Information for Students Arriving on Campus this Weekend

If you still have questions about the move-in process, COVID-19 testing or the winter term academic calendar, this announcement that was sent to students and their families might help.

To Students and Families: 

This communication is geared toward students who will be arriving on campus this weekend to start in-person learning and living. Residential students have also received additional information from the Office of Residential Life. Here we provide important reminders: 

  • If your entrance medical records and requirements are not complete by Thursday, January 14, at noon, do not plan to move on campus. Please contact the Student Health Center with questions at 269-337-7200 or healthsv@kzoo.edu. Until your requirements are complete and you have been cleared by the Student Health Center, you will not be permitted to move on campus or start in-person learning.   
  • If you are COVID positive or ill, do not come to campus. If you have been exposed to someone with COVID infection, do not come to campus. Prevention of spread is the most effective tool we have. We’ve recently been contacted by students asking if it is OK to move in while COVID positive. It is not. We need your help in minimizing the risks posed by COVID and other illnesses. 
  • If you are unable to or decide not to come to campus, please contact the Office of Residential Life to finalize the details. To opt out for the term, please complete the opt out form by Thursday, January 14. To delay move in due to illness, contact reslife@kzoo.edu.   
  • Remember that after a speedy, efficient move-in process, only students who are residents of their buildings will be permitted inside. Families and friends from outside the residence hall will not be permitted in the buildings. 
  • Develop a plan related to quarantine and isolation (including a go bag) if you live on campus. If you plan to quarantine or isolate at home, ensure that your plan will enable you to leave campus safely and quickly. This includes making no stops on the way from campus to home, staying distant from others in the household at home, and strict adherence to public health guidance. 
  • Residential students have already received detailed check-in information from the Office of Residential Life. Please refer to that communication, or reference the move-in information on Residential Life’s COVID-19 page.   
  • Arrival testing is the first part of the residential check-in process, and will start at the Hicks Student Center. This is COVID-19 screening for well students only. If you are not feeling well, or have recently been exposed to COVID-19, please avoid coming to campus at this time. Staff members will direct students to and through the testing process to retain the necessary distance from others. All students are required to wear masks that cover their mouth and nose. A robust staff of medical personnel will be on hand to administer the tests as quickly and efficiently as possible. Even so, you may have a short wait. All students must bring a photo ID to complete the testing process. 
  • All students who are tested are expected to quarantine in their residence hall until their test results are complete. This means students should stay in their residence hall and leave only to go to the dining hall, and should not interact with others unless at least six feet distant and masked. Students awaiting test results should not interact with others beyond their place of residence until test results are known. Test results will be shared with students via their Kalamazoo College email from the Student Health Center.  
  • More information about arrival testing can be found on the COVID-19 website.  
  • Get in the habit of completing your MyChart app daily symptom checker each morning. Attach it to breakfast, your first cup of coffee or brushing your teeth so that it becomes part of your routine. You will be asked to show the completed daily check in a variety of campus locations. 

Finally, we have received some questions regarding the academic calendar and break days. At this point, we do not anticipate changes to the academic calendar for the remainder of the year, unless a change in circumstances requires it. For winter term, the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday is on Monday, January 18, and the winter break day is Friday, February 5. 

Thank you for doing your part to Protect the Hive and we’ll see you on campus! 

Campus Activity Levels

As has been the case throughout this pandemic, the first guiding principle of campus decision-making is providing a healthy and safe environment for those who work and learn on our campus. The second is ensuring that our students can continue to make progress toward graduation in a way that is as consistent with K’s overall educational philosophy and mission as possible.

K will continue to adjust its balance of online and on-campus activities throughout the 2020-21 academic year (or as long as it takes for the COVID-19 pandemic to become controlled), based on current regional and local conditions. The activity level chart indicates various levels of on-campus activity, using the following color-coded categories:

Campus Activity Levels color chart

Color shifts, from Orange to Yellow or back to Red or Purple, will depend on regional, local, and campus conditions. For example, changes in the number of regional COVID cases, hospital capacity, testing response time, or staffing levels in critical areas could trigger a change in level. The College will conduct daily monitoring of relevant factors and communicate changes via Hornet Hive updates, K Alert, and signs on campus.

Protecting the Hive: All students, faculty, and staff are expected to observe public health and social distancing guidelines, both on-campus and off-campus interactions. These include maintaining at least a six-foot distance from other people, wearing masks, washing hands frequently, and participating in baseline and ongoing, random testing for the virus. The College has undertaken other mitigation measures, such as reducing the capacity of classroom and other spaces, limiting access to some facilities, and improving ventilation in buildings (sometimes reducing the ability to control heating and cooling).

Current Activity Level

(Updated January 19, 2021)

Protecting the Hive: K will be operating at Orange Level. All students, faculty, and staff are expected to observe public health and social distancing guidelines. Maintain at least a six foot distance from other people, wear masks, wash hands frequently, and participate in baseline and ongoing, random testing for the virus. Shifts to other levels will depend on regional, local, and campus conditions.

Hybrid Learning, Cautiously Open at Reduced Density

  • Classes meet online, outdoors, or indoors, with social distancing
  • Designated indoor and outdoor study spaces and other facilities open, with social distancing restrictions
  • Meetings, advising, student and staff services: social distancing required; virtual mode and outdoors interactions encouraged
  • Residence halls open with single room occupancy and social distancing restrictions
  • Remote work encouraged; onsite staff may work on rotational schedule

Public Health and Social Distancing Restrictions:

  • Initial baseline and ongoing, random covid testing
  • Complete health screening each day before coming to campus
  • Six feet physical distance when possible
  • Masking in common interior spaces and when distance not possible indoors or outdoors
  • Frequent hand washing

Other: Business travel requires approval by relevant VP or President

Activity Level Descriptions

Note: The intention of this grid is to provide a range of operating stages that allows us to respond to changing events but at any time, a mandate from federal, state or local government or public health officials may override these criteria to move to greater restrictions on activity. Loosening restrictions by any of these external sources will not, however, automatically result in loosening restrictions for on campus activity; loosening of restrictions on campus will be based on assessment by President’s Staff of local conditions on campus and in the Kalamazoo community.

YELLOW: Open, Social Distancing

Hybrid Learning, Campus Open with Social Distancing

  • Classes meet online, outdoors, or indoors, with social distancing
  • Designated indoor and outdoor study spaces and other facilities open, with social distancing restrictions
  • Meetings, advising, student and staff services: social distancing required; virtual mode and outdoors interactions encouraged
  • Residence halls open with single room occupancy and social distancing restrictions
  • Remote work encouraged; onsite staff may work on rotational schedule

Public Health and Social Distancing Restrictions:

  • Initial baseline and ongoing, random covid testing
  • Complete health screening each day before coming to campus
  • Six feet physical distance when possible
  • Masking in common interior spaces and when distance not possible indoors or outdoors
  • Frequent hand washing

Other: Business travel requires approval by relevant VP or President

ORANGE: Reduced Density

Hybrid Learning, Cautiously Open at Reduced Density

  • Provost and Registrar will work with faculty to reduce density in classroom buildings for in person or hybrid courses
  • Limitations on indoor study spaces and other facilities (e.g., with reduced density and/or by appointment only)
  • Indoor non-class meetings/sustained interactions of five or more people require approval by relevant VP 
  • Increased social distancing restrictions in residence halls
  • Increased remote work per departmental/unit plan
  • Outdoor work or activities continue with required safety protocols

Public Health and Social Distancing Restrictions:

  • Initial baseline and ongoing, random covid testing
  • Complete health screening each day before coming to campus
  • Six feet physical distance when possible
  • Masking in common interior spaces and when distance not possible indoors or outdoors
  • Frequent hand washing

Other: Business travel requires approval by relevant VP or President

RED: Restricted

Remote Online Learning with Limited Access to Campus Facilities

  • No on-campus classes; very limited student access to campus facilities with Provost approval
  • Virtual mode or outdoors required for all meetings/sustained interactions
  • In-person services provided only with approval of relevant VP 
  • Residence halls have additional safety measures or reduced density
  • Outdoor work may be restricted

Public Health and Social Distancing Restrictions:

  • Campus access requires approval by relevant VP or President
  • Must conduct daily health screening and follow all public health, social distancing restrictions

Other: Business travel requires approval by relevant VP or President

PURPLE: Highly Restricted

Remote Online Learning. Campus access is restricted to essential activities

  • Campus closed to students and staff, except offices and employee support required to maintain safety, security, and basic operations of campus

Public Health and Social Distancing Restrictions:

  • Campus access allowed only as specified by relevant VP or President
  • Must conduct daily health screening and follow all public health, social distancing restrictionsInitial baseline and ongoing, random covid testing

Other: Business travel prohibited unless approved by relevant VP or President

MI COVID Alert App Offers Another Tool to Beat the Spread

As Kalamazoo College students, faculty and staff plan to return to campus, a tool from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) can help all of us Protect the Hive and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

MI COVID Alert App advertisement

How it Works

MI COVID Alert is a secure and free contact-tracing app operable through Bluetooth on any Android- or iOS-based cell phone located in Michigan. No one at K will be required to use the app, yet it can efficiently alert users when they’ve been within six feet of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes. It also helps users track any symptoms and anonymously report when they’ve tested positive.

The app sends push notifications to users and maintains those notifications within the app platform itself. After it’s conveniently downloaded through Google Play or the App Store, MI COVID Alert seamlessly updates itself regarding new cases every two hours in the phone’s operational background without hindering any phone functionality.

“It’s very easy, it’s free and it’s a way to be automatically notified if you’ve been exposed to COVID,” Student Health Center Office Coordinator Jennifer Combes said. “Basically, you download it and you can forget it. As long as you turn on your push notifications, you don’t have to check it every day. It will automatically alert you if you’ve been in close contact with someone who’s tested positive. And if you personally test positive, it’s an anonymous way to notify others that they’ve been exposed as well.”

Designed with Privacy in Mind

The app will never publicly reveal a user’s name, who they’ve met or their specific location. That means it maintains privacy and security while reducing the time required to alert people when they’ve been exposed. Combes was among the Student Health Center staff who consulted the College’s technology experts in Information Services before seeking to use the MI COVID Alert app.

“Privacy advocates have been justifiably concerned about digital surveillance in response to COVID-19,” Education Technology Specialist Josh Moon said. “We’ve seen some overreach already. The Bluetooth technology behind the MI COVID Alert app is a step in the right direction with its use of random codes and anonymity. I was comfortable installing it on my phone.”

Contacts who receive push notifications of past potential exposure will be given the option to be put in contact with Public Health and may be subsequently enrolled in contact monitoring.

“Generally, a user who is exposed and voluntarily provides their phone number will get a phone call from a contact tracer,” Combes said. “The contact tracer will go through what needs to happen from there. It might mean quarantining, it will mean watching for symptoms, and it might mean testing if there are any symptoms.”

Participating helps support the efforts of local contact tracers. The number of COVID-19 cases continues to place a strain on state and local public health departments, and they are at capacity with contact tracing. The app can help speedup notifications and catch more potential exposures so people can take precautions sooner.

One More Tool in the Toolbox

MI COVID Alert can’t replace good habits such as wearing a mask, washing hands, practicing social distancing, covering coughs and sneezes, and getting tested when symptoms appear. Regardless, Student Health Center representatives including Combes encourage its use to add another level of protection and prevention. The more people who download and use the app within a community, the more effective it becomes.

“The main goal is to control the spread of this virus,” she said. “There are a lot of tools, but this one helps you know as soon as possible if you’ve been exposed so you don’t expose others.”

Learn more about the MI COVID Alert app at the MDHHS website.

Community Safety Commitments

Responsible, other-centered individual decisions aligned with public health guidance are the single-best way to “Protect the Hive” and the larger community from the spread of the COVID-19 virus. In order to ensure the safest possible environment, the following list of Community Safety Commitments applies equally to every member of the campus community (students, faculty and staff), every visitor and every vendor or contractor.

Note that some departments and offices (Athletics, Residential Life, as examples) have requirements in addition to the ones listed here. All requirements pertain where appropriate.

  • Every person is expected to complete the daily symptom tracker (students using MyChart and employees using Campus Clear) prior to every campus visit, no matter how brief or infrequent.
  • Every person is expected to wear a mask covering the mouth and nose, indoors and outdoors, unless alone in a confined space (residence hall room, office) with the door closed. Exceptions for residential students include while bathing and brushing teeth.
  • Every person is expected to keep six (6) feet of distance from others in every campus setting.
  • Every person is expected to engage in frequent hand washing and sanitizing.
  • Every person is expected to abide by scheduled or phased activities, such as dining, as assigned to avoid unnecessary queuing and lines.
  • Every person is expected to participate in arrival and surveillance COVID testing, as scheduled. Note that testing time is limited so individuals may need to adjust personal schedules to accommodate the required testing.
  • Every student directed to quarantine or isolation (QI) campus housing is expected to respond promptly and to comply with all relevant directives and guidance. This includes remaining in QI housing for the duration of the QI period and cleaning up after themselves in shared spaces like kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Every student is expected to comply with the direction and advice of the Student Health Center, and to respect the finite human and medical resources available to them.  
  • Every person is expected to comply with contact tracing efforts. Consider downloading the state of Michigan COVID Alert app for mobile devices to provide additional contact tracing support.
  • Every residential student is expected to communicate with family, friends, and loved ones that they are not permitted in the residence halls after the initial move-in period.
  • Every person is expected to comply with College, local, state, and federal pandemic-related orders.
  • Every person is expected to comply with all Community Safety Commitments without relying on the reminders of others.
  • Every person is expected to abide by the best currently available public health guidance when they are not on campus. Every single decision made by each of us affects the health of every other person with whom we interact. 

These Commitments, and additional requirements for specific departments and offices, are expected to be kept, without reminders, by everyone equally. Students who fail to keep the Commitments risk immediate removal from campus, if they are in residence, or loss of privileges to use campus facilities if they are off-campus. To be clear, students enrolled in in-person or hybrid classes who are removed from campus or from campus privileges will jeopardize their ongoing in-person enrollment. Employees may face disciplinary action.

While we hope to rely on the good judgment of community members in abiding by the Community Safety Commitments, we will enforce them with speed and rigor if the situation warrants.

December 16, 2020

Student Surveillance Testing

What kind of test is it?
A PCR (quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction) test looks for the presence of SARS-CoV-2.  PCR tests provide fast and highly accurate results.

What can I expect when I am tested?
You will be asked to confirm personal information. To run a PCR test, a specimen will be collected from the nose via nasal mid-turbinate collection, which is a little bit less invasive than nasopharyngeal (back of nose).

Who administers the test?
The test will be administered by OptiMed Health Partners.

What information about me will be shared with OptiMed by the College?
In order to streamline the testing process, the following information will be shared with OptiMed: name, mailing address, phone, K email address, date of birth, sex, race/ethnicity. OptiMed will store the information in compliance with privacy regulations and practices.

Should I need to bring anything with me to the test?
You should bring a picture ID.

How long will the test take?
The test will take approximately 5 minutes.

Will all students be included in the selection pool?
All students are automatically included in the testing pool. Students will need to opt out if they will NOT be coming to campus at any time for any amount of time during winter 2021. Note that completion of the opt-out form only applies to winter term. If students need to opt back in they should contact the Student Development Office (studev@kzoo.edu).

How will students be selected?
Together in partnership with Information Services, a process has been established to randomly select from the pool of active students. A student will be returned to the surveillance testing pool after all students have been selected. A minimum of 40 people (students, faculty and staff) will be tested each week. Increased positivity rates may increase the number of faculty staff, and students tested.

How will students be notified that they have been selected?
The primary means of notification will be through the kzoo.edu email address. 

When will students be notified that they have been selected?
Selections will be made on Friday for the upcoming week. The notification will include a link to schedule your test.

How long will students have to complete their test?
You will have until Wednesday of your selected week to complete your test.

What happens if I am not available on the day that I am selected?
Please be in contact with the Student Health Center about your situation. They will work with you to ensure that you are tested on the next available day.

Who pays for the test?
Kalamazoo College will pay for initial and surveillance testing.

Where will the testing take place?
The testing will occur in the banquet room located on the lower level of the Hicks 

Who will have access to the results?
Results of the test will be accessible by OptiMed Health Partners and the Student Health Center. Testing numbers with no identifying information will be included on the testing dashboard.

How will I learn of the results?
The results will be communicated by the Student Health Center.

What happens if I do not or cannot participate in the testing?
You are asked to refrain from coming to campus until an initial COVID test is complete. There are no known medical reasons why someone would not be able to tolerate a COVID test.

Initial COVID-19 Testing for Students

Kalamazoo College has robust testing protocols in place as part of our plan for re-engagement. All faculty, staff, and students will be asked to partake in an initial COVID test during the beginning of the winter term and random surveillance testing throughout the remainder of the academic year. The following applies to the initial testing phase.

Why are we requiring initial testing?
Protecting the health and safety of our community continues to be our primary goal. Testing is one of many ways that we are protecting each other. Identifying asymptomatic people is a way of preventing the spread of COVID-19.

When will I be tested?

The initial testing schedule for students (excluding residential students) is:

  • Saturday, January 2, 3–5 p.m.
  • Sunday, January 3, 3–5 p.m.
  • Wednesday, January 6, 2–5 p.m.

First-year students moving into the residence halls will have their own schedule.

Will all students be included in the selection pool?
All students are automatically included in the testing pool. Students will need to opt out if they will NOT be coming to campus at any time for any amount of time during winter 2021. Note that completion of the opt-out form only applies to winter term. If students need to opt back in they should contact the Student Development Office (studev@kzoo.edu).

What kind of test is it?
A PCR (quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction) test looks for the presence of SARS-CoV-2.  PCR tests provide fast and highly accurate results.

Who administers the test?
The test will be administered by OptiMed Health Partners.

What information about me will be shared by the College with the testing professionals?
There are hundreds of people to be tested in a relatively short period of time. In order to streamline the testing process, the following information will be shared with OptiMed: name, mailing address, phone, K email address, date of birth, sex, race/ethnicity. OptiMed will store the information in compliance with privacy regulations and practices.

What can I expect when I am tested?
To run a PCR test, a specimen will be collect from the nose via nasal mid-turbinate collection, which is a little bit less invasive than nasopharyngeal (back of nose). 

Should I need to bring anything with me to the test?
You should bring a picture ID.

How long will the test take?
The test takes less than 5 minutes to administer. However, you should expect to wait due to the number of people to be tested. 

Who pays for the test?
Kalamazoo College will pay for initial and surveillance testing.

Where will the testing take place?
The testing will occur in the banquet room located on the lower level of the Hicks Student Center.

I am experiencing some symptoms of COVID-19. Am I able to be tested on campus?
For the safety of our community, please avoid coming to campus and contact the Student Health Center for more information. 

Who will have access to the results?
Results of the test will be accessible by OptiMed Health Partners and the Student Health Center. Testing numbers with no identifying information will be included on the testing dashboard.

How will I learn of the results?
The results will be communicated by the Student Health Center.

What happens if I do not or cannot participate in the testing?
You are asked to refrain from coming to campus until an initial COVID test is complete. There are no known medical reasons why someone would not be able to tolerate a COVID test.

My COVID-19 test is positive. Now what?
A positive test result means that you should follow the following steps. Additional information may be found by visiting the Student Health Center COVID-19 Resources page

  • On-campus residents:
    • Limit interaction with those around you. Stay in your room until given directions on moving to an isolation room. See the Isolation Plan webpage for more information on what to expect. 
    • Wear a mask or cloth face covering.
    • Clean and disinfect things you touch, like light switches, doorknobs, tables and remotes.
    • Wash your hands often.
    • Cover cough and sneezes.
    • Don’t leave the isolation location.
    • Don’t share personal items.
    • Answer calls from your COVID Care Coordinator and the local Health Department.
    • Watch for severe symptoms or other health emergencies. If you need to call 911, tell them you have COVID-19.
    • After 10 days you may end isolation if you meet these criteria:
      • Have not had a fever for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever reducing medication.
      • Other symptoms, like cough or shortness of breath, have improved.
  • Off-campus residents:
    • Limit interaction with those around you. 
    • Wear a mask or cloth face covering.
    • Use meal or grocery delivery services when possible or ask family and friends for help.
    • Clean and disinfect things you touch, like light switches, doorknobs, tables and remotes.
    • Wash your hands often.
    • Cover cough and sneezes.
    • Consider people living with you. If you live with someone with health conditions, think about how to isolate from them.
    • Don’t leave home.
    • Don’t share personal items.
    • Don’t use public transportation, if you have another choice. 
    • Answer your health department’s call. They will reach out to begin contact tracing. They can also answer your questions.
    • Watch for severe symptoms or other health emergencies. If you need to call 911, tell them you have COVID-19.
    • After 10 days you may end isolation if you meet these criteria:
      • Have not had a fever for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever reducing medication.
      • Other symptoms, like cough or shortness of breath, have improved.

My COVID-19 test is negative. What do I need to know?

  • If you had a known exposure to a confirmed case, contact the Student Health Center for more information.  You will need to quarantine until 14 days after your last exposure. On campus students will be moved into a quarantine space and out of their residence hall for the duration of their quarantine. 
  • If you had no known exposure to a confirmed case, and you are symptomatic, you may have another respiratory pathogen that is circulation in the community. Call the Student Health Center. Ask if you should be tested again or for another illness if you continue to have symptoms of COVID-19. Avoid group settings until 3 days after the last day of your respiratory symptoms and fever.
  • If you had no known exposure to a confirmed case and you are not symptomatic, you may return to your regular routine. Continue practicing physical distancing, wearing your clean mask and washing or sanitizing your hands frequently.

Who can I contact with questions?
You can contact the Student Health Center at 269-337-7200.

Quarantine and Isolation Plans for Winter Term

As we look toward the limited resumption of in-person learning in January, we write to provide some detailed information about the College’s quarantine and isolation (QI) plans. As with all of our COVID-19-related practices, QI housing plans are aligned with public health guidance and may change if/as recommendations change.The College has set aside space in campus housing to quarantine and isolate students living in the residence halls who require it, based on COVID-19 testing results or exposure/contact with others who have contracted the virus. Students who live off campus and need to quarantine or isolate will be provided guidance from the Student Health Center (SHC) about how to do so in their living spaces. The SHC has provided such guidance to off-campus students this fall. They will not be housed in campus QI spaces. Designated COVID-19 Care Coordinators (CCC) have been appointed and will manage the logistics of ensuring that students who transition to QI housing have the support they need. This includes coordinating communication with dining, residential life, campus safety, and faculty, among others. QI housing space comprises small, home-like environments and include kitchens for food and snack preparation. (Meals and snacks will be delivered to QI students daily.) These spaces will also be provided with cleaning supplies compliant with guidance from the CDC. Students in QI spaces will be in daily communication with CCC and/or SHC staff. The College will work in concert with the Kalamazoo County Health Department on contact tracing. 

Expectations for students: 

  • Comply with directives for quarantine and isolation from campus health officials. This includes relocating to QI housing promptly and following all directions for the duration of time in QI housing.
  • Respond quickly and honestly to contact tracing efforts.
  • Prepare a “go bag,” including your own bedding and towels, study materials/resources, and items to help pass leisure time. Having this ready ensures the quickest possible response to health guidance.
  • Take seriously your responsibility in QI to protect others by keeping your distance, wearing a mask, and cleaning up after your use of shared facilities (kitchens, bathrooms) with the supplies provided.
  • Stay in communication with CCC and Student Health Center (SHC) staff, as appropriate. 
  • Stay in QI housing until approved for return to regular housing assignments, do not invite visitors (including family members) to QI space and do not visit others while in QI housing.
  • Stay in regular communication with your family and loved ones. 
  • Do not “cheat” time requirements for QI because you are tired of the restrictions, as this puts others at risk. 

Expectations for families: 

  • Support good planning by your student (preparing a go bag, for example). 
  • Support guidance and direction from the College, including participation in contact tracing efforts.
  • Stay in regular communication with your student as they will have the best information about their health status.
  • Do not plan to visit your student on campus, in their regular housing location or in QI housing.
  • Make and finalize explicit plans regarding a student who has contracted or been exposed to the virus. Please see below.

If you plan to quarantine or isolate at home with family, plan now for safety measures:

  • How quickly can you leave campus? Prompt action (within a few hours) is a key to mitigating the spread of the virus.
  • How will you travel? Public transportation places others at risk if you are infected or have been exposed. If travelling by car, create as much space and ventilation as possible, ensure that all occupants wear masks, and do not stop once the infected/exposed person is in the car.  
  • How will you minimize risk to loved ones at home? How will you minimize physical proximity to vulnerable people (due to age or underlying health conditions) at home?

The College has planned for QI housing carefully, and we ask that you do the same. Please prepare for the winter term as if you will contract the virus. If you will consider returning home for QI care, please make concrete, explicit plans now so that you don’t have to do so in the midst of making other medical decisions.Other campuses have experienced students and families attempting to “game” QI housing—by arguing about test results, by being dishonest about contact/exposure, and by demanding multiple tests to “test out” of QI status. Our limited human and testing resources require that all of us come to campus prepared to comply with the plans that are in place. They are designed to ensure as much safety as possible, and they will not work without cooperation across the board.We will expect prompt, cooperative response to health directives; specific protocols will be shared with students who require QI housing once on campus.Finally, the month of December includes traditional times for family and other gatherings. Such gatherings enable the virus to spread quickly. If you plan to be on campus, living in a residence hall, attending classes, or using campus resources, we implore you to adhere closely to public health guidance in the weeks prior to the start of classes. Wearing masks, avoiding gatherings, keeping physically distant from others, and practicing good hand hygiene are all proven methods of minimizing the spread of the virus. They also give us the best chance of a successful winter term back on campus. We also strongly encourage you to get a flu shot prior to coming to campus, if you haven’t already. This will minimize the risk of having multiple respiratory outbreaks on campus or putting additional strain on testing and health center resources, as the symptoms are very similar to COVID-19.We know that this pandemic is an ongoing source of uncertainty for many people. By providing options to return to campus for winter term or to continue learning remotely, we seek to provide agency for each student and family to determine the best option for their individual situation. For those who are returning to campus, it is imperative that all of us, individually and collectively, follow campus protocols and public health guidance so that we can protect the hive. 

Sarah B. Westfall
Vice President for Student Development and Dean of Students

Danette Ifert Johnson
Provost

COVID-19 Go Bag

We recommend that every residential student bring items needed to assemble a Go Bag in the event you need to go into a quarantine/isolation room. You should consider what you might need if you’re out of your room for several days. 

Suggested items include:

  • Personal medications
  • Fever-reducing medication such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen.
  • Thermometer
  • Tissues
  • Towels, bed linens, blanket, pillow
  • Personal hand sanitizer
  • Several masks
  • Refillable water bottle
  • Snacks, tea, powdered drink packets
  • Changes of comfy clothing for multiple days
  • Slippers or socks
  • Personal toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, face wash, deodorant, contact lenses, contact solution, shampoo and conditioner, body wash or soap, brush/comb, ponytail holders, feminine products, etc.)
  • Entertainment items—books, puzzle, etc.
  • Computer and power cord
  • Cell phone and charger
  • Items for class: books, pens, highlighters, etc.
  • I.D. and your insurance information
  • Bag/bags to pack with  

You will be provided:

  • Meals/snacks daily
  • Access to microwave/ fridge
  • Trash bags/paper towels
  • Dish soap

Campus Response to New Pandemic Order

In response to the newly announced epidemic order from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), which the Governor announced Sunday, the College is implementing the following campus restrictions to flatten the curve, protect the health and safety of all K students, faculty and staff, and to increase the chance of successfully re-opening the campus to limited capacity in January.

Effective Tuesday, November 17, through Tuesday, December 8:

  • The Library student study space will end and the Fitness Center will re-close (current fitness reservations through Tuesday, Nov. 17 will be honored)
  • In-person campus tours for Admission will be put on hold 
  • Each vice president will review their business areas to reaffirm that only staff who are required to be on-site to carry out their work are coming to campus; all others should continue to work remotely
  • Individuals who have obtained permission to be on campus for specific business or academic purposes will continue to have access.

Please note that access to campus spaces is predicated on everyone wearing a mask and practicing appropriate physical distancing—and can be revoked for non-compliance.

We are convening a meeting of the Fall Monitoring Group today. 

We encourage you to download the MDHHS COVID Tracking app, which will alert you to possible exposures.

Thank you all for doing your part to Protect the Hive.

Saludos,

Jorge G. Gonzalez

President

COVID Testing Protocols for Winter Term

The College will institute a robust COVID testing protocol as part of the return to in-person learning and working in the winter term. 

All students, faculty and staff will be tested upon arrival to campus in early January 2021. All classes will be offered virtually the first week of the term to provide time for students to be tested and to quarantine until test results are available. We anticipate a turn-around time of 24–48 hours for test results. Students who test positive at that time will be moved into isolation spaces on campus if they live in the residence halls. Off-campus students will be instructed about how to isolate in their residences. Thereafter, a program of daily surveillance testing will be in place. The surveillance program will test 1–2 percent of students, faculty and staff each weekday, with follow-up for additional testing as required. Testing for symptomatic students, or for students exposed to the virus, will be ongoing.  

Other health protocols established prior to fall will remain in effect, including enhanced cleaning protocols.The essential element in preventing the spread of the virus is physical distancing, wearing face coverings over the mouth and nose, frequent handwashing and staying away from others (and campus) when ill. Every member of the K community is expected to take these measures, without fail, when on campus.