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UO requiring proof of vaccination before start of fall classes

All University of Oregon students must show proof of vaccination from COVID-19 by the first day of classes on Sept. 27, with employees and students in the residence halls having to submit it weeks earlier, under the university's new COVID-19-related requirement.

The UO will offer incentives for students and employees who submit their immunization records for COVID-19 before Sept. 1.

All seven of Oregon's public universities (and now Lane Community College) are requiring the vaccine for in-person activities this coming school year or an exemption request, which is allowed under state law.

“Our planning for fall will continue to be guided by science and best practices,” UO Provost Patrick Phillips said in the July 27 announcement.

“It presumes that the majority of our community will be fully vaccinated this fall under our vaccination requirement, and we will maintain appropriate public health safety measures. As we look to coming back together in fall and we resume something closer to normal, we will continue to rely on our collective sense of purpose and care for our community.”

Students who don't submit either their vaccine status or an exemption request will have a hold put on their records, preventing them from registering for classes. UO employees who don't submit either will "held accountable for compliance as they would other university requirements, including possible disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment," according to UO.

The deadlines for UO students and staff to submit their vaccination status or request an exemption are:

School of Law faculty, staff and students: Aug. 13.

Residence hall students, upon move-in and no later than: Sept. 14.

All employees outside of the School of Law: Sept. 17.

All other students: Sept. 27.

Students and employees who request an exemption from the vaccine requirement will have to follow more safety protocols. For example, everybody living in congregate housing facilities (such as residence halls) who is not fully vaccinated will be required to test weekly for COVID-19.

Face masks are still required indoors for everyone, regardless of vaccination status. Face masks can be removed when individuals are in a room or cubicle alone, or in an area designated for eating.

Volunteers and "unpaid appointments" also are subject to the vaccine requirement, but contractors and visitors are not required to report it.

People who submit this information before Sept. 1 will be entered to win $50 prizes. The university also is working to encourage vaccination by joining the White House's challenge, along with hundreds of other universities, to engage college communities to get vaccinated.

Contact reporter Jordyn Brown at jbrown@registerguard.com or 541-246-4264, and follow her on Twitter @thejordynbrown and Instagram @registerguard. Support local journalism, subscribe to The Register-Guard.