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Oregon Tech

The Oregon Tech campus in Klamath Falls.

Oregon Tech will require students and employees to have received the COVID-19 vaccine to return to campus for the fall semester, the university’s president announced Wednesday.

The announcement, coupled with a similar one from Eastern Oregon University, means all of Oregon’s publicly funded universities will now require the COVID-19 vaccination for returning students as well as faculty and staff.

“COVID-19 vaccination for Oregon Tech community members will contribute to greater immunity, reduce the risk of sudden clusters of outbreaks on our campuses, and help protect members of our communities who are at the highest risk of developing complications from the virus,” wrote President Nagi Naganathan in a letter to the campus.

The schools will have a process for students to get legal exemptions. Students who attend class fully online and who don’t engage in any on-campus activities will not be required to be vaccinated.

Fall classes will begin on September 29.

Oregon Tech joins a growing list of higher education institutions across the country and state that will require the vaccine. According to a Chronicle of Higher Education report tracking college vaccination plans, 470 campuses across the U.S. are planning on requiring the vaccine as of Friday afternoon.

Not counting Oregon Tech, nine campuses in the state are planning on requiring the vaccine in the fall, the tracker showed.

“Resumption of in-person teaching in September will be guided by Governor Brown’s staging plan for the state to reopen higher education institutions across Oregon as well as vaccine access and guidance received from state health, education, and other officials. Oregon Tech will continue to monitor trends in the number of cases and take measures to address the safety of students, faculty and staff,” Naganathan said.