News and Information
A novel strain of coronavirus has been monitored and investigated since early 2020 by agencies including Jackson County Public Health, the Oregon Health Authority, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). The disease is COVID-19, which stands for “coronavirus disease 2019” – the year in which it was identified.
Southern Oregon University works proactively with local and state health agencies, and collaborates with other colleges and universities, to inform those we serve and to protect their health and well-being. Resources on this page are refreshed as new information emerges.
Updated July 5, 2022
|Students registered for in-person classes:||Students registered for in-person classes who are vaccinated:||Students registered for in-person classes who have approved exemptions:|
|Total number:||Completed reporting requirement:||Percent vaccinated, of those reporting & on-campus:||Percent up-to-date on boosters, of those reporting & on-campus:|
*Includes all faculty, classified and unclassified regular and temporary positions.
*In accordance with the SOU COVID-19 Vaccination Policy, completion of the SOU COVID-19 Vaccination Declaration form is mandatory to report vaccine(s) or request an exemption.
Want to learn more about COVID-19?
A great deal of information is available, and more relevant links are added as we learn of them:
- The Oregon Health Authority’s current statewide requirements for face coverings are available in English and in Spanish.
- General, up-to-date information can be found on a dedicated CDC web page.
- Information about our area is provided by Jackson County Public Health.
- A statewide perspective – and updates by email subscription – are available from the Oregon Health Authority.
- Information and resources for those affiliated with colleges and universities is provided by Oregon’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission.
- A global view of the COVID-19 outbreak is provided by the World Health Organization.
- COVID-19 from the academic and medical viewpoint is available from the Johns Hopkins University & Medicine – Coronavirus Resource Center and that university also offers an updated map of COVID-19’s spread.
Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19
We all have questions about the global COVID-19 outbreak and how it may affect us, our university, and the state, region and world. We offer a few answers below.
Vaccine Policy and Safety
This page is intended to provide guidance, resources and timely information for all members of the SOU community. We have been following the science carefully and listening to local, state and national public health officials. At this time, we believe we can continue to provide the conditions necessary to operate primarily in-person. That said, maintaining the health and safety of our students and employees remains our top priority. If the situation worsens, we are prepared to change course.
Are we starting spring term in person?
We will start spring term on March 28 “primarily” face-to-face/in-person. There are a few exceptions for regular, fully online courses and those taught by faculty with approved exemptions.
Are booster shots required?
Students and employees will be required to have booster shots when they are eligible to receive them, and the boosters are recommended by the CDC. Our definition of “fully vaccinated” includes the original vaccine dosage, plus recommended boosters.
Can I start the spring term if I don’t have a booster?
The university requires all students to attest that they are fully vaccinated or have an approved exemption. Full vaccination includes CDC-recommended booster shots for those eligible to receive them.
Who is eligible to receive CDC-recommended boosters?
Those who have received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines are eligible for boosters five months after completing their original two-shot regimens. Those who have received the Johnson & Johnson one-shot vaccine are eligible for boosters two months later. It is anticipated that the CDC will eventually recommend subsequent booster shots, and will provide guidance for when those shots should be administered.
How will you monitor my vaccine and booster status?
Randomly selected students will be asked to show proof of their vaccination status.
Will the university provide masks?
Yes. Masks are available in most buildings. They are no longer required, but those who feel more comfortable while wearing them are encouraged to do so.
Will students be allowed to have friends in our dorm room from other residence halls?
Those who are members of the residence hall community will be allowed into residence halls.
What are the COVID-19 requirements for living on campus?
Residents should review the Housing policy and our encouraged to speak with housing officials.
If a student chooses to delay their residence hall move-in date, will their currently assigned room be still available?
We will do all we can to hold your room for you as long as you communicate your plan on when you will arrive with us.
Are COVID-19 vaccines safe, and do they work?
Reactions to the vaccines that are currently available are extremely rare. Each of the three vaccines has been determined to be highly effective at preventing those who have received shots from contracting the virus; the small percentage who become infected after vaccination typically develop mild or no symptoms. Much more information is available on the Oregon Health Authority website.
How can I protect myself?
Here are some simple tips to keep yourself healthy and help protect those around you:
- Get your free COVID-19 vaccination from any of the vaccination sites or providers where the shots are now available; this provides the best protection for those who are vaccinated and ultimately helps to prevent further spread of the virus.
- Wear a face covering and observe physical distancing when you are around others who may not have been vaccinated.
- Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. If not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home while you are sick and avoid close contact with others.
- Call the Student Health & Wellness Center (students) or your personal doctor (employees) if you’re very sick.
Campus Facilities and Activities
Will on campus jobs such as work in the Tutoring Center or the TRIO/SSS program start entirely virtual or will they be in person?
On-campus employment requires that students have attested to their vaccination status. Individuals should contact their employers for details.
Will the Hannon Library and Stevenson Union be open?
The library, the student union, all other campus buildings will be open for in-person services. Please check their specific website for hours of operation.
Are masks still required anywhere on campus?
Yes, masks are still required at the Student Health & Wellness Center – in keeping with ongoing mask requirements at health care facilities throughout Oregon.
*Please watch this brief video from the CDC regarding COVID-19. Remember, viruses don’t discriminate and they cannot target people from specific ethnicities or racial backgrounds. Associating an infectious disease with a specific group or nationality perpetuates stigma and harms the people targeted.
COVID-19 is not connected to any particular ethnicity or race. Racist behaviors or stereotyping are not acceptable at Southern Oregon University. If you experience harassment or discrimination, please file a bias incident report here.