UO winter term to remain mix remote/in-person, county put on COVID watch-list

Last Tuesday the University of Oregon announced that winter term courses would be similar to the fall term in that they would be a“mix of remote, online, and some in-person.” In addition buildings such as residence halls, the Knight Library, the Student Rec Center, and Erb Memorial Union will remain open to the campus community. The university says they will offer all remote options for students.

On Wednesday of last week, the GTFF held a press conference to address the current safety protocols undertaken by the UO and briefly touched on the university’s winter term plans. In brief they expressed that the university is providing inadequate protections not only for graduate employees, but also staff and faculty. They highlighted that the university often puts the impetus on individuals, a failure in their duties.

One of the areas highlighted where the university is failing is access to testing. The UO Health Center provides testing to graduate employees because of their dual status as students, but other employees do no get access to testing there.

The GTFF also brought up concerns looking towards the winter. There are several building on campus that do not have sufficient airflow and the university’s recommendation is to open the windows, something that becomes untenable in the cold and damp winter.

The backdrop to all of this is Lane County seeing a huge spike in COVID-19 cases. While not all traced to the university, many of the cases come from off-campus UO students. On Friday Gov. Brown placed Lane County on the County Watch List, which meant to increase support and monitoring for counties with high sporadic spread. Lane County joins Benton, Clatsop, Malheur, and Umatilla. 


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