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Sept. 24, 2020 LA GRANDE, Ore. – Eastern Oregon University pro-actively conducted COVID-19 testing for all on-campus students on Sept. 21. Results arrived today and indicate that seven students tested positive out of 881 that participated in testing.
“This was a huge event to pull together, and was led by EOU’s Student Affairs staff with volunteers from across campus,” said VP for University Advancement Tim Seydel. “Students also did a great job in self-isolating before arriving on campus and following guidelines to lower their risk of exposure.”
So far this fall, the university has conducted 1,033 tests and has a 1% positive case rate. This is well below the state average of 5%. Overall, 10 students have tested positive since returning to campus, and one additional student tested positive over the summer.
Students who test positive, and those who have been in contact with them, are observing quarantine regulations for 14 days. EOU residence halls have established isolation rooms for on-campus residents who have to quarantine, and the university is providing care throughout that time.
EOU plans to begin holding many in-person classes on Monday, while also providing remote-access coursework, including for those in quarantine. About half of EOU’s on-campus courses are being offered in-person this fall, and the rest are being delivered either through remote-access or in a hybrid format.
Extensive planning for this resumption process took place over the summer, and a range of new safety protocols have been implemented across campus. Dining services, tutoring, library resources, residence life and athletics have all modified their operations to meet standards set by the governor’s office and the Higher Education Coordinating Commission.
Students and employees must complete a daily self-health check, face coverings are required in all buildings, and physical distancing signage is posted throughout university facilities. The La Grande campus remains closed to the public, but faculty, staff and students have returned to their posts for another term.
“Staff, faculty and students put in a lot of time over the last several months to ensure we had a smooth resumption process,” Seydel said. “We plan to continue monitoring the health of our campus community and we are prepared to care for those who test positive. Mostly, though, we’re looking forward to the pay-off of being able to carry out our mission as Oregon’s Rural University and providing access to higher education for students no matter where they are.”
Additional information is available at eou.edu/coronavirus/pandemic-resumption-plan, including a testing data dashboard that is updated daily at 5 p.m.
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