COVID-19 Campus Update: 3-20-20

March 20, 2020

Our Grinnell community has come together to support each other in these times of need. Whether a member of our College community or a resident of the town with which we share a name, Grinnellians are committed to working with each other and our neighbors to see this crisis through.

Grinnell Chamber of Commerce Small Business Fund

The Grinnell Area Chamber of Commerce launched a Small Business Relief Fund to help deal with the economic and business challenges of COVID-19. The College and Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance have each made a contribution of $25,000 to help establish the fund for emergency business transitional support. The Chamber is working to finalize the application process for small businesses seeking funds and is actively working to grow the fund. Find out more about the fund, including how to give online, on the Chamber’s website.

Contact Your Representatives About Funding for Students and Colleges

Numerous higher education organizations and associations are urging college and university students, faculty, staff, and alumni across the United States to reach out to their senators and representatives to encourage support of higher education students and institutions through various emergency assistance legislation being drafted.


There are currently no known cases of COVID-19 on campus or in the City of Grinnell. However, the COVID-19 Emergency Operations Team is developing a contingency plan so that we are prepared when/if we have an individual in Grinnell test positive for the virus. In such an event, all buildings would be locked so as to slow the transmission of the virus throughout the community. We are asking faculty and staff to have as many of the materials they will need to work at home ready should we have to require remote work. Please contact your department chair or your supervisor if you need assistance with getting your work materials out of your office.

Building Access Reminders

For enhanced safety and to manage and carefully track cleaning schedules so as to slow the transmission of the virus in our community, all campus buildings are now only accessible by P-card or physical key. Remember to carry your Pioneer Card and keys at all times. In case you still have an older P-card, email Michelle Sears to arrange for a new card.

Below are current general building access parameters:

  • Resident Student access:
    • Residence Hall Cluster (North, South, or East), 24/7, Sunday–Saturday
    • JRC during dining hours, Sunday–Saturday
    • Access to buildings in which they hold jobs during business hours
  • Approved Off-Campus Students access:
    • JRC access during dining hours, Sunday–Saturday
    • Access to buildings in which they hold jobs during business hours
  • Faculty access:
    • Academic buildings 24/7, Sunday–Saturday
    • Administrative buildings with faculty offices, 24/7, Sunday–Saturday
    • Other administrative buildings, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday–Friday
  • Staff access:
    • Administrative and academic buildings, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday–Friday

Access parameters are subject to change. If you experience P-card access issues, contact Campus Safety, 641-269-4600 for help.


Food Security Assistance for Grinnell Area Residents

A coalition of Grinnell residents — representing MICA, Imagine Grinnell, Tiger Packs, Local Foods Connection, The Grinnell Chamber of Commerce, Ahrens Foundation, Drake Library, Grinnell College, local churches, schools and others — has come together to increase the food supply for area residents who are already or will soon be experiencing food insecurity. Those in need of support should be directed to Mid-Iowa Community Action (MICA). Tax-deductible contributions to the fund can be made online through the Local Foods Connection website or mailed to: Local Foods Connection, Attn: COVID 19 Response, P.O. Box 719, Grinnell, IA 50112.

Unity Point Health Resource Information

The Unity Point COVID-19 webpage has been updated to provide more information on COVID-19 care and health advice, including where to go for care.

Warm Line Confidential Listening Service

Central Iowa Community Services for Poweshiek County is promoting the Warm Line; a peer-run, non-crisis, telephone-based confidential listening line for anyone struggling with mental health or substance use issues. The line is staffed by people who have been through a similar journey and are in recovery themselves. Services are available from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Call 844-775-9276 to speak with a Warm Line counselor.

Community Library Resources

Drake Community Library (DCL) has limited physical access to services and reduced hours of operation. It is transitioning to “curbside pickup” of materials, which can be requested by phone or an online request form. Telephone reference services will continue during hours of operation. Many Other services for DCL cardholders can be accessed remotely with many online resources available. Call 641-236-2661 or visit the DCL website for more information.

Continue to check your Grinnell email and our COVID-19 response website for further updates.


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