August 21, 2020
Dear Reed students, faculty, and staff:
I write to you with an update from the COVID-19 Risk Assessment Group. Now that we are starting to welcome students back to campus for the fall semester, you can expect a weekly assessment update on the Indicators for Risk Assessment from the COVID-19 Risk Assessment Group.
Campus Health: This week we successfully completed our first round of COVID-19 testing for faculty and staff, during which we tested more than 550 employees. We also started testing for students as they return to campus in stages. We have 408 students currently on campus, and they have all been tested. Students living off campus will be tested next week. Since the on-campus testing started in August, we have identified three (3) positive COVID-19 cases. As a reminder, the college will track the number of COVID-19 cases on this web page and share information on COVID-19 positive cases of Reed community members in a way that will help protect the health and safety of the community. The people who tested positive are receiving care and are in isolation. In line with protocols, the college continues to work with the Oregon Health Authority and Multnomah County to identify and quarantine any individuals who may have been in close contact with those people in the 14 days prior to them testing positive. It is important to note that faculty and staff must be cleared by a doctor before returning to campus, and students must be cleared by the HCC.
Public Health: The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) dashboard tells us that positive cases are on the wane. The OHA's latest report shows that the transmission of COVID-19 is slowing and reports a declining pattern of transmission since the July 4th holiday. Nonetheless, we must remain diligent in following public health protocols.
Community Compliance with Preventative Practices: Overall this week, we assess the compliance with preventative practices is high. In regard to the COVID-19 Prevention and Policy Training, we are pleased to report that more than 50% of our campus community has completed the training. All students living on campus were required to complete the training before August 11 in order to move into their residence halls. All students living off campus, plus staff and faculty, are required to complete the training by August 28. We are pleased to report that we are seeing compliance with completing the Daily Health Check, and our students who will access campus this fall are signing the COVID-19 Acknowledgement Form as requested. Starting next Monday, Reed community members will receive a weekly survey from the COVID-19 Risk Assessment Group that seeks to help measure our on-campus community's adherence to important public health guidelines. We will have data to share from the survey in the coming weeks. Campus safety signage continues to be installed around campus; if you identify a safety signage need, let us know. You can also download safety signs here. The effectiveness of our efforts depend upon all of us as a community. We have to model the behaviors we expect of each other, while intervening in non-compliant behaviors to keep us safe. Lastly, we remind everyone that the campus is now closed to the general public, and it is required that you visibly display your Reed ID or wear your Reed name tag while on campus.
Campus Capacity: Investments made by the college to protect the health and wellbeing of our community continue to reassure the Risk Assessment Group that our plan for operation is resourced appropriately at this time. Recent communications about modifications to classrooms, dining, and airflow are important examples of these types of investments, not to mention the significant enhancements made to technical support resources for in-person and online classroom needs. Additionally, we are in the final stages of finalizing new contracts that will provide for a significantly more robust testing strategy than we announced at the outset of our plan. Look for an update by next Friday on the new testing strategy.
This week a number of important communications went out to the campus community related to the virus that causes COVID-19. We draw your attention to the fact that all of our communications related to Reed's COVID-19 Prevention & Response Plan are recorded on the COVID-19 News & Announcements web page.
We thank the number of faculty and staff who participated in listening sessions over the past week. Your time and insights are invaluable. Being able to engage in such a format about the college's plan is paramount to continuing these key conversations. In this vein, next week we look forward to continuing this type of engagement in sessions being held during new student orientation and the virtual parent and family orientation.
If you have questions, please send an email to the COVID-19 Risk Assessment Group at email@example.com.
Reporting on behalf of the COVID-19 Risk Assessment Group