Pacific Lifts Indoor Mask Requirements March 12
The State of Oregon announced this week that the statewide indoor mask mandate will end on March 12.
As we have throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Pacific University will follow the guidance of state public health officials for its campus protocols.
Starting March 12, mask use will be optional in most university facilities.
- In accordance with public health guidance, masks will remain required in healthcare facilities, including Pacific’s public clinics, the Student Health Center, Student Counseling Center, and the Athletic Training Room. Masks also may be required in some class and lab settings where students practice the skills they would use in such healthcare settings.
- The Pacific University Early Learning Community, which serves children in preschool through fourth grade, will announce mask guidelines for its students based on guidance from the Early Learning Division and Oregon Department of Education.
- The Eugene Campus will follow protocols set by Lane Community College, when they are announced.
- Mask use remains required on public transportation. We will continue to require masks in Pacific's vans and buses while we evaluate these guidelines.
- Mask use continues to be required of those in quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19 exposure or infection.
We recognize that the evolving pandemic conditions and guidelines can be a source of confusion, uncertainty and stress for everyone. For some, the lifting mask mandate is a welcome relief. For others, the changes may be a source of concern.
At Pacific, we are committed to following the expert advice of scientists and public health officials to keep our learning and working communities healthy. Throughout much of the pandemic, our campuses’ case rates have been lower than our surrounding community, in large part because of your diligence in following protocols. Like the rest of our region, our case rates are now extremely low and we can begin cautiously and responsibly moving back toward normal. Thank you for helping us reach this milestone.
We are committed to respecting the choices of those who continue to wear masks, and we will maintain numerous safety protocols to protect our community. Equity remains at the core of our university values, and we all are responsible for supporting those who are most at risk and for demonstrating compassion and empathy.
Pacific will continue to promote wellness by:
- Maintaining COVID-19 vaccination and booster requirements. Students and employees must be up-to-date on vaccinations and boosters, according to their eligibility, or have an approved exemption on file. Those with exemptions will continue weekly COVID-19 testing. Campus guests also are required to be up-to-date on vaccinations and boosters or be prepared to show proof they tested negative for COVID-19 within 24 hours of arrival on campus.
- Continuing symptom and illness monitoring programs. Employees and graduate/professional students should continue daily symptom monitoring with Datos, and Forest Grove undergraduate students should report illnesses on the SERF form. These mechanisms ensure that we are monitoring infection rates in our community and are able to respond quickly if rates change. They also allow us to continue to provide personal support and guidance for those who are ill.
- Continuing to provide support for all students and employees. The express window at the University Center will close due to low use, but students who are ill may still arrange for indoor food pickup. The Student Health Center continues to provide testing for those experiencing symptoms, and self-tests are available through the SHC. The wide variety of mental, emotional and spiritual support networks are also available for those working through the evolution of the pandemic.
- Supporting the use of masks by all who choose to wear them and for those who are at higher risk, because public health authorities confirm that a well-fitting high quality mask provides the wearer significant protection, even if others are mask-free.
- Continuing to monitor changing pandemic conditions and guidelines and provide information to the Pacific community.
You can continue to protect yourself and your community by:
- Staying up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters. All students and employees are required to be up-to-date based on their eligibility. The CDC recommends boosters for everyone ages 12 and up at least five months after the last dose of their Pfizer or Moderna primary vaccine series or two months after their Johnson & Johnson primary vaccine.
- Continuing to wear a well-fitting mask, especially indoors or in crowded outdoor areas, if you are at higher risk, including if you are unvaccinated, immunocompromised, have underlying health conditions, are 65 or older, or live with someone in these categories.
- Staying home if you are not feeling well or are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms. If you have symptoms and know you have been exposed to COVID-19, get tested. Fully vaccinated people should be tested 5-7 days after their last exposure. Those who are not fully vaccinated should get tested as soon as they learn they are a close contact (within six feet of someone who is positive for 15 minutes or more over the course of a day, with or without a mask). If you are feeling ill, continue wearing a mask in public.
- Monitor and report symptoms and illness on Datos (employees and graduate/professional students) or the SERF form.
- Stay informed through trusted and science-based information sources.