or isolation room and receive meals delivered outside their door three times daily. The students can only leave if instructed by the health authority. In addition to daily cleaning by custodial staff, additional sanitizing of touch points, using disinfectants registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, will be conducted.
The UO also is stressing prevention as one of the primary tools for stopping the spread of COVID-19. Physical distancing, wearing masks, washing hands and staying home when sick are personal behaviors that are required on campus and are being strongly promoted through information campaigns in the campus community.
To keep the community informed, the UO provides tracking dashboards that are updated daily with information about positive and presumptive positive COVID-19 cases among students living on campus, students living off campus and employees. Another online dashboard provides daily information on residence hall testing results.