IMPORTANT: New COVID-19 Restrictions
November 14, 2020
Dear Lewis & Clark Students, Faculty, and Staff,
In response to rising COVID-19 cases in Oregon, Governor Kate Brown JD ’85 issued new directives on Friday. As we implement these requirements and begin to wind down the fall semester, we again take stock of our approach to coronavirus.
First, there are several short-term measures that must be taken to comply with the Governor’s new directives. Beginning Wednesday, November 18, and for the remainder of the semester:
All dining on campus will be grab-and-go only. There will be no seating available for dining in Fields or Stamm.
Pamplin Sports Center and the Zehntbauer Swim Pavilion will be closed to both recreational and team activities.
All athletic team and club sport practices and events will be canceled.
Other scheduled activities will be canceled if they exceed applicable capacity limitations.
In-person classes, research, and other instructional activities are permitted under the new state restrictions, and we expect to continue these as planned for the time remaining this fall.
Faculty and student support staff will continue to come to campus as necessary. Employees who do not need to come to campus in order to do their jobs are directed to work from home to the greatest extent possible. Staff members with questions about their ability to work from home should talk with their supervisors. The reason is simple: If you do not need to come to campus, staying away will help protect those who need to be on site.
Today’s news in Oregon also makes us even more mindful of our personal responsibility to minimize the spread of the virus in our communities. Under the Governor’s order, we must limit our social gatherings to no more than six people, from no more than two households, whether indoors or outdoors, for as long as the order is in effect. Residential students must limit social gatherings to their six-person pods for the remainder of their time on campus.
All of these new requirements will be applicable over the Thanksgiving holiday and into December, forcing many of us to change cherished holiday traditions. Yet they are necessary to protect the most vulnerable among us and to conserve hospital capacity at this critical point in the pandemic.
COVID-19 testing will be available next week for students wishing to be tested prior to Thanksgiving travel. Information about the testing clinic has previously been shared with students in a separate communication. We anticipate mandatory COVID-19 testing of students upon return from Winter Break in January and will provide details about requirements for returning students as they are developed. In addition, we must all be mindful of today’s travel advisory by the governors of Oregon, Washington, and California recommending that those entering the state following non-essential travel should self-quarantine for 14 days.
With the recent uptick in cases, we have reassessed the method of communication and amount of detail used when sharing information about positive COVID-19 cases with the campus community. Our goal has been, and remains, to provide useful and appropriate information about the level of risk on campus so that each of us can make informed decisions, while also protecting the privacy of student and employee health information.
Starting next week, we will send an email notification to students and employees on a particular campus (CAS, Graduate School, or Law School) when we learn that a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 was on that campus while likely to have been contagious.The COVID-19 Confirmed Cases Status Report on our webpage will continue to be updated within one business day of receiving new information about a positive case. We will continue to assess these protocols.
While this is a difficult time, we have much for which to be thankful. We are near the end of the semester and have had relatively few cases of COVID-19 on campus. We are deeply grateful to the efforts and care demonstrated by each of you. Together, we will successfully get through the time remaining in the semester.
The Executive Council