Fall 2022 COVID Planning

Published:
July 26, 2022

Dear Grinnellians,

We hope you are having a restful and restorative summer! We write today to share our updated COVID-19 plans and resources for the fall ’22 term.

Masking 

As a precaution to help the College identify case trends on campus and to limit potential spread, high quality masks will be required indoors between Aug. 19 – Sept. 2.  This requirement applies to all students, faculty, staff, and visitors in all campus buildings/areas except for at the Marketplace or when alone in a closed room from Aug. 19 – Sept. 2. During this period, the Marketplace will be reserved for student dining only.  

We will provide a packet of 10 KN95/N95 masks to each student during check-in. Employees and emeriti faculty may pick masks up from the following locations: HSSC Support Office A1234, Noyce Support Office 1232, Burling Circulation Desk, Bear Athletic Center Equipment Room F024, Bucksbaum Support Office 162, and HR/Campus Safety in Mears Cottage. 

Masking may be implemented as needed throughout the year based on case counts and vaccination rates. Individuals experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or other respiratory viruses should wear a mask. As in past semesters, anyone is welcome to wear a mask at any time.  

Student Testing | Onboarding 

The College strongly encourages COVID-19 vaccinations and a booster for all students. There will be no mandatory testing for students on arrival. A PCR test kit will be made available to each student to use if they develop minor symptoms or are notified of a confirmed exposure. Additional PCR kits will be available from SHAW, Campus Safety, and the Office of Student Affairs. Students should follow the test kit instructions and put them in the drop box at the JRC Information desk, where the Test Iowa courier will pick them up. 

The Test Iowa courier will run daily from August 9–September 9 (except for Labor Day). Pick-up times are Monday–Friday at 10 a.m. and Saturday at 8 a.m. Same-day results will be available for tests deposited before the courier pick-up time. Beginning on September 12, the courier will pick up on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 10 a.m. 

Anyone that still wishes to utilize a rapid test can use their insurance to obtain 8 tests per month from the pharmacies at Walmart and Hy-Vee pharmacies. The College provides a shuttle to both locations, or a ride can be arranged if needed by calling SHAW (641-269-3230, Mon.–Fri. 8 a.m.–5 p.m.) or Campus Safety (641-269-4600, after hours). We encourage students wishing to use this option to obtain tests at the beginning of the term and keep them on hand. 

Students experiencing symptoms should contact SHAW to determine if an appointment is needed rather than coming in on a walk-in basis; additional respiratory illness screening may be required. 

Isolation for Students Following a Positive Test: 

Follow this link to view the Quick Guide for Isolation and Quarantine. Positive results should be reported to SHAW (during regular business hours) or to the RLC on call (after hours/weekends, 641-269-4600). Students who develop COVID symptoms should begin masking immediately and refrain from group activities and indoor dining while awaiting PCR results. 

  • Students will isolate in their own rooms for five days, followed by five days of masking around others per CDC guidance. During the five days of masking, students will be asked to take meals to-go and to refrain from any indoor activity where masking is not possible or difficult (e.g., athletic practices, swimming, playing wind instruments, etc.). 

  • Masked students may pick up meals from a station outside of JRC 101, or a friend may retrieve meals on the student’s behalf. 

  • Roommates of a student who has tested positive will need to complete a Test Iowa PCR test immediately, distributed by SHAW or Campus Safety. SHAW or the RLC on-call may relocate roommates of positive students if the roommate is considered high-risk and has received a negative PCR test result.  

  • Roommates will be required to mask until they receive a negative PCR test, per CDC guidance. An exception to the testing requirement may be made for anyone who has had a confirmed positive COVID test in the last 90 days. 

Missing Class/Work (Student Employees) 

When a student tests positive, SHAW will use the student health portal to provide the necessary documentation for them to miss class, practices, or work because of the need to isolate. Students will be responsible for downloading and forwarding this document to the appropriate faculty, staff, or supervisors. The COVID Care Team will no longer be contacting faculty directly regarding missed classes. 

Town Hall | Students and Families  

  • Fall 2022 COVID Planning for Students and Families Town Hall 
    Aug. 2, 7 p.m., via this Webex Link

Testing and Isolation for Employees 

Test Iowa PCR tests are available for employees and their family members from HR, Campus Safety, and the Office of the Dean. Employees may use their insurance to obtain eight rapid antigen tests per household member each month from the Grinnell Walmart or Hy-Vee pharmacies. Employees living outside of Grinnell should contact their local pharmacy to verify coverage for this benefit. 

Any employee that tests positive must isolate for five days, followed by five days of masking around others, per CDC guidance. Please refer to the isolation and quarantine day count chart for more information. COVID sick time remains in place and can be used for vaccination appointments, COVID illness, or caring for a household member with COVID. Direct questions about COVID sick time to HR or the Office of the Dean. 

We will continue to monitor COVID-19 trends, both locally and on our campus, and update our requirements and guidance accordingly. Information and resources can be found on our website: COVID-19 Planning and Resources.  

Thank you for continuing to do your part to keep our campus safe.  

Beronda Montgomery, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the College 
Jana Grimes, vice president of human resources 
Sarah Moschenross, vice president of student affairs 

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