Frequently Asked Questions

Information on these pages is subject to change. We will continue to adapt and employ appropriate modifications dependent on different settings and conditions across campus. Information will be communicated to campus and external attendees as appropriate for each situation.

Newest Information

Weekly Report – May 17, 2021

Coronavirus at Central*

Last Update: May 17, 2021

Weekly Data
# Positive Cases Reported Last Week, May 10-16 0
# Possible Exposure Reported Last Week, May 10-16
(Quarantined at home or separated on campus)
0

 

Comprehensive Data
Total Reported Positive Cases Since Jan. 18, 2021 31
Total Reported Possible Exposure Since Jan. 18, 2021
(Quarantined at home or separated on campus)
239

 

*Number of students, faculty, and staff who have reported.

Exposure is defined as Being within close contact (six feet) for at least 15 minutes cumulative within a 24-hour period with or without a mask OR physically touching/kissing someone who has tested positive. Self-quarantine recommended/required following exposure. Contact tracing is done by Marion County Department of Public Health in cooperation with the college.

FAQs for All Students

If I Have Been or Get Vaccinated, Does That Let Me Out of Quarantine If I’m Exposed to COVID-19?

Fully vaccinated people with no COVID-like symptoms do not need to quarantine or be tested following exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, as their risk of infection is low.

Fully vaccinated people who do not quarantine should still monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days following exposure. If they experience symptoms, they should isolate themselves from others, be clinically evaluated for COVID-19, including SARS-CoV-2 testing, if indicated, and inform their health care provider of their vaccination status at the time of presentation to care.

What Is Quarantine Guidance for Those Who Are Antibody Positive?

Individuals who are unvaccinated but have tested antibody positive within three months before or immediately following exposure to someone with confirmed COVID-19 and who have remained asymptomatic since the current COVID-19 exposure do not need to quarantine in low-risk situations.* Documentation of the antibody test needs to be provided to student development staff to avoid quarantine.

Contacts should still monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19 during the 14 days after exposure and if symptoms develop they should isolate and seek testing.

*Low-risk situations include settings where contact with persons at high risk of COVID-19 severe illness, including older adults and persons with certain medical conditions, is not anticipated for at least 10 days following exposure. For full details, see CDC guidelines.

What Rules Will I Need to Follow In the Residence Halls?

Effective Feb. 1, 2021, these guidelines are implemented in all of Central’s residence halls, townhouses and pods.

Central’s case counts and state data will determine any changes moving forward. Announcements about changes to these guidelines will occur through email and floor/building meetings.

  • In traditional residence buildings and townhouses, the maximum occupancy in a room is double the designated occupancy of the specified room. Therefore, in a standard two-person room, there can be up to four students in the room at any given time. This affects the townhouses, language houses, Scholte, Gaass, Graham and Hoffman Halls.
  • In McKee Hall, the maximum occupancy in a pod is one and a half times the designated occupancy. Therefore, in a pod of eight, the maximum number of people allowed is 12.
  • At this time key card access will remain limited to a student’s own residence building.
  • No off-campus visitors will be allowed within residential buildings (except during move-in times).
  • Masks or face shields are required within residential buildings other than in your own room or in the shower.
  • Students sharing the same room or pod will not have to physically distance from each other.
  • There will be enhanced cleaning of common bathrooms and high-touch surfaces.
  • Computer labs, kitchens and lounges within residence halls will operate at 50% capacity while maintaining six feet between masked individuals.
  • Common lounges will be available for use while maintaining six feet between masked individuals.
  • Physical distancing and masks are recommended at all times.
Additional Residence Hall FAQs

Can my guest be a person from off campus?
No, unless they are a Central student.

Do I have to have the same guests all the time?
No but keeping the guest numbers as small as possible is the safest for you.

Can my guests spend the night?
No, not at this time.

What if I don’t have a roommate?
You must follow the occupancy room guidelines.

What if I live in a single room?
You can have one guest.

What if a live in a triple room?
You and your roommates can have three guests in total. (No more than six people in your room at one given time).

What if my roommate is not in our room?
With your roommate’s prior permission, you can have guests over that double the occupancy of your room. I.e. you and three friends, if you live in a two-person room.

What if my roommate doesn’t want to have guests over?
The rights of roommates always supersede the rights of guests, so no guests would be allowed.

Do we have to wear masks in our room when we have guests over?
Yes, Central requires masks when inside our buildings and even though it is a choice for roommates not to wear them in their own rooms, with visitors, in the rooms, masks need to be worn with non-residents of the room present.

What type of cleaning should we do inside our room when we have guests?
High touch points (door knobs, light switches, etc.) should be cleaned before and after guests visit.

Are you going to change key card access to allow all students access to any building on campus?
No, at this time you will need to let your guest into your building to visit you. Please remember by letting your guest in, you are accountable for their actions. Also, it is important not to let others into the building that are not your guests.

Why is this different in McKee?
McKee residents have had the advantage of having seven friends to hang out with during the first five weeks on campus. McKee residents can now visit their friends in their rooms within the pod. Therefore, the visitation occupancy of the pod will be increased by half in McKee at this time. This will allow McKee residents to visit other pods with up to 12 people in a pod at one time. Please remember that the lounge can safely occupy 6-8 people.

Is the occupancy of the townhouse or residence hall lounges changing?
No. The occupancy of the lounges is clearly posted in the lounges and need to still be followed.

What Policies Do Student-Athletes Need to Follow?

Please see policies and protocols in the athletics section of our Protocols/Guidelines page. Please note that all polices are subject to change as conditions warrant and in accordance with American Rivers Conference, NCAA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Marion County Public Health and the Iowa Department of Public Health.

How Do You Recommend Students Prepare to Come to Campus?

Central community members, both employees and students, work to ensure a healthy transition while we also work to keep our campus safe.

  • Quarantine to the best of your ability for 14 days prior to returning to campus.
  • Limit your circle of contacts while on break as much as possible.
  • Get tested for COVID-19 if possible before returning. See testing suggestions in “Where Do I Go to Get Tested for COVID-19?
  • Remain at home if you test positive for COVID-19, have symptoms, or have been exposed. Contact Charlie Strey, dean of students, at 641-628-5621, so remote learning arrangements and new arrival arrangement dates may be made.
  • Arrive on campus healthy.
  • We require all students and family members to have a temperature under 100.4° and not to have had contact with any known COVID-19 patient in the previous 14 days prior to arrival on campus.

Remember, the no-visit policy will be enacted in campus residences for at least the first two weeks of the semester once move in has occurred. Current case counts will determine when that policy can be lifted.

See residence life section for move-in specifics.

What Should Students Bring to Campus?

Masks are required in indoor public spaces and outdoors when six-foot physical distances cannot be maintained. All students are expected to bring two reusable and washable face masks, hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies for cleaning residence hall rooms as per cleaning guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The college also will provide each student with two additional masks and a reusable face shield at check-in.

How Is Central Supporting Those With a Weakened Immune System?

Masks are required in indoor public spaces and outdoors when six-foot physical distances cannot be maintained. All students are expected to bring two reusable and washable face masks, hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies for their residence hall room. The college also will provide each student with two additional masks and a reusable face shield at check-in. Individuals who need special accommodations are asked to contact student development so that arrangements may be made.

What Precautions Are Being Taken by the College Regarding Cleaning of Campus Buildings?

Facilities management custodial services will be adjusted and enhanced based on general building use and in accordance with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Certain areas in public spaces will receive increased custodial attention, including high-touch points such as door handles, light switches, handrails, public interior doors, door push plates, drinking fountains and elevator buttons. In order to allow for more frequent disinfection, some routine custodial tasks may be deferred from their normally scheduled frequencies but will not be deferred to a point of neglect.

How Is the College Handling Dining On Campus?

All staff and students are required to wear face coverings (mask or face shield) when preparing, serving or picking up meals. Dining services staff follow the strict guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Food and Drug Administration in food preparation and service, for their health and yours. Students are expected to maintain six-foot physical distancing in Central’s dining facilities and avoid moving tables. If an individual coughs or sneezes in the serving area without a face covering, Central is required under health regulations to discard the prepared food in the area, clean the area and begin the cooking process again. No one will be admitted to Central’s dining venues without a face covering.

See more in Dining FAQs below.

Will Students Have to Wear Masks On Campus?

Masks are required in indoor public spaces and outdoors when six-foot physical distances cannot be maintained. Students are expected to bring two reusable and washable face masks, hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies for their residence hall rooms. The college also will provide each student with two additional masks and a reusable face shield at check-in. At Central we have a heart for others. Students who might not have symptoms may still be able to infect others. A face covering can help with prevention. It is important that all students and employees wear a face mask or shield in public spaces on campus, including hallways, restrooms, classrooms and conference rooms. Roommates may decide among themselves about use in their own room. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone wear a mask when they are in public spaces.

What Routine Activities Should Be Avoided On Campus?

Please avoid using high-touch common items altogether, using only after cleaning or immediately followed by use of hand sanitizer. This includes drinking fountains, shared computer keyboards, printers, elevator buttons, stairwell rails and door handles. Students also are asked to avoid congregating in hallways before and after class or in residence rooms and lounges.

What Expectations Does Each Student Have to Help Central Stay Healthy?

Masks are required in indoor public spaces and outdoors when six-foot physical distances cannot be maintained. Students also are expected to wash hands frequently, avoid touching face and eyes, use hand sanitizer, maintain physical distancing and keep their rooms and space clean and disinfected. For example, the college is relying upon students to wipe down the desk and back of chair they use before and after each class. Some classes, such as labs, theatre, studios and music may have special requests. In addition, students are asked to self-monitor daily for coronavirus symptoms. Students with symptoms, including a fever or cough, are asked to contact student development and stay in their room if ill.

Where Do I Go to Get Tested for COVID-19?

If you are concerned that you have been exposed to or have symptoms of COVID-19, please contact your county public health department or personal physician. When students are on campus, HyVee Pharmacy and Pella Regional Health Center at 641-621-2200, and Marion County Public Health are Central’s partners in testing and follow-up. HyVee provides a free PRC test for anyone. PRHC will test those students that meet their criteria for COVID-19 and can also test for influenza and strep throat, and assess sinus infections if those are possibilities. Students are asked to use their campus address and zip code (50219) to make contact tracing faster through Marion County Public Health.

What Happens if a Student Tests Positive for COVID-19?

Individuals who have tested positive will be instructed to isolate for a minimum of 10 days and will be contacted by Marion County Department of Public Health to begin contact tracing. Students should contact the COVID-19 Hotline at covid19@central.edu or 641-628-5530 if tested positive or having symptoms in order to ensure the well-being of others and to be moved and cared for. The college has designated several buildings on campus to isolate students who test positive for COVID-19. Student development will work to ensure that every Central student who is in isolation is taken care of medically, emotionally and spiritually. In addition, staff will make arrangements for meal delivery. Please see COVID-19 symptom protocols for more details.

Because of privacy laws, the college will not share details about students who test positive for COVID-19. However, the public health department or Central may contact certain students if they fall within the contact zone of concern. In that case, those students may also be asked to quarantine for 14 days.

Is the Spring Academic Calendar Different?

Central’s spring semester calendar will proceed as normal, with all scheduled breaks and holidays. The academic semester begins Jan. 18 and concludes May 7. Final exams are May 11-13. Commencement will be held May 15 at 2 p.m.

 

FAQs for Student-Athletes

What Is the Spring Athletics Schedule?

Digital rosters, event programs and schedules are available by team at athletics.central.edu. Fans will continue to have the option to watch many of the home athletics events through live video streams on the Central site.

Will There Be Non-Conference Competition?

While league institutions are free to schedule additional games/meets, Central will restrict winter/spring sports competition to conference opponents for health and safety reasons. It is possible that non-conference competition will resume in the spring if conditions allow.

Is There Testing?

COVID-19 tests are conducted for winter/spring student-athletes prior to the start of competition seasons and additional testing protocols are being developed. These vary by sport.

Will Spectators Be Permitted?

With a robust schedule of outdoor spring events ahead for the A.N. Kuyper Athletics Complex, Central is welcoming fans back to campus. No admission fees will be charged. Health and safety protocols will be in place for all spectators. Fans are required to wear masks at all times and physical distance must be maintained with all but immediate family members. Fans are allowed to bring personal water bottles but food is not permitted. Fans also are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets to better facilitate physical distancing. Digital rosters and event programs will be provided through the Central athletics website at athletics.central.edu but no printed programs will be available. Fans will continue to have the option to watch many of the home athletics events through live video streams on the Central site.

Since Schedules are Modified, Do Student-Athletes Lose a Year of Athletics Eligibility?

The NCAA has granted an extra year of athletics eligibility to all 2020-21 fall and winter season student-athletes. Spring season student-athletes from 2019-20 have already been granted an additional year of eligibility and it remains uncertain whether the 2020-21 spring season will be counted for eligibility purposes.

For details, check with associate athletics director Alicia O’Brien, who works with athletics compliance questions.

How Many Credits Must a Student Take in a Fifth Year to be Eligible? Do Fifth-Year Students Receive Financial Aid?

Students should check on all details regarding fifth-year competition. The college is eager to help students work through the process. Contact the registrar’s office, the financial aid office and associate athletics director Alicia O’Brien for more information.

Will There Be NCAA Championships?

The NCAA canceled all Division III fall sports championships but still is conducting winter and spring championships in a modified format, assuming health and safety conditions allow and enough schools are participating.

Is There Social Distancing on Road Trips?

Travel arrangements are modified to maximize safety and increase distance between passengers, which often requires larger and/or additional vehicles.

Can a Student-Athlete Compete in Both Junior Varsity and Varsity Meets or Games?

It is permissible, but is a decision made by each head coach. Junior varsity competition is not intended for varsity student-athletes.

Will a Student-Athlete Jeopardize Future Playing Time by Not Competing This Year?

Student-athletes who do not feel that it’s safe to compete are advised not to do so. Central’s coaches are committed to student-athletes’ well-being and will be supportive of individual decisions. Those student-athletes will remain a part of the team and if comfortable competing in future seasons, will be welcomed back and given the same opportunities as other athletes.

Central’s Women’s Golf and Women’s Tennis Teams Have Meets Scheduled in the Non-Traditional Spring Season. Will Those Spring Season Meets Be Held?

Central’s women’s golf and women’s tennis squads are scheduled to compete in the spring if conditions permit, but competition dates and formats are still to be determined.

Who Can I Contact for More Information?

 

FAQs for Employees

If I Have Been or Get Vaccinated, Does That Let Me Out of Quarantine If I’m Exposed to COVID-19?

If you have been fully vaccinated, are 14 days past your second dose and have been around someone who has COVID-19, you do not need to stay away from others or get tested unless you are experiencing symptoms.

Who Should I Contact if I Have COVID Concerns (Exposure, Symptoms, Positive Test)?

Employees that have been exposed to someone that has tested positive for the COVID virus, are exhibiting symptoms or themselves have tested positive should contact their supervisor, the COVID-19 Hotline (covid19@central.edu or 641-628-5530) and Josey Van Weeldon in Human Resources.

Where Do I Go to Get Tested for COVID-19?

If you are concerned that you have been exposed to or have symptoms of COVID-19, please contact your county public health department or personal physician. HyVee Pharmacy and Pella Regional Health Center at 641-621-2200, and Marion County Public Health are Central’s partners in testing and follow-up. HyVee provides a free PRC test for anyone. PRHC will test those that meet their criteria for COVID-19 and can also test for influenza and strep throat, and assess sinus infections if those are possibilities.

What Precautions Are Being Taken by the College Regarding Cleaning of Campus Buildings?

Facilities management custodial services have been adjusted and enhanced in accordance with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Certain areas in common spaces will receive increased custodial attention, including high-touch points such as door handles, light switches, handrails, common interior doors, door push plates, drinking fountains and elevator buttons.

How Is the College Handling Dining On Campus?

All staff and students are required to wear face coverings (mask or face shield) when preparing, serving or picking up meals. Dining services staff follow the strict guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Food and Drug Administration in food preparation and service, for their health and yours. Students are expected to maintain six-foot physical distancing in Central’s dining facilities and avoid moving tables. If an individual coughs or sneezes in the serving area without a face covering, Central is required under health regulations to discard the prepared food in the area, clean the area and begin the cooking process again. No one will be admitted to Central’s dining venues without a face covering.

See more in Dining FAQs below.

Will the College Provide PPE for Employees at Work?

Masks are required in indoor public spaces and outdoors when six-foot physical distances cannot be maintained. Employees are expected to have a personal supply of hand sanitizer, washable cloth face masks and cleaning supplies for their offices as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The college is in the process of obtaining appropriate cleaning supplies for public spaces as per CDC cleaning guidelines. The college will provide each faculty and staff member with two additional masks and a reusable face shield. Employees may print the appropriate signs from the Protocol Tool Kit to signal requirements and expectations for the use of masks or face shields by others.

Will Employees Be Required to Wear a Face Mask at Work?

Masks are required in indoor public spaces, including hallways, restrooms, classrooms and conference rooms. In addition, masks are required outdoors when six-foot physical distances cannot be maintained. At Central we have a heart for others. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone wear a mask when they are in public spaces.

Will Employees Be Required to Wear a Face Shield at Work?

Masks are required in indoor public spaces and outdoors when six-foot physical distances cannot be maintained. Face shields are available for all employees.

What Routine Activities Should Be Avoided On Campus?

Please avoid using high-touch common items altogether, using only after cleaning or immediately followed by use of hand sanitizer. This includes drinking fountains, shared computer keyboards, printers, elevator buttons, stairwell rails and door handles. See cleaning guidelines offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

What Expectations Does Each Employee Have to Help Central Stay Healthy?

Masks are required in indoor public spaces and outdoors when six-foot physical distances cannot be maintained. Employees also are expected to wash hands frequently, avoid touching face and eyes, use hand sanitizer, maintain physical distancing and keep their office space clean and disinfected. In addition, it is essential that employees self-monitor daily for coronavirus symptoms. Employees with symptoms, including fever or cough, are asked to contact their supervisor and stay home. Other protocols may be shared by the supervisor.

Faculty will start and end each class by reminding students to wipe down the desk and back of the chair they use. Faculty also will wipe down any chairs, desks, tables, shared keyboards and other equipment in the classroom they personally use. Each faculty member will receive a set of whiteboard markers and eraser for use in the classroom.

What Happens if a Student or Employee Tests Positive for COVID-19?

Individuals who have tested positive will be instructed by their physician to self-quarantine for 14 days and will be contacted by the department of public health to begin contact tracing.

Because of privacy laws, the college will not identify students or employees who test positive for COVID-19. However, the public health department may contact certain members of the Central family if they fall within the contact zone of concern. In that case, those individuals may also be asked to self-isolate for 14 days.

Is COVID-19 Disease Covered by Short-Term Disability?

Short-term disability applies as it would for other illnesses if an employee is out for seven calendar days and has appropriate documentation. Having a health condition with the potential for serious complications to COVID-19 does not qualify an employee for short-term disability. For additional information, please contact the human resources department.

Is COVID-19 Disease Covered by FMLA? 

If a Central employee or a member of their family under their care is out for a prolonged period of time, the Family Medical Leave Act applies as it would for other illnesses with appropriate documentation. Having a health condition with the potential for serious complications to COVID-19 does not qualify an employee for FMLA. For additional information, please contact the human resources department.

What Is the Relationship Between Being at Risk for COVID-19 and the Americans With Disabilities Act?

Age is not protected under the Americans With Disabilities Act, so employees over 60 do not qualify for reasonable accommodations under ADA.

Underlying medical conditions that make one more susceptible to serious consequences of COVID-19 infection, however, are covered by ADA. As with any other claim, medical evaluation and documentation need to be filed with the human resources department, including how the condition relates to an increased risk of exposure. Central would then be required to make reasonable accommodation as defined by the college, not the employee. These would be handled on a case-by-case basis with human resources and the employee’s vice president.

 

Dining FAQs

Are Masks Required in Dining Areas?

All staff and students are required to wear face coverings (mask or face shield) when preparing, serving or picking up meals. Dining services staff follow the strict guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Food and Drug Administration in food preparation and service, for their health and yours. Students are expected to maintain six-foot physical distancing in Central’s dining facilities and avoid moving tables. No one will be admitted to Central’s dining venues without a face covering.

How Will Dining Services Locations Be Different this Academic Year Due to COVID-19 Guidelines?

Dining services will continue to follow state, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Food and Drug Administration guidelines and recommendations. Following these guidelines will mean that there will be significant changes to our operation this year. At Central Market, students may fill up to two “to-go” containers and choose to dine in or take out. Only one trip through Central Market will be allowed at each meal. Most meals will be served by our staff rather than the traditional self-serve method. Any self-serve areas will have signage explaining the guidelines and safety measures in place. Fred’s and Global Café will have their own set of guidelines that will be specific to their operation. All new procedures will be explained to students prior to the beginning of the school year.

Will Menus Be Affected?

Some offerings and menu items are not available temporarily due to logistical issues. Our overall goal is to provide as much of the same service and meals as we have in the past. Our pizza station will be limited at the beginning of the semester and some stations will be combined. Dining services will continue to evaluate guidelines and adjust our operation as necessary.

Will Take-Out Meals Be Available?

You may choose to take your meal to go at Central Market. All guests will just have one trip through the serving area at each meal. Take-out meals continue to be available at Fred’s and Global Café. Maytag Student Center has additional seating available in the Boat/Moore/Weller rooms. Please be sure to clean your space when finished eating.

Updated: Dec. 3, 2020

Will There Be Changes to Hours of Operations for Dining Services Locations?

We have adjusted our operating hours to ease larger crowds. Please avoid peak times if possible.

Central Market

Monday through Friday

    • Breakfast: 7:15-9:30 a.m. (Full Breakfast); 9:30-10 a.m. (Continental Breakfast)
    • Lunch: 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
    • Dinner: 4:30-7:30 p.m.

Weekend

    • Brunch: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
    • Dinner: 5-6:30 p.m.

Fred’s

Monday through Friday

    • Open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
    • Meal plan active: 2-5 p.m. and 7:30-10 p.m.
    • Grab & Go Only: 10-11 p.m.

Weekends

    • Meal plan active: 7-10 p.m.

Global Café

Monday through Friday

    • Open 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    • Meal plan active: 7-10 a.m. and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Will Visitors Be Allowed to Eat at Central Market?

The college is focused on feeding the campus community in a safe manner. Family members, guests and visiting students are permitted to dine in Central Market; however, the college is not accepting credit cards or cash for this service. All meals need to be covered by meal plans, employee charges or guest passes provided by different departments.

How Will Special Dietary Needs Be Handled?

Dining services strives to meet special dietary needs the same as in previous years, although there is some variation to procedures. Any questions or concerns about special diets should be directed to Jenna Youngblut at youngblutj@central.edu.

Will Students Be Able to Sit With Friends?

All tables must remain where set up to encourage physical distancing. Students are encouraged to dine with people they are usually around all the time.

Will Dining Services Continue Practicing Sustainable Policies During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Guidelines currently recommend we use disposable dishes. We will continue to compost any food waste; all our disposables will be biodegradable, and we’ll continue to purchase local products whenever feasible.

Will Dining Services Offer Special Themed Meals?

Dining services staff will find ways to offer special themed meals while adhering to safety guidelines.