Masks will be welcome but not required in most settings at Oregon State University beginning Saturday, officials announced.
Last week, the university stopped requiring attendees at designated indoor and outdoor events to show proof of vaccination or provide proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test.
The university’s decision aligns with the Oregon Health Authority announcing that rules requiring masks be worn in indoor public places and schools will be lifted after 11:59 p.m. on March 11.
“Wearing a mask is a personal choice and should be respected by all,” Dan Larson, OSU coronavirus response coordinator, said through a press release. “Those at higher risk should continue to wear masks.”
Masks will still be required at some locations at Oregon State in keeping with current state and federal requirements for wearing masks in health-care settings, within public transit and in other specialized settings.
“As OSU has done throughout the pandemic, we will remain aligned with OHA and guidance provided by local public health authorities,” Larson said. “We will continue to make decisions guided by expert advice while ensuring vulnerable members of our community have the tools they need to increase their level of protection.”
OSU will continue to provide free KN95 or N95 masks for students, faculty and staff in Corvallis, Bend and across the state. Masks can be picked up on the Corvallis campus during regular operational hours at Dixon Recreation Center, the Valley Library, the Student Experience Center, the Memorial Union and Gilbert Hall.
“The discontinuance of the statewide indoor mask mandate marks a long-awaited positive turn in the fight against COVID-19, but this transition will require the best of our community as we enter a new stage of pandemic response,” Larson said. “Equity is central to public health, and we must continue to support those who are most at risk and vulnerable through our policies and actions, and by demonstrating compassion and empathy for each other.”