COVID-19 Prevention & Response Plan


January 29, 2020

Dear students, faculty, and staff,

I write to you with our weekly update from the COVID-19 Risk Assessment Group. We have highlighted essential points in yellow.

New cases at Reed

In the past week, we have identified three new confirmed COVID-19 cases at Reed. All cases were placed in isolation and a small number of potentially exposed individuals were contacted and quarantined promptly after the college's notification of the positive test results. At this time, we do not believe any of these cases were exposed to COVID-19 while conducting activities at Reed. We continue to report all associated COVID-19 cases online, found in the "Total Cases" section of the dashboard.

Please note: we are currently working on several updates to our COVID-19 dashboard in response to changing metrics from Oregon and Multnomah County and, as a result, some data may be unavailable until this update is complete.

Weekly Surveillance Testing Participation

This week, we conducted 1697 COVID-19 surveillance tests on campus. Students who live on campus had a participation rate of 85% while students who live off campus but access campus regularly had a participation rate of 49%. In order to best protect the Reed community, it is imperative that all community members participate in surveillance testing each week, according to the schedule outlined here.

Below, we've summarized participation among on campus students by residence hall. As a reminder, residence halls who achieve 90% or higher participation will have their common areas reopened the following Monday. Congrats to those halls highlighted below, and a special shoutout to Sitka, who achieved the highest participation this week! Starting next Friday, we will be awarding prizes to the residents of halls with the highest participation percent each week.

Next week, we will be releasing more information on the college's plan to follow up with students who do not participate in testing as appropriate, and the subsequent actions that will be taken to help re-engage these individuals with testing.

Building % Building %
Anna Mann Res Hall 92% McKinley Res Hall 93%
Aspen Res Hall 90% Naito Res Hall 89%
Bidwell Res Hall 89% Old Dorm Block 81%
Birchwood Apartments 79% Reed College Apartments 81%
Bragdon Res Hall 88% Scholz Res Hall 80%
Canyon, Garden, Farm Houses* 71% Sequoia Res Hall 82%
Chittick Res Hall 90% Sitka Res Hall 95%
Foster Res Hall 88% Sullivan Res Hall 88%
Griffin Res Hall 92% Trillium Res Hall 89%
Language Houses* 88% Woodbridge Res Hall 86%

*Houses will have common areas reopened when they individually reach 90% participation or when their group achieves 90% participation. French House and Spanish House achieved >90% participation this week, and will have their common areas reopened.

COVID-19 Vaccine

The COVID-19 Risk Assessment Group and Human Resources continue to closely monitor the status of vaccine rollout across the state. Oregon has developed a centralized vaccination information webpage, including a tool to assess your eligibility and identify resources.

We are still learning more about the COVID-19 vaccine and the kind of protection it may provide. Even if you have received one or both doses of the vaccine, please continue to participate in Reed's COVID-19 surveillance testing as appropriate.

While we will continue to share general updates on the COVID-19 vaccine as they become available, all community members are encouraged to seek guidance from their healthcare providers and organization for the most up to date information and to assess their eligibility for vaccination.

Faculty and staff who have Kaiser as your healthcare provider: For the latest local updates, including how you can get the vaccine when eligible, visit You can also call their 24/7 recorded message hotline at 1-855-550-0951, available 24/7 in English and Spanish.

Personal Protective Equipment

There is a lot of information circling about mask efficacy in light of the new variants of COVID-19, and with that, misinformation. Currently, we don't know exactly how these variants change the effectiveness of cloth face coverings. We will likely know more about this as more studies address variant strains of SARS-CoV-2 and the circumstances under which transmission occurs.

Social distancing and minimizing your in person activities remains the most effective means of preventing transmission of any COVID-19 strain. Regardless of what kind of mask you're wearing, the way to be most certain of your level of protection is to avoid close and prolonged contact with others.

The CDC does not recommend more advanced masks for most individuals. The country still faces shortages of N95s; Reed continues to seek these masks from our medical supplier and will reserve them for community members providing critical care to known/suspect COVID-19 positive individuals or for those entering the isolation hall. We do have a limited supply of KN95 masks that are available per request at, based on your exposure risk. If you would like to purchase KN95s on your own, please follow the Emergency Use Authorization guidelines issued by the FDA to ensure effectiveness. You can also view effectiveness results on NIOSHs assessment page.

State and National Trends

Multnomah County, where Reed College resides, remains in the "Extreme Risk" category assigned by Governor Brown, based on local COVID-19 activity data. You can review the risk categories and associated limitations on the State of Oregon's COVID-19 webpage here.

Please help us keep Reed a safe place to live, work, and study by participating in surveillance testing, the weekly risk assessment survey, and, for those both local and remote, all other essential response measures on and off campus.

If you have questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to the COVID-19 Risk Assessment Group at


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.