Sustaining a Healthy Community

Check this page for developments and decisions on how Central College is responding to the health of the campus community.

Information on these pages is subject to change as circumstances warrant. Please check back often.

NOV. 18, 2020 — Important Announcement Regarding the Remainder of the Fall Semester

Dear Central family,

We have been wrestling with whether we should return to in-person learning following next week’s Thanksgiving break. As you might imagine, there is no consensus of opinion across campus. Many of you wish to return to campus while others desire remote access to classes because of the pandemic.

Although our positive numbers since Aug. 24 are low and staying on campus continues to be a very safe choice, effective Monday, Nov. 30, 2020, we have decided to offer students the opportunity to either return to campus for in-person learning or take the option of finishing the semester remotely. Faculty will continue in-person instruction while accommodating students who opt to complete the semester remotely.

For Those Seeking Remote Access to Classes

  • Central will not provide tuition or room and board refunds for students who elect to finish the semester remotely. Related financial aid will remain unchanged.
  • To finish the semester remotely, please submit this form by no later than 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 23.
  • When you leave for Thanksgiving break, please take your coursebooks and materials so you are ready to begin classes remotely Monday, Nov. 30.
  • We’ll see you back on campus for the start of the spring semester Monday, Jan. 18, 2021.

Changes in Iowa

On Monday, the State of Iowa announced new mask requirements and new limits to social gatherings to thwart the spread of the virus. In response to these changes, Central will make these mitigation efforts for the remainder of the semester:

  • Other than in the classroom, indoor gatherings of more than 15 people and outdoor gatherings of more than 30 are prohibited. All campus events outside of classroom activities will be held virtually or will meet the new state guidelines.
  • Meals will be available in Central Market. Students may eat in Central Market or go to a newly created dining location in the Harry and Bernice Vermeer Banquet Hall in the Graham Conference Center.
  • Due to the continuing unavailability of staff within dining services, Fred’s will remain closed for all meals until after Thanksgiving. As a result of this change, Central Market will stay open until 3 p.m. for lunch and 8:30 p.m. for dinner starting today until Friday. During the last hour of each meal, we will have grill, deli and salad bar available. Students may continue to use Fred’s for sitting and eating if health protocols are followed.

A Note for Those Returning After Thanksgiving Break

You do not need to do anything additional to return to campus for in-person learning after the Thanksgiving break. Classes will resume as usual on Monday, Nov. 30. The last day of finals is Thursday, Dec. 17. We plan to start the spring semester on the normally scheduled date of Monday, Jan. 18, 2021.

While on break, I encourage you to stay the course and continue to make safe decisions. Please continue to follow Central’s safety protocols to keep everyone healthy. This week the CDC updated guidelines for holiday celebrations. I encourage you to review and follow their guidance. A few key takeaways:

  1. Individuals who do not consistently adhere to physical distancing, mask wearing, handwashing and other safety prevention behaviors before a gathering pose more risk than those who consistently practice these safety measures.
  2. Gatherings with more safety measures in place, such as mask wearing, physical distancing and handwashing pose less risk than gatherings where fewer or no preventive measures are implemented.

Please have a conversation with your friends and loved ones about the rules you all need to follow — because the virus won’t take a break for holidays. You have done a tremendous job this semester at Central, and we press you to keep this approach while away from campus. Thank you in advance for wearing masks, reducing contacts and practicing physical distancing even (or especially) with friends and loved ones during the upcoming holiday. This will help allow us return for the rest of the semester and the start of second semester safely!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Carol Williamson
Vice President of Student Development

 


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