August 27, 2021
Dear students, faculty, and staff,
I write to you with our weekly update from the COVID-19 Risk Assessment Group (CRAG). We have highlighted essential points in yellow.
Changes to Reed COVID-19 Response Measures
In light of recent changes to local and state guidelines and the ever-evolving COVID-19 situation in our region, the Risk Assessment Group has updated several components of Reed's COVID-19 Prevention and Response Plan. These changes are outlined below, and can be found on our plan webpage.
Face coverings are required in all indoor spaces on campus, regardless of vaccination status. Some exceptions apply, including when alone in a private office space or in a residence hall room or apartment with only the people who live there. Face coverings may also be removed while actively eating or drinking, but must be replaced when not, even while in a designated dining area such as a break room or the Commons.
This week, Oregon also announced new outdoor face covering rules. In alignment with these rules, effective today, face coverings are required while outdoors in groups, crowded spaces, or while at events where a face covering is required.
Events and Gatherings
All events organized by students with more than 25 attendees must be approved by the Office of Student Engagement (OSE). All events organized by faculty, staff, or outside entities must be approved by Conference and Events Planning (CEP). These offices will work with event organizers to develop the most appropriate health and safety measures, and will determine if the event needs further review by the Risk Assessment Group.
Multnomah County has shared guidelines for event organizers to use in the development of safe events during the ongoing pandemic. Event organizers are required to follow these guidelines and Reed's current face covering requirements as they make their preparations.
The Risk Assessment Group continues to discuss and evaluate the best testing strategies to serve our community. We are considering the feedback and questions we received this week about our testing plan. This fall, all unvaccinated community members will be required to test once weekly. In addition, we will be implementing an expanded surveillance testing program, utilizing a random sample of approximately 300 fully vaccinated community members each week as another way to continuously monitor for the presence of COVID on campus. Results of this testing program will be posted on Reed's COVID-19 Data Dashboard. More details on this program will be shared in the coming weeks.
New Cases at Reed
Since our last update, we have identified one new confirmed COVID-19 cases at Reed. The case was placed in isolation promptly after the positive test result was received. A small number of potentially exposed individuals were notified by the college and tested, but not required to complete a 14 day quarantine, per current CDC guidelines. We continue to report all associated COVID-19 cases online, found in the "Total Cases" section of the dashboard.
Surveillance testing next week
Next week, surveillance testing will take place on Monday, August 30 from 8 AM to 11 AM and Thursday, September 2 from 12 PM to 2 PM on the patio of the Gray Campus Center. Individuals may drop in to the testing location to complete their required COVID-19 surveillance test during any of the available hours; no appointments are necessary at this time.
All community members who have not submitted vaccination records to HR (faculty/staff) or the HCC (students) are required to test once during each week they will be on campus. Individuals do not need to test during weeks they are not coming to campus, or if they have submitted records of full COVID-19 vaccination to the appropriate office. For more information about the Reed COVID-19 surveillance testing program, please visit our website here.
To inform the development of a safe and healthy campus, Reed asks all community members to share their COVID vaccination records with the HCC (students) or HR (staff and faculty).
Currently, 95% of Reed staff and faculty have been verified as fully vaccinated by the Reed Human Resources team.
96% of the approximately 1600 potential students for the fall 2021 semester have submitted records of vaccination to the HCC; 95% of all potential students have been verified as fully vaccinated.
The deadline for students to submit records or contact the HCC to make a vaccination plan was August 1. Students who continue to remain out of compliance with this policy may be placed on involuntary leave and lose the ability to participate in other campus activities. Staff continue to work with the 3% of students who have not yet engaged with this requirement. Less than 1% of students have submitted exemptions to the COVID vaccination requirement.
If you have questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to the COVID-19 Risk Assessment Group at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Madison Riethman, MPH, CPH
COVID-19 Response Coordinator and Health Project Manager
Health & Counseling Services
Reporting on behalf of the COVID-19 Risk Assessment Group
PS: As a reminder, you can track all our COVID-19 communications to members of the Reed Community here.