Weekly COVID-19 Testing Clinic Update: Oct. 5

October 06, 2020

Dear Grinnellians,

Welcome to the Weekly Update. SHAW cares deeply about your health and the health of our community. To this end, I write to provide the latest update of our COVID-19 testing clinic and health information that we hope will help all of us mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. Thank you for doing your part in keeping our community safe!

Results for the week of Sept. 28 - Oct. 2, 2020

Number Received** Negative Positive Percent Positive Self-Reported
Positive Results
From Other Test
539 538 1 0.19% 0

Total since testing began (Aug. 24, 2020)

Number of Unique Individuals Tested** Negative Positive Percent Positive Self-Reported
Positive Results
From Other Test
581 575 6 1.03% 3

*The State’s testing program does not report results to the college. The number in this column reflects reports by students, faculty, or staff to SHAW.

**With conclusive results

Last week’s update reported 6 positives and it should have been 5. Results from one of the test results from Corteva was inconclusive but was listed in the COVID-19 spreadsheet as positive.  The chart above has corrected that error.

For the week of Sept. 28, 2020, 539 unique students, faculty, and staff were tested. Testing does not occur on Fridays. The number of tests administered the week of Sept. 28 to Oct. 2 was from three and one-half days of testing. Of the 539, 538 were negative and 1 was positive, resulting in a 0.19% positivity rate.

Since the inception of the testing clinic on Aug. 24, 581 unique individuals have been tested; 575 were negative and 6 were positive, yielding a 1.03% positivity rate.

Flu Vaccinations

SHAW will be hosting a drive-thru style vaccine clinic for employees designated as non-essential, on Friday, Oct. 9, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Bear Parking Lot (on 10th Avenue across from the Bear Athletic Center). Reserve a time to attend the clinic.

For employees who wish to be vaccinated elsewhere, flu shots are covered by the College health insurance plan regardless of where vaccinations are given.

Awkward Situations Brought to You by COVID

Have you been in a situation where someone is not following our campus or community public health expectations, and been stuck as to what you should do? This is the first time many of us may be having conversations about what it means to uphold COVID-19 prevention measures, so it may help to prepare some strategies in advance, based on principles of effective active bystanderism.

  • Call the person in, not out. Consider how you might create an educational opportunity instead of shaming someone. “You might not realize this, but we need to wipe this down with disinfectant after we use it.”
  • Frame it as a question. “Hey, did you know that we’re supposed to wear face coverings in shared spaces whether or not someone else is currently in the space?” (Tone matters on this one!)
  • Show how a behavior may keep you both safer. “Do you mind stepping back a little so we have six feet? I want to make sure we are both keeping each other safer. If I were sick and didn’t know it, I wouldn’t want to expose you.”
  • Appeal to community values and “we”. “I know that you’d like to have a bunch of friends over to the lounge/inside our house—and we also need to think about limiting the size of gatherings so we can keep containing spread.” 
  • Empathize and acknowledge emotions—yours and theirs. “Yeah, it took me a long time to remember to bring my mask and hand sanitizer in addition to my phone and keys.” “It’s really hard not getting to travel to see our families.”

Of course, we recognize that there may be times that power differences might make it feel difficult or impossible to speak up. In those cases, consider your resources, and if there is someone else who could help, either in the current instance or in the future (e.g., if it happened in a store, you might privately talk to the owner about posting/enforcing expectations).

Lastly, consider how you might choose to be receptive if someone else gives you a behavioral “nudge.” We’ve all been asked to adapt a lot of behavior changes in the last few months, and we may still be integrating them as habits. Sometimes a (hopefully) friendly reminder can help.

We’re all in this together!

Do you have a COVID-19-related topic you’d like to see addressed in a future update? Please let us know at shaw@grinnell.edu.

Grinnell Health Heroes

Each week, we will recognize those students, faculty, and staff who exemplify outstanding health-related behaviors that help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our campus community. The following are honored as this week’s Grinnell Health Heroes:

Kim Hegg

Kim is an essential worker in the mail room. Her nominator acknowledged how Kim “has kept those of us working from home connected with our mail by forwarding each piece. And somehow Kim keeps straight in her head when some of us returned to campus. Our mail is always where we need it to be.” The nominator noted, “She is a true hero in these COVID times. Kim is always ready and willing to go that extra mile for us!” Angela Voos commented, “It always amazes me how some people can keep a clear head and soldier on in a crisis. You did that and more. In a time when people can't gather to exchange info and pleasantries, physical mail is one of the only tangible and touchable communication we have. You have kept that communication line open through your organizational wizardry and your commitment to delivery. We are so fortunate to have you part of Grinnell's team.”

Beth Conover

Beth was nominated for making masks for anyone in DAR and their family members. Her nominator states, “She and her daughter sewed all of the masks, put them into labeled zip lock bags, and left them outside of OGF for us to pick-up.” Beth has been a health hero since before the pandemic serving on the College’s Wellness Committee. Her supervisor notes, “She truly cares about each of us and she encourages us to care for ourselves, even when we are overwhelmed. In fact, she does her best to help us create opportunities for self-care and healthy habits (often without us even realizing it!). Beth believes in the power of movement, self-care, and creating healthy habits. And she loves to bring others with her on that journey. She is a natural, and gifted, wellness ambassador and we are really lucky to have her at Grinnell.”

How to Nominate Grinnell Health Heroes

To nominate someone to be a Grinnell Health Hero, complete the Health Hero survey.

For more updates from SHAW, follow us on Instagram @grinnellcollegeshaw.

To Your Health,


Terry W. Mason, Ph.D.
Dean for Health and Wellness

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