Students in class, distanced and wearing masks and face shields

COVID-19: Meeting the Challenge

Meeting the Challenge

In what will forever be a defining moment in each of our lives, Grinnellians rose to meet unprecedented challenges and changes together. It is now time to shift our focus to what is next.

Grinnell’s leadership, faculty, and staff are committed to providing the very best Grinnell educational opportunities possible for our students. Decisions about the coming academic year will require the creativity, compassion, and consideration for community that are the hallmarks of Grinnell College.

Many of the College's functions remain remote, including teaching and learning and most administrative work. We are assessing our community health conditions on an ongoing basis to determine how we can continue fulfilling our mission as safely as possible. Our campus activity level system provides overall guidance for life and work at Grinnell based on our community health conditions.

 
Blue campus activity status indicator

Current Activity Level: Blue

Safety/PPE: Masks required in campus spaces. Masks and eye protection are required certain contexts. In addition, we recommend masks and goggles/shields in high-risk settings for people with medical concerns or at increased risk for severe infection.  

Classes: Primarily online, with some hybrid and in-person instruction with appropriate PPE/safety precautions​.

Meetings and Events: Will continue to be primarily online. Buildings will continue to operate at a reduced capacity to facilitate appropriate social distancing.

Athletics: Limited outdoor competition possible upon approval. Team training with PPE/safety precautions, buildings at reduced capacity. 

Travel/Visitor: Visitors by reservation only; please check with the department or office you intend to visit. College-sponsored travel remains limited and only with approval by the College. Departments should contact the proposal review committee when planning for visitors.  

Dining: Take-away food available during business hours from the Marketplace Dining Hall for students on meal plans.

Activity Levels and Definitions

Guidelines for Activities and Use of College Spaces

Our testing program is a crucial component of our overall effort to maintain community health. We are proud of the job our students, staff, and faculty are doing to stay safe and healthy. The test program results below highlight these efforts.

Results for the week of May 3, 2021

Number of Unique
Students Tested
With Conclusive Results

Negative

Positive

Percent Positive

Self-Reported
Positive Results
From Other Test Sites
*

507

506

1

0.20%

0

Number of Unique
Faculty/Staff Tested
With Conclusive Results

Negative

Positive

Percent Positive

Self-Reported
Positive Results
From Other Test Sites
*

275

275

0

0%

0

Total for 2021 (since Jan. 4, 2021)

Number of Unique
Students Tested
With Conclusive Results

Negative

Positive

Percent Positive

Self-Reported
Positive Results
From Other Test Sites
*

918

901

17

1.85%

1

Number of Unique
Faculty/Staff Tested
With Conclusive Results

Negative

Positive

Percent Positive

Self-Reported
Positive Results
From Other Test Sites
*

517

499

18

3.48%

2

*The State’s testing program does not report results to the college. The number in this column reflects reports by students, faculty, or staff to SHAW and is not included in the positivity rate of the on-campus testing clinic.

Photo of COVID-19 virus under microscope, public image from CDC

Interactive Tools

See the latest COVID-19 data for Iowa and the Grinnell area or use an interactive risk calculator to help you determine how risky various activities and their combination of factors might be.

Latest Updates

Post-Pandemic Return to Workplace Plan and Town Hall Invitation for Staff

The Post-Pandemic Return to Workplace committee has been meeting over the past several weeks to develop recommendations for a phased return to workplace on-campus plan. Employees who are normally contracted to work during the summer will return to standard campus operations between June 21 and August 9, in accordance with their department’s plan.

Weekly COVID-19 Testing Clinic Update: May 10, 2021

For the week of May 3, 2021, 507 unique students were tested with 506 being negative and 1 positive resulting in a 0.20% positivity rate. A total of 275 faculty and staff were tested with 275 being negative and 0 being positive resulting in a 0% positivity rate. Testing occurred on Monday and Thursday.
Conner Stanfield performs from his living room

Performing in a Pandemic

Grinnellians rose to the challenges brought on by remote learning during the 2020–21 academic year. Theatre majors, like Conner Stanfield ’21, didn't let anything get in their way.
COVID-19: Meeting the Challenge

Building Resilience and Virtual Community

Grinnell College President Anne Harris describes the unique opportunities that the 2020-21 academic year could offer students who actively engage in this historic moment.

Still image from web conference, Schvalla Rivera

The On-Campus Grinnell Experience: Living and Learning in a Low Density Community

Online panel about the on-campus student experience during the first term of fall 2020, recorded July 23, 2020

Still image from web conference, Anne Harris

The Online Grinnell Experience: Living and Learning in a Virtual Community

Online panel about the remote-learning student experience during the first term of fall 2020, recorded July 23, 2020

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