Students in class, distanced and wearing masks and face shields

COVID-19 Planning and Resources

Living and learning in community

Welcome Grinnellians: we are so glad that you are here! You bring a multiplicity of experiences and perspectives that will further our commitment to the open exchange of ideas and to exploring issues of purpose, responsibility, and integrity on campus and beyond. 

We are able to offer a robust in-person campus experience — within the responsive standards of community health we have used throughout the pandemic — thanks to several important actions we have taken and resources we have in place: 

  • foremost is our requirement that all students and employees have a COVID-19 vaccination,
  • our ongoing consulting relationship with University of Iowa public health experts,
  • the internal expertise and resources developed by the College’s Emergency Operations Team and the Student Health and Wellness (SHAW) team,
  • our ongoing monitoring of the CDC, WHO, and other public health organizations as well as local, state, and regional public health information and data,
  • our proven ability to quickly process public health news and information, share updates, and increase precautions as needed through campus communication channels and our Campus Activity Level system.

Evolving CDC advisories in response to the delta variant or other COVID-19 developments may prompt further communication from the College about community health precautions.

Campus Activity Levels

Our campus activity level system provides overall guidance for life and work at Grinnell based on our community health conditions. Interested in planning an event? Submit your request to the Proposal Review CommitteeThe committee meets each Monday at 11:00 a.m. Please submit proposals as early as possible prior to your event. 

Blue campus activity status indicator

Current Activity Level: Blue


  • Campus community members and visitors are required to wear masks at all times indoors unless alone in a closed office space. Classrooms remain masks required at all times, even when alone. 

Classes: Courses will meet primarily in-person.  

Meetings and Events: 

  • In person meetings can continue, but all participants must wear masks regardless of group size. 
  • Student-only events involving food may continue except in academic buildings. Students must mask when not actively eating. 

Bear Athletic Center and Athletic Events: Indoor masking at the Bear is still required. Varsity athletic competitions will continue. Masking is required for all indoor venues, including spectators and all participants except those actively competing. Team training and competitions will follow mitigation practices as laid out by the NCAA and Midwest Conference.     

Visitors: Visitors are welcome in campus buildings (other than the dining hall) and are required to wear masks.  Visitors are required to wear masks when indoors unless they are participating in an activity pre-approved by the proposal review committee to be held mask optional.

Travel: International and domestic college-sponsored travel is allowed as outlined in the college-sponsored travel policies for Fall 2021. Please continue to be cautious when considering travel. We recommend viewing the CDC transmission estimates and COVID-19 testing or vaccination requirements for your destination prior to travel. College-sponsored international travel must be submitted to the Global Health and Safety Committee for review. Domestic travelers are strongly encouraged to register their travel to receive state-specific COVID-19 resources. 

Indoor Dining:

  • Employees: Eating indoors in groups is once again not allowed. Employees may continue to unmask briefly to eat in their workspaces. 
  • Students: Reinforcement of masking except when actively eating. 
  • The dining hall continues to be student-only.

Activity Levels and Definitions

Latest Updates

Health and Wellness Update: Nov. 30, 2021

We remind our community of measures you can take to protect yourself, your colleagues, friends, peers, and family as we learn more about the new omicron variant of COVID-19 as well as entering the colder months with more time indoors and higher risk of respiratory infection.

Updated Mask Requirement Effective Immediately

Dear Grinnellians, 

COVID-19 cases continue to rise locally, and over the past week we have experienced a handful of cases on campus. Although our numbers continue to…

Health and Wellness Update: Nov. 22, 2021

COVID-19 cases continue to rise locally, and over the past week we have experienced a handful of cases on campus. Although our numbers continue to remain low we are closely watching this trend and are working to understand if these cases are related or a result of community spread.

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