COVID Testing Strategy
The Center for Student Health and Counseling (SHAC) is currently offering testing, available by appointment and after screening. Any member of the PSU Community (any student or employee, including full and part time faculty) can contact SHAC to discuss COVID health concerns, including symptoms or concern for possible exposure. Following guidance from Multnomah County, SHAC is prioritizing testing for individuals who are symptomatic. Testing at SHAC for individuals who are not symptomatic will be determined on a case by case basis in consultation with a SHAC medical professional.
How to Schedule with SHAC
Please call SHAC at (503) 725-2800 during office hours (Monday - Thursdays, 9 - 5; Fridays 10-5; Monday-Friday SHAC will be closed 12-1:00 for lunch). Following a medical screening, SHAC may recommend that an individual visit SHAC for a COVID test or seek a COVID test from another medical provider (e.g. their primary care provider, their local county, etc.).
Reporting COVID-Exposure, Test Results, or Diagnosis
Informing SHAC of COVID-19 exposure, positive test results, or diagnosis is strongly recommended in order for PSU to initiate centralized university-level responses to protect students, staff and faculty during COVID-19. Please report if you have been to the PSU campus within the past two weeks. Please complete the COVID-19 Reporting Form and a representative from Center for Student Health & Counseling will be in contact with you by phone.
About the PSU COVID Dashboard
Dashboard numbers reflect the total number of tests samples collected, tests conducted and cases reported, cumulatively, since the beginning of the pandemic. COVID-19 case counts are based on positive test results collected by SHAC or positive results reported to SHAC by individuals or the Multnomah County Health Department.
The dashboard above depicts
- How many COVID test samples SHAC has taken and sent to an external laboratory for testing;
- How many COVID tests SHAC has conducted onsite;
- Monthly and total COVID case counts (based on test results collected by SHAC or results reported to SHAC by individuals or the Multnomah County Health Department); and
- Summary demographics of on-campus cases.
Defining an on-campus case
An “on-campus case” is a positive COVID-19 test result or diagnosis made by or reported to SHAC where the person was on campus in the past 14 days and is:
- A student with on-campus activity (e.g taking an on campus class, athletics, working, etc)
- A student that lives on campus
- An employee working on campus
- Someone who was on campus, even with no close contacts identified
‘On-campus” is defined as “on or within PSU-owned property or space leased by PSU."
A person who was on campus and who reports an exposure (that they are a close contact of someone who has COVID-19) should self isolate and follow guidance from their medical provider, but is not considered an “on-campus” case unless they test positive for COVID-19.
Additional Case Information
Month of November
Six resident students, three employees and three non-resident students tested positive for COVID-19. Some potential on-campus exposures have been identified and are undergoing testing and quarantine.
Month of October
One resident student tested positive for COVID-19. A second student had an inconclusive COVID-19 test. Both students began quarantine immediately. A third case was identified in a non-resident student who had been on campus. A fourth case was identified in a tenant of an on-campus facility. No on-campus exposures have been identified.
Month of August
One resident student who also works on campus tested positive for COVID-19. No on-campus exposures identified.
Month of May
One non-resident student who also works on campus reported a positive COVID-19 test. No on-campus exposures identified.
Managing PSU's Response
At PSU, our Incident Management Team representing all sectors of campus is leading our efforts to coordinate preparedness, response, communications and contingencies in case the virus spreads to Portland. Members of the IMT are trained in planning and response to any potential health or safety threat to our PSU community.
PSU's COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan
In compliance with State of Oregon Executive Order 20-28 and the guidance from the Oregon Health Authority and Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Council, Portland State has adopted a comprehensive COVID-19 Health and Safety Operational Plan, as of August 20, 2020.
November 16, 2020
Dear Campus Community,
Last week Oregonians heard new public health guidance from Gov. Kate Brown that is intended to slow the rapid spread of COVID-19 through our state. In most counties, a statewide freeze for most social gatherings will apply through Dec. 2. In Multnomah County, the freeze will last at least through Dec. 16. In addition, a travel advisory urges Oregonians to avoid non-essential, out-of-state travel and to self-quarantine for 14 days after arriving from another state or country.
We take the governor’s guidance seriously at PSU. More than half of all Oregonians recently infected with coronavirus live in the Portland area, and we must do our part as public health partners to slow the spread of COVID-19. Below you will find information about how the new guidelines impact operations at PSU.
PSU meets or exceeds strict COVID guidelines from the Higher Education Coordinating Commission, and with instructional activities exempt from the freeze, the new guidelines do not require changes to our academic operations. While very few classes currently meet in person at PSU, those that do can continue.
Most of PSU’s employees are already working from home, and the vast majority of our students are learning remotely. While our instructional operations remain unchanged, we are moving forward with some non-instructional operational changes that are intended to reduce the presence of non-essential employees on campus. These changes take effect now until further notice.
- Research operations will remain at Level 2 with the following alterations:
- We will freeze review of new requests for return to research until further notice.
- We will delay the initiation of new research projects until after the freeze lifts.
- We have asked researchers conducting face-to-face human subjects research to pause their work for four weeks.
- The Campus Rec Center will close Tuesday, Nov. 17 at 6 p.m.
- The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at PSU is closed.
- Childcare operations are exempt from the governor’s freeze. Please check with your childcare center to learn more about their days and hours of operation.
- New construction projects will be delayed until after the freeze lifts. Ongoing construction projects will continue.
We are continuing our current travel policy for employees, which prohibits air travel and limits domestic travel to essential activities that require a supervisor’s approval. Additionally, we strongly urge you to follow Oregon’s new travel advisory by avoiding travel out-of-state or out of the country whenever possible and, when it does occur, engaging in a 14-day quarantine upon your return.
- Employees who must travel for any reason during the advisory period should consult with their supervisor to discuss any impact travel may have on their upcoming work schedule, including any potential quarantine period that may begin upon their return and whether remote work might be an option during that time.
- Students who travel out-of-state or out of the country during the advisory period will be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days upon their return. Students will not be penalized academically for in-person classes missed due to quarantine.
Employees or students who must travel out of the state or out of the country for any reason during the advisory period should contact the Center for Student Health & Counseling for quarantine guidance and support.
Our personal behavior has enormous consequences for our entire community. As individuals, we can help safeguard public health, especially as we enter the winter break and holiday season. Public health officials tell us that this spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations has been fueled partly by an increase in indoor social gatherings. While we yearn to see our family and friends, especially during the holiday season, we cannot afford to drop our guard. We must remain vigilant. By following the governor’s guidance we can save lives:
- Limit indoor and outdoor social gatherings to your household or no more than six people from two different households
- Reduce the frequency of social gatherings
- Wear a mask
- Stay home when sick
- Observe the West Coast travel advisory by avoiding non-essential out-of-state travel
Colleagues and students, it pains me to ask you to make additional sacrifices, but we are at an inflection point in our community, and every sacrifice truly does add up to lives saved. A vaccine is on the horizon and could be widely available by this spring. Between now and then, we must all take personal responsibility and do our part to help prevent the spread of this virus. The sooner we put this virus behind us, the sooner we can all reunite on campus.
Portland State University