COVID Updates: "Stay Strong"

On Friday, Washington County moved into the “moderate risk” category in the state’s COVID-19 protocols.

This category means some changes to opportunities on Pacific’s Forest Grove and Hillsboro campuses, including more seats in the dining hall and UC lounge, as well as a slightly higher appointment-only capacity in the Stoller Center fitness center.

At the same time, vaccination rollout continues to grow, and we were excited that the governor last week announced that college and university employees will be eligible for vaccinations starting May 1.

By offering vaccination clinics in partnership with other local health agencies, Pacific has already been able to vaccinate about 2,000 of its students and employees according to OHA priority guidelines. These clinics continue on an invitation basis. If you are in a currently eligible category, we strongly recommend signing up through Washington County or other local health organization processes. If you become eligible through Pacific’s OHA-aligned priority list, you will be contacted directly.

While the current trajectory of vaccinations and risk categories is positive, it is critical that we continue doing everything possible to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. The decrease in new cases has leveled out nationwide, and new variants continue to pose a significant risk of transmission. As CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said Sunday, “Now is not the time to relax restrictions”.

“I know people are tired. They want to get back to life, to normal. But we’re not there yet.”

Oregon’s restrictions — and therefore Pacific’s restrictions — continue to limit numbers on all social gatherings. 

Travel restrictions remain in place through the CDC and State Department, and Pacific updated its policy language around international travel this week.

Mask-use also remains imperative, including for those who have been vaccinated. The CDC recently updated its guidance around masks, noting that important factors in choosing a mask include multiple layers and a tight fit to the face.

“Please stay strong in your conviction,” Walensky said. “Continue wearing your well-fitting mask and taking the other public health prevention actions that we know work.”

Wednesday, March 3, 2021