Graceland University's COVID-19 Response
Faculty & Staff
Faculty & Staff
Data last reported August 31, 2021, 5:57 p.m. cdt
Graceland performed baseline testing as students returned to both campuses. Lamoni campus data reflects resident student data. The total above does not include two students who tested positive and isolated at home because they were not on campus except for testing.
Fall 2021 Overview
Our first priority throughout the pandemic has been and continues to be the health and safety of our campus community. While we will not require students, faculty or staff to get vaccinated, we are strongly recommending everyone be vaccinated. We have put protocols and measures in place to ensure everyone’s safety. With the increased spread of the highly transmissible Delta variant, masks are required for everyone in all public indoor spaces and where social distancing is not possible regardless of vaccination status.
We will continue to evaluate these policies regularly.
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The resources available below are designed to help keep our campus safe and to better inform you of the university's actions and procedures to control the spread of COVID-19.
- Duffel bag or other easy-to-carry bag
- Comfortable clothes
- Extra pillow and blanket
- Reusable water bottle
- Hair care items
- Shower supplies/towels
- Chargers for phone and electronics
- Nonperishable snacks
Representatives from all areas of the university collaborated on this set of information and resources with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Iowa Department of Public Health.
Health and safety policies
In preparing health and safety policies, Graceland considered all guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as local health department guidelines. With those considerations, the following policies will be followed.
Face coverings required in public spaces
Cloth masks will be worn at all times in all indoor public spaces, including but not limited to classrooms, dining halls, hallways, social areas, public restrooms, stairwells and elevators and outdoors when social distancing is not possible. Cloth masks are not surgical but can provide protection to other people in case the wearer is asymptomatically infected.
Social distancing in class
Keeping space from each other is an important part of keeping our community safe. Six feet of space will be maintained when possible in classrooms, labs, restrooms and common areas. There should be no sharing of objects in classrooms for group or partner work. Students should sit in the same seats in classrooms on every occasion and the instructor will create and maintain a seating chart. Cleaning supplies will be available in all classrooms, and Graceland’s Facility Services team will ensure common work areas will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected per CDC recommendations.
Social distancing on campus
Outside the classroom, social distancing should still be maintained. Water fountains on campus will be disabled, however, motion-activated bottle-fillers will remain available as long as safety can be maintained. All meetings, including house meetings, should be held virtually if maintaining six feet of social distance is not possible. Elevators should not be used, but if they must, only one person should be in an elevator at a time. Hand sanitizer stations will be placed at elevator doors and should be used before and after use of the elevator.
Social distancing in offices
As we continue the work to maintain low COVID-19 numbers on both campuses, please use quick phone calls, text messages, emails or notes through Microsoft Teams rather than dropping in to offices unexpectedly. If an in-person conversation is required, make an appointment. This courtesy is helpful in two ways:
- Social distance is one of the primary ways we can fight the spread of COVID-19.
- With an increase in the number of virtual meetings in our offices, an unexpected visitor may disrupt those meetings.
Testing and health care access
Graceland will follow all guidelines in regard to testing and screening requirements. The Community Health Center of Southern Iowa in Lamoni is a certified testing location, and the Decatur County Hospital in Leon is the central hub for Decatur County for the treatment of COVID-19 patients. These nearby resources provide students, faculty and staff with excellent and convenient resources should symptoms develop.
Protocols for illness
Should a student, faculty or staff member experience any COVID-19 symptoms, they will be asked to stay home or in their room. They should not attend any classes, clinical/practicums, student teaching, internships, sports activities, or go to work. Once they have quarantined themselves, they should contact the Student Life office or their residence hall director to coordinate with them and the COVID-19 Coordinator on how best to proceed. Areas of campus have been set up for isolating students who are ill or who have been exposed. Students should not return to campus activities until they have been cleared by the COVID-19 Coordinator.
Graceland has developed an extensive quarantine and isolation protocol for residential students on the Lamoni campus, which will be strictly followed should illness occur.
Weekly COVID Self Assessment
Twice per week, all students, faculty and staff will receive a COVID-19 Self Assessment email that will remind the community of virus symptoms and the protocols to contact the COVID Coordinator should they feel ill or show symptoms. This replaces the daily screen process established during the last school year.
Graceland will continue to welcome visitors to campus in a way that respects the health and safety of students, employees and the visitors. All visitors will be expected to comply with all of Graceland’s COVID-19 guidelines, as well as to register their presence on campus at the time of their visit. Visitors should register at the Student Help Desk (west entrance of Newcom Student Union).
Functional visitors are vendors, salespersons, donors, or other visitors with a scheduled appointment on campus (including company representatives from a vendor), as well as guests on campus for a specific purpose like prospective students, performers for COSA events, guest speakers, etc.
These types of visitors should be identified and invited by a hosting individual employee or department when necessary. The host and, when applicable, hosting student or student group, is responsible for communicating with the visitors before they arrive on campus about times, locations, specific parking locations, and building-access instructions.
Event visitors are guests who visit campus to attend a university-sponsored event like an athletic competition, a visual and performing arts performance, or other types of special events. Event visitors will be limited and monitored through either ticket purchase or invitation. Event capacity will always be limited to the COVID-specific number published for the designated room or event venue.
The sponsoring area, or host, of the event is responsible for accountable for overseeing admission/visitor policies and will designate an individual to be responsible for monitoring each event. The event monitor will keep track of those in attendance communicate the necessary policy information before and/or during the event. Event monitors will have disposable masks on hand during the event and will be expected to provide them to anyone who arrives without a mask.
All visitors and event attendees are required to respect social distance standards of masking and at least 6-feet between persons.
Events that require tickets (Athletics and Performing Arts) will utilize the HomeTown Ticketing no-contact ticket sale system to facilitate, prioritize, and track attendance. HomeTown Ticketing provides no-contact ticketing services. Students, faculty and staff will need to show their daily screening green screen plus a ticket. Visitors will need to show their ticket and go through COVID screening, including a temperature check prior to entrance to the event.
The sponsoring area and, when applicable, student or student group, is responsible for developing an invitation list that meets the event space capacity limit. The invitation list will be shared with facilities services so they can set up the room in a manner that facilitates social distancing.
Specific parking and building-access instructions will be given to all scheduled and invited visitors, to ticket holders at the time of purchase, and along with event invitations.
Spontaneous Visitors - Signage on building doors will direct individuals to the central registration desk at the Newcom Student Union and a contact phone number. Signage for each door outside of all campus buildings will indicate that visitors need an appointment before entering, as well as a contact number to schedule an appointment.
Student Visitors - Existing student guest policies define a protocol for students’ visitors; see Residence Life policies below related to pandemic precautions.
Residence Hall Guests
The policy below covers any non-Graceland students visiting Graceland residential housing. These guests can only visit the residential housing of their host - if they intend to visit other place on campus, they must follow the guidelines for Fall 2020 Events & Visitors. Graceland students visiting other Residence Halls must follow regular check-in procedures at the Residence Hall reception desks.
- Students MUST register non-Graceland student visitors at the student reception desks within the residence halls. Apartments, upperclassmen units and campus-housing residents will need to register guests at the Student Help Desk in the Newcom Student Union.
- The student will accompany their guest to check in. The guest will go through a series of COVID-19 screening questions, have their temperature taken, and will be asked to provide their contact information at check-in. The receptionist will provide the guest with a guest pass that has the guest’s and host’s information and screening date. Visitors will need to complete this process EVERY DAY of their visit.
- Overnight guests must complete an overnight guest form and follow the listed check-in procedures above. Overnight guest forms are provided at residence hall reception desks or the Student Help Desk (check out the Guide to Community Living to see the overnight guest policy).
Students are responsible/accountable for all guest behavior, and guests must abide by Graceland University’s policies - including recent COVID policies stated elsewhere on this site. Failure to register guests will result in a university housing notice for failure to check in/out correctly. Be aware that having visitors on campus is a privilege. With the current pandemic, there is a risk to having visitors on campus, and these steps are to ensure visitors are healthy. Visitors who do not pass the screening test will not be allowed in residential housing. Note that travel and risk of exposure should deter visitors from coming to campus.
Our goal is to create safe classroom environments that emphasize quality academic experiences and continue to allow for an in-person campus community. All safety protocols remain in placE.
Safety protocols include:
- Wear a mask at all times
- Maintain Social distancing of at least 6 feet
- Sit in the same seat for the entire semester
- Extra classroom cleaning
Zoom is only used as an accommodation for students who are required to quarantine or isolate because of COVID. Note that attending remotely still requires students to log onto Zoom during the regular class time.
When attending class remotely, students are expected to turn on cameras, minimize distractions, and dress appropriately. Students too ill to be out of bed to attend class will be excused
Know the Symptoms of COVID-19
Take Steps to Protect Yourself and Others
There are several steps everyone should be taking to remain vigilant in the spread of the virus. That includes:
- Wash your hands regularly with soap for at least 20 seconds.
- Clean and disinfect commonly used surfaces regularly.
- Keep your distance from those who are showing symptoms.
- Stay home when you are ill or are experiencing any symptoms.
- Cover your cough and sneeze.
Please keep your eyes on our website, on the daily announcements, and on your Sting email, as we will be sharing new information as it becomes available.