COVID-19 Safety Regulations: Employee Guide

icon images for face mask, distancing, symptom check, and hand washing

The best way to prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19 and influenza, is to avoid exposure to the virus. Reduce risk of exposure by:

  1. Wearing a face covering.
    Faculty, staff, students, visitors, and vendors are required to use face coverings indoors and outdoors across all UO locations.
  2. Watching your distance.
    Maintain at least six feet of distance between yourself and others. Being within six feet of someone who has COVID-19 for more than 15 minutes cumulatively in a 24 hour period (such as a series of short interactions) will result in a close contact that will trigger a 14-day quarantine.
  3. Waiting it out.
    Students and employees are required to perform a symptom self-check prior to coming to campus. If COVID-19 symptoms are present or you feel sick, do not come to campus.
  4. Washing your hands.
    Handwashing often with soap and water for 20 seconds throughout the day prevents exposure.

UO follows guidance from the Oregon Health Authority, Lane County Public Health, and Centers for Disease Control when setting workplace safety precautions and implementing UO safety regulations and best practices.


First and foremost, employees should connect with their supervisor to get informed about safety regulations and department-specific requirements. The following resources will also keep you informed with the latest information.

Take Action

Knowing the regulations is only the beginning of the process. Taking action through our behavior is how we truly safeguard ourselves, our community, and achieve results to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as well as other illnesses.

Here’s what you can do to contribute to our prevention efforts and abide by the face-covering regulation:

  1. Comply with requirements—a face coverings, physical distancing, and daily symptom self-check. Encourage others to do the same with kindness, respect, and positive reinforcement.
  2. Plan for your response should you encounter someone without a mask or within 6 feet. Here are some suggestions:
    • Lead with inquiry and curiosity rather than assertion and judgment.
      “Have you heard that UO now requires face coverings on campus?”
    • Kindly share your expectations.
      “Do you have a mask with you that you can wear while we are working near each other?” and offer a disposable mask, if available, for use in the moment. Or,
      "Keeping distance is important to reducing exposure. Let's create some space between us to work at least 6 feet apart."
    • Provide information and a respectful reminder of the regulation.
      “The UO website has helpful information about safety regulations including how to get a mask if you need one. For example, anyone can drop by the UO Card Office in the EMU anytime to get one.”
    • Assume positive intent.
      Your responsibility is to ensure your own compliance and reinforce expectations with others. As a coworker or bystander, it is not your role or responsibility to enforce the regulations.
    • If the person does not put on a face mask when requested or continues to work within 6 feet, follow up with your supervisor, and direct the person to their supervisor for more information. Please remember:
      • Engagement between employees about the safety regulations should always align with our respectful workplace standards. It is never acceptable to harass, use a raised voice, physically touch, or otherwise engage in an aggressive or disruptive communication or behavior towards other employees.
      • End conversations before they escalate, and reach out to your supervisor for assistance and support.
  3. Share concerns about safety regulations using the COVID-19 behavioral concern reporting form.

Wear a face covering.

Effective October 22, 2020, the University of Oregon requires faculty, staff, students, visitors, and vendors across all UO locations to use face coverings, which include masks (note: masks with exhaust valves are discouraged) and cloth face coverings when in UO owned, leased, or controlled buildings, EXCEPT when alone in a space (e.g., room with four walls). It is recommended that individuals wear face masks when alone in a space.

Additionally, face coverings are required when in outdoor public spaces on campus regardless of whether or not six feet of distance can be maintained between people.

Individual concerns about personal use of a face covering should be addressed with a supervisor to identify a path to compliance. Employees may also use the COVID-19 behavioral concern reporting form.

View Face-Coverings Requirement

Watch your distance.

Close contact to someone with the COVID-19 virus increases risk of exposure. Because some people who are infected are asymptomatic, always keep at least six feet of distance between yourself and others.

Follow these additional guidelines to lower your risk of becoming infected or infecting others with COVID-19:

  • Avoid or leave social gatherings with 10 or more people.
  • Try to limit your contacts to a small group of people you know.
  • Individual concerns about personal physical distancing should be addressed with a supervisor to identify a path to compliance with regulations and best practices.

Check your symptoms daily and wait it out if you have symptoms or feel sick.

Students and employees are required to perform a symptom self-check prior to coming to campus. If COVID-19 symptoms are present or you feel sick, do not come to campus. If you are on campus and notice symptoms or begin to feel sick, please leave campus right away and contact your supervisor.

Before coming to campus, you are required to:

  • Monitor your health for any symptoms that are different from normal (your baseline).
  • Avoid coming to campus or any public areas if symptoms are present.

The new COVID-19 symptom self-check tool is now available online or on the University of Oregon mobile app. Download the app from the iTunes store or Google Play to access the symptom checker, campus map, and additional COVID-19 resources.

  • The symptom self-check tool can be used to record the daily self-check for yourself.
  • The university will not collect any personal health data from the tool.
  • Employees do not need to submit their symptom self-checks to the university or their supervisor.

Voluntary Employee Testing

The COVID-19 Monitoring and Assessment Program (MAP) administers COVID-19 testing for the university. MAP is expanding to accommodate additional voluntary testing for employees. The first phase of MAP testing was primarily focused on students living in residence halls. The MAP team will continue ramping up testing capacity into the winter.

A dedicated number of testing appointments are allocated for voluntary employee testing at each testing event. Preregistration is required and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Testing event dates and the registration portal link are published on Around the O.

Here is more information about employee testing:

  • Participation is voluntary, not mandatory, and supervisors are prepared to be flexible so those who wish to participate may do so.
  • Employees may participate while on-shift during work time. However, employees who do not normally work during the time the testing is provided may still participate but will need to do so on their own time.
  • The testing process should only take 15-30 minutes to complete from arrival to departure.
  • There is no cost for testing.

You should not participate if you:

  • Tested or were diagnosed positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days.
  • Are currently isolating or quarantining due to contact with a known positive case.
  • Are feeling sick or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

Visit the UO Coronavirus website for more information about the testing program and the sample collection process.