COVID-19 Prevention & Response Plan


February 28, 2020

Dear Reed community,

Earlier this week Reed College convened a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) task force of Reed college administrators and health care experts to respond to guidelines and implement recommendations made by government and public health agencies, including the State Department and the CDC. I am writing to you with an update from the task force.

This evening at a press conference, Oregon state officials announced the state’s first presumed case of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in an individual from Washington County, Oregon, a neighboring county to the college. While this news is understandably concerning, we are assured the state and local authorities are responding quickly to the case. Oregon Governor Kate Brown also confirmed at the evening press conference that the state has set up a Coronavirus Response Team to interact with state and local health authorities, hospitals, community health partners, and school districts to coordinate preparations and potential responses to COVID-19.

It is important to note that the immediate health risk to the general U.S. public and the Reed community remains low. As we continue to monitor this evolving situation, we ask that all members of the Reed community remain focused on prevention.

To help reduce the risk for getting and spreading viral respiratory infections, including the COVID-19, we share with you helpful information below.

COVID-19 Outbreak Information

For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, please refer to the CDC website. Local information can be tracked through Oregon Health Authority and Multnomah County Health. Reed is also maintaining information on the Health and Counseling Center (HCC) website.

Accessing Medical Care

Anyone experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should immediately contact their healthcare provider.

Students experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should contact the Health and Counseling Center (HCC) at 503-777-7281 to arrange for a medical evaluation. We ask that students call first so HCC staff can direct students accordingly to reduce the risk of exposing other students to infectious disease in the waiting area. For after-hours assistance, students should contact the nurse advice/community care line at 800-607-5501.

Prevention Strategies

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). As a reminder, the CDC recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask. The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.

We encourage community members who are planning to travel for spring break or other reasons to closely monitor travel advisories through the CDC and the State Department.

For further information or if you have questions, please contact any of the following campus offices:

  • Health and Counseling Center: 503-777-7281
  • Community Safety: 503-788-6666
  • Public Affairs: 503-777-7591 or

We continue to closely monitor the situation and will provide further updates to the community as necessary.

Thank you, 
Mandy Heaton 
Executive Director of Public Affairs
Reed College