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Willamette COVID-19 Start of Semester Update

Updated: Jan 20, 2022

Chrissy Ewald

News Editor

Graphic by Maizy Goerlitz

The Willamette University [COVID-19 dashboard] reported forty-three new cases for the week of Jan. 9 to Jan. 15, 2022. Of those cases, forty-one were students, and two were employees. No cases were reported on the Portland campus. This brings the total number of cases on the Salem campus since Aug. 1 to 111, while the case number on the Portland campus since Aug. 1 remains at 6.

In an email sent to the student body on Friday, Jan. 14, the Willamette COVID-19 Advisory Team (CAT) announced that the ongoing quiet period will be extended for an additional week on the Salem campus due to the continued rapid spread of the Omicron variant. The quiet period, which was originally scheduled for Jan. 10-24 on the Salem campus and Jan. 17-30 on the Portland campus, will now end on Jan. 30 for both campuses.

The email reiterated that the quiet period is meant to limit the spread of COVID-19 on both campuses, especially as the highly transferable Omicron variant continues to spread across the country. As of Jan. 15 in Marion County, there are an average of 657 new cases daily, which is a change of +557% compared to two weeks before, according to [data] from the New York Times. The positivity rate for COVID-19 tests in the county is 16%, a high rate that suggests that cases are currently being undercounted.

Though Willamette’s Sparks Fitness Center and pool were scheduled to be open with limited hours during the quiet period, Campus Recreation announced via Instagram on Saturday, Jan. 15 that both the fitness center and pool will be closed until further notice due to a recent surge of COVID-19 cases on the Salem campus.

Willamette’s Emergency Medical Services (WEMS) announced via Instagram on Monday, Jan. 17 that they will resume first responder services on Monday, Jan. 31., after the quiet period ends.

Willamette continues to offer isolation and quarantine facilities for students who test positive, including meal support.

Previous dashboard updates can be viewed [here].

For weekly email updates subscribe to our email [here].

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