Coronavirus Information

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Latest Updates

May 27, 2020: UPDATE REGARDING EMERGENCY GRANTS

Additional applications for Student Emergency Grants resulting from COVID-19 impacts have been suspended. We are currently prioritizing and processing our existing backlog of applicants. Approved applicants will be notified during the first week of June 2020. If you have special circumstances, please contact Financial Aid (finaid@linfield.edu) to discuss alternative aid programs that may be available. If additional funding for Student Emergency Grants becomes available through legislative or other sources, this program may be resumed.

This page will be updated as new information becomes available. As of May 27, 2020, Linfield has approved grants to approximately 500 students totaling almost $640,000.

Following is a message from the President dated April 27, 2020

Dear Linfield community,

We are receiving many questions about what is likely for the fall semester. The short answer is I don’t know. That’s not satisfying, for which I apologize. I would like, however, to share our preparations and the alternatives we are presently considering.

I am honored, along with the presidents at Pacific and Lewis & Clark, to represent independent colleges on an Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission committee looking into how, when and under what conditions universities might reopen. The governor’s office, in collaboration with health authorities, will ultimately establish timelines for returning to in-person classes. When that will occur is unknown. Another unknown is the latitude any institution might have in responding to limits in place this fall. Within this framework, Linfield administrators are evaluating a number of possibilities.

Please know that every one of the concepts below is preliminary. They will give you a sense that we are considering a whole lot of alternatives, and will use a data-driven and research-based approach to vet them. As we move forward, there could be better alternatives.

Our planning envisions Linfield University opening this fall, with students returning to our campuses, faculty teaching the personal, academically intensive courses that are our hallmark and staff members doing all they can to provide support. Beyond that, until we know more, we will continue to evaluate numerous possible scenarios, including:

  • Begin the semester earlier, in order to be done sooner in case a new round of social distancing is announced.
  • Or… begin the semester later.
  • Consider short, single-class blocks over the course of the semester rather than offering a single 16-week calendar.
  • Expand flexibility in student housing, following guidelines from the Oregon Health Authority and the governor’s office while providing the best Linfield residential experience possible. This could include more single rooms, more frequent cleaning, fewer residence hall meetings, etc.
  • If possible, pre-test students and staff upon arrival, both for COVID-19 and for post-infection immunity through antibodies.
  • If possible, establish our own robust testing system and protocols for the full academic year.
  • Require the use of face coverings and social distancing on our campuses.
  • Spread classes across non-traditional days and times to reduce traffic and group size.
  • Offer hybrid in-person and online education, even for students who are on campus.
  • Establish a space where anyone with symptoms could be tested promptly and quarantined, if necessary.
  • Facilitate medically vulnerable members of our community to continue working or studying remotely.
  • Limit visitors to campus, as well as travel on official business.
  • Prohibit gatherings above a pre-determined size, perhaps indefinitely.
  • Provide frequent deep cleaning of our facilities.
  • Test all athletes before competitions, and limit spectators (if any).

We have not made any decisions about these possibilities, and likely won’t be in position to do so for some time.  We are considering all options! And as the response to the pandemic evolves, we will winnow our alternatives and share updates with the community.

Take every precaution to keep yourself and those around you healthy. Please also send questions or suggestions you have to covid19@linfield.edu, read the Linfield Ahead newsletter and check for updates at linfield.edu. There is no crystal ball for looking into the future, but we have resolve and 162 years of history behind us. We’ll be back and, eventually, stronger than ever.

Thank you for being a part of this wonderful community.

Be well and be blessed; and, of course, continue to wash your hands!

Miles K. Davis, Ph. D.
President

Additional coronavirus information for the Linfield community

Recommendation for homemade masks when around people on campus: In accordance with current CDC recommendations, Linfield is recommending that our faculty, staff and students wear a homemade or non-medical grade mask any time that you are likely to interact with other people on campus. This does not include while alone in your office or while outside (unless the outside activity requires being in close proximity to other people). There are options for making these masks on the CDC website or on other websites.

We know how difficult this moment is in our history – this is not how we expected Spring 2020 to unfold. However, we are a resilient and caring campus. We deeply appreciate the work of so many faculty, staff and students who are rising to the challenge to keep our community safe and healthy, and our students on the path to success.

This is a rapidly changing situation and we will bring the Linfield community updates on a regular basis as more information comes to us.

We have a team of administrators, staff and faculty form both the Portland and McMinnville campuses who have been working together since the outbreak in China became known.

  • This team has been creating signage and messaging on ways to prevent the spread of infections, as well as increasing the numbers of hand sanitizer stations and disinfectant spray and paper towels available to use in classrooms, meeting rooms, residence halls and the dining hall.
  • The cleaning crew has increased the frequency of disinfecting high touch areas such as doorknobs and handles, hand railing, elevator buttons and hard surfaces.
  • Residence Life staff are reviewing infection control materials with students, stocking “flu kits” and checking in with students who are ill. 
  • We are in frequent contact with Yamhill Public Health officials, as well as the Oregon Health Authority. 
  • We are connected with our colleagues at other colleges and universities and are sharing with and learning from them as we all navigate this situation.