COVID-19 Campus Update 3-18-20

March 18, 2020

Thanks to all who continue to focus on supporting our goals to first and foremost, keep our students, faculty, and staff safe including those most vulnerable in this situation; to support course and degree completion; and to not overburden students who are in financial need. Important updates and new information are coming forward daily, so please continue to check your Grinnell email and our COVID-19 response website for further updates and to register your questions.

Consultation and Support Services for Students and Employees

  • We want to remind students that should they need someone to speak with, mental health services are still available for students through SHAW 24 hours a day. Please reach out by phone at 641-269-4404. We are also working quickly to ensure services are available to students who have returned home and will keep you updated on how to access those services.
  • We encourage faculty and staff to utilize the services of our employee assistance provider (EAP), Employee & Family Resources. Counselors are available to help discuss any life situation, including the stress and anxiety that may be associated with the COVID-19 virus. EAP services are confidential, and six sessions are provided at no cost. Contact Employee & Family Resources at 800-327-4692 or visit the EFR website.
  • Faculty and staff who might prefer to talk with a counselor from SHAW for a brief consultation and referral, can call the main SHAW number at 641-269-3230, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Building Access Reminders

As the College transitions to more restricted building access protocols, remember to carry your Pioneer Card and keys at all times. If you experience p-card key access issues, contact Campus Safety, 641-269-4600 for help.

Restrictions on Overnight Access to Academic Buildings are Pending

In an effort to reduce Campus Safety’s overnight work load, including building patrols, new academic building access restrictions are being planned. We will take into account possible exceptions for critical overnight access needs. Details will be shared as available.

Non-Medical Escorts Suspended

Campus Safety will no longer provide non-medical escort services in order to focus on higher priority safety support. We will be working on new shuttle options for students seeking transportation for needs such as shopping.

Wellmark Virtual Health Care Cost-Share Waivers

As of March 16, Wellmark has announced it will waive cost-share charges for the next 90 days for health insurance plan members using virtual health care visits, including those for mental health reasons. To avoid the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), Wellmark encourages plan members to take advantage of virtual visits with their current primary care physician, if possible. For those who don’t currently have a primary care physician, please use an in-network provider or Doctor On Demand. Future cost-share waivers will be reassessed after 90 days.

Technology / ITS

  • ITS has developed a guide to Remote Working and a Remote Working Checklist on GrinnellShare to assist employees with technology needs and help in making the transition to working remotely.
  • The CTLA’s guide for Instructional Continuity is available to all faculty and staff as you continue to plan your classes and support.
  • As ITS shifts from the most immediate support that was needed for students leaving campus to devoting more resources to instructional continuity, they will focus on providing hardware and technical assistance on a business priority and availability basis. Contact ITS directly regarding remote technology needs. Please be patient as they are also inundated with numerous requests for resources from students, faculty, and staff.
  • Be extra vigilant as phishing and cybersecurity risks can increase during these times. If Something Looks Phishy, Notify ITS. If an email seems suspicious, please click the Report Phish button. Directions for using the Report Phish button.
  • If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact the Technology Services Desk at ext. 4901 or by email at You may submit feedback to ITS at any time using the ITS Feedback Form.

Clarification Regarding Restaurant Information in Bear and Natatorium Announcement

In an update yesterday about closing the Bear and Natatorium, it was conveyed that many businesses, including restaurants were being closed by order of the Governor. We have since learned that while restaurants in particular may have to close access to dining spaces where 10 or more might congregate, they may still be allowed to offer carryout, drive-through, or delivery services. We know the Grinnell community, like communities across the U.S., is bracing for significant economic impact, and we regret sharing any misinformation that may have cast doubt about the potential availability of restaurant services in Grinnell. The Grinnell Chamber of Commerce Grinnell Business and Organization Update information website includes a section with “Restaurant & Retail Info.” As always, we encourage our campus members to support local businesses with your patronage as circumstances permit.

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