Health and Wellness Update: Nov. 15, 2021

Published:
November 15, 2021

As a community and as individuals we need to support our well-being. SHAW is a partner in your well-being and we encourage you to reach out to us. This newsletter includes a list of resources that may offer you additional support. If you are looking for something from a previous Weekly Update be sure to check the communications page of the COVID-19 Planning and Resources site.

On-Campus COVID-19 Updates

Campus COVID-19 numbers have continued to stay low, but Poweshiek County is seeing an increase in positive cases. We remind our community of measures you can take to protect yourself, your colleagues, friends, peers, and family as we enter the colder months with more time indoors and a higher risk of respiratory infection.

Get A Flu Shot

  • A yearly flu vaccine is the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses. Students are required to get a flu vaccine. Students can call SHAW or obtain a flu shot from a doctor’s office, pharmacy, or other flu clinics and can then upload documentation of the vaccination into the student health portal.

Get a COVID-19 Booster

Per recent CDC guidance, you may get a booster of a different formulation than your original dose(s). If you received your second shot of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at least six months ago, you are eligible for a booster shot if you are:

  • Age 65 and older.
  • Age 18 and older and live in a long-term care setting.
  • Age 18 and older and at high risk of severe COVID-19 due to underlying medical conditions, such as cancer, heart disease or diabetes.
  • Age 18 and older and work or live in a high-risk setting, such as health care and education.

SHAW is partnering with Wal-Mart to assist students in receiving their COVID-19 Booster. Transportation is available through SHAW Monday- Friday from 8–5 pm. Call 641-269-3230 to schedule your appointment for transportation. Please arrive at SHAW a few minutes prior to your transportation appointment to complete a consent and an attestation form needed by Wal-Mart. This will speed the process upon your arrival. You can register online at Walmart.com/COVID. Walk-In appointments are welcome during pharmacy hours (Monday - Friday 9 a.m.–8 p.m.- Saturday 9 a.m.–6 p.m. Sunday 10 a.m.–6 p.m.)

You might consider receiving your booster on a Friday afternoon or going into the upcoming long weekend as you may experience a low-grade fever, headache or body aches following your vaccination.

  • Grinnell College encourages eligible individuals to receive their booster but does not require this.

Additionally, COVID-19 vaccines are now available and recommended by the CDC for children ages 5-11. Talk to your health care provider or pediatrician should you have any questions or concerns about a booster shot or vaccinations for children and adolescents. </p>

Stay home if you are sick or test positive

  • Stay home if you are not feeling well or experiencing respiratory illness orCOVID-19 symptoms and get a COVID test. The College is a Test Iowa home PCR kit pick-up site for students, employees, preschool families, household and community members.

     

    • Students experiencing symptoms are encouraged to utilize the walk-in testing clinic through SHAW as soon as possible. Faculty and staff experiencing symptoms may contact the Office of the Dean or HR to see if they are eligible to receive rapid antigen test kits. To review the guidelines, visit the faculty and staff experiencing symptoms page or the students with COVID-19 symptoms or exposures page. Faculty or staff that test positive must stay home in accordance with the isolation requirements outlined by their healthcare provider and follow campus protocols for positive cases or exposures.
    • Faculty or staff that test positive must stay home in accordance with the isolation requirements outlined by their healthcare provider and follow campus protocols for positive cases or exposures.

    Traveling Internationally over Winter Break?

    Students who will travel internationally over the winter break must carry their vaccination records and should take time to research and plan pre-departure COVID testing requirements depending on the destination. Many destinations require evidence of a negative PCR test within 72 hours of boarding the flight — but check with your airline and/or your home country consulate. Here are a few tips:

    • Many airports (including Des Moines; Chicago O’Hare; Chicago Midway) offer on-site or proximately located COVID testing. It is wise to book an appointment in advance.
    • Per the Test Iowa FAQ, the free Test Iowa Home PCR Kits provided by SHAW might meet your travel needs but do check with your airline. Test Iowa results typically come electronically within 24 hours of courier pick up (from the JRC), but Saturday deliveries are not guaranteed to be processed on the same day and there are no courier runs on Sundays. The timing of your drop-off is critical.
    • When you return to the U.S. you must present evidence of vaccination (with limited exceptions) along with a negative COVID test result within the three days prior to your U.S. bound flight’s departure.

    Campus Activity Level

    The College remains at the modified blue level, for more information about updates to PPE, indoor dining, meetings, and events, visit the activity level page.

    Need to Talk?

    • SHAW has expanded its mental health services to now offer a 24/7 counseling hotline for Grinnell College students to have immediate access to counseling services call 641-269-4404
    • Counseling services are available through the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) (Employee and Family Resources) for faculty and staff by phone at 800-327-4692 or TTY: 877-542-6488.

    In the News | Resources

    Be Well at Grinnell

    Featuring topics related to the pandemic, mental health, nutrition, physical health, exercise and movement, and community to support your overall wellbeing.

    Getting Outside

    One of the most restorative things we can do is to get outside and into nature. Even getting outside for a brisk walk between meetings will help. For those who have a little more time, the Grinnell area has a number of outstanding resources for spending time outside.

    Opportunities close to campus:

    • Merrill Park (begins at the corner of 11th and Park St.) with playground equipment, benches, picnic shelter
    • Ahrens Park (about ½ mile east of campus) a paved walking trail, playground equipment, benches
    • Grinnell College Golf Course (corner of 13th and Park St.) available for walking, sledding, cross country skiing (please avoid the greens)

    Opportunities around the Grinnell area:

    • Arbor Lake (about 1.5 miles south of campus, turn left on Washington Ave.) mixed paved and gravel loop around the lake, benches, picnic shelter
    • Krumm Nature Preserve (about 4 miles south and west of campus) hilly grass and wooded hiking trails, picnic shelters
    • Rock Creek State Park (about 7 miles west of campus) grass and wooded hiking trails, picnic shelters
    • CERA (college-owned, about 8 miles west of campus) grass and wooded hiking trails
    • New!! Uhlenhopp Arboretum (about 15 miles west in Jasper County) grass hiking trails

    Taking time to enjoy the Iowa landscape, whether walking, cross country skiing, or taking photos, can provide a mental and physical boost. Even better, grab a friend (human or canine) to enjoy the experience with you.

    To Your Health,

    Terry Mason

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