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UO Says Most Employees & Students Are Vaccinated As Students Move In To Campus Housing

Melorie Begay/KLCC News

The University of Oregon saw an estimated 2,700 students descend on-campus in Eugene for UO's Move-in Day on Thursday. Classes start Sept. 27 with the university touting a readiness for COVID-19.

The university reports more than 95% of students and employees have been vaccinated, and unvaccinated individuals are required to be tested weekly. Required face coverings both indoors and outdoors, when social distancing isn't possible, is also in effect.

Asked about why the university opted against delaying in-person learning, UO President Michael Schill said it was important for students.

“A lot of students got left behind in online education both in high schools and in universities and we care that all students should succeed and we think the best way for them to succeed is in person,” he said.

Schill said the university has a number of programs to help students, including those who’ve been out of the classroom because of the pandemic, adjust mentally and academically.

Credit Melorie Begay/KLCC News
Dylan Niemi (left) places his suitcase into of the moving bins at the University of Oregon campus while is father, Glen Niemi (right), helps. An estimated 2,700 students moved on-campus during Move-In Day on Sept. 27.

Nearly 5,000 students are expected to move into residence halls this fall, many of them from across the country. The university stated they have quarantine and isolation policies in place to prevent spread.

Still, some parents are worried about sending their teens off to school, but the availability of COVID-19 vaccines is reassuring.

Glen Niemi drove 10 hours from Santa Rosa, CA to drop off his son, Dylan, an incoming freshman. Glen said sending his son to school in a pandemic is still a concern for him and his wife but at least his son is fully vaccinated.

“Keep a small bubble of people, do all those things, don’t go hang out in Portland," he laughed. "[Dylan's] not worried, be we are, but I feel like he’s comfortably taken care of and probably if he does get it he’s not going to get sick, or not real sick.”

Glen said his family views the vaccines like a seatbelt and helps prevent death.

As for Dylan, he said he's not too concerned about contracting the virus and is looking forward to the college experience.

"I feel completely comfortable...I'm vaccinated and I wear a mask indoors but otherwise I feel fine," he said.

Copyright 2021 KLCC


Melorie Begay is a multimedia journalist for KLCC News. She was the Inaugural KLCC Public Radio Foundation Journalism Fellow. She has a bachelors in Multimedia Journalism from the University of New Mexico. She previously interned at KUNM public radio in Albuquerque, NM and served as a fellow for the online news publication New Mexico In Depth.