Air quality impacts George Fox’s campuses

Posted: Thursday (Sept. 10), 2 p.m.

PurpleAir Real-time Air Quality Monitoring

Smoke from regional wildfires has caused air-quality problems all over the West Coast. Shifting winds and rapidly changing conditions have significantly affected air quality in the last 12 hours. 

It is important to know that when air quality is compromised, even healthy people may experience irritation. Typical symptoms are coughing, scratchy throat, shortness of breath and stinging eyes. For individuals who are sensitive to poor air quality, the high smoke levels can have a much stronger impact. We strongly recommend that those individuals take appropriate precautions. Please limit your time outdoors, keep medications such as inhalers and eye drops nearby, and follow guidance from your doctor regarding your personal respiratory management plan. We encourage students to stay inside when possible and keep windows closed. 

Both George Fox’s Newberg campus and Portland Center remain open with classes in session. With the health and safety of the community in mind, however, the Newberg campus will be making the following changes effective immediately:

  • Outdoor activities, including field trips, outdoor research and/or classes held in any outdoor classrooms, need to be conducted indoors or remotely via Zoom on Thursday and Friday. Students, look for information from your faculty members for details.
  • Outdoor athletic practices are also canceled on Thursday and Friday.
  • Air conditioning units in campus buildings have been adjusted to reduce outside air intake to the lowest level. 
  • Hadlock Student Center, Klages Center, Hoover Academic Building, Roberts Center, Lemmons Center, Stevens Center, Edwards-Holman Science Center and Bauman Auditorium will be available to students looking for air-conditioned locations to study.

Staff with health concerns may request to work from home or take paid sick time and remain at home with their supervisor's approval. Please work directly with your supervisor if you have concerns about remaining on campus.

In addition, George Fox would like to remind all members of the community to:

  • Keep your mobile phone number up to date for FoxAlert, the university’s emergency notification system
  • Students should contact the George Fox Health and Counseling Center, Student Life office or Spiritual Life Office if they feel in need of emotional or spiritual support

According to local authorities, neither the Portland nor the Newberg campus faces any immediate danger from fires, though both cities remain in a red-flag warning. This means that no open flames of any kind are allowed, including fire pits, charcoal barbecues, outdoor candles or tiki torches. George Fox will continue to work with city and state officials to monitor ongoing conditions.