Prevention: Health and Safety

Personal Responsibilities: The Big Four

Your health and safety, and that of all members of our campus, is of the utmost importance, and we each play a critical role in the health of all of us. It is essential that you comply with these daily behaviors to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

1. Daily Self-Screening Checklist

    Before you attend class or come to work, you must do your daily self-screening checklist to check for COVID-19 symptoms. There are thermometers available for taking your temperature with all resident assistants and residence life coordinators, as well as with administrative assistants across campus, but we also encourage you to bring your own personal thermometer to use during the day.

    If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, stay/go home, contact your primary healthcare provider and follow their directions. Promptly notify the appropriate GC Advocate as described in What to Do If You Have COVID-19 Symptoms.

2. Hand Hygiene

    • Wash or sanitize your hands frequently, especially when entering common spaces, workrooms and break rooms, and while using shared workspaces, electronic devices, equipment or other tools.
    • When washing with soap and water, scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds.
    • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
    • Hand sanitizing stations are available throughout offices and buildings on campus.
    • Additional hand hygiene protocols, including the wearing of gloves, etc, may be required in various campus settings, as advised.

3. Physical Distancing

    Physical distancing means keeping space between yourself and other people outside of your home or residence hall room.

    • Stay 6 feet / 2 meters (which is about 2 arms’ length) from others whenever possible, understanding that brief interactions (5 to 10 minutes) within 6 feet may be necessary in certain circumstances. Risk is a function of both time and distance.
    • Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings.
    • Observe posted maximum occupancy of rooms and maintain all furniture configurations and space setups that maximize physical distancing.
    • Comply with physical barriers and signage that are present to maintain physical distancing.
    • If you are able, use the stairs whenever possible and stay to the right. Elevators will have limited occupancy, and we want to reserve elevator space for people who truly need it.
    • Stay on the right side of the hall.
    • Continue to meet virtually as much as possible. When planning an in-person or hybrid group meeting, always offer a virtual alternative (that is, a zoom link and a device and designated host in the meeting space) to welcome those who would prefer not to meet in person.

4. Wear a Face Mask

    Face masks are required for all students, employees and guests on campus when in a shared space or when encountering people within a 6-foot radius of yourself, indoors or outdoors. Read the college’s face mask policy for more details.

    The college will provide all students and employees with:

    • two GC-branded cloth face masks

    Masks will be distributed to students as they arrive on campus. We also encourage you to bring several of your own, especially if you have ones you already like, or purchase more in the Bookstore. Wear a clean one every day. We understand that face masks can be uncomfortable and annoying, but we nonetheless ask every member of our campus community to persevere in wearing them.

    Employees and students with health risks may also request a face shield if they would like to use one in addition to a mask. Face shields confer additional protection to the eyes and face when worn with a face mask. Face shields and masks each confer partial protection from the virus, but are not the same.

Personal Responsibilities: In addition to the Big Four

Track Daily Close Contacts

At the end of each day, keep track of your daily close contacts. For the purpose of contact tracing, close contacts are any individual you interact with for at least 15 minutes within 6 feet.

Get Your Flu Vaccination

A flu vaccination is strongly recommended this year for all GC students and employees, and we will host a number of flu clinics on campus throughout the fall and spring semesters. Please get vaccinated as soon as possible. This is particularly important in the fall because the flu and COVID-19 have many similar symptoms. By reducing the flu, not only are we all healthier, we will be better able to identify the true COVID-19 cases and avoid unnecessary quarantine and isolation.

GC Operational Responsibilities

Physical Distancing

Classrooms have been reconfigured for physical distancing. For this reason, furniture should not be rearranged. Webcams have been installed in all classrooms to support students who are studying remotely.

Protective Barriers

The college has installed plexiglass barriers at high traffic service desks to provide an additional barrier when in-person interaction is needed.

Cleaning and Disinfection

The recommended COVID-19 cleaning and disinfection adaptations identified below rest upon the foundations of guidance from the American College Health Association (ACHA) and more recently released guidance for institutions of higher education by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Our fundamental goal is to operate within these guidelines to the greatest extent possible given our context.


  • We will increase use of cleaning products that have longer lasting disinfection time frames in high-traffic areas as well as in residence halls.
  • Hand sanitizing stations will be available throughout offices and buildings on campus. Custodial staff will check these stations daily to ensure sufficient supply.
  • Disinfectant supplies will be provided for student and faculty use to clean their space (desk, chair, table, etc) within a classroom if needed.
  • Should a faculty or staff member test positive, deep-cleaning procedures may be triggered or alternately, the impacted department or office may be closed for a period of up to 24 hours following a confirmed case to allow for natural deactivation of the virus.


  • Facilities will sanitize waste management equipment, receptacles and collection areas per guidelines.
  • Campus-wide HVAC system airflow volume may be increased based on safety guidelines.

Westlawn Dining Hall and Leaf Raker Cafe:

  • AVI Fresh employees will wear face coverings, have their temperature checked before each shift and answer health questions daily.
  • Staff will serve all food.
  • Take-out options will be available at both the dining hall and Leaf Raker Cafe, with our reusable green box system.
  • A hand sanitizer station will be set up at the entrance.
  • The dining hall will be divided into four sections for seating on a rotating basis.  Signing up for a meal time through the GET app is encouraged.
  • Tables and chairs will be cleaned approximately every 30 minutes, between each seating group.
  • Dining hall traffic flow for one single entry and exit will be marked.
  • Neither Westlawn Dining Hall nor the Leaf Raker Cafe are open to the public.


In assigning classrooms and event spaces, we have considered the quality of ventilation in those spaces in relation to the number of people we will allow. Some rooms with poor ventilation will not be used. As building design and weather allows, we highly recommend people to open windows to increase ventilation. If a class or gathering can be held out of doors, that is a preferred option.

Restricted Access for the Public and Visitors on Campus

  • Outdoor spaces: Visitors and community members (individuals and very small groups) are welcome on the Goshen College campus outdoors. Large groups need to be in communication with the Events Office.
  • Indoor spaces:
    • Residence Halls: Residential students in Kratz, Miller or Yoder are permitted only on the floors they live on. Students in Romero Apartments and Intentional Living Communities (ILC) will have access to their whole buildings and are not permitted to have visitors. The Connector is open by access-card only to campus this fall. Students who live off-campus are permitted in the Connector, but not in residential spaces. Visitors (non-students and non-employees) are not permitted in residential spaces or the Connector.
    • The Admissions Office is working with prospective students and families for individual and small group visit options to campus, both indoor and outdoor spaces. Prospective students should go here to learn more about current campus visit options.
    • The Union Building is open to the public Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. However, the Leaf Raker Cafe is only be open to campus members and not the public. This is the same for the Westlawn Dining Hall.
    • The Music Center is open to the public, though the public should call ahead to arrange an appointment.
    • The Recreation-Fitness Center is closed to the public and community members until further notice.
    • There are no external rentals for large groups until further notice.

Consult for clarity about which offices are open to the public, their hours of operation and how they are providing services.

Travel Off-Campus

At this time and until further notice, all college-related travel (funded by the institution) to any destination that involves an overnight stay or using public transportation (plane, train, bus) is prohibited. Any requests for professional travel exceptions need to be approved by an employees’ vice president and all appropriate precautionary measures to protect yourself and others will be reviewed with you. This applies to all faculty, staff and students. We encourage you to explore creative options for alternative study, research, work, recruitment, fundraising, professional development and collaboration. We will continue to review and refine this approach, and keep you updated.

COVID-19 Education and Training

All students will complete a mandatory COVID-19 training course through SafeColleges before classes begin in the fall. Training will be incorporated into activities at the All-Employee Retreat as well for employees.

Outdoor Multi-Use Space

While weather permits, large outdoor tents will be available for use as a multi-use space. Face coverings and physical distancing will be required in this space, but it will offer a good option for fresh air in a covered space.

Water Fountains, Water Bottle Refill Stations

Goshen City water is high quality and safe for drinking. Using a drinking fountain in the conventional way is problematic because people breathe and put their mouths very close to them. We encourage using water fountains ONLY for refilling your personal water bottles. Additional water bottle refill stations are being installed across campus.