COVID-19 Prevention & Response Plan


June 17, 2022

Dear faculty and staff,

We write to announce that the work of the COVID-19 Risk Assessment Group (CRAG) will continue in a different form. We want to give our heartiest thanks to the members of this committee who have been meeting weekly or more frequently for the past two years. We also want to recognize the resilience, compassion, and creativity of the Reed community in responding at every turn to the need to alter operations in the face of evolving understandings of COVID-19.  

As we report the end of CRAG operations as a committee, we recognize that this pandemic continues. After discussion with CRAG and Reed's vice presidents and deans, we want to outline the future of campus operations to manage what we now understand will be ongoing challenges from COVID-19 and perhaps other fast-spreading illnesses.

The college’s response to COVID-19 and other infectious diseases will now become a regular part of college operations under the authority of the Emergency Response Team (ERT), which includes Reed’s newly hired Associate Dean for Health and Well-being Yasodha Gopal, MD, as well as Medical Services Director Timmie Rochon, DNP, who has served actively on CRAG since its inception. The ERT will complete development of a pandemic plan with advice from an external emergency expert and recommend changes to college operations to the president, who will direct these changes through the vice presidents and deans.  

While most college operations now occur without regulation by CRAG, Reed's vice presidents and deans will review and revise the remaining restrictions to reflect public health recommendations and our capacities. Restrictions remain, for instance, on visitors to the sports center. Vice President for Student Life Karnell McConnell-Black and the sports center staff will review these current restrictions for the future.

We outline the college’s planned response to COVID-19 below:

1. Alignment with Public Health Authorities  

Our strengthened partnership with Multnomah County and state health authorities will persist. We will continue to respond to and be guided by their recommendations and regulations. 

2. Staffing 

We want to take this opportunity to specially recognize the unique talents of Madison Riethman, who has served as Reed’s COVID-19 Response Coordinator and Health Project Manager for the past two years. She has impressed all of us with her rigorous analysis, energy, and effective communications. Madison will be pursuing a broader range of work as a public health professional but will remain available to us as a consultant in future years. 

The college’s principal staff and team for responding to COVID-19 and other infectious diseases will be held by the Emergency Response Team, which is responsible for making recommendations to the president, vice presidents, and deans.

The college will continue to maintain an additional nurse in the Health & Counseling Center (HCC) next year to provide continued support for COVID-19 vaccination, diagnostic testing, and collaboration with residence life on the management of any necessary isolation spaces.

3. COVID-19 Protocols

In addition to following county and state directives, the college will maintain programs for reducing the spread and impacts of COVID-19:


The college will continue its current vaccine protocols for COVID-19 unless federal, state, or county regulations require otherwise. All students are required to submit proof of up-to-date vaccination as defined by the CDC or complete documentation for exemption from this requirement as allowed under Oregon law. Faculty and staff are strongly urged to complete this requirement, and the college will continue to monitor the extent of vaccination among faculty and staff.


The college will continue to follow county guidance on masking, which is currently “strongly recommended” for indoor spaces. As announced earlier, classroom leaders and meeting or event organizers may require masks for particular gatherings. The college will also maintain a large supply of high-quality masks for use by community members.

Isolation Spaces

For the 2022–23 academic year, we will set aside, at minimum, approximately twenty spaces for isolation of students who live on campus who are recommended to be separated from other students due to contagious illness. We will also continue to provide support for such students, including meal delivery.

Testing and Follow-up

The college will sustain a strong program of diagnostic testing in the HCC for students exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. The college will not maintain a surveillance testing program but will monitor availability of home test supplies for purchase or through government programs.

Last semester, the quickly spreading Omicron variant of COVID-19 made comprehensive contact tracing infeasible for local health authorities and Reed. Moving forward, the college, as is the case for public health authorities, will not be able to conduct comprehensive contact tracing. Students who test positive for COVID-19 will be supported in isolation or quarantine as recommended by public health guidelines and the HCC. Faculty and staff will be instructed on their quarantine and isolation procedures by their health care provider. Per public health guidelines, employees of the college will be notified of work-related exposures.


We will sustain grab-and-go choices, which have been valuable for many reasons, including a desire for greater physical distancing options. In addition, we will maintain the mobile dining app that was created at the beginning of the pandemic.


The college will continue to maintain a COVID-19 Prevention and Response Plan website—currently undergoing revisions—where community members will be able to find up-to-date information on current policies and resources. The health and well-being unit of the Division of Student Life and the HCC will provide regular updates to the community about any issues of particular concern related to COVID-19 or other fast-spreading illnesses through Campus News, which is sent weekly to the Reed community (bi-weekly during the summer). The college will continue to report COVID-19 cases to health authorities as requested; Reed’s own COVID-19 dashboard will be archived. Staff should direct questions about the college’s operations to human resources or their area vice president. Faculty should direct such questions to the dean of the faculty.

Again, we thank CRAG members for their diligent work and the entire Reed community for their care for each other and for the college’s educational program.  

Kathy Oleson, Dean of the Faculty and Professor of Psychology
Hugh Porter, Vice President for College Relations and Planning
Co-Chairs of the COVID Risk Assessment Group