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VPSL COVID-19 Weekly Column: Oct. 9, 2020

October 09, 2020

Happy Friday, students!

I want to thank you again for remaining vigilant about your health and the health of our community. Our latest effluent tests are negative again, and we currently have no students in quarantine or self-isolating. Well done, Pios!

As always, use your face coverings, practice good hygiene, maintain your social distance, and monitor yourself for symptoms. Don’t visit residence halls other than your own, and definitely don’t use restrooms in other halls.

At a meeting earlier this week, Professor of Anthropology Jennifer Hubbert asked me to extend, on behalf of her faculty colleagues, a thank you for your care for our community and your compliance with health and safety requirements. Please keep it up!

  • COVID-19 cases: As of yesterday, we have had only one positive COVID-19 test out of the 1,890 tests we’ve conducted on campus–and none since August.
  • Effluent testing results: Great news! Results returned on October 6 from wastewater samples pulled on October 2 showed no presence of coronavirus in effluence from residence halls. This was the second set of all negative results in a row. We are adding an additional effluent monitoring site for Holmes and Hartzfeld.
  • Testing for students living off-campus. Next week, we will begin COVID-testing half of our students who are living off-campus. Of those students, half will be tested on Monday and half on Thursday using a free-of-charge PCR saliva test at the Pamplin Sports Center. This testing is not being done in response to any indications of infection but rather to assess what might be unfolding with our off-campus students. If you were selected for testing, you were emailed yesterday. With limited exceptions, you are required to participate in the testing if you have been selected.
  • COVID Risk Assessment Survey: As I mentioned last time, we are interested to hear how well you feel our community members are observing safe health practices in the prevention of COVID-19. We will be asking you to fill out a survey about once a month, and comment on how well you think the community is observing expected health mitigation efforts. This will be a quick but important check to show how our community is doing in following expectations regarding COVID risk mitigation. Thanks for taking the time to help keep our LC community safe and for filling out the survey that was sent to your lclark email on October 2.
  • Social spaces: As we keep our positivity rates low, we are able to loosen some of the social restrictions on campus. Classroom spaces for residential students for gathering, programming, and hanging out on the 1st and 2nd floor of Miller are now available for residential students to use:
    • Friday from 7 p.m. to midnight
    • Saturday from 10 a.m. to midnight
    • Sunday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

As with all indoor activities, participants are expected to observe documented occupancy requirements and maintain appropriate social distancing measures: wearing masks, staying six feet apart, etc. All participants are required to sanitize the equipment before and after use. We ask that residents using the classrooms sign in and out of each space for potential contact tracing. Additionally, beginning next weekend, Howard Hall will be available for use as well.

  • Great Oregon Shakeout: On October 15, at 10:15 a.m., the Lewis & Clark community will participate in the Great Oregon Shakeout earthquake drill, which consists primarily of 60 seconds of “drop, cover, and hold on.” Your participation in this drill is very important for practicing what to do and minimizing injury during an earthquake—a small but vital step in the process of being ready for such an event. Everyone with an lclark.edu email address will receive an email announcing the drill. Those who have configured their emergency alerts via WebAdvisor emergency alert preferences will also receive an automated phone message and a text message announcing the commencement of the drill. If you have not yet done so, please update your Emergency Notification Settings.

Have a safe weekend. And, as always, WeB4Me@LC.

With gratitude,

Robin H. Holmes-Sullivan
Vice President of Student Life and Dean of Students

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