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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update

Stay up-to-date on the latest developments regarding COVID-19. To read previous updates, please visit our Previous Daily Updates section and click on our links.

September 29, 2020 (10:38 am) Central Time

Dear Simpson students, faculty and staff – 

I am pleased to say that, two weeks after opening some on-campus dining and residence life visitation, we are continuing to see exceptionally low rates of COVID-19 activity on campus. In addition, cases in Warren County have remained stable. These are the two conditions which are specified in our protocols for a transition to the Yellow operational phase. 

As we move from Orange to Yellow, following are updated elements of our protocol: 

Classes will continue to meet at current, 50% capacity in face-to-face meetings 
Dining will continue to offer on-site dining at current capacity. Indoor dining should still be limited to “family groups” and individuals 
On-campus meetings and events may have up to 35 people in attendance 
Rooms must not exceed 50% capacity 
Events should follow continued social-distancing guidelines and all participants must wear masks 
The event leader must keep a record of attendance 
Student organizations must submit a completed event planning and safety assessment form and receive approval from Rich Ramos prior to scheduling meetings/events 
Larger events and any events involving catering must receive prior approval from the Crisis Management Team. Requests should be directed to covidresponse@simpson.edu 
Residential students should visit https://simpson.edu/internal/residence-life/housing-during-covid for information about visitation policies.  

Some procedures are not changing under Yellow. The following guidelines remain in effect: 

Masks are continued to be required 
In any indoor, public spaces (that means anywhere other than a private room or office) 
In private offices when more than one person is present 
Outdoors when you are within six feet of another person 
We encourage meetings and other activities to continue virtually to minimize larger gatherings 

We will carefully monitor any changes in COVID activity on campus as we move into these new operating conditions and adjust accordingly. For an overview of the updated Yellow guidelines, please visit https://simpson.edu/covid19-plan. 

Thanks to all of you, we have been able to manage campus life during the pandemic much more effectively than have many schools around the state and the country. While this pandemic is still not over, it is so good to be able to move — carefully! — toward more of what makes being on Simpson’s campus special. 

Be well! #OneSimpson

Heidi Levine
Chair, Crisis Management Team 
Vice President for Student Development & Planning 


Resources for Students & Campus Community

Questions and Answers about COVID-19

Parent and Student Town Hall Recordings

Previous Daily Updates

To read previous daily updates, please click on our links below.


Healthy Practices

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) has changed its quarantine guidance to advise against quarantine following exposure if both parties were properly wearing masks. While this is not consistent with CDC guidelines, there are a number of emerging studies that back this up as the right decision and adopted in other states. To that end, Simpson College will adopt the IDPH standards for exposure and quarantine. 

  • Allow the option for people to choose to quarantine 
    • Employees due to campus workplace exposure
    • Occurring in a classroom, using socially distanced seating
  • Continue to quarantine if the exposure occurred outside classrooms.
  • We still need faculty seating/attendance information for contact tracing and if we need to revert to Orange Phase. 

As the new protocols and procedures around quarantine are contingent upon proper face-mask use, please see the following CDC criteria for appropriate mask use on the Simpson campus: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/about-face-coverings.html.

  • Masks need to be correctly worn, completely covering the mouth AND nose.
  • Face shields and vented masks are not recommended and will result in quarantine if identified as a close contact.
  • Gaiters are not permitted and will result in quarantine if identified as a close contact.