Coronavirus Response

COVID Dashboard for February 22, 2021 showing 1265 total COVID tests samples collected at SHAC (588 rapid tests) and 43 total positive cases on campus since March, 2020; 2 new cases were reported in February with no new cases in the last week.

COVID Testing Strategy

The Center for Student Health and Counseling (SHAC) is currently offering testing, available by appointment and after screening. Any member of the PSU Community (any student or employee, including full and part time faculty) can contact SHAC to discuss COVID health concerns, including symptoms or concern for possible exposure. Following guidance from Multnomah County, SHAC is prioritizing testing for individuals who are symptomatic. Testing at SHAC for individuals who are not symptomatic will be determined on a case by case basis in consultation with a SHAC medical professional. 

How to Schedule with SHAC

Please call SHAC at (503) 725-2800 during office hours (Monday - Thursdays, 9 - 5; Fridays 10-5; Monday-Friday SHAC will be closed 12-1:00 for lunch). Following a medical screening, SHAC may recommend that an individual visit SHAC for a COVID test or seek a COVID test from another medical provider (e.g. their primary care provider, their local county, etc.).

Reporting COVID-Exposure, Test Results, or Diagnosis 

Informing SHAC of COVID-19 exposure, positive test results, or diagnosis is strongly recommended in order for PSU to initiate centralized university-level responses to protect students, staff and faculty during COVID-19. Please report if you have been to the PSU campus within the past two weeks. Please complete the COVID-19 Reporting Form and a representative from Center for Student Health & Counseling will be in contact with you by phone.

About the PSU COVID Dashboard

Dashboard numbers reflect the total number of tests samples collected, tests conducted and cases reported, cumulatively, since the beginning of the pandemic. COVID-19 case counts are based on positive test results collected by SHAC or positive results reported to SHAC by individuals or the Multnomah County Health Department.

The dashboard above depicts

  • How many COVID test samples SHAC has taken and sent to an external laboratory for testing;
  • How many COVID tests SHAC has conducted onsite;
  • Monthly and total COVID case counts (based on test results collected by SHAC or results reported to SHAC by individuals or the Multnomah County Health Department); and
  • Summary demographics of on-campus cases.

Defining an on-campus case

An “on-campus case” is a positive COVID-19 test result or diagnosis made by or reported to SHAC where the person was on campus in the past 14 days and is:

  • A student with on-campus activity (e.g taking an on campus class, athletics, working, etc)
  • A student that lives on campus
  • An employee working on campus
  • Someone who was on campus, even with no close contacts identified

‘On-campus” is defined as “on or within PSU-owned property or space leased by PSU."

A person who was on campus and who reports an exposure (that they are a close contact of someone who has COVID-19) should self isolate and follow guidance from their medical provider, but is not considered an “on-campus” case unless they test positive for COVID-19. 

Additional Case Information




Month of February, 2021


One non-resident student and one employee tested positive for COVID-19. Some potential on-campus exposures have been identified and have undergone testing and quarantine.

Month of January, 2021


Four resident students and four non-resident students tested positive for COVID-19. Some potential on-campus exposures have been identified and have undergone testing and quarantine.

Month of December


Six resident students, one non-resident student and three campus employees tested positive for COVID-19. Some potential on-campus exposures have been identified and have undergone testing and quarantine. 

Month of November


Eight resident students, three employees, four non-resident students and two on-campus contractors tested positive for COVID-19. Some potential on-campus exposures have been identified and have undergone testing and quarantine. 

Month of October


One resident student tested positive for COVID-19. A second student had an inconclusive COVID-19 test. Both students began quarantine immediately. A third case was identified in a non-resident student who had been on campus. A fourth case was identified in a tenant of an on-campus facility. No on-campus exposures have been identified.

Month of August


One resident student who also works on campus tested positive for COVID-19. No on-campus exposures identified.

Month of May


One non-resident student who also works on campus reported a positive COVID-19 test. No on-campus exposures identified. 

Managing PSU's Response

At PSU, our Incident Management Team representing all sectors of campus is leading our efforts to coordinate preparedness, response, communications and contingencies in case the virus spreads to Portland. Members of the IMT are trained in planning and response to any potential health or safety threat to our PSU community. 

PSU's COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan

In compliance with State of Oregon Executive Order 20-28 and the guidance from the Oregon Health Authority and Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Council, Portland State has adopted a comprehensive COVID-19 Health and Safety Operational Plan, as of Winter Term, 2021.

Do you have more questions about Portland State University's coronavirus response? Please send them to



Dear Campus Community,

I write to you today about brighter days to come and to give you the information you will need to make plans for spring, summer and fall terms.

Spring and summer terms primarily remote; fall term primarily in-person

For Spring 2021, we will continue with primarily remote instruction at PSU and anticipate continuing to be mostly remote through the summer term. We have made the decision to continue virtual courses during this time because COVID-19 continues to pose a risk to our campus community, with a new, more infectious variant of the disease confirmed to be circulating in Oregon.

As sobering as the current rates of infection are, the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines in Oregon has given us all reason to be optimistic that the end of the pandemic is finally within sight. While we do not control the supply of vaccines or decide which groups of Oregonians receive them first, we are strongly advocating for students, staff and faculty in higher education to be included among the groups being prioritized for access to vaccines. PSU hopes to be able to assist students, faculty, and staff in accessing vaccines as supply becomes available, following state and federal prioritization guidelines. 

We have every expectation that widespread vaccinations will cause infection rates to decline significantly over the summer, making it safe for us to resume in-person learning in the fall. Accordingly, PSU is planning for a return to primarily in-person instruction for Fall 2021. We are grateful for the continued partnership with the unions as we prepare for a safe return to campus in the fall. Just as we did prior to the pandemic, we will continue to offer an array of online courses and programs. 

What will remote spring and summer terms look like?

The PSU campus will continue to be open on a limited basis during spring and summer terms. While most courses and many services will be conducted virtually, we plan to continue to offer in-person services such as the residence halls, the library, study spaces, child care, and health and wellness services. Precautions and protocols remain in place, including mask requirements, physical distancing guidelines, size limits on meetings and events, enhanced cleaning and other safeguards recommended by local and state health officials.    

The spring course schedule will be available online starting February 1 and will include information about the delivery format for each course. Also online are instructions on how to register for classes. The temporary pass/no pass grading policy that has been in effect will continue during the spring term.  

Safely returning to in-person fall instruction

Wearing masks and observing social distancing greatly reduces the risk of transmitting COVID-19 in classroom settings. PSU has not had a single reported case connected to in-person instruction on our campus. As we work to safely reopen, we will build upon the policies, practices and protocols that have allowed residents of student housing, researchers and employees in essential positions to live, learn and work safely on campus the last several months.

In close collaboration with our public health partners and union colleagues, we expect to lay out in the coming months how we plan to bring employees — and eventually, students — safely back to campus. Our Fall 2021 plans will follow public health guidance for social distancing, gathering size, mask-wearing, airflow, and additional safety measures. 

Confronting challenges head-on

Faculty, staff and students have shown courage and ingenuity in the face of a pandemic that has taken a toll on our entire community, upending our routines, causing businesses to close or lay off workers and creating crushing child care burdens for families. Higher education has been hit particularly hard as Oregonians have faced making difficult choices. 

Like other universities, we have experienced a decline in enrollment that is forecast to continue next year, posing serious budgetary challenges as we look ahead. We will have much more information to share soon about our budget picture, and our intention is to be transparent during this entire process. For now, I want you to know that I have absolute confidence that we will meet these challenges with the same indomitable, creative spirit that we have shown throughout the pandemic, and emerge stronger and more committed to our mission. 

As we emerge from this challenging time, I am encouraged by many of the early executive orders from President Biden’s administration that protect our public health, advance racial equity, preserve and strengthen protections for our Dreamer students, reverse the Muslim ban, and prevent discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation. We are on the cusp of recovery — for our nation, our community, and for our students — and PSU is ready to fuel that recovery, creating a more equitable and sustainable future for everyone.

Thinking ahead to a fall term where we are reunited in person fills me with excitement and hope, and I am looking forward to sharing more details with you over the coming weeks and months about how we intend to safely resume in-person instruction for Fall 2021. 


Stephen Percy

PSU President 

Previous campus communications