Student Life Communications
Moday, August 22, 2022
Dear Reed Community,
The new academic year is upon us, and we are excited about all of the traditions and activities that signify the energy of a dynamic campus environment.
Over the summer, the college communicated that the COVID-19 Risk Assessment Group (CRAG) operations would be embedded in various departments across the college to more closely support day-to-day operations, given the endemic nature of COVID. The college’s response to COVID-19 will now be managed in collaboration between the Emergency Response Team (ERT) which includes Human Resources, Health and Counseling Services, Risk Management, and college leadership.
For the past two years, the Reed community has taken great responsibility and consideration in navigating the changing landscape of the pandemic. The effectiveness of COVID vaccines, boosters, and treatments has been essential in minimizing widespread severe illness. As we enter the new academic year, Reed continues to implement a series of measures designed to limit virus transmission within our community that are in alignment with the CDC and local public health guidance.
Here are a few things you need to know as you plan for a safe return to campus this fall:
All students are required to submit proof of up-to-date vaccination as defined by the CDC or complete documentation for exemption from this requirement as allowed under Oregon law. Faculty and staff are strongly urged to complete this requirement, and the college will continue to monitor the extent of vaccinations among faculty and staff. Students who have questions about this vaccination requirement or who would like to discuss their situation should contact the HCC.
TESTING AND ISOLATION
Reed strongly recommends that students and families coming to campus for move-in take a COVID test 24 hours prior to leaving home. If you test positive, please postpone your trip to Reed and follow your healthcare provider’s isolation guidance. If you need to delay your arrival due to COVID-19, please contact both the Residence Life Office firstname.lastname@example.org and the HCC at email@example.com.
The college will provide diagnostic testing in the HCC for students exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. Students who develop COVID-like symptoms should contact the HCC via phone, email, or secure message to discuss evaluation and testing.
Any student who tests positive for COVID-19 will be required to isolate for a minimum of 5 days. Students who live on campus will be relocated to one of 15 dedicated isolation rooms on campus, as resources allow. Due to the elevated risk of transmission in congregate settings such as residence halls, home antigen tests will be provided to on-campus students in isolation; these students will be cleared to leave isolation and return to their regular residence hall rooms if a negative test is obtained after completing 5 days of isolation. Students who test positive after day 5 will be required to continue isolating until a negative test is obtained or until a full 10 day isolation period is completed.
Following conversations with local and state health authorities, the college will not maintain a surveillance testing program moving forward. Faculty and staff who are in need of testing should contact their healthcare provider.
In line with Oregon Health Authority guidance, Reed does not currently require face coverings in most settings. Masks are still required in all health care settings, including Reed’s Health and Counseling Center. In addition, any class, meeting, or event organizer may require masks for particular gatherings at their own discretion. The college strongly encourages mask wearing while indoors in situations where physical distancing is not possible, and for all who feel more comfortable doing so in any situation.
The college will also maintain a large supply of high-quality masks for use by community members. Surgical masks are currently available in various locations across campus, including the Health and Counseling Center, Facilities Services, and 28 West. KN95 face coverings can be picked up from Mail Services during normal business hours.
All students are encouraged to bring personal COVID safety materials such as masks, home tests, hand sanitizer, and cleaning products with them as they return to campus.
At this time, most jurisdictions (including Multnomah County, where Reed College resides) have discontinued contact tracing activities due to limited resources and scientific evidence of the way COVID-19 transmits from person to person, which has made this disease prevention strategy less effective.
Students, faculty, or staff diagnosed with COVID-19 are instructed to notify anyone with whom they may have had close contact while potentially contagious (defined as physical contact within six feet of distance for a cumulative period of 15 minutes or more). If you have not been notified but believe you had close contact with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19, please see the CDC’s guidance on what to do following a potential COVID-19 exposure, or reach out to Health & Counseling Services, Human Resources, or your healthcare provider for further guidance.
Beginning August 29, de-identified information on all COVID-19 cases who were on campus while potentially contagious will be reported within 24 hours on the COVID-19 Prevention and Response Plan webpage.
The World Health Organization and the US Department of Health and Human Services have declared monkeypox a public health emergency. According to the CDC, monkeypox is a rare disease that is primarily spread through close, personal, and/or intimate contact with an individual infected with the monkeypox virus. This includes direct skin-to-skin contact with monkeypox rash or bodily fluids from an infected person. Scientists are currently researching other possible means of transmission, but monkeypox does not appear to transmit through airborne particles like COVID-19, or effectively on surfaces.
Monkeypox symptoms can include fever, headache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and fatigue. People often also develop a rash that appears like pimples or blisters anywhere on the skin, as well as inside the mouth and on other parts of the body. You can prevent infection by avoiding close contact with people diagnosed with monkeypox and wearing a mask if you have prolonged close contact with someone who has symptoms or a confirmed infection, such as in a health care setting.
Monkeypox is less contagious and less likely to result in severe illness or death than COVID-19. The possibility of becoming infected by interacting with someone with monkeypox, particularly in classroom settings and normal daily activities, is low. (MPX Risk Graphic)
We are excited to welcome students and families back to campus for another great semester at Reed. If you have any questions, please contact the appropriate office below.
General questions regarding policies and guidance, Student Life: firstname.lastname@example.org
Staff & Faculty medical questions, Human Resources: email@example.com
Student medical questions, Health & Counseling Center: firstname.lastname@example.org