Looking forward to Fall Break

October 13, 2021

Dear Grinnellians,  

As we approach fall semester break, I write to express my gratitude for the way this community has prioritized the collective health of our campus by following CDC-recommended precautions. I congratulate our campus community on a 99% student vaccination rate and a 96% employee vaccination rate. The measures we have put in place – notably, vaccinations and wearing masks – are working, and our low COVID-19 campus positivity rate reflects the efficacy of these on-campus public health measures.  

For those preparing to leave campus for break, I urge you to assess and prepare for the COVID-related conditions and requirements associated with your destination. We need to hold the course as the delta variant runs its course. During the upcoming fall break, continuing to practice the campus community care standards — including masking — will provide community protection and contribute to peace of mind. 

Resources and Guidelines for Travel 

CDC Guidelines and Recommendations  

Symptom Tracking and Testing  

After travel, the CDC recommends: self-monitoring for COVID-19 symptoms and seeking testing if they arise. Travelers should follow state and local public health recommendations. Those traveling internationally should undergo testing within three to five days of their return to the U.S. 

Employees and students can take advantage of the free Test Iowa PCR kits and courier service, or get testing through their healthcare provider or Hy-Vee.  

During and after fall break we will continue using the symptom tracking and testing guidelines currently in place for students. Walk-in testing services are available for students with mild symptoms. Students with severe symptoms should call SHAW immediately at 641-269-3230.  

Thank you for the well-being you have fostered, as a community and in your individual relationships. If the pandemic is a portal, as Arundhati Roy described it, we are on an extended threshold. Within that sustained time, the pandemic has drawn attention to the vital importance of respite and renewal and to the development of spaces and practices that provide both. I am reminded by this break that we all need to find ways to unplug, rest, and replenish and support each other in doing so. .  

Be safe and be well,  


Anne F. Harris  

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