September 25, 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 week, we report with the knowledge that fires and air quality disrupted many regular activities on campus last week, including our planned testing for Monday and Tuesday. We anticipate that a return to good air quality also signals a return to our routine COVID-19 response practices.
Statewide data, published by the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), indicate a rise in the percent of COVID-19 tests resulting positive over the last two weeks, despite consistency in the number of tests conducted. Additionally, OHA reported yesterday that the daily reported case count was the highest observed since mid-July.
Locally, there have been fluctuations but no significant changes in the number of new COVID-19 cases identified, the percent of COVID-19 tests resulting positive, and the number of cases requiring hospitalization over the last several weeks, as published on the Multnomah County Regional Dashboard.
The percent of cases that have not been traced to a known source has also remained consistently at or above the state's target of 30%, indicating ongoing general community spread.
As of noon today, we have identified no new positive COVID-19 cases since our last weekly summary. The college continues to track the number of COVID-19 cases on this web page.
One diagnostic test has been conducted since the last weekly summary; this result was negative.
In order to account for air quality-related travel (and therefore potential coronavirus exposures) last week, we increased the availability of surveillance testing this week to include a higher number of off-campus residents. In total, we completed 957 COVID-19 surveillance tests Monday through Thursday, with an additional 364 tests scheduled for completion today. Of the test results received by noon today, none have been positive.
Individuals selected for weekly surveillance testing and notified via email are asked to schedule a time online to complete testing. If selected, it is important that you sign up in advance and arrive at your chosen time for testing; this allows us to optimize staffing resources throughout the day and prevents unnecessary lines and wait times for others. If you have questions about signing up for surveillance testing, please reach out to the COVID-19 Risk Assessment Group at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Community Compliance with Preventative Practices:
Overall, community compliance with preventative practices continues to appear strong. A vast majority of participants in the most recent weekly survey report compliance with face coverings and social distancing on campus. Of note, this week's survey had fewer respondents than in previous weeks, especially among off-campus residents. This is likely due to the air quality-related reduction of on-campus operations. In addition, responses to questions regarding practices in classrooms were limited, as most classes were completed remotely; therefore, we have excluded the results of those metrics this week.
- Face coverings: The Reed community continues to be diligent about the use of face coverings on campus. Please continue to use appropriate face coverings anytime you may encounter others on campus and remind your peers to do the same.
- 97% 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.
- Physical distancing: Maintaining safe physical distancing is an essential part of protecting yourself and others from COVID-19. We know this is difficult, and hear your challenges with this. The college continues to explore ways to promote safe socialization on campus--check out a few upcoming, in-person, socially-distanced events!
- 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.
- 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, a notable increase from last week.
- Daily Health Check: This week, 834 community members completed the Daily Health Check on average each day, and 98.8% were issued a green GO message every day. 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, 100% 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. Considering the size of our campus, this response is strong. If you have a specific request related to cleaning supplies or PPE, it is helpful to know precisely what you need, for where, and how much you are requesting (versus "we need more hand sanitizer"). You can 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.