/ Campus Health

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

We are excited for our 160th academic year! After a 159th year unlike any other, we are committed to providing our students with a robust, in-person experience, both inside and outside the classroom, all while prioritizing the health and safety of our entire campus community.

As we strive to address both of these principles, the college has implemented these actions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • As of August 15, 2021, there is an indoor mask requirement on campus.
  • We have asked all students, faculty and staff for their vaccination status.
  • We will provide timely updates as new or amended public health guidance emerges.
  • We will conduct regular surveillance testing of unvaccinated and not fully vaccinated students and student-athletes.
  • We will conduct wastewater testing to inform targeted testing of all students in a specific zone to ward off potential outbreaks.
Indoor Masking Requirement

Effective Sunday, August 15, the following masking policy is place until further notice.

All students, employees and visitors must wear a mask over their nose and mouth at all times while on campus unless they are:

  • In their private living space, OR
  • The sole occupant of an enclosed office, car or van, OR
  • Actively eating or drinking, OR
  • Outdoors, OR
  • Speaking to a group outside a classroom setting while distanced from any other speakers that are not masked, OR
  • A student-athlete who is actively participating in athletic activities (workout, practice or competition), in accordance with MIAA policy and NCAA recommendations

Here are more details on how the masking policy impacts various areas on campus:

RESIDENCE HALLS

A mask is not required when you are in your private living space, but it must be worn in public areas such as hallways, restrooms and lobbies. We will be going back to our standard policy where guests (in masks) are welcome during our visitation hours.

DINING HALLS

Masks must be worn when you enter, get your food, and exit dining areas. While at your table, you are permitted to have them off. Feel free to take your food to go, or enjoy one of our many outdoor eating spaces (there's a great new patio between Lubbers and Phelps!).

CLASSROOMS

While there are no distancing restrictions in classrooms, masks must be worn at all times. You will find that desks are now spaced three-feet apart.

CHAPEL

We are so excited to be able to join together as an entire campus community, in-person, for worship with no gathering limits or distancing restrictions (just masks for now)! This means you can join your friends in groups large or small in the pews, or if you prefer, watch from another location or at a different time as we will offer livestream broadcasts of Chapel services. (FYI, chaplains, guest speakers and the worship band may be unmasked and spaced apart just to be extra safe.)

EXERCISE FACILITIES

Good news!! Workout reservations are not needed this year! At this time, masks are required in all of the indoor campus fitness facilities (Dow Center, DeWitt Tennis Center and DeVos Fieldhouse). The DeVos weight room will be open to students and employees from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and after 6 p.m. (The other hours will be reserved for use by our athletic teams.)

CAMPUS TRANSPORTATION

Masks must be worn by the driver and all passengers unless the driver is the only one in the vehicle.

OFFICES

There is no need to wear a mask if you are alone in a private enclosed space, but do wear a mask when working in a shared space with others or when a guest enters your private space.

COVID Testing

SYMPTOMATIC TESTING - ONGOING

If a vaccinated or unvaccinated student is experiencing COVID symptoms, please call the Health Center at 616.395.7585 to schedule a testing appointment.

SURVEILLANCE TESTING - BEGINNING, MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 6

Unvaccinated and not fully vaccinated students are required to take part in regular surveillance testing. These students will test once every other week between 8 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. from Monday through Friday at the Test Center at 200 E. 14th St.

  • Information about signing up to make a standing every-other-week appointment for testing has been communicated with students who are required to test.
  • Once your time slot has been selected, this will remain your consistent testing appointment every other week.
  • Rapid-result antigen testing will be used, and students will be notified of a positive test result within 30 minutes of their test.
  • Dual-enrolled students and other part-time students not living on-campus are exempt from the surveillance testing but should be self-monitoring for symptoms and staying home when feeling ill.
  • Vaccinated students will not undergo routine surveillance testing at this time, but they could be tested in special circumstances, such as when a persistent significant COVID signal is detected in a wastewater zone or when they have symptoms.  
  • Student-athletes and coaches who are unvaccinated will be tested once a week during declared playing seasons as long as the county’s status is substantial or high-risk for transmission. If the county moves to low or moderate risk, 50% of unvaccinated coaches and student-athletes will be tested each week.

WASTEWATER TESTING – ONGOING

Wastewater testing has begun and occurs three days a week, all academic year, in the nine wastewater zones of Hope College. Wastewater testing identifies the elevated presence of COVID within the population of a particular zone and allows us to quickly amplify our testing efforts in that area. For more details on this process and how it’s used at Hope, please watch this video featuring Dr. Aaron Best, the Harrison C. and Mary L. Visscher Professor of Genetics and chair of the Hope biology department.

If You Know or Think You Have COVID

SYMPTOMS

If a vaccinated or unvaccinated student is experiencing COVID symptoms, please call the Health Center at 616.395.7585 to schedule a testing appointment.

EXPOSURE

If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19, please complete our Notification of Exposure to COVID-19 form. You will be contacted during regular weekday office hours to discuss next steps.

POSITIVE TEST OUTSIDE HOPE

If you have tested positive for COVID-19 at a testing provider that is not Hope College, please complete our Notification of Positive Test Result form. You will be contacted during regular weekday office hours to discuss next steps.

PROCEDURES SPECIFIC TO STAFF & FACULTY

If an employee receives a positive COVID diagnosis, they should stay home and email Human Resources (hr@hope.edu) for further instruction.

Employees with questions about COVID symptoms or exposure should email their manager and Human Resources (hr@hope.edu) for further instruction.

Contact Tracing, Quarantine & Isolation
  • Any student or employee who tests positive for COVID-19 (regardless of vaccination status) must isolate* for 10 days or longer if their symptoms do not improve.
  • Each positive case will be traced to identify “close contacts.” A “close contact” is anyone that has been within 6 feet of a COVID-positive person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. 
  • Vaccinated close contacts and those that have tested positive for COVID in the past 90 days do not have to quarantine but should monitor themselves for symptoms and wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure. The Ottawa County Department of Public Health recommends that a fully vaccinated person who comes into close contact with someone with COVID-19 be tested 3–5 days following the date of their exposure. Such testing will be available for students through the Health Center. 
  • Unvaccinated close contacts must quarantine* for a minimum of 10 days, or longer if they become symptomatic.

* Students living within a 300-mile radius of campus are required to quarantine or isolate at home. For those outside of the 300-mile radius, the college has secured quarantine and isolation housing. Students who must enter Q/I housing at Hope will be moved to a nearby hotel or available on-campus housing on the same day as their positive test. Students who live outside a 300-mile radius and are quarantined/isolated in college-provided housing will incur a cost for housing and meals. The college will help coordinate the use of a grocery delivery service for students while in Q/I. Students may request Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds to assist with paying these costs, and Hope will manage the billing and the coordination of these reimbursement requests.

COURSEWORK DURING QUARANTINE & ISOLATION

If a student is in quarantine or isolation, their professors will be notified by the quarantine/isolation team. Instructors will send a recording of each class that is missed. Please note that recordings may not be available for absences not related to COVID-19 quarantine or isolation. Students, please consult with your professor in advance of any non-COVID absences to determine what might be available.

Non-Disclosure of Vaccination Status

All Hope College students were asked to provide their vaccination status prior to the start of the 2021–22 academic year. This information will be kept confidential and not shared with faculty, staff or on-campus work supervisors. Exceptions to this rule included surveillance testing center personnel, Health Center and athletic training staff, and the Campus Health Advisory Team.

If you have questions or concerns about COVID-19 at Hope College, please email campushealth@hope.edu.

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