With the holidays approaching, I wanted to provide all employees and students with some additional guidance around holiday travel.
As of Nov. 18, 2020, both Josephine and Jackson counties are experiencing increases in COVID-19 cases. In the last 7 days, Jackson County has seen 529 new cases, with people in the 20-29 age group being the most impacted. Josephine County has seen 31 new cases of COVID-19 in the last 7 days. Overall, Oregon has seen more than 6,700 new cases of COVID-19 in the last 7 days, with people in the 20-29 age group being impacted at the highest level and those in the 30-39 age group being impacted at the next highest level. These numbers are the highest daily totals since the pandemic began.
Due to the spike in Jackson County, the Governor has issued a temporary “pause” to help reduce community spread.
- With the Thanksgiving holiday occurring the week before final exams (Nov. 30 – Dec. 4), RCC is requiring all students and employees who travel outside of Oregon, Washington or California to quarantine for 14 days upon their return.
- A surgical mask, washable cloth mask or N95 (without exhalation valve) must be worn at all times when on campus, inside buildings as well as outside on campus grounds. Facial shields may be worn in addition to a mask, but they do not replace the mask requirement.
- RCC will delay the start of winter term by one week to Jan. 11, 2021, to allow an appropriate quarantine period for students and employees before returning to campus.
- If you are exposed to COVID-19 at a holiday gathering, while traveling, or at any time, please contact your local public health department for more information.
According to the CDC, higher levels of COVID-19 cases and community spread in the holiday gathering location, as well as where attendees are coming from, increase the risk of infection and spread among attendees. Employees and students should consider the number and rate of COVID-19 cases in their community and in the community where they plan to celebrate when considering whether to host or attend a holiday celebration. Additional factors to consider are:
- The location of the gathering – Indoor gatherings generally pose more risk than outdoor gatherings. Indoor gatherings with poor ventilation pose more risk than those with good ventilation, such as those with open windows or doors.
- The duration of the gathering – Gatherings that last longer pose more risk than shorter gatherings.
- The number of people at the gathering – Gatherings with more people pose more risk than gatherings with fewer people.
- The locations attendees are traveling from – Gatherings with attendees who are traveling from different places pose a higher risk than gatherings with attendees who live in the same area. Higher levels of COVID-19 cases and community spread in the gathering location, or where attendees are coming from, increase the risk of infection and spread among attendees.
- The behaviors of attendees prior to the gathering – Gatherings with attendees who are not adhering to social distancing (staying at least 6 feet apart), mask wearing, hand washing, and other prevention behaviors pose more risk than gatherings with attendees who are engaging in these preventative behaviors.
- The behaviors of attendees during the gathering – Gatherings with more preventive measures in place, such as mask wearing, social distancing, and hand washing, pose less risk than gatherings where fewer or no preventive measures are being implemented.
- Traveling alone, specifically driving alone provides the least amount of exposure compared to air travel, bus travel or traveling in a vehicle with others.
- If at all possible, please avoid high-risk activities that increase your chances for COVID 19 exposure.
If you have any doubts or concerns about your health and safety or the health and safety of others, don’t go! Above all, please stay safe!
Sean Taggart, CPP
Director of Risk Management & Deputy Title IX Coordinator
Rogue Community College
3345 Redwood Hwy
Grants Pass, OR 97527