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Doing our part to protect the health and wellbeing of our fellow Cowboys in the face of COVID-19 has never been more critical.  We urge everyone to take personal responsibility in following recommended guidelines, as only through a collective, cooperative effort can we help protect our campus community.

Student Guidance

The information on the following page outlines expectations of all OSU students while on campus. This is not only to protect your health, but the health of our entire community. Your continued support of these guidelines is appreciated.

Guidance for OSU Employees

Employees who have been working remotely will be notified by their unit leadership regarding their return-to-campus timelines and processes. If employees are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, you will be required to stay home and you should seek guidance from your healthcare provider. If your health or the health of those around you is considered high risk, please engage in individual discussions with your supervisor and/or HR Consultant.

Health Guidelines for the OSU Campus Community

Personal Health Responsibility

The following outlines expectations of all OSU students and employees while on campus. This is not only to protect your health, but the health of our entire community. Your continued support of these guidelines is appreciated.

Personal Health Guidelines

Face Coverings

All OSU students, employees, and visitors must wear a face covering (mask) upon entering any campus building and when near or are encountering others. COVID-19 can be spread when people are asymptomatic, which means they do not know they are sick yet. Wearing face coverings has been shown to reduce the spread of COVID-19 to others. It is important that OSU is a safe place to work and study, and taking this step creates a safe environment for all of us as advised by the CDC. As a reminder, face coverings do not replace the need to maintain social distancing, frequent handwashing, and rigorous cleaning and disinfecting routines. This action is not about keeping you safe, it is about showing that you care about your fellow Cowboys and are doing your part to keep our campus community safe.

Face Covering Guidelines

Positive COVID-19 Case on Campus

We follow the guidance of national and local health officials in our response to a positive diagnosis on campus. If we receive confirmation that an OSU student or employee has had a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, there are important measures that will be promptly taken including quarantine or isolation, contact tracing, communication and facility disinfection. When a member of the OSU community self-reports they are symptomatic or tests positive for COVID-19, please contact University Health Services at 405-744-7287 immediately.

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Contact Tracing

Timely identification of potentially impacted individuals is critical during a public health crisis. OSU uses a range of methods for contact tracing to aid in notification of individuals at risk for COVID19. UHS works in tandem with the Payne County Health Department to identify cases and respond accordingly. Select UHS employees are trained on the state and county’s approach and technology for contact tracing and are available to assist with those ongoing efforts. Leveraging existing campus technology, OSU has developed analytics to identify employee and student movement across the OSU campus via WiFi access points. This location data is held in extreme confidence and shared only with leadership of UHS when cases arise for which location information is useful. Location data – not device content, which is not collected by OSU – is stored for seven days and solely used to aid in contact tracing. Additional data including class schedules, OSU ID card transactions and office or student housing assignments is also used.

COVID-19 Testing

Oklahoma State University offers free COVID-19 oral swab testing for students and employees at University Health Services (UHS) on the main Stillwater campus. The service is by appointment to OSU students and employees. The oral swab tests, which are less invasive than nasal swab tests, are administered by the OSU Center for Health Sciences under the covered driveway on the east side of UHS at 1202 W. Farm Road. To make an appointment, patients should call 405-744-7665 or login to the Patient Portal to schedule an appointment by 5 p.m. the day before they wish to be scheduled, making sure to note they are requesting testing on the Stillwater campus. Patients should bring their OSU Stillwater ID on testing day.

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Cleaning of University Facilities

OSU Facilities Management provides touch-point cleaning and disinfecting daily in campus buildings and multiple times daily within areas of increased-use or higher risk. OSU maintains alcohol-based hand sanitizer and replacement wall-mount dispensers to refill the currently installed hand sanitizers located throughout campus. Facilities Management procures and distributes necessary cleaning supplies for individual departments.

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Academic Delivery of On-Campus Courses and Support


Instructional methods for the spring 2020 semester will again be a mix of in-person, hybrid and online courses for the spring semester. Unlike the fall 2020 semester, attendance will be expected, and even required by some instructors, unless a student has tested positive, is experiencing symptoms, is quarantining or has another excused absence. Instructors will again work to accommodate individual student needs, but may require documentation. Instructors will provide missed class information at their discretion which could include class notes or handouts, recorded classroom sessions or a livestream. 

Class Schedule

The University will utilize the entire existing course timeframe from 7:30 am to 9:30 pm for MWF and TR courses. Nonstandard scheduled classes in general university and large college classrooms will be minimized.


Locations not generally utilized for classes will be used. Some examples include the Student Union ballroom, the Alumni Center, and the Watkins Center. Social distancing will reduce the capacity of traditional classrooms and using these alternative spaces will increase our ability to deliver face-to-face classes. Through exhaustive contact tracing, the university learned that no positive cases during the fall semester were mapped back to the classroom. Therefore, seating charts will not be required in the spring.

Office Hours

Faculty will offer office hours online to eliminate crowding in offices and hallways. Students are asked to respect posted virtual hours of all faculty and Teaching Assistants. Teaching Assistants will be providing recitation sections and virtual office hours to work problems and answer questions.


Library business hours will be reduced during the spring semester to allow time for overnight cleaning and sanitizing. Furniture in public spaces has been arranged to ensure appropriate social distancing and barriers or shields will be erected to allow more than one user at library tables. When possible, library services will continue to include options for users who are unable to come into the library such as curbside pick-up for books and library laptops and chat reference assistance. The Library Browsing Room and Reading Room will not be available for events or public gatherings until social distancing requirements are no longer in place.

Graduate Students

Graduate Students: In-person and virtual defenses will continue in spring 2021. Guidance for virtual defenses is provided in the Best Practices document in the Graduate Faculty Canvas Community. This format still requires all advisory committee members participate or be replaced with available Graduate Faculty members. Non-coursework Exams (e.g., qualifying, preliminary, comprehensive) are typically for a very small number of individuals at a time and may easily accommodate social distancing guidelines. In-person, online or virtual formats are still acceptable and should take individual concerns of faculty, staff and students into account. For additional information, students can go to the Graduate College resource page.


One of the fundamental aims and promises of Honors courses is they provide undergraduates in the Honors College significant opportunities to interact with outstanding faculty in a small group environment. In light of this, except when dictated by health and safety reasons, all Honors classes will be delivered face-to-face or in synchronous mode. Honors students who, through the action of the University, are unable to meet the normal hours required to remain active in Honors will automatically be awarded active status.

Study Abroad

The U.S. Department of State and Centers for Disease Control continue to advise citizens to avoid travel when possible, to most international destinations, as new variants of the COVID-19 virus emerge and international destinations continually revise their policies. It is not clear at this time when these travel advisories will be reduced. University officials are continually monitoring developments both in terms of the pandemic outbreaks and the progress of vaccinations, and will update this guidance when warranted.

With this in mind, no faculty-led study abroad programs will be allowed by OSU prior to May 1, 2021. OSU has also suspended its student exchange programs until Summer 2021, except in very rare cases. Please contact the Study Abroad/NSE Office for more information on study abroad and the School of Global Studies and Partnerships for questions related to faculty/staff international travel.


Research at OSU has continued with adjustments for social distancing and personal protection. Detailed information is available on the research continuity website.

Campus Life Facilities

Student Housing

The student housing plan includes reducing or rearranging shared spaces, increased frequency of cleaning, acquisition of specialized disinfecting equipment and dedicated rooms reserved for student quarantine, if necessary. Accommodations for vulnerable populations will be provided.

University Dining

University Dining Services has reduced the capacity for seating to allow for social distancing within OSU dining facilities. Some dining operations will only be available via an online ordering app to reduce waiting time and exposure to risk. Take-out and delivery options are strongly encouraged.

Student Union

In addition to campus protocols for social distancing and the wearing of face coverings, the Student Union will increase disinfection protocols for all high-touch areas. Restrooms will be sanitized every two hours.

Colvin Recreation Center

A minimum of two housekeepers will be on staff at the Colvin during all operating hours continually cleaning areas by zone as well as repeatedly cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces (handrails, door handles, push plates, etc.) multiple times daily. Fitness floor staff will clean equipment continuously throughout the day including equipment touch points (I.e. seats, handles, bars, and pins).

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