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The Scarlet & Black

Grinnell College initiates more restrictive COVID-19 prevention protocols as spring semester begins

Photo by Andrew Tucker.

Grinnell College President Anne Harris announced in an all-campus email on Jan. 12 that additional COVID-19 safety restrictions will come into effect at the start of the spring 2022 semester.

The College had previously informed students, faculty, and staff that N95, KN95, or equally effective masks would become mandatory on campus starting in January (a divergence from previous rules that permitted surgical and cloth masks) and that booster shots for the COVID-19 vaccine would be mandatory for everyone eligible for them. The Jan. 12 email notes additional safety measures: D-Hall meal service will be restricted to “Grab-and-Go” only, with students being able to select “preferred meal options”, and students will be expected to form informal social “pods” of five or so people, outside of which they should plan to avoid unmasked social gatherings.

“In short,” Harris wrote in the all-campus email, “find a pod that meets your needs for social connection, as well as health and safety. Additionally, your pod can evolve as needed to serve the goals of this effort most effectively.”

Students arriving back on campus for the spring semester will be required to be tested for COVID-19 at a Harris Center test clinic that will offer tests on Jan. 21 and 22, then at a second round of testing at the center on Jan. 25 and 26.

For any students who are eligible for a booster vaccine dose and have not yet received one, the College will host a Pfizer booster clinic in partnership with Hy-Vee on Jan. 28. Registration details will be sent out in an upcoming email, Harris wrote. The College is requiring all eligible students to have received the booster dose by or on Jan. 28; Harris wrote that faculty and staff were required to do the same by Jan. 7.

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