Updated Mask Requirement Effective Immediately

Published:
November 22, 2021

Dear Grinnellians, 

COVID-19 cases continue to rise locally, and over the past week we have experienced a handful of cases on campus. Although our numbers continue to remain low we are closely watching this trend and are working to understand if these cases are related or a result of community spread. Out of an abundance of caution, we are implementing a temporary pause on relaxed masking protocols. 

CHANGES EFFECTIVE MONDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2021: 

PPE 

  • Campus community members and visitors are required to wear masks at all times indoors unless alone in a closed office space. Classrooms remain masks required at all times, even when alone. 

Dining Indoors 

  • Employees: Eating indoors in groups is once again not allowed. Employees may continue to unmask briefly to eat in their workspaces. 
  • Students: Reinforcement of masking except when actively eating. 

Meetings and Events 

  • In person meetings can continue, but all participants must wear masks regardless of group size. 
  • Student-only events involving food may continue except in academic buildings. Students must mask when not actively eating. 

NEW Booster shot guidance: 

The CDC has recently updated guidance to permit anyone 18 or older to get a booster. We also strongly urge community members that are 18 years or older to receive a COVID-19 booster dose as soon as possible. Walk-ins and appointments are available through Hy-VeeWal-MartWalgreens, and many health-providers. Students may contact SHAW to arrange for transportation to the Grinnell Wal-Mart or Hy-Vee for booster doses. 

ONGOING PUBLIC HEALTH MEASURES: 

Marketplace: The dining hall continues to be student-only. 

Bear Athletic Center and Athletic Events: Mask policies remain unchanged in the Bear. Masking remains required for all spectators at indoor venues. Spectators and all participants except those actively competing must wear a mask. Team training and competitions will follow mitigation practices as laid out by the NCAA and Midwest Conference. 

Travel: International and domestic college-sponsored travel is allowed as outlined in the college-sponsored travel policies for Fall 2021. Please continue to be cautious when considering travel. We recommend viewing the CDC transmission estimates and COVID-19 testing or vaccination requirements for your destination prior to travel. College-sponsored international travel must be submitted to the Global Health and Safety Committee for review. Domestic travelers are strongly encouraged to register their travel in order to receive state-specific COVID-19 resources.  

Safety and Community  

Our public health team will continue to monitor and review conditions this week and provide updated guidance upon our return from Thanksgiving.  We continue to encourage our campus community members to mask when indoors in off-campus settings.  If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out via email at  covid19@grinnell.edu

Thank you,   
  
Heather Cox, Angela Voos, Sarah Moschenross, Elaine Marzluff, Jana Grimes 

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