Feb. 29, 2020
Dear University of Oregon community,
In light of fast-moving developments, we are providing an update to President Schill’s February 28 message on the coronavirus known as COVID-19. A few hours after the message was sent, Oregon Health Authority announced the first presumptive case in Oregon, located in Washington County outside of Portland. In addition, the state of Washington declared a state of emergency today following the death of a COVID-19 patient.
At this time, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lane County. The UO Incident Management Team is monitoring the situation via updates from the department of Lane County Public Health, Oregon Health Authority, and CDC. The team, composed of representatives from across campus, is working to proactively create and implement plans for prevention and response, including facility cleaning protocols, academic continuity plans, travel policies, and employee leave policies.
All UO facilities — including the Eugene and Portland campuses — are operating under normal schedules. If there are changes, we will communicate with campus.
We’d like to remind the entire community to continue to take the CDC-recommended precautions to prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19 and influenza.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you 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 using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
- CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
- Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others.
- The use of facemasks is crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
This is a rapidly evolving situation, and updates come in frequently. We encourage you all to monitor the CDC, Oregon Health Authority, and University Health Center’s pages on COVID-19 for the latest information. We also encourage UO community members with questions or concerns about COVID-19 to submit them via this webform. The messages will go straight to the IMT, which will ensure they are routed to the appropriate people on campus, and a response can be expected within 24-48 hours.
Andre Le Duc
Chief Resilience Officer and Associate Vice President, Safety and Risk Services
Debra Beck, RN, MBA
Executive Director, University Health Center
Dr. Richard Brunader
Medical Director, University Health Center