Self-Isolation Guidelines

In light of the expanding transmission of the coronavirus through the United States, Grinnell College is requesting that all employees limit travel and is requiring that anyone who travels outside of the state of Iowa, self-isolate and work remotely for 14 days before returning to regular activities. This instruction supplants any past communication about travel you may have received.  Staff members with any questions should contact Mary Greiner; faculty with questions should contact Anne Harris.

  • Stay home the majority of the time. This means do not go to school, public areas, or attend large gatherings.
    • CALL SHAW and the nurses will work with you to arrange getting meals.
  • Postpone any travel.
  • If travel is absolutely necessary, it is important that if you become ill while traveling that you inform healthcare and local public health personnel about your recent travel.
  • Do not use public transportation, ride sharing or taxis.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water often and practice good hygiene.
  • As long as you feel healthy, you may leave the home (in a private vehicle) for a limited time to take care of routine and necessary activities such as grocery shopping or visiting the pharmacy. Try to avoid busy times of the day. 
  • Postpone all non-essential medical appointments until you have completed your 14 days of self-isolation.
  • If you have an essential medical appointment during this time, please work with your healthcare and local public health professionals as needed to help coordinate the visit.          

What should I be watching for during self-isolation?

  • Take your temperature twice a day. Watch for a fever.
  • Watch for cough or difficulty breathing.

What about the people I live with?

  • Family members or other persons who reside in your home may remain in your home, but you should stay in a specific room away for others in your home and use a separate bathroom (if available).
  • As long as you remain healthy, the other persons in your home can go about their daily activities as normal (there is no restriction on their movement).
  • You should not have direct contact with any animals (i.e., dogs, cats, pigs, cattle, sheep and goats) out of an abundance of caution. Arrange for your pets to be cared for and housed outside of your home, if possible.
  • If you live alone, or if every member of your household is placed under voluntary home confinement, you should arrange by telephone or electronic means (e.g., email or text message) for relatives, neighbors or friends to assist with any needs you may have during the period of voluntary confinement. These persons must not have direct contact with you.
  • If you need assistance in providing for your daily needs, you may call your county public health department at or the Iowa Department of Public Health at (800) 362-2736.

What should I do if I develop a fever, cough or have difficulty breathing?

    • Contact SHAW or your local healthcare provider and tell them about your recent travel to a COVID-19 affected area. If you require medical assistance, these professionals will help you develop a plan to safely get to a healthcare provider.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough and sneeze and wash your hands often.

General Instructions

General health reminders for everyone: 

The Centers for Disease Control, CDC, always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:  

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. 
  • Stay home when you are sick.  
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. 
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces by using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe. 
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.   
  • If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content. 
  • Follow the CDC's recommendations for using a facemask: 
    • The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. 
    • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. 
    • The use of face masks is crucial for health care workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).  

If you need emergency medical attention any time during the monitoring period, call 911 and let them know you have been self-monitoring for novel coronavirus (COVID-19).




Information provided by the Iowa Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control

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