CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATES

As Iowa and the nation work to safely re-open, Wartburg College continues to monitor reports and recommendations regarding the COVID-19 pandemic from national and regional health agencies. The institution is taking safety precautions, following the latest guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH). 

Questions? Contact Dan Kittle, Campus Health Recovery Team Chair

Return to Campus Guidelines

Updated 7/22/20

Classrooms: Whenever possible, classroom and lab seating will be configured to allow for six feet of physical distance between each student and the professor. We are now working with faculty to determine how classrooms can be arranged to assure the necessary distance between individuals. When physical distancing isn’t possible, alternative solutions (including larger classrooms and a modified face-to-face option that would allow for smaller groups of students in the class at a time) are being explored. The College also has made a significant investment in new technology that will allow students who aren’t able to be in class with their professor and peers the ability to engage synchronously with those in the classroom.

Face masks: When we are indoors, we must all cover our mouths and noses with face masks, cloth face coverings, or face shields, with these very few exceptions:

  • A student’s own residence hall room (though masks are strongly encouraged if another person is visiting).
  • Residence hall hallways and restrooms on a student’s own floor.
  • Designated eating areas while eating (though masks must be worn while in line and getting food)
  • Your personal workspace is at least six feet of physical distance from other personal workspaces (though masks are strongly encouraged if someone enters that workspace).
  • Athletic practices (under guidelines still to be determined by the Athletic Department, based on guidance from the A-R-C and NCAA)
  • Music ensembles (under guidelines still to be determined with input from national organizations)
  • Public exercise and swimming areas of The Wartburg-Waverly Sports & Wellness Center (lower level only)

We must all wear face masks outdoors, too, when we cannot absolutely guarantee a physical distance of at least six feet from others. You will be provided with one washable, cloth face covering, but you will be responsible for any additional masks you want to have.

Hand hygiene and cough etiquette must be practiced. Wash hands often with soap and water forat least 20 seconds, especially after being in a public place, and after coughing or sneezing.Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. If soap and water are not readilyavailable, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. Hand sanitizer stationswill be available on campus.

All members of the college community must self-monitor daily for symptoms including cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever, chills, muscle pain, sore throat or a new loss oftaste or smell. Students may request a thermometer by emailing or calling the Student LifeOffice; it will be delivered in a manner consistent with these guidelines. If symptoms present,students should not engage in any campus activities and should call the Noah Campus Clinic.Students may contact Cassie Hales or Kalyani Kanna in order to enact a self-isolation orquarantine protocol (e.g., meal delivery, notification of faculty, and contact tracing). Faculty andstaff should not come to work and call their primary care provider.

In addition to masks, physical distancing is strongly recommended; when possible, individualsshould maintain at least 6 feet of separation from others. When students, faculty, and staff areunable to physically distance (e.g., some co-curricular activities, some reception areas, and someclassrooms), other mitigation protocols (face coverings, modifications to traffic flow, and/orplexiglass) will be implemented.

Wartburg will make every effort to keep its campus community safe by requiring all visitors toabide by the health and safety parameters laid out for students, faculty, and staff. Visitors,defined as people who are not employees or students at the college, are an important part of ourmission and operations. Given that, we have developed the following guidelines:

  • All expected visitors must have an on-campus host. Visitors without a host, includingthose who come to campus to eat in a college-operated dining location or shop in The Wartburg Store, will be made aware of the college’s guidelines and could be asked towear a mask depending on the reason for their visit (i.e. guests who are eating in The Den may not be required to wear a mask, but visitors in The Wartburg Store will beprovided a disposable mask upon entry).
  • The host should send the visitor a copy of these guidelines prior to their visit.
  • The host is responsible for ensuring the visitor complies with the college’s practiceson physical distancing and face coverings while on college property.
  • When possible, visits should take place outdoors or in areas that permit physicaldistancing.

Visitors could include vendors who have contracted with the college (department-specific host) and prospective students and their families (hosted by the Admissions Office). Larger groups, like camps and visit day groups, are welcome if the host is present, but special measures shouldbe taken to mitigate the possible spread of COVID-19 to the campus community and otherswithin the group.

The procedures for student guests are presented in the Residence Hall Guidelines. Guidance forvisitors who wish to attend athletic events will be determined based on forthcoming NCAA andARC guidance.Personnel in welcome and reception areas, as defined by Operations and Maintenance, should beafforded additional mitigation efforts. In addition to the protocol outlined herein, these areas willbe supplied with a hand sanitizer station, as well as appropriately outfitted acrylic sheets.

About COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China. There is currently no vaccine to protect against COVID-19. The best way to prevent infection is to take everyday preventive actions, like avoiding close contact with people who are sick and washing your hands often. 

Symptoms

Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms (fever, cough, and shortness of breath) to severe illness or death. These symptoms may appear two to 14 days after exposure. If you develop any of these symptoms and believe you may have been in a location with known COVID-19 cases or in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed, please contact the on-campus Noah Health Clinic at 319-352-8436 or Waverly Health Center at 319-352-4120 to determine the desired course of action. If self-quarantine or other actions are deemed medically necessary, the college is poised to work with you and local health officials to ensure your safety and the safety of others.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, classes will resume on Wednesday, Aug. 26. By starting our classes one week early and eliminating Fall Break (originally scheduled for Oct. 24-Nov. 1), we will be able to conclude in-person coursework on Nov. 24, leaving only one week of finals and final activities after the Thanksgiving holiday. Cabinet, in close consultation with the Campus Health Recovery Team and Emergency Governance Committee, believes this option (click here to see the full calendar) will allow our faculty the most time in the classroom with their students while limiting the hours spent providing courses remotely. At this time, we expect classes to resume as planned on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, for Winter Term.

Face masks, cloth face coverings, or face shields are required indoors. Exceptions to this policy include:

  • A student’s own residence hall room (though are strongly encouraged if another person is visiting).
  • Residence hall hallways and restrooms on a student’s own floor.
  • Designated eating areas while eating (must be worn while in line and getting food)
  • Personal work spaces when six feet of physical distance can be maintained (though they are strongly encouraged if more than one person is in the space).
  • Athletic practices (these guidelines will be determined by the NCAA, A-R-C, and Athletic Department)
  • Music ensembles (these guidelines will be determined with input from national organizations)
  • Public areas of The Wartburg-Waverly Sports & Wellness Center (lower level open to the public only)

Face masks also are required outdoors when a physical distance of at least six feet is not reliably possible to maintain. You will be provided with one washable, cloth face covering when you move in, but you will be responsible for any additional masks you want or need.

The short answer is no. Masks are not required in your own room, the hallway outside your room, or the bathroom on your floor. Masks are required in any public spaces in the residence halls (like lounges and laundry areas). They are also strongly encouraged when you are in close proximity with anyone not living in your room. 

If you are experiecing COVID-19 symptoms or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive, do not engage in any campus activities and contact the Noah Campus Health Clinic at 319-352-8436 or your primary health care provider immediately. Students also should contact Cassie Hales (319-352-8260 or cassie.hales@wartburg.edu) or Kalyani Kannan (319-352-8681 or Kalyani.kannan@wartburg.edu) to enact a self-isolation or quarantine protocol (e.g. meal delivery, notification of faculty, and contact tracing). Faculty and staff should stay home, call their primary health care provider, and notify their supervisor of their absence.

Students, faculty, or staff experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or a known COVID-19 exposure should not engage in any campus activities until testing can be completed.

Our on-campus Noah Campus Health Clinic, operated by Waverly Health Center, will have access to rapid and traditional tests for students, faculty, or staff experiencing symptoms. Students living on campus or anyone who is on campus when they begin feeling ill or learn they were exposed to an individual who tested positive, should call the Noah at 319-352-8436.

If someone tests positive for COVID-19, the health service provider will give them instructions for caring for themselves and protecting others through isolation during their illness.

Providers at Noah Campus Health Clinic will notify the college’s Contact Tracing Team lead of the diagnosis. The team lead will mobilize one or more of the College’s internal contact tracers to identify individuals from the campus community who had exposure to the diagnosed person. Definitions of exposure for this purpose include:

    Direct physical contact

    Within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more

    Proximate contact (more than 6 feet proximity for greater than 30 minutes)

Simultaneously, the Iowa Department of Public Health will be notified of the confirmed case and contact the individual within 48 hours to conduct their own investigation.

In an effort to contain spread, Wartburg College contact tracers will err on the side of caution and will likely ask potential contacts to self-quarantine until IDPH can finish its investigation.

Contact tracers will notify the Dean of Faculty Office regarding students in self quarantine or isolation and provide specific details regarding the amount of time until they are expected to return to class.

Wartburg will make every effort to keep its campus community safe by requiring all visitors to abide by the health and safety parameters laid out for students, faculty, and staff. Visitors, defined as people whoare not employees or students at the college, are an important part of our mission and operations. Given that, we have developed the following guidelines:

• All expected visitors must have an on-campus host. Visitors without a host, including thosewho come to campus to eat in a college-operated dining location or shop in The Wartburg Store, will be made aware of the college’s guidelines and could be asked to wear a mask depending on the reason for their visit (i.e. guests who are eating in The Den may not be required to wear a mask, but visitors in The Wartburg Store will be provided a disposablemask upon entry).
• The host should send the visitor a copy of these guidelines prior to their visit.
• The host is responsible for ensuring the visitor complies with the college’s practices on physical distancing and face coverings while on college property.
• When possible, visits should take place outdoors or in areas that permit physical distancing.

Visitors could include vendors who have contracted with the college (department-specific host) and prospective students and their families (hosted by the Admissions Office). Larger groups, like camps andvisit day groups, are welcome if the host is present, but special measures should be taken to mitigatet he possible spread of COVID-19 to the campus community and others within the group.

Water fountains will be disconnected in academic buildings, but all bottle filling stations will be available. 

All members of the Wartburg community should self-monitor for symptoms including fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, or a new loss of taste or smell; however, daily temperature checks will not be mandated. The college has designed a health check-in tool that all faculty, staff, and students will be asked to use to monitor their health throughout the Fall Term. More information will be shared about this tool in the coming days. 

Self-quarantine: An individual who has been exposed to COVID-19 will stay at home or in their residence hall room while separating themselves from others and monitoring health. They will be contacted daily to assess symptoms and health status. Individuals will remain in self-quarantine for a minimum of 14 days unless sufficient negative testing is obtained.

Self-Isolation: An individual who test positive for COVID-19 or displays symptoms is removed from interaction with campus community and moved to an isolated living space. They will be contacted daily to assess symptoms and health status. Individuals will remain in self-isolation for a minimum of 10 days if symptoms improve.

Students who have been told to self-quarantine or self-isolate may go home if they are able. When that is not possible, students will self-quarantine in their own rooms. The college has partnered with a local hotel to house students who must self-isolate. All students in quarantine and isolation will have:

  • Meals delivered to their place of quarantine/isolation.
  • The opportunity to keep current with classes and coursework through virtual options (if their health allows it).
  • Regular check-ins from the college’s team of contact tracers.

Students must isolate for a minimum of 10 days when they have symptoms of or tested positive for COVID-19. Students who live on campus will be encouraged to return home during this period, if possible. Those who return home will be provided a pro-rated board credit (not room credit) for the number of days they are off-campus, which will be monitored by Residential Life and reported to the Business Office. Students who isolate on campus will be provided alternative housing and college employees will bring them their meals. These students will not receive a board credit.

No. Students placed in quarantine will continue living in their rooms and all meals will be brought to them. 

Students in isolation will be required to follow strict rules put in place to keep them and the community safe and healthy. Students who violate those rules could incur additional charges associated with their self-isolation.

Consistent with Wartburg’s mission, produce general recommendations on health and safety that can prepare the College for the 2020-21 school year. 

The charge of this committee is to facilitate recommendations on decisions about a variety of issues the College currently face or may face as we prepare for  2020-21, including situations and/or procedures not currently described or in accordance with current language in the Wartburg Faculty Handbook.  This temporary committee would provide a larger lens for faculty to view Faculty Council’s discussions and recommendations.