OSU mask policy unchanged, booster shot requirement deadline extended to May 1

A+statue+in+front+of+the+Strand+Agricultural+Hall+on+the+Oregon+State+Univeristy+Corvallis%2C+Ore.+campus+wears+a+COVID-19+mask.+Masking+policies+at+OSU+have+not+changed+despite+the+Oregon+Health+Authority+announcing+that+mask+mandates+will+be+lifted+no+later+than+March.+31.

Jess Hume-Pantuso, Photographer

A statue in front of the Strand Agricultural Hall on the Oregon State Univeristy Corvallis, Ore. campus wears a COVID-19 mask. Masking policies at OSU have not changed despite the Oregon Health Authority announcing that mask mandates will be lifted no later than March. 31.

Kelsy Valentine, Campus Editor

Oregon State University has extended the deadline for eligible students and employees to receive COVID-19 booster shots to May 1, from a previous date of Feb. 15.

According to a Feb. 8 press release from Dan Laron, the vice provost for student affairs and OSU coronavirus response coordinator, the original Feb. 15 deadline for booster shots was extended because it “assumed that boosters would be readily available and easily accessible.”

However, the press release said there is mixed availability of booster shots across the state despite being provided in many locations across Oregon. 

Once students receive their booster shots, they should upload their proof-of-vaccination to the Student Health Services Patient Portal.

Larson also announced in the press release that there will be no change to OSU’s face covering requirement at this time. This comes after the Oregon Health Authority announced on Feb. 7 that the state mask mandates will be lifted no later than March. 31.

“In the coming weeks, we will evaluate carefully whether mask use remains necessary within university environments, especially classrooms,” Larson said in the press release. “As we consider the implications for OSU of the state mandate being lifted in March or sooner, our primary objective remains the same: to maintain measures that are demonstrated to protect the health of the university community and the communities in which we operate.”

OSU will also no longer require proof of vaccination at outdoor events, according to the press release. 

The press release said that, along with a lower rate of transmission of COVID-19 in outdoor spaces, vaccination is also less effective at reducing transmission than originally believed. 

OSU will no longer require proof of vaccination at outdoor events, effective immediately, but continue to require vaccination proof at certain indoor events, such as sports events.