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From the office of the president

December 8, 2021

Cowboy family,


We wanted to provide you with a COVID-19 update before we adjourn the fall semester. The university’s Pandemic Response Team will continue meeting throughout the break. Our goal is always to make the best decisions we can with the information available and to notify our campus community of any changes or developments as soon as possible.


Federal contractor vaccination mandate blocked

A federal judge has temporarily blocked the implementation of the federal contractor vaccination mandate and its associated guidance. Following the injunction, Oklahoma State University has, consistent with applicable law, paused the vaccination mandate. At this time, employees who have not uploaded their vaccination information to the Employee Vaccination Portal, or filed for a religious or medical accommodation, are not required to do so. However, the portal will remain open and we encourage employees to upload their information as it will be required in the event the injunction is lifted.


As the case progresses through court, we will continue to monitor legal developments and keep you apprised should the status of the mandate change. We appreciate all of our employees who were taking steps to adhere to the mandate requirements and encourage everyone who is able to be vaccinated to do so.



As you may have heard, a new COVID-19 variant — designated as Omicron by the World Health Organization — has been identified in the United States. It’s too early in the study of the new strain to provide definitive information about the severity of the variant, how quickly it spreads or how effective current vaccines are against it. OSU continues to closely monitor the situation, including the tightening of travel restrictions by a number of countries.


Study Abroad

At this time, there are no changes to upcoming study abroad programming. University leaders will continue to update the campus community regularly regarding developments and if Omicron and related travel restrictions might alter plans for January or spring 2022. Updates will be posted to the Study Abroad website.


COVID-19 tests available

As we prepare to wrap up the fall semester, we encourage our students, faculty and staff to make an appointment at UHS for a COVID-19 test before going home for the holiday break. Also, please get a COVID-19 test if you don’t feel well. And, as always, we encourage everyone who is able to get vaccinated. Flu season is alsgo upon us, and UHS has the flu vaccine available. UHS will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday except for Dec. 24-31 while the university is closed.


If you have questions, please review the FAQs, which are updated regularly. Don’t see an answer there? Email your question to




Dr. Johnny Stephens

Senior Vice President for Health Affairs

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