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Willamette COVID-19 Dashboard Update Oct. 3 - 9

Emma Innes

News Editor

Screenshot taken Oct. 9

The [COVID-19 dashboard] reported six new cases for the week of Oct 3 to Oct 9. Four of those cases were among students and two were employees. This marks a total of 35 cases for the Salem campus since Aug. 1.

The Portland campus had no cases for the week and remains at one case since Aug. 1.

During the beginning of the week, the Collegian noticed that the total number of cases did not match the math of the number of cases for the week and the total number of cases the [previous week reported]. Upon question of the anomaly, the Willamette COVID Advisory Team (CAT) responded in an email saying: “There was a case last week that we didn't know how to categorize so it wasn't added to the case counts until this week. We apologize for the confusion, but in some cases, a confirmed case may fall into two statuses (student, faculty, staff, contractor) so we need to evaluate their time on campus to determine how best to categorize them on the tracker”

The week of Oct 3- Oct 9 included a situation of concern among members of the class of 2025 about if they should quarantine, which led to the Class of 2025 [receiving an email] from the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Ruth Feingold. Feingold reiterated that Willamette’s COVID-19 policy is, “students who are not ill and who are not in quarantine as directed by a medical professional are expected to be present in the classroom.”

The CAT sent out an email on Oct 7 detailing the process of identifying close contacts and what happens after a student tests positive. According to the email, students who test positive should complete a [COVID-19 Student CARE Report] which has questions on close contacts. Willamette uses the [CDC’s definition] of close contacts: someone who was within six feet of the infected person for a cumulative period of fifteen minutes over 24 hours regardless of masks. To fit close contact, this needs to have been from two days prior to symptoms or positive test to the current moment.

The email said, “Our first call is from one of our contact tracers to the student who tested positive to see if they need any support with isolation, food delivery, or the pivot to remote

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