COVID-19 Campus Update: 3-24-20

March 24, 2020

A reminder of yesterday’s (March 23) Contingency Plan Implementation announcement: The College’s COVID-19 Emergency Operations Team has determined that we will be taking universal living precautions and begin enacting our contingency plans for when we have an individual in Grinnell test positive for the virus, rather than waiting for a positive test.

No matter who you are or where you live for your health and that of others, please remember to practice these critical physical distancing measures:

  • Limit gatherings to fewer than 10 people.
  • Do not congregate in common areas.
  • Make every effort to maintain a physical distance of 6 feet (~2 meters) from other people.

Our College community is responding admirably and, considering our location and the precautions we took early on, we believe we are as well prepared as we can be at this time. We have not eliminated all risk but we are committed to working together to do what we can to “flatten the curve” (see New York Times graphic and article) in our community. As more information and testing becomes available, we will periodically reassess when more of our activities might return to less restrictive operations.

We are grateful for the many individuals who have stepped up and stepped forward to keep our students, faculty, and staff safe, including those most vulnerable in this situation. Special thanks to those who have volunteered to help with the transition of food delivery services for students, which is modeling best safety practices while providing a vital service to students. Anyone who would like to volunteer to help address this or other student needs should email Rachel Bly.

Contingency Plan Actions

Please revisit the March 23 Contingency Plan Implementation announcement:

  • Students living on campus: please read carefully and observe required actions effective today (Tuesday, March, 24).
  • Faculty and Staff: please begin preparing for required actions that will become effective Wednesday, March, 25.

CLARIFICATION Regarding Student Employment

The March 23 Campus Update contingency plan information for students incorrectly indicated that "Students without work assignments will continue to be paid.” It should have stated that:

“To ensure students on need-based financial aid are able to receive funds they intended to earn through need-based work, the College will convert the unearned portion of your spring work award to a grant on a prorated basis. The grant will be applied to your student account, and as appropriate, a refund will be provided. The processing of these grants will take place after April 15 to account for previous work on campus. Those able to secure continued remote or essential on-campus employment should do so. Students without a need-based financial aid award will be compensated for hours worked. However, no grants will be awarded to these students to replace hours not worked.”

Please email the Financial Aid Office with questions about your financial aid. Questions regarding student employment should be emailed to Mark Watts in Human Resources.

We regret any confusion this created.

Scarlet & Give Back Day

The Office of Development and Alumni Relations has made the difficult decision to cancel Scarlet & Give Back Day (S&GBD), originally slated for April 7-8, 2020. The many alumni, parents, faculty, staff, students, and friends who look forward to making a gift during this annual philanthropy event, are encouraged to consider a gift to the newly created Supporting Our Students Fund (SOS Fund). Donations to the SOS Fund are being used to directly support student expenses incurred by the disruption the pandemic is causing. You can learn more by reading the Statement on COVID-19 and Scarlet & Give Back Day shared today.

Check Email and Website

Important updates and new information are coming forward daily; please continue to check your Grinnell email and our COVID-19 response website for further updates and to register your questions.

Community Information and Resources

Drake Community Library

The Drake Community Library (DCL) maintains a Poweshiek County Inter-Agency Resource Guide online. It is a comprehensive community assistance resources guide listing services available to residents of Grinnell,


Peoplerides has transitioned to providing essential (non-911) medical trips ONLY. Visit the Peoplerides website for more information.


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