December 3, 2021
Dear students, faculty, and staff,
Below, we report to you four things you need to know today.
- BOOSTERS: Getting our community boosted is top priority, especially as many of you embark on holiday travel. Booster doses are widely available in Oregon through pharmacies, doctor's offices and clinics, including Kaiser. Reed's Health & Counseling Center also has a limited inventory of the vaccine for students if they can't find a location they can get to in the region.
- NEW COVID-19 CASES: Since our last report, we were notified of one new COVID-19 case in a Reed community member. As the case was not present on campus while they were contagious, there were no potentially exposed individuals at Reed.
- OMICRON VARIANT: Last week, the World Health Organization classified the latest SARS-CoV-2 variant (B.1.1.529, also known as Omicron) as a "variant of concern". This is based on limited but compelling data provided by the healthcare communities in several countries where the variant was identified, including South Africa. On Wednesday, the first case of the Omicron variant was detected in the United States, although, like previous variants, it may already be circulating undetected.
At this time, it is largely unknown how this new variant will impact key pandemic features such as transmissibility, symptoms and illness severity, or immunity. The COVID-19 Risk Assessment Group is carefully monitoring the situation closely, and will continue to share updates and resources as more information becomes available.
- SURVEILLANCE TESTING NEXT WEEK: Next week, surveillance testing will be available on Tuesday and Thursday (December 7 and 9) from 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM in Greenwood. Please review this document for instructions on how to complete the testing process.
If you have questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to the COVID-19 Risk Assessment Group at email@example.com.
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.