October 16, 2020
Dear students, faculty, and staff,
I write to you with our weekly update on the Indicators for Risk Assessment from the COVID-19 Risk Assessment Group.
Since this time last week, we have identified no new COVID-19 cases at Reed. In addition, all previously identified cases have been medically cleared to leave isolation, and all identified contacts have successfully completed their 14-day quarantine periods. We feel fortunate that no additional cases developed as a result of these exposures on campus, and deeply appreciate the diligence and support of those who were asked to isolate and quarantine.
In light of what we have learned in these incidents, we have been engaged in reviewing and strengthening our contract tracing protocols. We expect to send an update early next week to follow up on valuable questions raised and recommendations made by community members.
This week, members of our team have been preparing for the annual student influenza vaccination clinic, happening today, Saturday, and Sunday (October 16, 17, and 18) in the Student Union. Students can still sign up using the link sent via the student health portal. All students are urged to receive an influenza vaccination, unless medically contraindicated. For more information, please visit the Reed Health and Counseling Center website.
On the regional, state, and national level, COVID-19 activity is increasing. The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) continues to report a rise in the percent of COVID-19 tests resulting positive, even as weekly testing numbers have grown to their highest levels since July. In addition, the statewide rate of COVID-19 cases for the week of October 4-11 was the highest recorded since the pandemic began, at 58 cases per 100,000 population. Many of these trends are also visible in both Multnomah and Clackamas counties, who also report near-peak case rates during the week of October 4. While local testing numbers have also increased, the percent of COVID-19 tests resulting positive has remained relatively steady across the two counties.
The widespread increase in COVID activity underscores the importance of continued diligence to good public health behaviors both on and off campus.
Since our last update, no new positive cases of COVID-19 have been identified at Reed. The college continues to track the number of COVID-19 cases on this web page.
In total, 1,124 COVID-19 surveillance tests were completed Monday through Friday this week. 12 diagnostic tests were also conducted this week; all results received have been negative.
In reviewing our surveillance testing data, we have identified a decline in participation over the last few weeks. This was particularly evident among those living on campus, among whom only 58% have completed testing every week since September 21. In response, we are speaking with individuals who have not consistently appeared at their scheduled testing times to reiterate the necessity of following testing protocols as shared in the communication on October 2. Given the response to date, we expect participation to improve next week. We will continue to follow-up in a timely manner, particularly with anyone who misses tests on multiple occasions.
We understand that schedules change; if you need to adjust your current testing schedule or would like to request more information about the surveillance testing process, contact the COVID-19 Risk Assessment Group at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Community Compliance with Preventative Practices
Responses provided in the Weekly Risk Assessment Survey continue to be strong but imperfect. Everyone, regardless of position on campus, is responsible for participating in these important public health behaviors, and for kindly encouraging others to do the same.
This weekly survey continues to be helpful in determining where our strengths and weaknesses are, so we appreciate the 289 of you who completed it this week.
- 99% of respondents report observing people in classrooms wearing face coverings properly last week all or most of the time.
- 99% of respondents report observing people in shared spaces in residence halls wearing face coverings properly last week all or most of the time.
- 96% of respondents report observing people in other shared spaces on campus wearing face coverings properly all or most of the time.
- 95% of respondents report observing people in classrooms following physical/social-distancing guidelines last week all or most of the time.
- 89% of respondents report observing people in shared spaces in residence halls following physical-distancing guidelines last week all or most of the time.
- 83% of respondents report observing people in other shared spaces on campus following physical-distancing guidelines last week all or most of the time.
This week, 36% of survey respondents indicated they personally witnessed an unapproved visitor(s) on campus. As a reminder, all individuals must have a Reed ID, mask, and valid "GO" message available any time they access campus; you are allowed and encouraged to ask anyone to display or use these items.
Daily Health Check
This week, 741 community members completed the Daily Health Check on average each day, and 98% were issued a green GO message. Those who received a STOP message were quickly in contact with HR or the HCC.
Currently, 100% of rooms in the designed isolation dorm are available.
In this week's survey, 97% of respondents said they had adequate access to cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) on campus. Please continue to share these specific requests in the weekly Risk Assessment Survey, or by sending an email to email@example.com.
If you have questions, please don't hesitate to 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
Health & Counseling Services
Reporting on behalf of the COVID-19 Risk Assessment Group
PS: As a reminder, we keep track of all our COVID-19 communications here.