Simpson College is currently in Phase Yellow
October 1, 2021 (8:11 a.m. Central Time)
Dear Simpson Students, Faculty and Staff:
As we move into October, we continue to make encouraging progress toward our vaccination rate goal of 80% for full-time students, as well as our faculty and staff. I am pleased to share these numbers for our main campus as of September 30:
- Full-time students: 76%
- Faculty and staff: 85%
Vaccination rates, however, are lagging for our West Des Moines campus students: that vaccination rate stands at 49% (but West Moines faculty and staff are at 91%!).
CURRENT COVID CASES
The number of active COVID cases on both campuses remains relatively low. We currently have seven active cases on campus, which is up slightly from our last report two weeks ago. Our testing positivity rate remains low, with 2% of on campus test results being positive.
Your continued diligence in following our COVID protocols, primarily as it relates to consistently masking indoors, is greatly appreciated. This is paramount to safeguarding our community and key to keeping our campus COVID rates low.
LOOKING AHEAD—LARGER COMMUNITY CONCERNS
While Simpson’s vaccination rate is climbing and our incidences of COVID remain relatively low, we continue to see high rates of transmission in our larger community, throughout Warren County and all of Iowa.
This troubling trend adds significant complexity to our evolving COVID response strategy and plans moving forward. Opening much of campus life has been wonderful and we look forward to further easing restrictions in the weeks and months ahead. At the same time, we must do so in a responsible manner that reflects both Simpson’s reality and the status and trajectory of COVID in our larger community.
Our COVID Management Team (CMT) is monitoring the situation very closely to make sure we continue to make thoughtful and responsible decisions that will best serve the health of our entire community. We will continue to provide updates, as events warrant.
In the interim, if you haven’t done so already, please get your vaccination as soon as possible—the vaccines have proven to be safe and highly effective at reducing risk of infection and (especially) severe illness. Thank you for all you do to keep you, your friends, your colleagues and our #ONESimpson community safe and healthy.
Heidi Levine, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Development and Planning
Chair, Covid Management Team
Resources for Students & Campus Community
- COVID-19 Student Resources Page
- COVID-19 Community Resources Page
- Simpson College Safety Plan: COVID-19 Phases
- Downloadable Simpson College Zoom Virtual Backgrounds
Frequently Asked Questions
Parent and Student Town Hall Recordings
- Student Town Hall: May 18, 2020
- Parent Town Hall: April 15, 2020
- Parent Town Hall: May 11, 2020
- Parent Town Hall: June 4, 2020
- Student and Parent Town Hall: August 12, 2020
To read previous updates, please click on the links below.
- Friday, September 10
- Wednesday, August 25
- Monday, August 9
- Friday, June 25
- Friday, May 28
- Friday, May 14
- Thursday, May 6
- Monday, May 3
- Friday, April 2
- Tuesday, March 23
- Tuesday, March 16
- Thursday, March 11
- Tuesday, February 2
- Monday, January 4
- Tuesday, November 12
- Friday, November 6
- Tuesday, September 29
- Thursday, August 27
- Friday, August 8
- Wednesday, June 24
- Wednesday, June 17
- Wednesday, June 10
- Wednesday, June 3
- Wednesday, May 27
- Wednesday, May 20
- Wednesday, May 13
- Wednesday, May 6
- Thursday, April 30
- Monday, April 27
- Thursday, April 23
- Monday, April 20
- Thursday, April 16
- Monday, April 13
- Thursday, April 9
- Monday, April 6
- Friday, April 3
- Thursday, April 2
- Wednesday, April 1
- Tuesday, March 31
- Monday, March 30
- Sunday, March 29
- Saturday, March 28
- Friday, March 27
- Thursday, March 26
- Wednesday, March 25
- Tuesday, March 24
- Monday, March 23
- Sunday, March 22
- Friday, March 20
- Thursday, March 19
- Wednesday, March 18
- Tuesday, March 17
- Monday, March 16
- Sunday, March 15
- Saturday, March 14
- Friday, March 13
- Thursday, March 12
- Wednesday, March 11
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.