Frequently Asked Questions

Newest Information

Weekly Report – Oct. 19, 2020

Coronavirus at Central*

Updated: Oct. 19, 2020

Weekly Data
# Positive Cases Reported Oct. 12-18 4
# Possible Exposure Reported Oct. 12-18
(Quarantined at home or separated on campus)
4

 

Comprehensive Data
Total Reported Positive Cases since Aug. 24 34
Total Reported Possible Exposure since Aug. 24
(Quarantined at home or separated on campus)
179

 

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

Exposure is defined as contact with a COVID-19 positive (or suspected positive) person for 15 minutes or greater at a distance of less than 6 feet. Contact tracing is done by Marion County Department of Public Health in cooperation with the college.

FAQs for All Students

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

These guidelines are implemented in all of Central’s residence halls, townhouses and the pods until further notice. Announcements about changes to these guidelines will occur through email and floor/building meetings.

  • 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.
  • During the times there are risks from COVID-19, 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.

When appropriate, the following guidelines will be implemented:

  • Common lounges will be available for use while maintaining six feet between individuals.
  • Physical distancing and masks are recommended at all times and especially when guests are in the room.

Revised Guidelines, Effective Sept. 29, 2020

  • In traditional residence buildings and townhouses, the number of people allowed in the room will increase to double the designated occupancy of each specified room. Therefore, in a standard two-person room, there can now 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 number of people allowed in a pod will increase by half. Therefore, in a pod of eight, the maximum number of people allowed will be 12.

As with all COVID-19 planning, these guidelines can be restricted or expanded at any time as conditions at Central and/or the Pella community decline or improve. Please review the following for more details:

  • Off-campus visitors are not permitted to visit rooms unless they are a Central student.
  • Students do not need to have the same guests all the time, but keeping the guest number as small as possible is the safest practice for students.
  • No guests are permitted to spend the night.
  • If students do not have a roommate, they must still follow the room occupancy guidelines outlined above.
  • Students living in a single room may have one guest, in accordance with the room occupancy guidelines outlined above.
  • Students living in a triple room may have three guests in total, between all roommates. (No more than six people in the room at one given time).
  • If a student’s roommate is not present, with prior permission from the roommate, they may have guests over that double the occupancy of the room (one student and three friends, if in a two-person room).
  • If a roommate does not want to have guests over, their rights always supersede the rights of guests, so no guests would be allowed.
  • Although it is a choice for roommates not to wear masks in their own rooms, masks must be worn when any guest is present.
  • Students should clean high touch points (doorknobs, light switches, etc.) before and after guests visit.
  • At this time key card access will remain limited to a student’s own residence building. Students will need to let guests into the building for visits. Please remember by letting a guest in, you are accountable for their actions. Also, it is important not to let others into the building if they are not your own guest.
  • McKee residents have had the advantage of having seven other residents to visit with during the first five weeks on campus. McKee residents may now visit other rooms within their 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 each pod lounge can safely occupy 6-8 people.
  •  The occupancy of townhouse and residence hall lounges are not changing at this time. Occupancy limits are clearly posted in the lounges and must still be followed.

 

Updated: Sept. 28, 2020

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.

 

Updated: July 22, 2020

What Is Central Doing to Prepare for Fall With COVID-19?

Many members of the Central community have developed the college’s return to campus and in-person instruction plans. Be assured we are strategically considering all scenarios to allow for learning on campus while following appropriate guidance and health recommendations. A full list of these plans are available on the Protocols and Guidelines section of this website.

How Do You Recommend Students Prepare to Come to Campus?

We require all students and visitors to have a temperature under 100.4 and not to have had contact with any known COVID-19 patient in the previous 14 days. Individuals who have a fever or other coronavirus symptoms, or have been exposed to COVID-19, are asked to contact student development to make arrangements to arrive at a different time. Central staff will work with students to ensure a healthy transition while we also work to keep our campus safe.

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.

 

Updated: Aug. 3, 2020

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 Marion County Public Health at 641-828-2238 or contact Pella Regional Health Center at 641-621-2200. Marion County Public Health tests for COVID-19 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. PRHC tests if you meet their criteria for COVID-19 and can also test for influenza and strep throat, and assess sinus infections if those are possibilities. Students, please use your campus address and zip code (50219) to make contact tracing faster.

 

Updated: Aug. 11, 2020

What Happens if a Student 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. The student should contact student development if positive in order to ensure the well-being of others and to be moved and cared for. The college has designated several areas 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 may contact certain students if they fall within the contact zone of concern. In that case, those students may also be asked to self-isolate for 14 days.

Is the Fall Academic Calendar Different?

Central’s fall semester calendar will proceed as normal, with all scheduled breaks and holidays. The academic semester begins with classes Aug. 26 and concludes Dec. 11. Final exam week is Dec. 15-17.

 

FAQs for Student-Athletes

Many Schools Across the Country Have Canceled Fall Seasons. Why are Central Teams Still Competing?

Central views athletics as an integral component of a liberal arts education. There can be significant detrimental effects to students’ physical and mental health to canceling in-person classroom instruction, athletics competition and other co-curricular activities. Central wants to support its students by providing for meaningful athletics competition opportunities. At the same time, schedules are being adjusted and extensive other measures are being taken to ensure each student’s safety as much as possible.

 

Updated: Aug. 11, 2020

Why Were Four Fall Sports Seasons Postponed While Four Others Will Proceed?

The NCAA has differing return-to-play requirements for various sports. The sports that were postponed have requirements that would be logistically difficult to comply with and extremely costly.
Updated: Aug. 11, 2020

Do Fall Sport Student-Athletes Still Return to Campus Early?

All student-athletes will return to campus the same time as other students, as part of Welcome Week Aug. 21-25.
Updated: Aug. 11, 2020

Are These Schedules Final?

All schedules can be adjusted or canceled at any point as conditions warrant.

 

Updated: July 29, 2020

If Fall Sports Teams Play a Spring Season, Won’t They Lose the Extra Year of Athletics Eligibility That They Were Promised?

While all options for the spring seasons are being explored, it does not appear that a full season of competition is among the realistic options. NCAA fall sport championships have already been canceled.
Updated: Aug. 11, 2020

Do Underclass Fall Sport Student-Athletes Also Gain a Fifth Year of Athletics Eligibility or Does That Only Apply to Seniors?

All students will be allowed to extend their intercollegiate athletics career if they choose. But check with Associate Athletics Director Alicia O’Brien, who works with athletics compliance questions.

 

Updated: July 29, 2020

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.

 

Updated: July 29, 2020

Will There Be Fall Championships?

Conference champions will be determined in men’s and women’s cross country, women’s golf and women’s tennis. There will not be a championship determined in football this year, but final decisions have not been made regarding men’s and women’s soccer and volleyball championships. Final schedules are still being determined. NCAA fall sport championships have already been canceled.

 

Updated: Aug. 11, 2020

Will There Be Any Overnight Trips?

For at least the fall season, teams will travel to and from competition sites on the same day.

 

Updated: July 29, 2020

Will There Be Social Distancing on Road Trips?

Travel arrangements are being reviewed to maximize safety and increase distance between passengers, which may require larger and/or additional vehicles.

 

Updated: July 29, 2020

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

Each sport coach will obviously make determinations on playing time, but a student-athlete must not participate in more than 50% of the sport’s maximum contest/dates of competition, and junior varsity competition counts toward that limit. Contact the head coach for more information.

 

Updated: July 29, 2020

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

Student-athletes who do not feel 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 part of the team and if comfortable competing in future seasons, will be welcomed back and given the same opportunities as other athletes.

 

Updated: July 29, 2020

Men’s Golf and Men’s Tennis Have Meets Scheduled In the Non-Traditional Fall Season. Will Those Fall Season Meets Be Held?

Men’s golf and men’s tennis squads are scheduled to compete in the fall. Competition dates and formats are still to be determined.

 

Updated: July 29, 2020

The Women’s Golf and Tennis Teams Also Hold Meets in the Spring. Does Competing in the Spring Jeopardize Receiving an Extra Year of Eligibility?

While it’s likely that limiting competition in the fall will allow for an additional season of eligibility, extended spring competition could cause complications. Check with Associate Athletics Director Alicia O’Brien for clarifications.

 

Updated: July 29, 2020

Will Non-Traditional Fall Season Practices Still Be Held for Baseball and Softball?

Yes, although the format and structure of practices will change.

 

Updated: July 29, 2020

Will Winter Sport Team Practices Start on Time? Will Winter Competition Schedules Be Altered?

Winter sport schedules have not yet been altered. But changes will be made as conditions warrant. As always, the health and safety of the student-athletes, coaches and staff will be the primary consideration in all scheduling decisions.

 

Updated: July 29, 2020

 

FAQs for Staff

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.

 

Updated: Aug. 3, 2020

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.

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 Marion County Public Health at 641-828-2238 or contact Pella Regional Health Center at 641-621-2200. Marion County Public Health tests for COVID-19 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. PRHC tests if you meet their criteria for COVID-19 and can also test for influenza and strep throat, and assess sinus infections if those are possibilities.

 

Updated: Aug. 11, 2020

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.

May Employees Continue to Work Remotely After August 3, 2020?

As Central returns to in-person instruction in the fall, the expectation is that all employees return to work on campus. The move to remote employment was a response to an emergency situation, not a permanent transition to remote work. Faculty return to campus Aug. 17.

 

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.

 

Updated: Aug. 3, 2020

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.

 

Updated: Aug. 3, 2020

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.

 

Updated: Aug. 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.

 

Updated: Aug. 3, 2020

 

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.

 

Updated: Aug. 3, 2020

Will Dining Services Offer Special Themed Meals?

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