Three students wearing masks sit outside to study together

Campus Activity Levels

Grinnell College has created a system of color-coded levels to communicate what our core activities look like on campus depending on community health conditions on campus, in town, and in our region. Each level provides information about a range of topics, including personal protective equipment (PPE) protocols; class formats (in person, online, or a combination); meeting formats (in person or online); and travel and visitor policies. You can find more information about what each level means below, including links to other areas of Grinnell’s web site.

Along with expert advice from our public health team, we are reviewing a number of factors to determine campus and institutional activity levels. We are considering each of these factors independently and in relation to each other as conditions change, creating a holistic assessment of our community health environment. The factors we are considering are:

Until the College moves to activity level Green, most campus departments and offices will continue to operate primarily remotely. Please reach out to specific departments and offices if you have questions about their operations at a particular campus activity level.

All information on this page and linked pages reflects the latest information about our community health conditions and is subject to change as new information becomes available.

Blue campus activity status indicator

Safety/PPE: Masks required in campus indoor spaces. Masks and eye protection are required certain contexts

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

Meetings and Events: Meetings may occur indoors. Departments should contact the proposal review committee when planning events that will occur before August 9, 2021.  

Athletics: Competition possible upon approval. Team training with safety precautions. 

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.

Guidelines for Activities and Use of College Spaces

See details for this and other levels below.

Campus Activity Level Descriptions

Level Green indicates that we are approaching pre-pandemic activity levels. Most students in residency are learning in person, meetings are occurring in person, and in general we have regular campus activity levels and regular building and room occupancy. Individuals are not required to wear masks or face shields for most campus activities, unless you choose to do so. Level green indicates that we are seeing a sustained decreasing number of cases on and off campus as well as effective avenues of treatment with high availability in our town. General community health conditions are trending very positive. 

 

Safety/PPE: Masks still recommended in high-risk settings for people with medical concerns or at increased risk for severe infection​. If you are ill, please wear a mask.

Classes: Classes primarily in person.

Meetings and Events: All meetings and events are primarily in person.

Athletics: Regular competition​; buildings at full capacity.

Travel/Visitors: Visitors and travel allowed.

Dining: Full service at the Marketplace Dining Hall available for all employees, students, and visitors on continuous basis during business hours; seating available on demand.

Level Blue indicates that some community health precautions are still in place for most campus activities. All individuals are expected to wear masks in the public areas of campus buildings, though not when alone in private offices or single-use spaces. College-sponsored travel remains limited and only with approval by the College. Level Blue indicates that overall cases are trending down locally and at a state level. General community health conditions are improving. 

 

Safety/PPE: Masks required in campus indoor spaces. Masks and eye protection are required certain contexts

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

Meetings and Events: Meetings may occur indoors. Departments should contact the proposal review committee when planning events that will occur before August 9, 2021.

Athletics: Competition possible upon approval. Team training with safety precautions. 

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. 

Level Yellow indicates a heightened risk of infection for those in our community, with corresponding effects on campus activities. Classes, meetings, and events are primarily online, with only small groups approved for specific and limited in-person activities. All individuals are expected to wear masks when in public areas of campus buildings during business hours, though not in private offices or single-use spaces. Wear eye protection on campus in the following situations:

  1. In any situation where you are within 6 feet of others for more than 15 minutes
  2. When singing or other activities with forceful exhalation indoors (including athletics)
  3. In areas with others and limited ventilation (for example, small spaces with no open windows)
  4. In any case where you notice a lack of precautions taken by others (for example, where others are not wearing masks or are not distancing appropriately)

Campus buildings are operating at a reduced capacity to facilitate greater social distance and reduced potential for disease spread. In order to protect our campus community and to protect potential visitors, we ask that prospective students and their families explore our virtual visit options. Faculty may travel in a very limited number of circumstances with approval by Dean of the College. Level Yellow indicates significant community spread in our city and region and increases in positive rate and/or cases in our county or nearby counties. General community health conditions are trending negative.

Departments may have additional requirements for eye protection based on specific task risks. Please consult with your professor, supervisor, or appropriate staff member to determine if additional requirements apply. Everyone is welcome, in any situation, to continue wearing eye protection if they would prefer to do so. Please continue to carry your eye protection with you so you are prepared to use it if the need arises.

 

Safety/PPE: Masks worn indoors. Masks worn outdoors with others. Exception: in a private space with the door closed, shower, pool​. Eye protection in situations listed above.

Classes: Hybrid, primarily online, some in-person with appropriate PPE/safety precautions​.

Meetings and Events: Primarily online, limited events/meetings in-person with appropriate PPE/safety precautions.

Athletics: No competition, limited training with PPE/safety precautions​; buildings at reduced capacity.

Travel/Visitors: Faculty and staff travel restrictions in place with limited opportunities by permission. Limited visitors by reservation only; please check with department or office you intend to visit.

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

Level Red indicates significant community health risks, with consistently increasing infection rates locally and in nearby areas. All campus activities, including courses, meetings, and events, will be held online only. Masks and face shields are required when indoors on campus with very limited exceptions. Most campus buildings will be closed to visitors, staff, and students. At Level Red we are not hosting admission visitors and we recommend limiting, as much as possible, interaction with others outside of your immediate family or ‘bubble’. General community health conditions are negative. 

 

Safety/PPE: Masks and shields required when indoors. Masks when with others​. Exception: in a private space with the door closed, shower, pool​.

Classes: Online only​.

Meetings and Events: Online only​.

Athletics: No competition, ​no group activities​. Buildings closed​.

Travel/Visitors: No visitors, staff and faculty travel restrictions in place​.

Dining: Prepackaged food available for students and employees on meals plans to pick up at designated times from the Joe Rosenfield Center.

Campus Activity Level System Rationale

Since March of 2020, when Grinnell College first shifted to a very low-density residency and occupancy model, we have carefully increased our capacity as a living and learning community. We currently have approximately 350 students on campus and in the city of Grinnell. We have a limited number of students, identified by faculty based on curricular need, participating in in-person learning experiences.

To facilitate our continued operational development amidst ongoing community health challenges, the Office of the President, the Office of the Dean, and faculty and staff from across the College have taken steps to create a system of “activity levels” that provides guidance about how to continue fulfilling our core functions safely amidst changing community health conditions. We have taken these steps with essential input from our University of Iowa public health team.

Our activity level system will help achieve two core goals. First, a publicly available webpage will display the College’s current activity level and basic information about what levels mean for student life and the operations of key student-facing units. This page will provide guidance to those on campus and a good sense of what is happening on campus to those away from Grinnell, including students and their guardians. Second, the activity level system will provide a mechanism to achieve operational consistency across campus, especially for student-facing units.

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