Decision factors and possible COVID-19 changes on campus

Added August 21, 2020

The Pandemic Task Force continually monitors many indicators related to the spread of COVID-19, scientific guidance, and the experience of colleges and universities in Indiana and elsewhere to inform our ongoing decisions about how to safely achieve our mission this fall. We will continue to assess and change as needed our policies, practices and decisions regarding the format of our classes, class sizes and densities, residential options, and campus events and activities. 

Potential indicators of the need to change the college’s operating level at any given time include but are not limited to the following:

  • Indiana State Governor, Indiana State Department of Health, Elkhart County Health Department or the City of Goshen recommends or requires closing campus.
  • U.S. travel restrictions are put into place making it difficult for students out of state to return home.
  • Local hospitals reaching or exceeding capacity to care for ill or injured people.
  • Significant increase in positive COVID-19 cases affecting students and employees that overwhelm our ability to test, trace, isolate or quarantine.
  • Lack of access to COVID-19 diagnostic tests for students and employees.
  • Shortages in personal protective equipment, effective cleaning supplies and sanitizer to combat the virus on campus.

Possible changes include:

  • Activities:

    • Further restrictions could be made on gathering sizes.
    • Expansion of the mask policy could include masks required to be worn outdoors on campus at all times.
    • Stricter visitation policy could be put into place for campus buildings and residential spaces.
    • A reduction or elimination of public access to campus could be made.
    • Changes to non-essential group activities on campus, including athletics, could be made.
  • Classes:

    • Face-to-face classes could be temporarily suspended with a short term remote learning model put into place.
    • Face-to-face classes could be suspended and moved to remote learning, except accreditation programs.
    • All face-to-face classes could be completely suspended and moved to remote learning.
  • Residency:

    • Dining services could continue with to-go options only.
    • Residential hall occupancy could be reduced where all local students whose permanent address is within 20 miles of campus move home for the remainder of the semester.
    • All students could shelter-in-place on campus or at their homes.
    • All residence halls, ILC Group Houses and Romero Apartments could be closed and students sent home. Students may continue living on campus if: their home is in a hot-spot zone; they are an international student; they are an essential worker; they are a part of an accreditation program (nursing, social work, teacher education); they would be placed in a compromised living situation off-campus; they test positive for COVID-19.
  • Employment:

    • Employees could be requested to work from home if possible.
    • Only essential employees could be allowed work on campus.