November 9, 2020
Dear students, faculty, and staff,
On Friday, Oregon Governor Kate Brown announced a two-week pause on social activities in select counties, including Multnomah County, where Reed College resides. This pause is in response to record-breaking COVID-19 activity in our region and across the state. It is designed with the goal of reducing COVID-19 cases by minimizing person-to-person contact, especially in group and social settings, where transmission is increasing most dramatically.
While the Reed community has displayed dedication to prevention measures and best practices for reducing risk, COVID-19 poses risks to all community members in their personal, professional, and educational activities. Four new cases of COVID-19 have been identified in the Reed community since October 26, with more expected as we enter cool weather and a season of travel. We all count on each other to take actions every day to help build a safe community, and we ask for your continued effort and support in this.
Major components of Governor Brown’s new measures include the following:
- Significantly reducing the size and frequency of social gatherings.This includes limiting social gatherings to those in the same household or to no more than six people and minimizing your immediate social circle to a core group of the same six people.
- Reducing maximum restaurant capacity to 50 people for indoor dining, with a maximum party size of six.Outdoor dining and takeout is encouraged.
- Reducing the maximum capacity of other indoor activities to 50 people.This includes settings such as gyms, fitness organizations/studios, bowling alleys, ice rinks, indoor sports, pools, and museums.
- Implementing work-from-home recommendations to the greatest extent possible.
- Pausing long-term care facility visits to protect residents and staff.
The COVID-19 Risk Assessment Group has reviewed how these new measures will impact activities on campus and identified several necessary adjustments to our COVID-19 protocols. These updates will take effect on Wednesday, November 11, and extend for two weeks or until further guidance is received.
The Oregon Higher Education Commission has determined that the state's new measures do not directly impact instructional or research activities at colleges and universities; therefore, in-person class activities are permitted to continue. Students and faculty should ensure that masking and social-distancing recommendations are upheld at all times while in class, and partner or group activities should be conducted only as needed and with careful attention to social-distancing practices. Faculty are encouraged to prepare and discuss accommodations for students who need to attend classes virtually.
All dining spaces (including the now-enclosed Commons tent) will be operational with a maximum capacity of 50 people. Table configurations will remain structured to permit dining parties of six or fewer. Campus health-promotion peer advisers will be present in dining areas to encourage and monitor compliance with these restrictions.
Gatherings and Events
A six-person maximum will be enforced for all gatherings on campus. Examples of gatherings include social get-togethers, meetings, and study groups. The maximum occupancy of all common spaces, including those in residence halls, will be reduced to six or fewer. Students, faculty, and staff making space reservations are required to abide by this maximum-gathering limit.
Organized events that include a social gathering component will be modified or postponed. This includes the Gray Fund bingo event scheduled for November 13 and the “Restival” sound bath event scheduled for November 19, both of which will be held online. Please visit events.reed.edu for updates.
The Gray Fund Semester Surprise, an event scheduled for November 15, will be held as scheduled. Organizers and attendees will abide by the restrictions placed on restaurants and dining facilities, described above.
Events requested or previously scheduled for dates beyond the two-week pause will tentatively be allowed to continue. These events are subject to change as further direction is received from Governor Brown or the Oregon Health Authority.
The current maximum capacity for the sports center is below the 50-person limit; therefore, no changes will be made to operations at this time. Sports center staff will continue to work with the COVID-19 Risk Assessment Group to ensure all appropriate disease-prevention measures are in place.
Reed employees provide critical support for students and the academic program. Campus work structures have been created to allow for safe operations that accomplish these ends, and density has been reduced in work spaces. Working from remote locations remains a frequent activity for many employees. The COVID-19 Risk Assessment Group has evaluated our current work-from-home recommendations and has found that these recommendations are being implemented to the extent possible while also meeting the needs of our community. Employees with questions or concerns about their ability to work from home should contact their supervisors or CRAG at the email address below.
If you have questions about Governor Brown’s announcement or the subsequent adjustments at Reed, please reach out to the COVID-19 Risk Assessment Group at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Madison Riethman, MPH, CPH
COVID-19 Response Coordinator and Health Project Manager
Sent of behalf of the COVID-19 Risk Assessment Group