Health and Wellbeing

Prevention Measures

As a matter of course, the CDC recommends getting a flu vaccine (although there is currently no vaccine for COVID-19, this is recommended as a preventative measure for seasonal flu), taking preventative actions to help stop the spread of germs, and taking flu antiviral medications if prescribed.

The following precautionary measures may aid in defending against the flu and COVID-19:

  • Curtail direct contact with others outside your home.
  • Avoid gatherings, even those with a limited number of people.
  • Do not congregate in common areas.
  • Make every effort to maintain a distance of 6 feet (~2 meters) from others.
  • Use a mask or cloth face covering to slow the spread of the virus, especially by those who may have the virus and do not know it. NOTE: Employees and students who do not have access to a mask (or the materials to make their own) can check into getting a mask via the College’s COVID-19 “Ask a Question” form.
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds each time.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or elbow/upper arm.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Regularly clean and disinfect shared surfaces and objects that are touched frequently (faucets, doorknobs, phones, etc.).
  • Avoid contact with sick people.

CDC Advisory: Wear a Mask in Public

As understanding of COVID-19 transmission risks has evolved, the CDC has updated its recommendations to strongly encourage all individuals to wear a mask or face covering when in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

“It is critical to emphasize that maintaining 6-feet social distancing remains important to slowing the spread of the virus. CDC is additionally advising the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.”

The College is working with numerous sources to obtain and distribute various types of masks (N95s, procedure masks, disposables, etc.) on our campus and to the local healthcare community. Those on campus with special mask needs or who have masks to donate can contact Associate Director of Emergency Management Heather Cox.

Don’t have a face mask? A bandana or scarf can do or check these links for DIY mask info:

Information on how to wear and remove a mask, scarf, or bandana:

How to care for a mask:

What to Do If You Are Sick

If you feel sick with fever, cough, or have difficulty breathing — and especially if you have traveled internationally in the last 14 days or been in contact with someone who has — you should seek medical care right away.

Health Care for Students on Campus

While SHAW is not open to see you in person, we are here and ready to see you through TeleHealth Services. Please call SHAW at 641-269-3230. If it is during normal business hours, the front desk staff will triage your request and work to get you connected to the appropriate service model. If it is after hours, you can follow the prompts to consult with a nurse or leave a message.

If you have scheduled an appointment with SHAW, you will need to log in from a computer so the nurse can see you. If you do not have a computer, please let the person who schedules your appointment know this.

When it is your appointment time:

Check-in via our online portal

  • You will sign in using your Grinnell college username and password.
  • You will then be required to use Duo Authentication. If you have any difficulties, contact the ITS department for Duo assistance.
  • Once you log in:
    • On the left navigation, click on “Appointments”
    • Your appointment should be listed. 
    • There may be an option to “Complete Questionnaire”. If there is, please click on and complete those questions first.
    • Once that is done, you will be returned to the Appointment page.
    • Click on “Appointment Check In”.
      • You will be asked to confirm your location.  
      • There may be other questions. If so, please answer those.
      • Hit OK.
      • You will be directed back to the Appointment page.
    • There will now be a link called “Join Meeting”.
    • Click on this to join from your computer.
    • You will be on hold until the nurse starts the visit. You will know because they will appear on your screen!

Health Care for Employees

  • Employees should stay home if they are sick.
    • Supervisors can seek help from Human Resources about reasonable measures to accommodate sick employees.
  • You should seek care from your family doctor, urgent care facility, or hospital.
  • If you are seeking care, call ahead to your doctor’s office or emergency room and advise them of your recent travel and symptoms.


Grinnell College: SHAW 641-269-3230

Grinnell College: Campus Safety phone number, 641-269-4600

Grinnell College: SHAW website

CDC: “What to do if you are sick” fact sheet

IDPH: Infectious Disease Hotline number, 800-362-2736


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