Dear UO Portland community,
In addition to the communications recently sent to the entire UO community about the university’s efforts to proactively monitor a novel strain of coronavirus, we wanted to make sure to provide information specific to UO Portland. First, it is important that you know that the main campus in Eugene has robust teams working in anticipation of the potential impact of the virus and is putting in place preventative and responsive systems. The Portland campus is considered in each instance. Additionally, UO Portland is informed by advice provided by the Multnomah County Public Health and the Oregon Health Authority to protect the health and well-being of our campus community.
KEY MESSAGE FOR ALL:
Many in the campus community have made good use of the COVID-19 inquiry webform, asking thoughtful questions and offering suggestions. The coronavirus information webpage has been updated to include expanded information on the UO’s prevention, response, policies, and plans. The new page will continue to serve as a hub for COVID-19 updates for all our campuses. A message was also sent to the UO community today, https://provost.uoregon.edu/updated-information-campus-response-coronavirus.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encourages people to follow good health habits, including frequent hand washing with soap and warm water, avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth; covering your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throwing the tissue in a trash receptacle; cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces; and avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
It is important to remember that viruses don’t discriminate. COVID-19 is not associated with any racial group, ethnicity, or nationality, and we must categorically reject any messaging claiming otherwise. There is no place at the University of Oregon for racism, harassment, or xenophobia. Misinformation about coronavirus can create fear and hostility that hurts people and makes it harder to keep our community healthy. Please only share accurate, unbiased information, and speak up when you hear, see, or read misinformation or harassment. Incidents of bias or harassment on campus can be reported to the Bias Education and Response Team or Office of Investigations and Civil Rights Compliance.
KEY MESSAGE FOR FACULTY:
Provost and Senior Vice President Patrick Phillips sent a message to faculty members on Tuesday with guidance on academic continuity and working with students if COVID-19 continues to spread or reaches campus. Academic continuity is setting in place processes that ensure students can complete their coursework if they need to stay home due to illness or in case the university at some point needs to temporarily suspend classes.
In short, the provost asks that faculty relax attendance policies where absences affect grades; provide remote or online alternatives for participation points or waive those points from final grades; and allow submission of assignments through Canvas or UO email. Course policies should be communicated early and often to students, using channels you would normally use. Be clear about how you will communicate with your students and about the adjustments you will make to the course. Provide options to make up missed exams and assignments.
If you are sick, stay home. Communicate with your department about class cancellation procedures.
KEY MESSAGES FOR STUDENTS:
- Portland Student Health Resources
As you know, your fees provide access to Portland State University’s Center for Student Health and Counseling (SHAC). Here is their advice:
Experiencing Respiratory Symptoms? Call SHAC first! Students who have respiratory symptoms or fever should contact SHAC's Nurse Line at 503.725.2515 or the 24/7 Nurse Advice Line (after hours) at 844.224.3145. Also, reschedule any SHAC Counseling or Dental Services appointments that you have in the next 30 days. If you miss an appointment or need to cancel at the last minute due to respiratory symptoms, the $25.00 fee missed appointment/late cancellation fee will be waived.
Help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses:
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Planning for Spring Break
As spring break approaches and many of you plan to travel, it is suggested that you follow CDC travel recommendations. The CDC also publishesfrequently asked travel questions related to COVID-19 that may help inform your plans.
- Taking care of yourself and taking care of community
The heightened awareness of COVID-19 has caused anxiety for some of our community members. Please treat everyone around you with compassion and kindness. If you find your worries around COVID-19 difficult to manage, you are encouraged to browse the resources linked on the University Counseling Center website or reach out to PSU’s Center for Student Health and Counseling for support.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions or concerns that have not been addressed.