Fall 2021 Plans

Posted 5.14.21. Updated 7.20.21, 8.5.21, 8.20.21, 8.23.21, 8.25.21.

We are pleased to share our Fall 2021 plans for COVID-19 management. With the widespread availability of highly effective vaccines in the U.S., we are excited to envision a more normal year here at GC as we emerge from the current phase of the pandemic.

Here are the key elements of our operational plans for the fall semester:

  1. Vaccinations: A COVID-19 vaccination is required for all students enrolling in Fall 2021 who are studying on campus once a vaccine has full approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which was given on Monday, August 23. Within one week of FDA approval of a vaccine (by end of the day on Monday, August 30), unvaccinated students will be required to receive their first shot and then to complete all required doses, or to submit documentation of their exemption. Any student who is studying on campus who does not fulfill this requirement by the deadline will be withdrawn from their spring classes.
    • Report your vaccination: Students and employees need to report and provide documentation of their vaccinations here. If you submitted a form last spring, you don’t need to fill it out again.
      Vaccine Confirmation Form
    • Student vaccination exemption information: Like other required vaccinations for students, medical and religious exemptions are allowed. If you need an exemption, read and fill out this form and submit it to the Health Services Office at health@goshen.edu by end of the day Monday, August 30.
      Student Medical and Religious Exemptions Form
    • Employee vaccination exemption information: All Goshen College employees who are working on campus are also required to be vaccinated against COVID-19, with exemptions available for medical or religious reasons. By September 8, unvaccinated employees are required to receive their first shot and then to complete all required doses, or to submit documentation of their exemption.This form documents exemptions, due to medical or religious reasons, for this vaccine. The form should be submitted to the Human Resources Office at hr@goshen.edu.Employee Medical and Religious Exemptions Form
    • International students and COVID vaccinations: If you get a vaccination in your home country, it will meet our vaccination requirement. If you received a vaccine that is not approved in the United States (namely, Pfizer-Biontech, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson), we encourage you to consult with our partner Goshen Family Physicians about whether you should receive another vaccination when you arrive that would offer you greater protection. We will have information about how you can easily and quickly get a vaccination for free when you arrive.
  2. The Big Four: 
    • Face masks (see the mask policy): Beginning Friday, August 6, 2021, masks will again be required for all individuals in indoor public spaces on campus, which includes classrooms, as well as all hallways and restrooms other than your dorm floor, regardless of vaccination status. Private offices, meeting spaces and residences, including dormitory floors and apartments, are not public spaces and use of masks in these spaces is left to your personal judgment. This requirement will remain in effect UNTIL 90% of students and employees are vaccinated OR our county is no longer considered to have “substantial community transmission” of the virus by the CDC.
    • Physical distancing: Physical distancing is strongly recommended for persons who are not vaccinated and optional for those who are fully vaccinated on campus. Classroom seating will be spaced 3 feet apart.
    • Testing: We will conduct a COVID screening test of all students upon arrival or check-in, regardless of vaccination status. Students will not be able to move into campus until this is completed. Weekly COVID testing will continue to be required for unvaccinated students and employees who are studying or working on campus. Due to the significant staff time required for testing, unvaccinated students who do not have an approved medical or religious exemption by Sept. 1 will be charged a $150 one-time fee for this testing for the semester.
      • Testing options:
        • Mondays, 2-4 p.m. — Wyse Hall Room 122
        • Fridays, 10 a.m.-noon — Rec-Fitness Center (RFC) Athletic Training Room
        • Set an appointment: Students can also receive testing outside those open hours by setting up an appointment with Luna Campos in Health Services at (574) 535-7474. If an immediate test is required, residential students should contact their resident director (RD).
        • In any week, you can submit a test result received at another community testing site to health@goshen.edu to meet the weekly testing requirement.
      • Asymptomatic vaccinated students who need or want to be tested on campus would be charged $10 per test and billed at the end of the semester. There are also free testing options in the broader community.
    • Isolation and quarantine:
      • Residential students who need to quarantine or be in isolation (if you test positive) will be moved into Miller Hall. Following CDC guidance, vaccinated students will not need to quarantine if exposed to a case unless they have symptoms. The dining hall will deliver meals to designated pick up areas and Student Life will provide other support for these students. Students who live off campus will quarantine or isolate at home.
      • Emotional support during quarantine and isolation: Students who would like to speak to a campus counselor, campus pastor or a staff person from health and wellness or DEI staff, should contact Liz Andes, director of health and wellness, at landes@goshen.edu, or Dr. LaKendra Hardware, director of diversity, equity and inclusion, at lphardware@goshen.edu or (574) 535-7474.
      • Medical support during quarantine and isolation: Student Life staff will check in regularly with students in quarantine and isolation. Goshen Family Physicians is available for medical consultation.
    • Handwashing and daily symptom monitoring: The positive effects of masks and handwashing to prevent flu and colds have been remarkable, in addition to preventing COVID. We strongly encourage you to continue to regularly monitor your health and well-being, and to wash your hands often.
  3. Academics: We will conduct fall semester classes in the delivery mode we were accustomed to before the pandemic. General academic questions can be sent to Beth Martin Birky in the Dean’s Office (bethmb@goshen.edu).
    • If you need to quarantine or isolate, fill out the COVID-19 Reporting Form or your class absences may be unexcused. You will need to contact your professors if you are missing class (as well as your coaches and job supervisors). And we encourage you to talk with your academic advisor with any questions about your course schedule.
    • Faculty are not required to provide remote learning this year if a student is in quarantine or isolation. Instead, similar to other excused absences, faculty will work with individual students who miss class due to COVID-19 isolation or quarantine to ensure that they keep up course requirements.
    • Classroom seating distancing will be 3 feet.
    • We are planning to go forward with many global education offerings, while continuing to carefully monitor conditions in host countries. Vaccinations are already required for all participants in our off-campus programs.
  4. Residence life: We are planning for a return to normal residential living and community building for undergraduate students.
    • Single rooms are available if desired, at the listed rate.
    • Campus dining protocols:
      • Masks must be worn in the dining hall, Leaf Raker Cafe or Java Junction when not eating, including while getting your food or drink.
      • In the dining hall, the Green Boxes are available again this year as your to-go option. You must bring them back in order to have them replaced with a new clean container. You should not use the Green Boxes to dine in the cafeteria and you should not throw them away.
      • In the dining hall and Leaf Raker, the AVI Fresh staff will wear masks when serving you, clean frequently and change utensils often.
      • Traffic flow in the dining hall: You will enter through the main south entrance and exit through the patio garden. To avoid crowding, please try to eat or exit within 30 minutes of arriving.
      • Use hand sanitizer before and after eating, and after touching surfaces that are touched by others.
  5. COVID Reporting Form
    • Students: If you have COVID-19 symptoms, a positive test result OR exposure to someone who has tested positive, please fill out the COVID-19 Report Form. You will be contacted by a Goshen College staff member to discuss your situation further and decide next steps.
    • Employees: Please use the COVID-19 Report Form only If you test positive for COVID-19, so that we can track cases and do contact tracing. If you have illness symptoms, stay home, get tested and talk to your doctor. If you are exposed to someone who tests positive, follow the CDC guidance for vaccinated or unvaccinated individuals, depending on your status.
  6. Extracurriculars and public events: We are planning for a full return to extra-curricular activities, including athletics, fine arts events, service opportunities and other student life programming with appropriate COVID-19 protocol guidelines to be determined.
    • We intend to offer public campus events in the fall, with more details forthcoming.
  7. Off-campus travel: Any campus member — students or employees — who travels off-campus for school business (clinicals, a conference, athletic competitions, internships, field trips, etc.) needs to follow the college’s mask policy in those contexts by wearing a mask in indoor public spaces.
  8. We will continue to follow local, state and federal guidance, and make adjustments if needed.