/ Campus Health

Health & Safety

We encourage all members of the Hope community to practice CDC recommendations for social distancing, hand washing and other steps to protect yourself and others.

Become familiar with the symptoms of COVID-19, including fever, cough and shortness of breath. (Don’t panic — the presence of these symptoms does not mean you have COVID-19!)

Frequently Asked Questions

I may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. Am I a close contact?
When you hear about somebody on campus having COVID-19, it is natural to wonder if you might be susceptible to catching the virus. The best thing you can do is remain calm and remain informed.  

If you are practicing the four safeguards, you greatly reduce your risk of infection:
  1. Wear a face covering
  2. Distance six feet or more from others whenever possible
  3. Wash your hands well and regularly
  4. Keep your personal and shared space clean and sanitized.

Please review the following information to learn about exposure, close contact, contact tracing, notification and more.

COVID-19 Exposure Information

What happens if I’m a close contact?

You can be exposed to COVID-19 through close contact with someone who has the virus. Close contact is defined as coming within 6 feet or less for 15 minutes or more. An infected person can spread COVID-19 starting 48 hours (or 2 days) before the person had any symptoms or tested positive for COVID-19.

Close contact information

What happens if I have symptoms of COVID-19?

Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear 2–14 days after exposure to the virus, and may range from mild symptoms to severe illness. 

Students: If you have one or more of the symptoms listed above, you must:

  1. Visit Hope’s online patient portal to report your symptoms
  2. Self-quarantine until further notice
  3. Wear a face covering and keep 6-foot distance from others


Employees: If you have one or more of these symptoms, you must

  1. Call your health provider right away
  2. Email or call Human Resources and your supervisor
  3. Self-quarantine until further notice
  4. Wear a face covering and keep 6-foot distance from others
What happens when I have a positive test?

If you test positive for COVID-19, the Hope College Health Center and the Ottawa County Department of Public Health will be notified.

What to do if you’ve tested positive for COVID-19

What happens if I need to be housed in quarantine or isolation?

Hope has reserved 126 rooms for quarantine and isolation. A quarantine and isolation team, made up of trained advocates and healthcare professionals, are ready to serve and support students who are in quarantine and isolation housing.

Going into quarantine or isolation housing

When will my quarantine or isolation end?

Hope College uses a symptom-based strategy, not a test-based strategy, to determine a return date for individuals diagnosed with confirmed or suspected COVID-19. A symptom-based strategy takes into account the time since the onset or the diagnosis of the illness as well as the time since recovery.

In all cases, individuals with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 must follow the guidance of their healthcare provider and local health department. The decision to end isolation/quarantine and return to campus should be made in consultation with one’s healthcare provider and must follow Hope’s requirements. (Some people, for example those with conditions that weaken their immune system, might continue to shed virus even after they recover.) The college will also consider local circumstances when approving an individual’s return to campus.

Returning after quarantine or isolations

I have received the vaccine. Do I still need to quarantine?
Per guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and confirmation from both the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services as well as the Ottawa County Department of Public Health, vaccinated persons with an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are not required to quarantine if they meet all of the following criteria:
    • Are fully vaccinated (i.e., ≥2 weeks following receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose series, or ≥2 weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine)
    • Are within 3 months following receipt of the last dose in the series
    • Have remained asymptomatic since the current COVID-19 exposure
Persons who do not meet all 3 of the above criteria will follow current quarantine guidance after exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
Remember, all vaccinated persons must continue to follow all current guidance to protect themselves and others, including wearing a mask, staying at least 6 feet away from others, and participating in surveillance testing.

Other Information

Commitment to a Healthy Community

Students, staff and faculty all play an important role in building and sustaining a culture of accountability and personal responsibility at Hope. Certain safeguards work together to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, and every person on campus will be asked to fully participate in our mitigation strategy so that we have the best chance of remaining in-person, on campus for as long as possible.

We will be issuing more detailed guidelines about our shared commitment to living and learning on campus, including our specific responsibilities to one another and to our community. Until then, we are developing a framework with the following assumptions:

  • Distancing: We will do our best to physically distance from one another whenever possible. We understand that there are some situations where we may not be able to maintain a 6-foot distance, and in these situations, the use of face coverings is especially critical.
  • Face coverings: We will wear face coverings in public spaces, classrooms and common areas, as well as any close-quarters situation where we cannot maintain a 6-foot distance. Face masks will be provided to the campus community, and face shields will be available and used where appropriate.
  • Hygiene: We will wash our hands often with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer.
  • Cleaning: We will play an active role in keeping our areas clean. This will entail wiping down surfaces before and after use, as well as keeping clothing, belongings, personal spaces and shared spaces clean.
  • Monitoring symptoms: We will screen ourselves for the symptoms of COVID-19 on a daily basis, and if symptoms are present, will: 1) stay home from classes and work, and 2) report to a medical professional or the Health Center.
Everyday Precautions

Take everyday precautions to prevent the spread of all respiratory viruses:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home while you are sick and avoid close contact with others.
  • Cover your mouth/nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Testing is an important part of Hope’s mitigation plan, and we believe it will help us maintain a safe and healthy campus community. Our testing plan is tailored specifically for the Hope community and informed by the expertise of public health officials and our own faculty and staff. We recognize that challenges could arise in both the supply chain for testing equipment and the turnaround time for test results, depending on local, state or national conditions. For this reason, it was critical to build a multi-faceted, multi-pronged approach to testing, so that we can be agile and adapt in the face of such challenges.

Important details about Hope’s testing plan

Wear a Face Covering

All students, employees and visitors must wear a covering 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 OR
  • Outdoors and continually more than six feet from every other person

Read information about face coverings from the Mayo Clinic

Faculty: What if you’re sick?

Faculty, do you have a plan in place in the event that you become too ill to teach your remote classes? As you develop your plan, remember to start with the faculty class absence policy in the Faculty Handbook (C2E), which explains that when you are ill and anticipate being unable to teach a class, you should “inform [your] departmental chairperson as far in advance of the class session as possible. The faculty and chairperson will decide upon appropriate action to be taken.”

If you are showing symptoms of COVID-19, contact your family physician for guidance or call the Holland Hospital COVID-19 Hotline (616.394.2080). Please remember to notify Human Resources at hr@hope.edu if: you are sick with COVID-19 symptoms; you are ordered to be quarantined; and/or you have tested positive for the virus.

Counseling and Psychological Services

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is open to work with students whenever classes are in session. CAPS is a free service for degree-seeking students currently registered for classes.

To schedule a time to speak with a counselor, call 616.395.7945.

All sessions will be provided remotely at this time.
For Hope Students

  • If you are experiencing a medical emergency or suicidal crisis, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.
  • If you are in crisis and need to speak with a counselor immediately, call 616.395.7945. Counselors are available 24/7.
  • If you are seeking self-help resources for positive coping during the Coronavirus Pandemic, see Resources on the CAPS homepage.

Additional Crisis Resources

For International Students in their home countries

Health Center
The Health Center is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m.–noon and 1–4:30 p.m., by appointment only. Call 616.395.7585 or visit the Health Center website.