The University of Portland announced Jan. 4 that the Holy Cross school in North Portland would require COVID-19 boosters for all those returning to campus for the spring semester. Feb. 1 is the deadline.

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, two principles have guided our efforts: first, promoting the health and well-being of U.P. community members, and second, living out our mission as a face-to-face, residential institution,” said Herbert Medina, provost and acting president, in a statement.

Additional safety measures include temporary online instruction for classes beginning Jan. 10 and asking that students be tested for COVID-19 before returning to campus. Additional testing will take place approximately five days after their arrival.

U.P. joins a number of other Oregon institutions of higher learning in requiring the booster, including Lewis & Clark, Pacific University, Willamette University, Oregon State University, Southern Oregon University and the University of Oregon.

Schools that have not announced booster requirements include Reed College and George Fox University. Portland Community College continues to hold most of its classes online, and does not require a booster.

U.P. was among the first Pacific Northwest colleges and universities to announce a return to in-person instruction for the fall 2021 fall term. The return was accompanied by safety protocols: a vaccine requirement, face-masks, social distancing and limited crowd size for events.

UP reports a 96.4% vaccination rate among students and a 96.6% vaccination rate among faculty and staff. There were no significant outbreaks of COVID-19 during the fall semester.

In response to the more contagious Omicron variant, the school is making outdoor tents available for dining, socializing and small events, weather permitting. Use of the more effective N95/KN95 mask is now recommended.

Additionally, proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test is required for all sporting events.