COVID-19 Prevention & Response Plan

COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

UPDATED: JUNE 23, 2022

What do I do if I test positive for COVID while living off campus?

If you test positive, please isolate yourself at home and do your best to stay in your room and away from any roommates. When using shared spaces (bathroom, kitchen) wear your mask and wipe down surfaces after use.

FOR STUDENTS: If you tested positive on a home test or at an off-campus test site or clinic, it is important to report the result to the HCC. You can do this by calling 503-777-7281, sending an email to health-services@reed.edu, or sending a secure message through the student health portal. If you tested positive on campus (such as through surveillance testing or at the HCC), you can expect a call from the HCC with further instructions.

FOR EMPLOYEES: If you tested positive on a home test or at an off-campus test site or clinic, it is important to report the result to HR. You can do this by calling 503-517-4000 or sending an email to hr@reed.edu. If you tested positive on campus (such as through surveillance testing), you can expect a call from HR with further instructions.

What do I do if I test positive for COVID while living on campus?

If you tested positive on a home test, it is important to report the result to the HCC. You can do this by calling 503-777-7281, sending an email to health-services@reed.edu, or sending a secure message through the student health portal. If you tested positive on campus (such as through surveillance testing or at the HCC), you can expect a call from the HCC with further instructions.

Until you are contacted, continue isolating in place. If you have roommates, try to distance yourself, wear a mask, and avoid using common spaces if possible.

When does my isolation period begin? How long do I have to isolate?

FOR STUDENTS

Reed currently uses a 10-day isolation period, following CDC guidance for congregate living settings. This means your isolation period will begin on the day you started having symptoms (day zero) and end 10 days later. If you are asymptomatic, your isolation period begins on the day your positive test was collected. If you are still symptomatic on day 10, you may be required to isolate longer.

FOR EMPLOYEES

Reed currently uses a 5-day isolation period, following CDC guidance for the general population. This means your isolation period will begin on the day you started having symptoms (day zero) and end 5 days later. If you are asymptomatic, your isolation period begins on the day your positive test was collected. If you are still symptomatic on day 5 or you receive different instructions from your healthcare provider, you may be required to isolate longer.

If the CDC recommends isolating for 5 days, why is Reed still having students isolate for 10 days?

While studies show that people with COVID-19 are most contagious in the first 5 days of their infectious period, many can remain contagious up to 10 days following their symptom onset or positive test. Out of abundance of caution, the HCC continues to follow the CDC guidance for congregate living settings, which advises a 10 day isolation period.

What can I expect if I move to isolation housing?

After being contacted by the HCC, you will receive a phone call from the Area Coordinator (AC) on-call and a follow-up email with instructions including room assignment, meals, processes for ESA animals, laundry and packing lists, etc. Until you are contacted by the AC, remain isolated in place.

How will I get food while in isolation housing?

Students in isolation can order food through Bon Appetit and have it delivered. Specific guidance regarding ordering times will be provided to you when you move to isolation housing. There are kitchens in most isolation spaces that can be used for food storage/prep, and students can also order food or groceries through third party meal delivery services.

Why do some on-campus students move to isolation housing, and others stay?

It is a priority to move all on-campus students to isolation housing. During times of extremely high case volume, some students may be asked to isolate in place, in order to manage limited isolation housing resources. In these situations, the HCC will determine which students are allowed to isolate in place and which are required to move based on a number of factors including if they had roommates, severity of symptoms, day of isolation, etc. 

The isolate in place process is only used in times of very high demand for dedicated isolation housing. If isolation housing is available on campus, students are required to move to their assigned isolation space until cleared by the HCC.

How do I isolate in place in my dorm?

If you are asked to isolate in place in your dorm, please stay home from classes and activities and stay in your own room as much as possible. If you need to leave to use the bathroom or common areas, please do so quickly and do your best to use these spaces while others are not there. Always wear your mask and wipe down surfaces after use. 

It is totally fine to go for a walk outside to get some fresh air! Just make sure you are masked and away from others.

If possible, have a friend drop off food for you. If not, order your food from Commons to-go and pick up quickly and while wearing a mask. Don’t linger, stop to chat, or eat with others.

What if I live off campus, but would like to use on campus isolation housing?

Unfortunately, Reed can not provide isolation housing for off campus students or employees.

Can I get out of isolation early?

No, you will need to isolate for your full isolation period (at minimum) regardless of how you are feeling or if you test negative.

This requirement pertains specifically to Reed campus. If you have extenuating circumstances that require you to leave campus (e.g. you are traveling home), please contact HR, your healthcare provider, or HCC to discuss accommodations. They can answer specific questions regarding safety recommendations and your isolation period.

I think my test was a “false positive,” can I get out of isolation early?

No. The chances of getting a false positive result are much less likely than getting a false negative result. Ultimately, since we cannot be 100% certain that it was a false positive, we treat any positive result as a true positive.

When should I start testing for COVID again?

It is possible to test positive on a PCR test for up to 90 days after your COVID infection, even though you are no longer contagious. For this reason, we recommend not re-testing until 90 days have passed since your positive result. The risk of re-infection in the 90 days following a previous COVID infection is small.

Do I need to have a negative test to leave isolation?

No, a negative test is not required. You may continue to test positive for an extended time past your isolation period, even if you are no longer contagious. In many cases, people who have already tested positive for COVID-19 can continue to shed dead virus in their system but NOT be infectious. This can cause them to test positive again within 90 days of their first positive test.

Who should I tell that I tested positive for COVID?

FOR STUDENTS

If you have not yet notified the HCC, call 503-777-7281, send an email to health-services@reed.edu, or send a secure message through the student health portal.

FOR EMPLOYEES

If you have not yet notified HR, call 503-517-4000 or send an email to hr@reed.edu.

ALL

You should notify any close contacts you were around starting 48 hours before you started feeling sick. If you are asymptomatic, notify any close contacts starting 48 hours before you tested positive. For more information, see “who is considered a close contact”.

Disclosing your COVID infection is a private health decision, and you do not need to share that information. If you feel comfortable doing so, it may be helpful to proactively communicate with any instructors or supervisors to make accommodations for missing class or work.

Reed College does not notify close contacts, but if you feel uncomfortable making these notifications, please reach out to the HCC or HR to discuss notifying close contacts anonymously.

Who is considered a “close contact?”

A “close contact” is any person who was less than 6 feet away from someone contagious with COVID-19 for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. A person infected with COVID-19 is considered contagious starting 2 days before they develop symptoms or, if they do not have symptoms, starting the day they are tested. A person meeting this definition is considered a close contact regardless of whether or not they were wearing a mask.

What do I tell close contacts when I let them know I tested positive for COVID?

Let them know they may have had close contact with you while you were contagious with COVID-19 (during your infectious period). Reed College does not notify close contacts, but if you feel uncomfortable making these notifications, please reach out to the HCC or HR to discuss notifying close contacts anonymously. 

Reed College currently follows CDC guidance regarding exposure to someone with COVID-19. Currently, quarantine requirements are based on vaccination status:

  • If a close contact IS NOT up to date on COVID vaccinations:
    • Stay home and quarantine for 5 days. After that, continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days.
    • Get a COVID test 5 or more days after your last exposure.
    • If you develop symptoms at any point, get tested right away and stay home.
  • If a close contact IS up to date on COVID vaccinations, or has tested positive for COVID in the last 90 days:
    • Wear a mask at all times around others for 10 days.
    • Get a COVID test 5 or more days after your last exposure.
    • If you develop symptoms at any point, get tested right away and stay home.

I was notified of a COVID exposure, and I have symptoms. What should I do?

When you develop symptoms of COVID-19, contact your healthcare provider, get a test right away, and stay home.

FOR STUDENTS

Rapid tests can be performed at the HCC; to make an appointment, call 503-777-7281, send an email to health-services@reed.edu, or send a secure message through the student health portal.

What should I do if someone I was around tested positive for COVID?

First, try to establish if you are considered a “close contact”. For more information, see “who is considered a close contact”.

Reed College currently follows CDC guidance regarding exposure to someone with COVID-19. Currently, quarantine requirements are based on vaccination status:

  • If a close contact IS NOT up to date on COVID vaccinations:
    • Stay home and quarantine for 5 days. After that, continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days.
    • Get a COVID test 5 or more days after your last exposure.
    • If you develop symptoms at any point, get tested right away and stay home.
  • If a close contact IS up to date on COVID vaccinations, or has tested positive for COVID in the last 90 days:
    • Wear a mask at all times around others for 10 days.
    • Get a COVID test 5 or more days after your last exposure.
    • If you develop symptoms at any point, get tested right away and stay home.

When should I call the HCC for medical advice?

Always! You can call the HCC any time you are having a symptom that is concerning you, or if you have questions about your health. You are also welcome to send an email to health-services@reed.edu, or send a secure message through the student health portal.

Who do I call if the HCC is closed and I need medical advice?

Reed College has a Nurse Advice Careline. This line is free and staffed by a registered nurse 24/7. They can be reached by calling 800-214-4469.

I am a student struggling with mental health related to isolation or my COVID diagnosis. Where can I get support?

Call the HCC at 503-777-7281 for a telehealth counseling appointment. Reed counseling services are closed during the summer, but summer staff can help connect you to community resources. 

Other options include:

  • Reed Counseling Hotline: Talk with a free and confidential counselor 24 hours a day by calling 866-432-1224.
  • TogetherAll: Online, confidential peer-support application monitored by licensed clinicians. Students can log-in and access for free with a Reed email address.
  • Crisis Text Line: Connect to a trained crisis counselor via text, available 24 hours a day. Text HOME to 741741.

Who should I contact if I have a unique question about COVID?

FOR STUDENTS

Contact the HCC via phone call at 503-777-7281, email to health-services@reed.edu, or secure message through the student health portal.

FOR EMPLOYEES

For questions related to your work or Reed operations, contact your direct supervisor, or HR at 503-517-4000 or hr@reed.edu. For medical questions or guidance, please reach out to your healthcare provider. 

Does Reed require booster vaccines for students?

Yes. All students are required to upload documentation to the student health portal that shows they meet the CDC’s definition of “up to date” with approved COVID-19 vaccinations, as outlined in their domestic and international vaccination guidelines. 

The college also follows Oregon law in permitting students to request exemption from this vaccination requirement for medical or non-medical reasons. To do so, students must upload documentation of a completed medical, religious, or personal/philosophical exemption to the student health portal.

Information about vaccine requirements as well as how to request an exemption can be found on our Immunization Information page

How do I upload my proof of vaccination?

FOR STUDENTS

Students are required to upload documentation of their COVID-19 vaccinations or exemption to the Health and Counseling Center portal, following these instructions.

FOR EMPLOYEES

Employees should provide a copy of their vaccination records to Human Resources using the Etrieve vaccine verification tool.

I need proof of a negative test to travel. Can I be tested at Reed?

The HCC is unable to test asymptomatic students for travel. To find local testing options, call 211 or Multnomah County’s COVID-19 Call Center 503-988-8939, or visit their COVID-19 testing website. Many sites offer free testing, with PCR and rapid antigen tests available.