Update on CDC Guidelines Implementation

February 10, 2020

Dear Grinnellians,

Last week, in the interest of keeping the campus community informed about the rapidly evolving international public health emergency around the coronavirus, we shared information about a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guideline for responding to the coronavirus, which called for special assessment of individuals following arrival in the U.S., if they traveled from China.

We let you know that we were working with two Grinnell students whose circumstances fell within the parameters of those guidelines. And we shared that we had been in contact with Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) officials and were following all CDC and IDPH recommendations and guidelines.

With the students’ complete cooperation, we have complied with the CDC recommended guidelines and IDPH guidance. We share news that the students have now been in the U.S. for 14 days and neither has shown symptoms typical of the coronavirus. Therefore, they are no longer in separated housing and have been cleared by IDPH, State Medical Director and Epidemiologist Dr. Caitlin Pedati, as well as SHAW Medical Director Dr. Laura Ferguson, to return to classes, work, and shared living space.

Some of you may have seen recent, unrelated news stories about IDPH testing individuals for the coronavirus. These news reports are NOT related to the students here at Grinnell. Our students did not fall into the category of needing testing.

While there are no reports or indications of any suspected coronavirus cases on our campus, we are still in the midst of flu season. Remember, if you develop flu-like symptoms, call 641/269-3230, to consult with a Student Health and Wellness (SHAW) nurse. SHAW is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

If you become ill after hours or on the weekend, call SHAW to speak with an after-hours nurse. If you feel you need to seek immediate after-hours treatment and do not have transportation to the local Walk-In Clinic or ER, call Campus Safety at 641-269-4600, to request a ride to the local hospital.

Please contact us with any questions or concerns.

Thank you.

Deb Shill, R.N.
Director of Health Services, Grinnell College

Laura Ferguson ’90, M.D.
Medical Director, Grinnell College

Physician, Family Medicine, LLP

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