COVID-19 Prevention & Response Plan

“I am pleased to share that we are returning to campus in the fall with a measured and flexible approach that provides a mix of in-person and online education. . . . our return to campus will require every community member to diligently follow new protocols to keep each other safe. The plan we have set forth incorporates public health regulations that we all must adhere to.”

—Audrey Bilger, PresidentJune 30, 2020


Safeguarding Reed’s Program

Reed’s educational work is critically important, both for students at significant junctures in their studies and for faculty pursuing valuable intellectual work. We believe that learning is strongest in the context of interactions between faculty and students and between students.

Caring for Our Community

Reed’s resumption of on-site operations is informed by local circumstances and regional readiness and is in alignment with national, state, and local guidelines. Keeping safe during the pandemic is a top priority. Reed’s course of action is multi-layered, incorporating public health principles to reduce potential exposure to the coronavirus. Both the college and individuals play a critical role in sustaining the health and well-being of the community. The college will maintain a COVID-19 risk assessment working group chaired by Dean of the Faculty Kathy Oleson and Vice President for College Relations & Planning Hugh Porter. The college will continue to monitor health and adjust college operations accordingly.


Reed is committed to helping each student have a vibrant educational experience in fall 2020 that supports progress toward graduation. Vital to this plan is the recognition that the impact of the pandemic varies among individuals. We are mindful that the pandemic is having an outsized impact on economically disadvantaged communities and communities of color. We have put in place a wide range of resources to lower barriers to participation in academic and other campus programs, including assistance with academic accommodations, financial emergencies, technology, on-campus work opportunities, counseling, and health care.

Return to campus

Training, Testing, Health Monitoring & Contact Tracing

Reed’s course of action for promoting a healthy community rests on a set of layers of prescribed public health measures, including a plan for required training, COVID-19 testing, a "Daily Health Check", and contact tracing.

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Individual Responsibility

All community members must comply with federal, state, and local COVID-19 public health guidance. We all play a role in helping to prevent the spread of the virus. Face coverings and physical distancing are now part of campus culture; so is isolation when sick and quarantining upon exposure.

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Academics & Classes

Reed’s academic program will rely on a mix of in-person and online education in the 2020–21 academic year. The academic calendar has been modified to reduce exposure to COVID-19 due to travel and peak flu season.

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Technology Support

In response to growing needs, Reed is providing more tools and services to support the increase in remote learning, teaching, research, and work.

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Student Housing

Reed’s plan for opening residential housing follows guidelines developed by the CDC for congregate housing and significantly reduces housing density while setting aside beds for students' potential isolation in quarantine. To minimize potential exposure to and spread of COVID-19, the college will reduce the population in residence from our full capacity of 1,130 to about 820.

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College Operations Safety Measures

Stringent facility cleaning practices and air quality management are in place. Operations for dining services, the library, mail services, the bookstore, and the sports center will be modified to align with public health measures. The physical layout and capacity limits of rooms will be modified to reduce density. COVID-19 safety signage will be added across campus.

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Arriving on Campus

The college is developing a plan for a phased arrival to campus for students. New student Orientation will be a hybrid of virtual sessions and small in-person physical distanced programs. Employee work plans will be in alignment with the Oregon Health Authority and other regulations and guidance.

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For Students and Their Family Members

Students and their family members will have questions as they navigate Reed during this time of change in Reed’s operations resulting from the pandemic. Looking for a list of key resources? Do you have questions about financial assistance available to students who are experiencing financial difficulty because of the coronavirus pandemic?

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Visitors, Travel, In-Person Events & Building Access

The Reed College campus is closed to the public to help limit the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. Visitors must be approved. College-funded travel and study abroad programs are restricted. In-person events and access to buildings are limited. The admission office is offering robust digital resources, weekly virtual visit programming, and limited in-person admission visits.

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COVID-19 & Equity

Striving for equity is an inextricable component of maintaining community wellness. While viruses do not discriminate, the college recognizes that COVID-19 has disproportionately affected communities of color, and social-distancing requirements put unique strains on individuals from low socioeconomic backgrounds, with disabilities, with preexisting conditions, or at risk of stigma related to the virus. At Reed, we believe that equity is not merely an aspiration or a lens but a mandate to provide the resources to promote the success of each individual—regardless of race, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, or disability. Along with community health, Reed is putting equity concerns at the forefront of our actions to address COVID-19.

Resources and Support

Reed's response plan includes resources for academic, financial, emotional, and technological support as well as measures to ensure access to healthcare and accommodation of needs relating to disability. Recent examples include providing emergency funds to students with financial needs; ensuring accommodations for online learning environments; and increasing and adapting health and counseling services.

Community Involvement

Misinformation can lead to stigma, xenophobia, and bias. The Reed community can support the college’s equity efforts by staying informed and speaking up when encountering misinformation or bias. If you would like to report a bias incident, please see our Bias Incidents and Discriminatory Harassment Resource Guide.

COVID-19 news &

  • October 16, 2020
  • End of week recap from the COVID-19 Risk Assessment Group
  • Learn more…
  • October 16, 2020
  • You have been selected to be tested for COVID-19
  • Learn more…
  • October 13, 2020
  • Update on Spring 2021 Academic Calendar
  • Learn more…

View all COVID-19 news & announcements