COVID-19 Health and Safety Information

COVID-19 Health and Safety

Quick links:

Health and Safety

Face Masks

One of COCC's Principles of Community is to Promote a Healthy and Safe Learning Environment. As part of our reopening plans, COCC campuses require face masks in all indoor spaces, as well as outdoor spaces where 6 feet of physical distancing cannot be easily maintained.  

Need a mask? Just ask! The College will provide free disposable masks to any student or visitor to campus who needs one. The College will also provide a free, reusable cloth mask to every faculty and staff member.

A recommended "mask" for use in preventing the spread of COVID-19 is defined by the CDC as having two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric; completely covering your nose and mouth; fitting snugly against the sides of your face without gaps; and having a nose wire to prevent air from leaking out of the top of the mask. The College also recommends an FDA-cleared surgical mask (fluid-resistant, disposable, and loose-fitting).

The CDC does not recommend gaiters, plastic shields, or masks with exhalation valves or vents as a substitute for other kinds of recommended masks. The College does not endorse bandanas as a substitute for other types of recommended masks.

Accommodations to the face mask requirement are available per Oregon Health Authority (OHA) guidance. For those requesting accommodations: COCC students should contact Disability Services; COCC employees should contact Human Resources.

Together Bobcats, we can wear our face masks and make a difference in the transmission rates of the coronavirus.

Recommended Face Masks

Frequently Asked Questions About Face Masks

Where can students get a free mask if they need one?

On the Bend campus, please visit the Bookstore (ring bell at the receiving door at the back of Newberry Hall).

On the Redmond campus, please visit the reception desk (Building 3 – MATC).

On the Madras and Prineville campus, please visit the campus reception desk.

Where can faculty and staff get a mask if they need one?

All COCC faculty and staff will receive a reusable cloth mask prior to the start of Fall Term. Additional disposable masks for employees who may need one will be available at the Bookstore on our Bend campus, Building 3 on the Redmond Campus, and at the reception desks on both the Madras and Prineville campuses.

How is the College enforcing its face masks requirement? Who is enforcing it?

One of COCC's Principles of Community is to Promote a Healthy and Safe Learning Environment. This principle informs our approach to face masks. The College will work to prevent potential issues surrounding face masks enforcement through the following means:

  1. Provide free and widely available reusable and disposable face masks to faculty, staff, students, and visitors to campus.
  2. Educate our campus community on the need for and preventative purpose of face masks through public information sessions, inclusion in orientation classes, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Oregon Health Authority (OHA) signage and informational materials.
  3. Educate our faculty, staff, and student leaders on the appropriate, education-oriented means through which to report and/or address a face masks violation.
  4. Refer persons to our disability accommodation process, if appropriate.

These steps are what most public and private entities are taking, and they are in keeping with advice from Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), OHA, and the CDC.

Should students or employees persist in not following our guidance, they would be referred to Student Conduct or Human Resources, respectively, as with all other conduct matters. If a person were belligerent and refused to leave—which would be highly unusual—we would follow our usual processes for such a situation, and call Campus Public Safety. Campus Public Safety's philosophy of enforcing this and other requirements will be first through education and seeking voluntary compliance, and then by issuing warnings.

I am being harassed for wearing my mask. What should I do?

COCC's commitment to diversity and inclusion ensures that everyone has a right to a learning and work environment free of discrimination. Unfortunately, situations across the United States indicate that people of color are frequently harassed for wearing face masks. COCC takes any situation of harassment or discrimination seriously and will not tolerate such actions. If you experience or witness this type of harassment, please report them immediately. 

Students are also welcome to contact Christy Walker, Director of Diversity, and/or Andrew Davis, Director of Campus and Student Life for support. Employees can also contact their supervisor, and/or Human Resources.

Do I have to wear a mask if I'm alone in my office?

If you can close the door to your office and you are alone in the enclosed space, you can remove your mask.

Do I have to wear a mask indoors if I can maintain 6ft of physical distance from another person?

Yes, per COCC requirements, face masks are required indoors when two or more people are together, regardless of physical distance. Face masks can be temporarily removed while eating and drinking indoors, per latest Oregon Health Authority (OHA) guidance. Accommodations are available, also per OHA guidance.

Still have questions? Please contact

Face Masks

COVID-19 Health Information

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most important health and safety precautions I can take?

Please refer to and bookmark COCC’s one-page health and safety action guide for students.

What if I think I have COVID-19?

Each day before coming to campus, please perform COCC's symptom self-check. If you believe you may have COVID-19 or the related symptoms and you are not on campus, please remain at your place of residence, contact your heath provider, alert your COCC instructor or supervisor, and get tested.

If you are on campus, immediately return to your place of residence or, if you cannot leave right away, you will be guided to one of COCC's designated isolation areas until you can safely return to your place of residence or be transported to a health care facility.

What if I test positive for COVID-19?

Alert your COCC instructor or supervisor immediately. You should remain in your place of residence for at least 10 days after the illness onset and 24 hours after your fever is gone (without use of fever-reducing medicine) and follow the guidance from your health care provider.

What if I've been exposed to someone who has COVID-19?

Alert your COCC instructor or supervisor immediately. Remain in your place of residence, contact both your primary care provider and your local public health authority.

  • Deschutes County Public Health: 541-322-7418
  • Jefferson County Public Health: 541-475-4456
  • Crook County Public Health: 541-447-5165

Who will contact me if I've been exposed to the virus, and how will they contact me?

COCC will notify the local public health authority of any known confirmed cases on the COCC campus. The College, in coordination with the local health authority, manages contact tracing and COCC will reach out if it is believed that you have had sustained exposure to the virus. It is important that anyone who is exposed to COVID-19 or is a confirmed case contact their instructor or supervisor as soon as possible upon knowing.

How do I get tested and what if I can't afford testing or treatment?

Many health providers in Central Oregon are now offering expanded testing for COVID-19. This directory from Oregon Health Authority can help you find a location for testing.

Still have questions? Please contact