March 2, 2020

To Linfield Parents,

Most of you have heard or read the news about the corona virus known as COVID-19, which originated in China but has spread to the United States. This weekend, Oregon Health Authorities alerted all to the first case in the state. At the time of this email, two additional, presumptive cases have been identified. Federal, state and local health authorities warn us there are likely to be many more cases as the virus spreads.

Linfield College administrators, faculty and staff have been working diligently to develop plans to address the impact of the virus on our campuses. We are working closely with our local Public Health Department and taking guidance from the Oregon Health Authority and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Already our cleaning crews have mounted new hand sanitizing stations on both the Portland and McMinnville campuses and increased the frequency of disinfecting “high touch” locations such as door handles and knobs, restrooms, exercise facilities as well as the surfaces in common areas. Flyers with helpful information for reducing the spread of infection will be mounted on the entrances of buildings and bathrooms tomorrow.

Linfield has developed more information with is located on the Student Health, Wellness and Counseling Center webpage.

We ask for your help reinforcing the messages from the health experts to your students:

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
    • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
    • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others.  The use of facemasks is also crucial for health care workers and for people taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).

If you are ill with a cough, please call your health care provider for instructions prior to visiting a clinic, hospital or other medical facility. Specific recommendations may be made in anticipation of your visit, such as wearing a mask or checking in at a different location.