October 31, 2020
Dear students, faculty, and staff,
I write to you with our weekly update from the COVID-19 Risk Assessment Group.
This week, we shared with you all an update on our plans for the Spring 2021 semester. We are looking forward to continuing in-person operations, and are grateful to all for your support in making this happen safely.
Since our last update, we have identified two new COVID-19 cases at Reed. Both of these cases displayed exceptional compliance with COVID prevention measures, resulting in very limited exposures on campus. These results remind us of the importance of following all public health guidelines during this pandemic. When we do so, we protect both ourselves and others. Both cases were 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. For more information, please see our October 21 communication on COVID-19 Investigations at Reed.
Additionally, this week we received notification from our diagnostic testing laboratory that a previously reported positive test result in a Reed community member was invalid. This individual has received several subsequent negative COVID tests since that time, further supporting this report of a false positive. This individual has been removed from our reporting page online, and is no longer being considered a case by local or state health authorities.
Other updates and reminders:
- COVID activity continues to rise in the Portland metro area, the state of Oregon, and across the country. 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.
- The COVID Risk Assessment Group continues to monitor compliance with on-campus weekly surveillance testing, and have seen a marked improvement in participation. On average over the past 3 weeks (10/12 through 10/30), 75% of campus residents participated in surveillance testing at least once weekly, compared to an average of 59% over the 3 weeks before that (9/21 through 10/9). We are continuing to monitor these participation rates and follow up with those who are not testing as appropriate.
- This week, the Office for Student Engagement, in consultation with the COVID Risk Assessment Group, has updated the requirements for student-led, outdoor events on campus. Moving forward, student-organized outdoor events of more than 10 individuals are required to have a staff/faculty member in attendance; events of 10 or fewer are not. Please refer to the Student Engagement website for more information.
- The Reed Office of Admissions has begun hosting limited in-person campus visits with prospective students. These individually-conducted 90-minute visits, include an outdoor tour of campus and a socially-distanced meeting with an admissions counselor. In-person campus visits are available to those who have submitted an application for admission. These tours are offered in addition to a robust selection of virtual visit resources. For more information, please visit the Admissions webpage.
- All students looking to retain access to campus between November 22 and January 14 must receive approval to do so by the community safety office. For more information, including who may make these requests and how to do, can be found in our October 21 communication.
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, you can track all our COVID-19 communications to members of the Reed Community here.