October 2, 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.
This was a week full of change in our community. Some came as a result of the success of COVID-19 prevention measures so far this semester, such as the reopening of select residence hall common areas; others were in recognition of those measures' imperfections, such as the rollout of a comprehensive plan to ensure compliance with public health behaviors necessary to keep Reed healthy and safe. We've further navigated the uncharted waters of COVID-19 in responding to two new cases among members of our community, which resulted in a concerning number of exposures to others. Thanks to expeditious testing and contact tracing activities, we have successfully identified, notified, and quarantined those at risk following exposure, and have resources in place working to prevent continued transmission. This situation, however, is an all-too-real reminder of the consequences we face when we take the health of our community for granted; we must all recognize the privilege we have to live, work, study, and play in a safe environment, and the responsibilities we each have in maintaining that safety for ourselves and others.
Several additional COVID-19-related updates were shared with the Reed community this week. Student Engagement has started registering small student events and opening of select student spaces; please refer to the Student Engagement website for more information. Additionally, an email was sent to all students, faculty, and staff with a reminder of the on-campus surveillance testing process, including the announcement of a weekly raffle.
Statewide data, published by the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), indicate a continued rise in the percent of COVID-19 tests resulting positive over the last two weeks, despite consistency in the number of tests conducted. Oregon, as well as Multnomah and Clackamas counties, also report an increase in the rate of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population for the week of September 20-26, the most recent time period for which accurate data is available.
The percent of cases that have not been traced to a known source continues to be at or above the state's target of 30%, indicating ongoing general community spread.
As of 3:00 p.m. today, we have identified two new positive COVID-19 cases since our last case-related communication. Both of these cases were identified through weekly on-campus surveillance testing, and were notified and isolated promptly following receipt of the positive results. The college continues to track the number of COVID-19 cases on this web page.
In response to these two newly identified cases, the COVID Response Team initiated the following actions:
- Interview of cases to identify locations and individuals potentially exposed to COVID during their contagious periods.
- Notification and quarantine of 53 identified contacts with potential exposure, according to and, in some situations, beyond CDC and Oregon Health Authority contact tracing recommendations.
- Coordination with the Multnomah County Health Department on contact tracing activities and best practices
- Assessment and disinfection of campus spaces where cases may have been present during their contagious periods.
- Review of the circumstances contributing to COVID exposures in the community by the COVID Risk Assessment Group (CRAG), in order to adjust prevention practices on campus as needed.
Seven diagnostic tests have been conducted since the last weekly summary; all of these tests were negative.
This week, we continued our practice of encouraging all students, faculty, and staff to participate in routine surveillance testing. In total, we completed 995 COVID-19 surveillance tests Monday through Thursday, with an additional 380 tests scheduled for completion today.
The identification of two new cases through this process underscores the importance of participation by all selected individuals, every week. If you are instructed to participate in weekly surveillance testing, it is important that you arrive at your chosen time and complete this testing process according to the provided instructions. If you have questions about signing up for surveillance testing, please reach out to the COVID-19 Risk Assessment Group at email@example.com.
Community Compliance with Preventative Practices
While a vast majority of participants in the most recent weekly survey report compliance with face coverings and social distancing on campus, we know that this is not universally true. As brought to light by several significant exposures to newly identified COVID cases, anything less than 100% compliance with these important practices can have serious consequences. It is essential that we continue to recognize and remind each other of the importance of these preventative measures in order to keep our community safe.
When this is not enough, we ask anyone with concerns about participation in public health prevention measures to share their experience through the Weekly Risk Assessment survey, the COVID-19 Prevention Non-Compliance Form, or by reaching out to discuss confidentiality with the COVID Risk Assessment group at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 99% of respondents report observing people in classrooms wearing face coverings properly last week all or most of the time.
- 96% of respondents report observing people in shared spaces in residence halls wearing face coverings properly last week all or most of the time.
- 95% of respondents report observing people in other shared spaces on campus wearing face coverings properly all or most of the time.
- 97% of respondents report observing people in classrooms following physical/social-distancing guidelines last week all or most of the time.
- 85% 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.
Visitors: We appreciate the care and attention many our community members are taking in helping to identify and report non-compliance in this area. This week, 35% of survey respondents indicated they personally witnessed an unapproved visitor(s) on campus.
Daily Health Check: This week, 836 community members completed the Daily Health Check on average each day, and 98.2% were issued a green GO message. Those who received a STOP message were quickly in contact with HR or the HCC. As a reminder, it is OK to ask anyone on campus to show you their GO message.
Currently, 94% of rooms in the designed isolation dorm are available.
In this week's survey, 96% of respondents said they had adequate access to cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) on campus. If you have a specific request related to cleaning supplies or PPE, communicate your request in the weekly Risk Assessment Survey or send 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.