COVID-19 Prevention & Response Plan

Visitors, In-Person Events, Building Access, and Travel

In an effort to reduce density and limit the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 on campus, Reed has closed its campus to the public for the academic calendar year, with limited exceptions. This action aligns with guidance from the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC). In addition, students, faculty, and staff must either visibly display their Reed IDs or wear Reed-issued name tags while on campus. The college has also limited the size of in-person events, and college-funded travel and study abroad programs are restricted.

General Public

The Reed campus is closed to the general public until June 1, 2021. The closure encompasses the entire campus, including all facilities, parking lots, lawns, sports fields, canyon trails, and off-leash dog areas. When the campus opens to the general public in June of 2021, access will only be to grounds. All buildings will only be open to current Reed students, faculty, staff, and approved visitors. Reed will seek guidance from the state in regards to campus access to the general public for the fall when students return. This means the college may need to close the campus again in mid-August to the general public.  

Alumni Program Events

Until further notice, the college is not hosting in-person alumni events on campus or in regional chapter cities; however, we invite alumni to stay connected virtually through Reed Remote.

Admission Visits

The admission office offers robust digital resources and weekly virtual visit programming to connect prospective students and families with the Reed community from afar.

While the college is closed to the general public, Reed is offering limited in-person admission visits for first-year and transfer applicants. Visits must be scheduled and confirmed in advance.


Admission Inquiries

Vendors, Contractors, and Approved Visitors

Vendors, contractors, and individuals providing professional services to the college may access the campus and facilities as necessary to accomplish the requested or contracted services. Examples:

  • Delivery of mail, food, supplies, and equipment
  • Inspection, maintenance, repair, and installation of campus equipment or systems
  • Removal of refuse and recycling materials

Reed faculty and staff may invite visitors to campus for purposes directly related to their roles at the college. Invited visitors may include job applicants, prospective students and their families, guest lecturers, and others. Additionally, offices may invite visitors to campus to facilitate college programs. Staff whose positions require them to reside on campus may invite designated, pre-approved visitors. While on campus, visitors should be accompanied by faculty or staff hosts at all times.

Immediate family members of Reed students, faculty, and staff may be on campus (outdoors only) if they currently reside with that person and they are accompanied by the student, faculty member, or staff member.  

All vendors, contractors, and approved visitors to campus must follow relevant CDC, state, and Reed health guidelines to minimize transmission of the virus. Visitors who do not comply with health guidelines will be required to leave campus.

If you are a faculty or staff member who invites a vendor or a visitor to campus, you must provide them with a link to the Daily Health Check for vendors and approved visitors and ask them to complete it before they arrive on a daily basis.

Residential buildings are controlled by ID/swipe card access all hours and days. Access is limited to students who are assigned rooms in the space and to college staff in the performance of their official duties or approved activities. All other access is prohibited, including off-campus students and students’ guests. Guidelines for usage of residence hall common areas can be found on the Residence Life website.


Community Safety
28 West

In-Person Gatherings and In-Person Events

Per the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC), in-person gatherings and events at Reed are subject to the relevant sector guidance issued by the state, including: 

Guidance for gatherings and events is separate from the guidance for instructional, residential, and research activities issued by the HECC and the guidance for eating and drinking establishments. It is important to note that guidance related to gatherings and events has been amended multiple times since the start of the pandemic and can change at any time. It is also important to understand that the sector guidance is not specifically written for higher education institutions; therefore, how it is applied to Reed’s protocols is defined by the COVID-19 Risk Assessment Group (CRAG). CRAG understands the importance of in-person engagement and makes every effort to apply the guidance according to Reed’s guiding principles.

Application of Sector Guidance to In-Person Gatherings and Events at Reed

  • In-Person Gatherings: The college applies the sector guidance for gatherings to all nonessential activities wherein community members gather to socialize. Examples: parties, movie nights, club meetings, game nights, and general social events. The sector guidance for gatherings includes recommendations regarding the limits to the number of households for gatherings. The household definition cannot easily be applied to a residential campus environment. Therefore, we recommend applying a “social bubble” definition, defined below, in place of household.

    • Indoors: Maximum six (6) people while Multnomah County is in the “high or extreme risk” category.*
    • Outdoors: Maximum six (6) people while Multnomah County is in the “extreme risk” category. Maximum eight (8) people when the county is in the "high risk" category.*
    • Social bubble: The college recommends students create small, clearly defined groups of eight (8) people or less who have agreed to limit their close social contacts to only those within the bubble. Everyone in the group is aware they are part of the bubble, and they agree to minimize close social contact with people outside of the bubble. A social bubble does not substitute for social-distancing and face-covering protocols.
  • Indoor or Outdoor Events: The college applies the sector guidance for indoor entertainment establishments and the sector guidance for outdoor entertainment establishments to events that are (1) defined as college-sponsored activities, such as Commencement, convocation, conferences & symposia, or other preapproved activities that are essential to the college mission; (2) cannot effectively be conducted virtually; (3) cannot be postponed without significant negative consequences to students or to the college; (4) are managed and staffed by an employee(s) of the college.

    • Indoors: Maximum 25% occupancy or 50 people total, whichever is smaller, while Multnomah County is in the “high risk” category. Maximum six (6) people total when the county is in the "extreme risk" category. * 
    • Outdoors: Maximum 15% occupancy while Multnomah County is in the “high risk” category. Maximum 100 people in the "extreme risk" category.*
  • Preapproved means authorized in advance by the appropriate vice president or dean in collaboration with CRAG and the conference & events planning (CEP) office. For an event to be considered for approval, the appropriate vice president or dean can submit a proposal to CRAG. A minimum of two weeks’ advance notice is required for approval.

  • On-campus in-person gatherings and events are open to current faculty, staff, students, and approved visitors only. Reed College is closed to the public until further notice.

  • The maximum number of people allowed at an in-person gathering or event is based on the level of risk designated for Multnomah County.

  • All in-person gatherings and events must adhere to all public health protocols outlined in Reed’s COVID-19 Prevention & Response Plan.

  • If a gathering or event can be done virtually, it should be. Virtual event guidance may be found here.

  • Nonessential in-person events that can be postponed, delayed, rescheduled, or held virtually should be to the greatest extent possible (e.g., Reed College 5K FUNd Run/Walk).

  • Food and beverages provided at any in-person gathering or event must comply with Reed’s catering policy. Food and beverages served must be provided by Bon Appétit or an approved vendor (see the catering exception request) in compliance with the sector guidance for eating and drinking establishments for the designated risk level of Multnomah County.
* Capacity limits in the state guidance changes without notice. While we do our best to maintain the accuracy of the state guidance information on this page, we recommend you confirm the stage guidance prior any in-person gathering or event. 

Guidance for Holding Events During COVID-19

There is helpful guidance for events during COVID-19 on the conference & events planning website.

Room Reservations

Only rooms that are not reserved for in-person classroom instruction may be reserved for in-person events and indoor social get-togethers. Reservations are first come, first served.

All faculty and staff looking to host an in-person event or indoor social get-together must complete and submit a Facility Use Application. Once the application is received, the conference & events planning office will work with the applicant to coordinate details. All students looking to host an in-person event or indoor social get-together must work with the office of student engagement.

Room capacities have been reduced (minimum of 35 square feet per person), and rooms have been reconfigured to support social distancing. A high-level summary of social-distancing room setup diagrams and maximum capacities can be found here. For details, contact conference & events planning.

The following guidelines apply to all in-person events or indoor social get-togethers:

  • Organizers must take rooms in their standard configuration (as is).
  • AV staff are not available to support nonacademic in-person events or indoor social get-togethers.
  • Facilities services staff are not available to support nonacademic in-person events or indoor social get-togethers (furniture delivery and setup, cleaning, etc.).
  • Cleaning supplies, including hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, spray bottles of disinfectant, and paper towels for intermittent cleaning, are available in all common rooms. The individuals using the room are responsible for cleaning and sanitizing the space before and after the in-person event or indoor social get-together.
  • Organizers are responsible for enforcing public health measures, including social-distancing and face-covering requirements.
  • Organizers must keep a record of every participant's name.
  • In-person event or indoor social get-togethers must conclude by 9 p.m. to allow time for the space to be cleaned.

As always, classes and class-related activities take priority in academic spaces; if you are booking a space within the first few weeks of the semester, changes in the academic schedule may require us to move, cancel, or reschedule your in-person event or indoor social get-together.


Student Engagement

Faculty and Staff
Conference & Events Planning

Building Access & Facilities Usage

Days and Hours of Access

With few exceptions, campus buildings remain locked at all times; entry requires a Reed ID/swipe card. Card access for faculty and staff is available all hours and days for common spaces and areas they use while in their official roles. Card access for students is available for academic and administrative areas from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and for most community spaces from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., all days. Non-residential spaces will be closed to students between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.

Note: student access to campus will be restricted during winter break. See this communication, which was sent on October 21, 2020, for more information.

Approved Usage

In-person Instructional Spaces
To allow for proper cleaning and sanitation of classrooms, rooms used for in-person instruction are off limits for all other uses. These rooms include traditional classrooms, tents, lecture halls, and areas repurposed for instruction, such as gym space, the chapel, and similar spaces. These areas are identified by signage.

Quad/Commons Tent
During peak meal times, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and from 5 to 7 p.m., the Commons tent in the Quad is available only for people eating. At other times, the tables under the tent may be used for gatherings and other purposes if physical distance can be maintained and if space allows. Please allow those with food to sit if space becomes limited.

Classroom Tents
Two of the tents on the north side of Eliot, Earth and Wind, are reserved for in-person classroom instruction only. The Fire tent is multipurpose.

Common Areas for Ad-hoc Activities
Common areas may be used for ad-hoc study and social purposes while following the college’s public health behavior guidelines. These activities may not interfere with instruction or administrative functions.

The following buildings will generally be available to students between these hours:

Gray Campus Center (GCC): all days 7 a.m.–11 p.m.
Performing Arts Building (PAB) atriums: all days 7 a.m.–11 p.m.
Library: see the library’s posted hours
Student Union (SU): see the SU’s posted hours
Educational Technology Center (ETC): all days 7 a.m.–11 p.m.

Any use of common areas that violates public health guidelines may result in closure for all ad-hoc activities.

Student Engagement Spaces
Some student engagement spaces, including those in the Gray Campus Center, Old Dorm Block, and the Student Union, will remain closed until further notice. We will continue to monitor the situation frequently. Space usage may be revised based on campus and local indicators, Oregon Health Authority advice, and government directives.

For information about using activity spaces, including the SU and KRRC studio, please visit the student engagement website.

Access to Rooms for Online Courses

Students enrolled in an online class who want to virtually attend the class while on campus can ask their faculty member to send a room request to conference & events planning (CEP). The faculty member should include the course registration number (CRN) and the day(s) and time(s) of the course. CEP will schedule a room for the semester, if wanted, in which the student can access the course remotely. Try to allow at least twenty-four hours between the request and the class, although a same-day request may be possible.

Access to Residence Halls

Residential buildings are controlled by ID/swipe card access all hours and days. Access is limited to students who are assigned rooms in the space and to college staff in the performance of their official duties. All other access is prohibited, including off-campus students and guests. Guidelines for usage of residence hall common areas can be found on the residence life website.


Community Safety
28 West

Conference & Events Planning (CEP)
Greenwood Building

Student Engagement
Student Center

Travel and Study Abroad

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued global COVID-19 travel recommendations by destination. You are responsible for reviewing the current international and domestic travel restrictions before considering travel.

Travel Restrictions

  • Nonessential college-funded travel, both international and domestic, is restricted during the pandemic. During the pandemic, all college-funded travel must be approved by the relevant college vice president or dean until further notice. 
  • College-funded travel to support summer research projects must be approved in advance by the dean of the faculty. As part of their application for funding, students or faculty will submit a COVID-19 protocol plan to the dean of the faculty describing how they will conduct their project safely. Funding will not be released until their COVID-19 protocol plan has been approved by the dean of the faculty.  

Personal Travel

The college asks that Reed faculty, staff, and students understand and weigh the risks of personal travel.

If you travel, know and adhere to restrictions for your destination and place of return. During travel, take the appropriate precautions to protect yourself and others, following CDC and Oregon Health Authority guidelines. If you develop symptoms during or after travel, notify your health-care provider immediately.

If you are unable to adhere to these guidelines throughout the duration of your travel, Reed recommends adjusting your on campus activities for two weeks following your return:

  • In conversation with your professors or supervisors, work, study, and attend meetings, classes, and events from home.
  • Avoid public gatherings, common spaces, and other situations that may involve in-person contact with others.
  • Reach out to the HCC, the Reed COVID Risk Assessment Group, or your health-care provider to discuss additional actions that may be appropriate for your situation.

Study Abroad

Due to the continuing impact of COVID-19 around the world, Reed College has canceled student participation in partner study abroad programs for spring 2021. Students may, with the support of their academic advisors, request exceptions to this policy for partner programs that can show safety, security and academic integrity.

Exchange Programs

Reed College has suspended its partner exchange programs for spring 2021. Interested students may seek readmission as early as fall 2021.


Kathy Oleson
Dean of the Faculty

Allison Blizzard
Eliot Hall 203