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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update

June 25, 2021 (11:44 a.m. Central Time)

Dear Simpson College students, faculty and staff: 

Following extensive discussions with the CMT and members of the cabinet, we are revising our COVID-19 protocols, effective June 28, 2021. The revised protocols feature a mask-optional approach for vaccinated individuals in the current, Yellow Operating Phase. 
Highlights include: 
Yellow Phase (current) 

  • Mask use is optional for fully vaccinated individuals (indoors and outdoors) 
  • Mask use is expected for non-vaccinated individuals (indoors; outdoor mask use remains optional) 
  • Classroom protocols are still to be determined 

Orange Phase 

  • Mask use is required for all individuals, regardless of vaccination status 

To see the complete, updated COVID Operational Phases and Transitions – including triggers for moving between phases – please visit simpson.edu/covid19-plan
In making this revision we considered current guidance from the CDC and American College Health Association, the well-being of our community as a whole and our shared desire to return to more normal life as more and more members of the community are vaccinated. 
While the new revision allows vaccinated individuals to remove their mask, our goal remains the same. When we reach an 80% vaccination rate as a campus, we can move into the Green Operating Phase. At that point, we’ve achieved an immunity level that protects us all.  
That means everyone can take off their mask. 
Before we can go Green, we need to know our status as a campus community. If you’ve been vaccinated, please email a photo of your vaccination card showing the vaccine you received and the dates the vaccinations were completed.  

Thanks to all for doing your part to keep our community healthy, strong, and moving forward. Together, we are ONE Simpson!  

Heidi Levine, Ph.D. 
Vice President for Student Development and Planning 
Chair, Crisis Management Team  


Resources for Students & Campus Community

Questions and Answers about COVID-19

Parent and Student Town Hall Recordings

Previous Updates

To read previous updates, please click on the 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.