December 10, 2021
Dear students, faculty, and staff,
Below, we report to you four things you need to know today.
- NEW COVID-19 CASES: Since our last report, we were notified of one new COVID-19 case in a Reed community member. The positive individual was contacted promptly and given instructions to isolate. Contact tracing activities quickly identified a small number of potentially exposed individuals, who were notified by the college but not required to quarantine, per current CDC and Oregon guidelines. We continue to report all associated COVID-19 cases online, found in the "Total Cases" section of the dashboard.
- GIVE US FEEDBACK ON REED'S COVID RESPONSE: Next week, we will be inviting all community members to provide feedback on this semester's COVID-19 response activities through an anonymous survey. The link to complete the survey will be sent to community members via email on Sunday, and will remain open for one week. Thank you in advance for your valuable input!
- EXPANDED SURVEILLANCE TESTING NEXT WEEK: Next week, surveillance testing will be available on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday (December 13, 14, and 15) from 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM in Greenwood. The provided saliva tests are RT-PCR (molecular) tests, which meet most travel testing requirements. Results are usually back within 24 to 36 hours, and participants can view and print their results by accessing the lab's portal. Please review this document for instructions on how to complete the testing process.
- SURVEILLANCE TESTING OVER WINTER BREAK: Due to low campus volume and scheduled maintenance at the lab, surveillance testing will not be available during the last two weeks of December. The last testing date of the year will be on Wednesday, December 15, and will restart again on January 3, 2022. Individuals are not required to complete weekly testing during this time. Those who need a test due to symptoms or a known exposure should reach out to their healthcare provider or the HCC for evaluation.
- COVID VARIANTS AND INFLUENZA: Nearly two weeks after the Omicron variant was declared a "variant of concern" by the World Health Organization (WHO), little more is known about how it may impact the COVID picture in the US and globally moving forward. Scientists and public health experts continue to study these impacts, and we anticipate more information will be known in the coming weeks.
Despite this headline-making development in the pandemic, Delta continues to be the most common and most deadly COVID variant currently circulating, representing 100% of positive samples sequenced by the state of Oregon in the past six weeks. This, in combination with a fast approaching influenza season, is an important reminder to continue diligent use of masks and vaccinations, and staying home when sick.
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
Reporting on behalf of the COVID-19 Risk Assessment Group:
Gary Granger, Director of Community Safety
Mandy Heaton, Executive Director of Communications & Public Affairs
Karnell McConnell-Black, Vice President for Student Life
Kathy Oleson, Dean of the Faculty & Professor of Psychology
Tawana Parks, Dean of Students
Hugh Porter, Vice President for College Relations & Planning
Madison Riethman, COVID-19 Response Coordinator & Health Project Manager
Suzy Renn, Professor of Biology
Timmie Rochon, Medical Services Director
April Sams, Director of Risk Management & Environmental Health and Safety
Lynn Valenter, Vice President of Finance and Treasurer
PS: Our COVID-19 dashboard includes current information on the total number of cases, vaccination rate, and other public health indicators. Additionally, all our COVID-19 communications are cataloged here.