March 12, 2020
Dear Reed community,
Thank you for your careful attention and the concern you have demonstrated for each other, the academic program, and the wider community during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a newer member of this community, I am heartened to see this level of engagement and responsibility on so many fronts. After walking around campus and visiting with many of you over the past days, I understand the level of worry and concern. I want to assure you that we are working hard to keep our community safe and to fulfill the academic mission of the college.
The Reed COVID-19 task force has been actively responding to updated COVID-19 guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the State of Oregon. I now want to communicate a series of new actions Reed will take to slow the spread of COVID-19 and decrease health risks.
Here are five major new steps the college will take:
- Reed will cancel classes on March 19 & 20 and begin spring break two days early. Classes and exams will be rescheduled. Faculty will be able to use this time to prepare for online instruction.
- After spring break, all classes will be held online through April 10.
- Large campus gatherings will be canceled through April 12.
- College-funded travel, both domestic and international, will be suspended through April 12.
- Social-distancing measures will be implemented across campus.
It is important to note that Reed College is not closing. Classes will continue to the fullest extent possible, albeit online, so that students can continue their coursework and make progress toward fulfilling graduation requirements. Residence halls will remain open, food services will be extended, the Health and Counseling Center (HCC) will be open, and all administrative and support functions will continue to operate while we take reasonable measures to reduce risks.
Although we have worked hard to anticipate likely problems and concerns, we know there will still be unanswered questions. Our response plan will continue to evolve in the days ahead; while we have assigned timeframes for the steps listed above and described in detail below, we will adjust according to new information. Please know that we will update our COVID-19 website regularly. Additionally, you can send your questions and suggestions to email@example.com.
As we meet these unprecedented challenges, we rely on your attention, patience, and support. This is a level of disruption that most of us have never had to experience. Moving through this and related issues will require cooperation that I am confident we will achieve.
Although I will, of course, follow protocols for social distancing, I will be on campus as usual and look forward to seeing all of you in the coming weeks and months, in person and online, as we complete this semester.
Below we have summarized actions the college is taking to support the health and well-being of our community and help prevent a widespread outbreak of COVID-19. For more details, consult Reed’s COVID-19 planning and response website. Note that the FAQs on Reed’s COVID-19 planning and response website will be updated over the next 24 hours to reflect the most current information announced below.
- Spring break will start early. Classes are cancelled March 19 & 20. Classes and exams will be rescheduled. Faculty will use this time to prepare for online instruction.
- After spring break, all classes will be held online for two weeks, from March 30 through April 10.
- Residence halls will remain open, food services will be extended, and the Health and Counseling Center (HCC) will be open.
Transition to Online Instruction
- The college has already converted many courses to online instruction.
- Classes will be held online for two weeks, from March 30 through April 10.
- Our current plan is to resume regular in-person classes on Monday, April 13.
- Classes will be taught remotely using tools like Moodle, Google Apps for Education, Zoom, Meet, etc.
- We recognize that specific academic circumstances, including access to a computer, internet technology, equipment, or other resources, may present special challenges for some students. We will work with students on a case-by-case basis to ensure that they are able to complete their coursework. In addition, the student life office is increasing services in support of students.
- Should you have questions related to Reed’s transition to online instruction, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- All college-funded travel, both domestic and international, is suspended through April 12 unless approved by a vice president.
- All students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to avoid personal travel over spring break. Students should instead consider remaining on campus. Those who are planning trips should closely monitor travel advisories issued by the CDC and the State Department.
- Community members who experience symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should contact their medical provider and follow CDC guidance. Before returning to campus, email email@example.com to inform us of your situation and get help in determining next steps.
- Residence halls will stay open over spring break, and we plan to keep them open for the rest of the semester. Students who decide to leave campus for spring break do not need to move their belongings out unless they do not intend to return before the end of the semester.
- We recognize that some students may struggle with the logistical challenges associated with packing their belongings, but we do not have the ability to pack or ship belongings for students. Students who are going on leave or deciding to depart campus may store up to four boxes in on-campus storage. Those interested must sign up in advance through the residence life office.
- We are quickly identifying and preparing on-campus housing facilities should we need to isolate students who are unwell.
Health and Counseling Center
- The Health and Counseling Center (HCC) will be open Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed noon to 1 p.m.) for the remainder of the semester, including spring break.
Students who are unwell should call the HCC at 503-777-7281 before coming in. Alternatively, students may send a provider a secure message through the patient portal.
- Students may email the HCC at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that email is not a secure method of communication and should not be used to share sensitive personal information.
- Resources for students
- Testing: As of March 11, 2020, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has lifted restrictions for COVID-19 testing. The HCC is working with our reference lab to obtain testing supplies and testing protocols. We hope to begin testing by March 18.
- Currently, the sports center remains open. PE classes and team practices may be canceled or change format to observe social distancing.
- Illness-related absences from March 10 to March 29 will not be counted against the number of absences allowed in these classes per quarter. Attendance criteria will be reevaluated for class time after March 30. For questions related to PE programming and attendance, please contact Michael Lombardo at email@example.com.
- Sports center staff have increased the frequency of cleaning common spaces, including all handrails; door handles; restroom, toilet, and sink handles; equipment handles; and yoga mats. We have also posted signs to remind patrons to use spray cleaners and wipes provided in the gym to clean equipment after use.
- Saunas will be closed until further notice.
- Seating will be removed from Commons to ensure that the maximum capacity will not exceed 250 (normally capacity is around 350). Signs posted around campus will reiterate the importance of social distancing, including maintaining a distance of at least three feet in Commons.
- We expect to offer food service as usual. However, in order to reduce the likelihood of transmission of the virus, we have eliminated all self-service items (salad bar, pizza, etc.) and will now only provide food served by a Bon Appetit employee. We have also eliminated the use of personal cups until further notice.
- We will continue to work with our study abroad partners to ensure that Reed students who are studying abroad have reliable access to relevant information and support.
- With expanding travel restrictions, we expect some students may be anxious to return to the United States. It is important to know that students from these programs should not plan to return to Reed for the remainder of the semester; it is too late to join classes in progress and we do not permit students who are not enrolled to live on campus.
- Thus far, all programs involving Reed students that have been closed are making it possible for students to complete their coursework remotely.
Financial Issues for Students
- We understand students and families will have a number of financial questions, including questions about financial aid and Work-Study. Students who are experiencing financial insecurity should contact the financial aid office. Reed College Emergency Loan and Emergency Funds are available to support students who have short-term or one-time needs deemed immediately vital to the personal health or the academic well-being of the student.
- The State of Oregon has announced that all gatherings over 250 people must be canceled through April 8. In addition, the State of Oregon has recommended that social distancing, i.e. maintaining a minimum physical distance of three feet, should be practiced at any gathering. The college will adhere to these rules and cancel events on campus where the number of attendees and the size of the room do not allow us to meet these social distancing recommendations.
- In order to keep event attendees safe, Reed’s conference & events planning office is working with event partners to cancel or postpone events and implement numerous other practices, including room changes that allow for social distancing.
- Reed is evaluating the status of large college events scheduled to take place after April 12. These events include but are not limited to Renn Fayre, Commencement, and Reunions. At present, Reed has no plans to cancel these events, but modifications may be made. For example, we plan to livestream the Commencement ceremony so families unable to travel will be able to participate.
- Reed strongly encourages event attendees to check Reed’s events calendar at events.reed.edu for event status updates. Please contact the conference & events planning office at 503-777-7522 with event-related questions.
- The State of Oregon has recommended the implementation of distancing measures, including increased physical space between employees in offices and worksites, limited in-person meetings and travel, and staggered work schedules where possible. Department managers will implement these measures.