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.


Jorge G. Gonzalez


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. 

COVID-19 Testing Available for Students

The Student Health Center will provide nasal swab PCR diagnostic tests for COVID-19 to students who are ill or are concerned they have been exposed. These highly accurate tests look for the virus’s genetic material. Please call 269.337.7200 to schedule. Your health insurance will be billed for the test. Test results will take 2-3 days.

Feeling Sick?

If you are concerned about COVID-19, you can access COVID screening questions in your MyChart.

  • MyChart Website: Under QUICK LINKS-COVID-19 Daily Symptom Checker
  • MyChart App: Symptom Checker

You can contact the Student Health Center by MyChart or phone for an appointment.

After the Student Health Center is closed, you can:

  • For life-threatening emergencies, call 911.
  • If you need to speak to a resident doctor on call at the Family Practice Clinic at WMed 24 hours a day, you can call 269.337.6500. Be sure to identify yourself as a Kalamazoo College student.
  • Visit the State of Michigan website for a list of local COVID-testing locations.
  • Visit the Student Health Center website for a list of medical transportation options.

If you need to quarantine or isolate, visit the Student Health Center isolation and quarantine plan for more information.

Ventilation Plan


As scientists learn more about SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, it is clear aerosolized virus from exhalation plays a primary role in transmission.  The operation of heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems can help reduce the concentration of virus, thereby reducing the risk of transmission.  This is done primarily through increasing the amount of outside air introduced into a building through its HVAC system’s outdoor air intake.  However, underconditioned spaces can cause thermal stress to people that may be directly harmful or lower their resistance to infection.  Therefore, modifications to the amount of outside air must not exceed the system’s ability to condition the air.  The College is following the guidance provided by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) in implementing operational modifications to help mitigate the risk of exposure.  


Increased Percentage of Outdoor Air

All campus buildings with central air handling will be set to increase the percentage of outdoor air intake to the point that the HVAC system can still condition the air.  Occupants can expect that this increase in fresh air will have an impact on the ability of the system to control temperature and humidity and should plan for less thermal comfort.  The amount of fresh air that can be introduced into the building will vary in accordance with outdoor air conditions.  Opening windows in these buildings is discouraged, because this will further impede the ability of the HVAC systems to condition the air.

Central Air Filtration

All buildings are receiving new filters prior to the beginning of the academic year.  These are high quality filters that meet the design specifications of the system in which they are used.  They are not in all cases HEPA filters, which capture particles down to .3 microns.  This is because that level of filtration may impede that system’s ability to draw air through the filter, negatively impacting the system’s ability to circulate air.

Forced Air System UV Treatment

For buildings with residential type forced air systems, UV treatment modules are being installed at the furnace.  This will expose the air to UV light as it passes through the furnace, which has been shown to kill the virus.

Local Electrostatic Air Purification

In special situations, where increasing the outdoor air may be difficult, or the virus load is more localized, electrostatic air purification units will be installed.  For instance, singing is known to project exhalation further, so spaces used by groups for this purpose will have stand-alone electrostatic air purifiers.   

Single Occupancy – Radiant Heat Only

Some buildings on campus, typically residence halls, do not have centralized air handling, only radiant heat.  These buildings have exhaust fans that exchange air in bathrooms, but individual bedrooms have only heating radiators.  In these cases, each bedroom has only one occupant, and they have control over who enters the space.  Occupants are encouraged not to have guests.  These rooms also generally have operable windows that allow them to introduce fresh air directly, but they will need to cooperate with other occupants who may be affected through shared thermostat zones. 

Specific Buildings

The following is a list of buildings or building groups that will help occupants know what to expect in their specific circumstances. 

Admissions Center, Anderson Athletic Center, Arcus, Dewing Hall*, Fieldhouse, Fitness & Wellness Center, Hicks Center, Light Fine Arts*, Mandelle Hall, Stetson Chapel, and Upjohn Library Commons

This group of buildings all have centralized air handling.  Fresh air will be increased to the point where conditioning can still be maintained.  Occupants should expect that thermal conditions will be less controlled than normal.  Operable windows should NOT be opened.

* Dewing Hall: 3rd Floor Instructional Spaces, and Light Fine Arts: Singing and Wind Instrument Instructional Spaces: These specific spaces within buildings already listed above will have electrostatic air purifiers within the instructional spaces.  Thermal conditions will be less controlled than normal, as the main air handler will have increased outside air.

Dow Science

This building normally operates with 100% outside air due to the nature of the laboratory work within.  This will be operated as normal.


This building has central air-handling; however, the thermal conditioning is limited and the building houses sensitive scientific equipment.  To maintain conditioning, the outdoor air will be increased only moderately when possible, and electrostatic air purifiers will be operated in the instructional spaces.  Operable windows should NOT be opened.

Humphrey House

This building has a central make-up air unit, but thermal controls are dispersed in zones throughout the building.  Operable windows may be opened, occupants will need to cooperate with those in adjacent spaces.

Crissey, DeWaters, Harmon, Hoben, Severn, Trowbridge

This group of buildings does not have centralized air handling.  Bathroom air is exchanged with exhaust fans and bedrooms will be single occupancy.  Operable windows may be opened, occupants will need to cooperate with those in adjacent spaces.  Common spaces will be arranged to allow only socially distant occupancy and gatherings will be discouraged.

Living Learning Houses

Living Learning units in individual houses will have UV light treatment installed on their furnaces, these spaces will operate as normal.  Operable windows may be opened, occupants will need to cooperate with those in adjacent spaces. 

Public Health Practices and Expectations

Everyone associated with the College shares in the responsibility for “protecting the hive.” Public health guidance is unanimous in advocating specific practices designed to prevent and limit the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. In keeping with this guidance, Kalamazoo College expects that all students, employees, and visitors to campus abide by the following measures without external enforcement. They are a condition of being on campus property.

Should any student, employee, or visitor fail to fulfill the following expectations, they may be removed and banned from campus, either temporarily or permanently.

  • Cloth face masks without a ventilation valve are required for everyone in shared interior campus spaces. Such masks must be worn properly so that the nose and mouth are both covered. Shared interior spaces include but are not limited to classrooms, laboratories, hallways, points of service, offices and all campus buildings. Occupants of spaces that are not shared (residence hall rooms, discrete offices) do not have to wear face coverings if they are in those spaces alone. Face coverings are required if another person enters those spaces.
  • Everyone is expected to maintain physical distance of six (6) feet from others while on campus, in interior and exterior spaces. Physical distancing markers will help remind people of this, and each person is expected to monitor this individually, as well. Note that this applies to areas where lines or queues have traditionally formed—the Book Club, the Richardson Room, Welles Dining Hall, the Mail Center, and the Bookstore, to name a few.
  • Frequent, thorough (20 seconds in duration) hand washing is expected. When soap and water are unavailable, hand sanitizer with 60%+ alcohol content can be used.
  • People who have symptoms of illness are expected to stay away from campus, regardless of academic or work commitments. Communication about such absences must be initiated by the person who is staying home to the appropriate instructor or supervisor.
  • Daily self-screening before going to campus must be completed. Information about the student self-screening process will be shared prior to the start of the fall quarter.
  • Residential students who are recommended for quarantine or isolation by campus medical providers must relocate to those spaces immediately, per the College’s process. A specific process has been established that will allow for immediate occupancy and meal delivery
  • No large gatherings are permitted on campus.While these expectations focus on campus behavior, the same principles apply to responsible behavior while away from campus. Avoiding large gatherings and frequent travel off campus will help ensure safety for the whole campus community. Please help us protect the hive!Expectations about public health practices may change as more information about the novel coronavirus becomes available.

While these expectations focus on campus behavior, the same principles apply to responsible behavior while away from campus. Avoiding large gatherings and frequent travel off campus will help ensure safety for the whole campus community. Please help us protect the hive!

Expectations about public health practices may change as more information about the novel coronavirus becomes available.

Health and Hygiene

Enhanced Sanitizing Protocols

Enhanced sanitizing protocols will be in place across campus when students return. Common spaces such as classrooms, restrooms in non-residential buildings, and group restrooms in residential buildings will be disinfected daily. Common touch points (e.g., doorknobs, faucets) will be disinfected on a more frequent basis. In classrooms, materials will be provided for individuals to disinfect their own area (e.g., chair, desk, table) upon entering the space. Classrooms will also be cleaned and disinfected daily by custodial staff.

Community Expectations for Promoting Health and Hygiene

Before returning to campus, all students and employees must complete the online COVID-19 educational modules that were shared via email in mid-July. This program consists of two 10-minute modules and associated assessments.

As part of our commitment to shared community responsibility, every person on campus who is medically able will be required to wear a face covering when in indoor common spaces such as hallways, restrooms, classrooms, lounges, and study/meeting areas. Face coverings are also required in outdoor spaces when social distancing is not possible and in personal spaces (residence hall rooms and individual offices) when more than one person is present. Students should return to campus prepared to self-monitor their health daily and to remain six feet away from others whenever possible. Students should bring a personal thermometer back to campus or to Kalamazoo when they return.

Everyone should follow CDC and College guidance on regular handwashing with soap and water and, when soap and water are not available, use of hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer will be provided in stations across campus.

The College requires all students living in the Kalamazoo area to have health insurance that is valid in the local area. Please enroll in or waive the College Student Health Insurance Plan.

If you are living away from the Kalamazoo area/only taking virtual classes and do not plan to enroll in the insurance plan, please waive health insurance.