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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, taking into consideration the latest guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH).

The Knights Care initiative is a community effort where we take appropriate steps to keep one another safe during the current pandemic. Because COVID-19 is a dangerous virus that threatens some members of our campus community more than others, we must work together, drawing on that Wartburg reservoir of leadership and service, to diminish the threat that this disease poses.

% Verified Vaccinated

(Includes students,
faculty, and staff)

Download Signs

COVID-19 Dashboard

These numbers include all faculty, staff, and students in the Wartburg community. Last upated 5/23/2022.

# Current Positives
(or Inconclusives)

8

# In Isolation
(In the care of the college or at home)

8

# In Quarantine
(In the care of the college or at home)

0

Quarantine: An unvaccinated individual or an individual who is eligible for but has not received a booster shot 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 quarantine for five days from the point of exposure and can be released only if they have no symptoms and have proof of a negative test. (Updated January 2022)

Isolation: An individual who tests positive for COVID-19 is removed from interaction with the campus community and moved to an isolated living space. They will be contacted daily to assess symptoms and health status. Individuals will remain in isolation for a minimum of five days, at which point those who are asymptomatic or whose symptoms are resolving will be tested again. If that test is negative, the individual can be released, but will be expected to mask when around others for at least another five days. Those who are still symptomatic or test positive on day five will be offered a test on each of the following days until they are negative or reach day 10. 

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. 

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.

Are face masks required on campus?

Effective Thursday, March 3, the mask mandate was suspended in common spaces, including hallways, unenclosed lounges, and other larger and well-ventilated spaces where people may distance if they choose, such as the ballrooms, the Mensa, Vogel Library, and Chapel. Masks are still required in classrooms and classroom settings, such as laboratories and studios, as well as offices if the person assigned to that office desires them.  

What data points do the Campus Health Recovery Team use to determine mitigation protocol recommendations?
CHRT has set the goals outlined below for each of the public health data points it considers when determining mitigation protocol recommendations. As they have from the beginning of the pandemic, these data points will be considered as a collective; however, it is possible for mitigation efforts to be decreased even if all goals haven’t been met and vice versa.: 

  • Campus vaccination rate: 70 percent as a minimum standard. The World Health Organization now says that it is not currently possible to know how much of a population must be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity against COVID-19. The Mayo Clinic reports we may never reach herd immunity. Even so, the College seeks to increase herd immunity among our population by working to increase the percentage vaccinated in our campus community. As of Oct. 7, the College had verified the positive vaccination status of 73 percent of the campus population.
  • Active positive cases on campus (infection rate): 2.5 percent. From a public health standpoint, there are no clear indicators until you reach a 5 percent infection rate in a community, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Protection. At Wartburg, that would mean more than 96 members of our campus community would have to be considered an active positive to reach that threshold. To put this into perspective, at the College’s peak on Sept. 5, 2020, 76 members of the Wartburg community were in isolation.  CHRT will use 2.5 percent, or about 45 individuals, as its “acceptable” rate for community spread, which is half of the CDC recommendation.
  •  On-campus positivity rate (number of positives vs. overall tests administered): 2.5 percent. The State of Iowa’s recommendations classify communities with a positivity rate of less than 5 as low risk. At Wartburg, we will consider a positivity rate of less than 2.5 percent to be low risk.: 2.5 percent. The State of Iowa’s recommendations classify communities with a positivity rate of less than 5 as low risk. At Wartburg, we will consider a positivity rate of less than 2.5 percent to be low risk.
  • Active cases in Bremer County (are active cases/positivity rate on an upward or downward trend): This metric is not as easily quantifiable as the others. CHRT is not looking for a specific number of active positive cases in Bremer County, but for a downward trend in active positive cases in the county for at least 14 days. Small increases followed by an immediate decrease are expected and will not cause an immediate reconsideration of any mitigation efforts; however, sustained increases could.
  • Operational interruptions, academic continuity, and capacity (can the college continue to operate effectively)

Will I have access to my courses if I am isolated or quarantined for COVID-19?
Faculty are not required to offer classes remotely, however a faculty member may choose to offer a class remotely or to record lectures to be provided to students who are unable to attend class at a later time. Quarantine or isolation may be imposed by the College to ensure mitigation of exposure for the rest of the community. Students who have an excused medical absence, not limited to, but including quarantine or isolation, should not be penalized on the basis of attendance. 

How can I let the college know I’ve been vaccinated?
The Campus Health Recovery Team is using the campus vaccination rate as one of several markers to determine how long the mask mandate will be in effect. If you have not already done so, you submit your vaccination card in the following ways:

  • Upload to the InfoCenter using the Symptom Tracker. This should pop up automatically if you have not already verified your vaccination status. Click “Fully Vaccinated” and then “Next” on the symptom tracker. Click “Upload Card.” Once you are redirected to the LiquidFiles website, click the green “+ Add Files” button near the bottom of the page or drag a photo of your vaccine card onto the website (on a desktop). Click the blue “Send” button. 
  • Present your card in the Student Life Office. 
  • Present your card to health professionals at Noah Campus Health Clinic in The W.
  • Present your card in the Human Resources Office (faculty and staff only). 

What should I do if I think I might have COVID-19?
If you are experiencing 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) 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. Employees or their supervisors should contact Ryan Callahan to initiate the contact tracing process. 

What’s the difference between quarantine and isolation?
Quarantine: An unvaccinated individual or an individual who is eligible for but has not received a booster shot 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 quarantine for five days from the point of exposure and can be released only if they have no symptoms and have proof of a negative test. 
Isolation: An individual who tests positive for COVID-19 is removed from interaction with the campus community and moved to an isolated living space. They will be contacted daily to assess symptoms and health status. Individuals will remain in isolation for a minimum of five days, at which point those who are asymptomatic or whose symptoms are resolving will be tested again. If that test is negative, the individual can be released, but will be expected to mask when around others for at least another five days. Those who are still symptomatic or test positive on day five will be offered a test on each of the following days until they are negative or reach day 10.
Quarantine and Isolation protocol 
(Updated January 2022)

Where will I go if I need to quarantine or isolate myself?
Students who have been told to self-quarantine or self-isolate may go home if they want and are able. Students who choose to stay on campus will self-quarantine in their own rooms. The college has two fully furnished apartments on campus, three college-owned homes off campus, and three off-campus apartments where students may self-isolate if they do not return home. All students who quarantine or isolate on campus or in alternative housing provided by the college will have meals delivered to their place of quarantine/isolation. 

Will I get a refund if I have to isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19?
Students must isolate for a minimum of five days when they have tested positive for COVID-19 and quarantine for five days when they have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for the virus. 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 live off campus and have a a board plan (except the Any 60 and Any 125) also will receive a pro-rated board credit if they self-isolate. Students who live off-campus and have an Any 60 or Any 125 board plan will not receive any board refund, even if the student is asked to self-quarantine by the College because those students can still have access to their meals throughout the rest of the term. Students who isolate on campus will be provided alternative housing and college employees will bring them their meals. These students will not receive board credit.

Students living on campus and placed in quarantine will not receive a refund and continue living in their rooms. All meals will be brought to them. 

What if someone doesn’t follow the rules of isolation?

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.

I’ve already had COVID-19. Do I still have to quarantine if I’m exposed?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is a three-month period where quarantine or testing is not required.  We just ask that the student, faculty, or staff submit the testing results so that we have an accurate count of days.

The federal government passed different plans related to the coronavirus that helped to provide funds for higher education institutions. These plans had different names and were passed at different times, but they also were related. Each of the plans included the “Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds” (HEERF). 

Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students

Each of the HEERFs provided dollars to be spent as emergency financial aid grants to students to help students with unexpected financial challenges as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child-care expenses. 

Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) Quarterly Expense Reports

Safety Procedures

Face masks: Face masks or cloth face coverings are required in all classrooms and in congregant settings. See above for more details. 

Hand hygiene and cough etiquette: Wash hands often with soap and water for at 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 readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. Hand sanitizer stations will be available on campus. 

Physical distancing is strongly recommended for individuals who are not vaccinated; when possible, unvaccindated individuals should maintain at least 6 feet of separation from others. 

Visitors: 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. 

Contact Tracing Processes

Still have questions? Email us at covidresponse@wartburg.edu, and we will do our best to answer your question!

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.