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13 students removed from campus after breaking COVID-19 safety protocols


13 Grinnell College students have been sent home within the first week of the Spring 1 term due to breaking COVID-19 safety protocol, College President Anne Harris revealed in an all-student email on Tuesday, Feb. 2.

Harris wrote that the College’s excitement to bring first-years to live on-campus in Spring 1 rests on a bedrock of trust that all students follow community health guidelines, like the Grinnwell Together Commitment and other COVID-19 protocol both on- and off-campus.

“Unfortunately,” she wrote, “not all students have been able to maintain this commitment.”

Harris announced 13 students were found to have committed “grievous violations of the commitment, risking their own health and that of others,” and had been placed on full residential suspension from the College.

Violations of campus COVID safety policy include gatherings of large numbers of students, smaller gatherings without adequate social distancing or PPE and breaking quarantine and isolation periods after COVID exposure or while awaiting a test result.

It is unclear whether all 13 students removed from campus were involved in the same incident.

Though all 13 students can no longer live on campus, Harris wrote that they are still enrolled in online classes and can remain engaged in Grinnell’s online community. The Feb. 2 email did not indicate where the students would be living now or how and when they will get home. This incident comes at a time when many colleges are trying to determine how best to deal with health violations as COVID-19 continues to rage across the United States.

According to the latest report from Student Health and Wellness, 5 students tested positive for COVID-19 from Jan. 25 – 29.

“The College takes our public health and our collective responsibility for it seriously,” Harris added, “and we will respond accordingly to situations that put the health of our community at risk.”

Harris encouraged students both on- and off-campus to take community health seriously, writing that students must consider how their actions affect the health and safety of others now more than ever – both as individuals and within the Grinnell community.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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Nina Baker, News Editor
Nina is a third-year Russian major with a Russian, Central European and Eurasian Studies concentration from Lakeville, Minnesota. She regrets not earning a Linguistics concentration.
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