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Student Life

Welcome to Campus, August 2020

August 23, 2020

Welcome back to campus!

We are so glad you are finally here! Thank you for already doing the work to keep our community as safe as possible by signing your attestation form, watching the We4Me@LC video, and continuing to practice social distancing, wear a mask, wash your hands, and avoid high-risk behaviors. We’ve seen at other schools how quickly things can fall apart when these practices are not followed. We will need to be vigilant, smart and considerate in order to ensure the safety of all students, faculty and staff at LC.

I want to update you on our testing protocol and approach. We plan to:

  • Test all undergraduates attending classes in person during the week of August 31. This will provide a baseline screen of the population. We will let you know when you are scheduled to be tested.

  • Provide testing of symptomatic students and other students who meet state testing criteria (Individuals with symptoms consistent with COVID-19, close contact with a presumptive case, people in high-risk racial groups). Tests will be done using Point of Care Abbott ID Now Rapid Testing technology (nasal swab), and analyzed with the machines we have on-site.

  • Monitor selected high-risk spots with effluent (wastewater) sampling. By doing this in locations like residence halls, we can detect possible community transmissions even among asymptomatic students. If we get a positive effluent test, we will conduct individual testing of residents living in that area. Thus, at different times in the semester, an entire floor or hall may undergo testing. Any students who test positive will move to our isolation rooms and be supported until they have a negative COVID test result.

  • Conduct periodic random testing of on- and off-campus students. These tests will be based on our data dashboard tracking and effluent testing results. We will let you know if we need you to be a part of a random sample at a given time.

  • Hire a lead contact tracer and train 3-5 contact tracers to assist. We feel it is important that following a presumptive case, we trace all known contacts right away. Having someone on our staff responsible for this task will ensure that it happens confidentiality, quickly, and efficiently.

  • Implement a program of periodic asymptomatic testing. Health officials and consultants with expertise on best practices in monitoring and surveilling outbreaks will guide our testing protocol for residential and nonresidential students. We will need your cooperation and vigilance in responding to our request for testing in order to keep our community healthy.

Doing Your Part

The best way to stop the transmission of COVID-19 is through prevention. WeB4Me@LC! We ask that you take the following preventive measures:

  • Create a campus “bubble” by limiting who can be on campus, and if you live on campus, stay on campus for the semester. As per the Oregon Health Authority guidance, the campus will be closed to any non-Lewis & Clark community members.

  • Respect that nonessential travel is prohibited. With the exception of limited trips to the grocery store or to off-campus doctors appointments, on-campus residential students should not leave campus. Parental visitation to the residence halls or visiting with family off-campus is also prohibited during the semester. Off-campus students, staff and faculty are strongly advised to limit their nonessential travel as well. Failure to comply with these directives could result in a loss of privileges or other conduct-related sanctions for CAS students.

  • Do not attend large gatherings or participate in high-risk behaviors, such as parties or visiting bars.

  • Limit your social contacts to 4–6 of the same people to form a pod. Your “pod” does not have to be made up of students in your residence hall, but you will not be able to congregate in residence halls other than the one you are assigned. Socialization with individuals outside of your residence hall will have to be in designated common areas or outside. It is permissible to be in close contact with individuals within your pod, but maintain the requisite 6-ft social distance with any others.

  • Wear face coverings in all public areas and wash your hands frequently.

  • Report any symptoms right away to the health service.

 

Together, we will have a successful return to campus and fall semester.

 

Sincerely,

 

Robin H. Holmes-Sullivan
Vice President of Student Life and Dean of Students
Lewis & Clark College