November 13, 2020
Dear students, faculty, and staff,
I write to you with our weekly update from the COVID-19 Risk Assessment Group.
Today, Oregon Governor Kate Brown announced an expansion of the two week "pause" on social activities effective Wednesday, November 18. This expansion is overtop of the new measures previously announced last Friday. This latest order has implications for Reed College operations. The COVID-19 Risk Assessment Group is currently evaluating the specific directives. Related, members of the risk assessment group attended a meeting with Oregon's Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) today and are working with them on steps that will be required to come into compliance with these latest orders. We will share more in a follow up communication by Monday afternoon at the latest.
This week Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released a new COVID-19 temporary rule. Look out for new signage on campus that will provide more information on this new rule. The college is currently complying with all elements of this OSHA standards, but Reed's senior staff are conducting employee risk assessments over the next 30 days to identify any areas for improvements.
We are expanding testing next week so students returning home for the break are tested prior to departing. This means next week, November 16--20, all students accessing campus are asked to take a COVID-19 saliva test. Invitations to sign up for testing, offered Monday through Friday, will be sent via email today. Results are usually available within 48 hours of test collection, and all participants are able to log into the Predictive Labs online portal to view and print their results.
Environmental Health and Safety has a small number of KN95 masks available for students who are utilizing mass transit, public transportation, or other congregate travel methods following the end of on-campus activities for the semester. For more information, please reach out to EHS at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since our last update, we have identified one new COVID-19 case at Reed. This case was 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. Reed continues to report all associated COVID-19 cases online, found in the "Total Cases" section of the dashboard.
Although not shown to be a major source of transmission, recent evidence indicates that airborne transmission of COVID-19 is possible in certain situations, such as sharing enclosed, poorly ventilated spaces with others for an extended period of time. When these situations cannot be avoided (both on and off campus), taking steps such as opening windows and doors to increase air flow can reduce the risk of airborne COVID-19 transmission.
COVID-19 activity in Multnomah County, Oregon, and across the country continues to be on the rise. COVID-related hospitalizations are also increasing, placing further burden on an already strained healthcare system. Additionally, the percent of cases that have not been traced to a known source in Oregon has also grown, indicating ongoing community spread. Please help us keep Reed a safe place to live, work, and study by continuing to participate in surveillance testing, the weekly risk assessment survey, and all other essential response measures on and off campus.
Finally, as we move into our final week of in-person classes for the semester, we wish to express our appreciation for the entire Reed community's dedication through this challenging time. We are grateful for your support.
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 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.