With COVID-19 case counts dropping and an increasing number of residents receiving vaccinations, the Oregon Health Authority announced that as of Friday, March 26, Yamhill County is considered to be lower risk. That’s down from moderate risk, where it had been since March 12.
Linfield University’s McMinnville campus is located in Yamhill County.
As a result of the change, gatherings or social events held indoors on the McMinnville campus can now include a maximum of eight people from two “family units,” up from six people under the previous campus policy. Outdoor gatherings can include a maximum of 12 people from four family units, up from six people and two family units previously.
- A reminder that for students, a “family unit” is defined as you and your roommate(s). In the residence halls, a family unit is contained to each residential room.
- Social gatherings still require face masks and six feet of distancing. Many residence hall rooms do not have enough space for eight students while physically distancing.
- Please note: Linfield’s indoor limit remains more conservative than the one allowed by the Oregon Health Authority, out of an abundance of caution as well as the realization that most students have not had an opportunity to receive vaccinations.
The Northwest Conference will consider future changes to attendance levels at athletic contests, though there is nothing new to announce at this time.
Susan Hopp, Linfield’s vice president for student affairs and admission, said the shift to lower risk reflects how hard the university and surrounding communities have worked to limit the spread of the virus. She said students, faculty and staff should feel optimistic, but not let down their guards before the end of the semester April 30.
“Thank you to everyone, from students to faculty to the COVID Response Team, who has been working to make this a safe learning environment,” Hopp said. “Do a little happy dance that we’re now considered to be lower risk in Yamhill County. But please don’t think you can just hurry back to pre-pandemic life. We’re not there yet.”
Statewide safety measures and Linfield Temporary Pandemic Policies such as wearing masks, maintaining physical distance and avoiding large gatherings continue to reflect important ways to protect yourself and others, even for those who have been vaccinated. See additional information on the Linfield University COVID-19 webpages.