COVID-19 Prevention & Response Plan

Individual Responsibility

Each Reed community member has an individual responsibility to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Agreement to Comply with Public Health Expectations

All members of the Reed community and campus visitors are expected to follow public health guidance from the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). They are also expected to comply with the protocols outlined in Reed's COVID-19 Prevention & Response Plan. Expectations include the following:

On-campus residents will be required to comply with public health expectations outlined in the COVID-19 addendum to the housing contract. Students who live off campus but will be accessing Reed campus during the semester must complete the updated Acknowledgement of Risk and Prevention Form, which will be emailed two weeks prior to the start of the spring semester. Students who will not be accessing Reed campus must complete the No Access to Reed Campus Form that will be issued before the start of the spring semester.

Members of the Reed community are encouraged to support each other in complying with the college's prevention and response plan as well as with any other documents that have been signed. This includes, when comfortable and appropriate, reminding one another of these requirements when noncompliance is observed.


Until there is a vaccine for COVID-19, avoiding exposure to the virus is crucial.

Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

  • Remind yourself to do this after you spend time in a public place, blow your nose, or cough or sneeze. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid close contact with other people.

  • Keep six feet (about two arms’ length) of distance between yourself and other people. Keeping distance from others is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick, including those in your home or residence hall.
  • Remember that people without symptoms may be carriers of the virus.

Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face covering when around others.

  • You could spread the virus to others even if you do not feel sick.
  • Wear a cloth face covering when you are in public—for example, while you are in the grocery store.
    • Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under the age of two or on anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
  • Cloth face coverings protect other people in case you are infected.
  • Do not use a professional-grade face mask meant for a health-care worker.
  • A cloth face covering is not a substitute for social distancing.

Cover coughs and sneezes.

  • Always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Do not spit.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Clean and disinfect.


April Sams
Director of Risk Management & Environmental Health and Safety
Physical Plant

Face Coverings

The use of facial coverings inhibits the most common form of coronavirus transmission: when one person breathes the respiratory particles of another. 

Face coverings are required in these circumstances while on the Reed campus:

  • Face coverings are required outdoors when physical distance of at least six feet is not possible
  • Face coverings are required outdoors under the Earth, Wind, and Fire classroom tents.
  • Face coverings are required indoors in all shared spaces in all buildings on campus, including residence halls. A shared space is a room or area that is shared (whether or not other people are present), such as a conference room, hallway, lobby, kitchen, classroom, common room, and the area near the sink in a public bathroom. 

Face coverings are not required in these circumstances:

  • Face coverings are not required outdoors when you can maintain a physical distance of six feet.
  • Face coverings are not required inside your place of residence or office (e.g., room) with the door closed when others are not present. 
  • Face coverings are not required while eating or drinking while separated by a plexiglass barrier at the tables set up under the Quad tent outside of Commons.
  • Face coverings are not required when you are brushing your teeth or showering. 

Masks with valves or polyester masks, like neck gaiters, are not effective in preventing the spread of respiratory droplets. Additionally, the effectiveness of face shields is still unknown, and they should be worn only in addition to a cloth face covering.

Reed will provide reusable cloth face coverings to all students, faculty, and staff on campus. You can pick up face coverings at the facilities service window or look for EHS outside of commons throughout the semester. Please contact environmental health and safety if you need help obtaining face coverings. Face coverings can also be purchased at the Reed bookstore or made at home.

If you decide to purchase or make your own face covering, please follow these guidelines:

  • Cotton is the preferred fabric for breathability and protection.
  • The covering should have ear loops or be secured with ties.
  • The covering should completely cover your nose and mouth.
  • The covering should fit snugly but comfortably against your face.
See the communication sent on August 7, 2020, for more detailed information regarding accessing personal protective equipment (PPE) and cleaning supplies

Accommodation Request

To apply for an accommodation request in relation to this protocol, contact disability and accessibility resources (students) or human resources (faculty and staff) about next steps.


April Sams
Director of Risk Management & Environmental Health and Safety
Physical Plant

Physical Distancing

COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact (within about six feet) for a prolonged period. You can reduce your chances of contracting the virus by practicing physical distancing. Physical distancing, also known as social distancing, means keeping a safe space between yourself and other people. To practice physical distancing, stay at least six feet (about two arms’ length) from other people who are not from your household. Wearing a cloth face covering is not a substitute for physical distancing.

All Reed community members are expected to practice physical distancing. While on campus, we ask all community members to maintain physical distance in shared spaces regardless of whether or not you are from the same household. Additionally, living in the same residence hall does not qualify as a household; therefore, anyone living in a residence hall must maintain physical distance.

Classrooms, offices, and lecture halls have been reconfigured to help students, faculty, and staff maintain proper physical distance. Reed has also implemented various control measures in some spaces, such as plexiglass barriers, staggered schedules, occupancy rules, traffic flow, and closures, to decrease exposure risk.

The tables under the Quad tents outside of commons each have a plexiglass barrier to provide a suitable substitute for six feet of distance and face-covering requirements as long as there is just one person on each side of the plexiglass and the tables themselves are six feet or more apart from each other. Chairs should stay in their current positions and not be moved around to other tables.


April Sams
Director of Risk Management & Environmental Health and Safety
Physical Plant

What To Do if You Have Symptoms

If you test positive for COVID-19, have COVID-19-like symptoms, or have been exposed to the coronavirus, follow these guidelines.

Faculty and Staff

Contact human resources to report COVID-like symptoms or exposure to someone with COVID-19. HR will call you to provide support and next steps. If it is determined that you have had close contact with someone who is contagious with COVID-19, you will be asked to quarantine at home, monitor for symptoms, and contact your health-care provider. HR will provide directions about returning to work.


Human Resources


Whether you live on or off campus, if you have COVID-like symptoms or suspect that you have been exposed to a person with COVID-19, stay in your place of residence and call the health & counseling center. HCC staff will provide you with instructions about next steps, which may include a telehealth appointment, testing for COVID-19, and self-isolation. You must not leave your residence or attend class if you have symptoms or a suspected exposure to COVID-19 until you have been cleared by staff at the HCC.


Health & Counseling Services
Health & Counseling Center

When to seek emergency medical attention

Look for emergency warning signs* for COVID-19. If you or someone you know is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face

*This list does not include all possible symptoms. Please call the health & counseling center or your medical provider to assess any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.

Call 911 or call ahead to your local emergency facility; notify the operator that you are seeking care for yourself or someone who has or may have COVID-19.

Isolation and Quarantining

Isolation and quarantine help protect the public by preventing exposure to people who have or may have a contagious disease.

On-campus students who test positive for COVID-19 will be relocated to a residence hall designated for isolation. Students identified as having experienced close contact with the positive individual while contagious will be instructed to quarantine in their residence hall rooms for 14 days. Students isolating or quarantining on the Reed campus will receive delivered meals, cleaning supplies for their restrooms and living spaces, dedicated academic support, and regular telehealth check-ins from a member of Reed's medical team.

Faculty, staff, and off-campus students who test positive for COVID-19 are required to isolate off campus. Faculty, staff, and off-campus students who are identified as having come into close contact with an individual who tested positive while that individual was contagious must enter and remain in quarantine at their private residences for 14 days.

A negative test does not release an individual from isolation or quarantine early. For more information, see our fall communication on COVID-19 investigations at Reed.