/ Campus Health

What Hope Is Doing

We plan because we realize that the more prepared we are, the less of a disruption we will experience.

The Steering Committee of the Hope College COVID-19 Response Team is working with departments and offices across campus to ensure that contingency planning for different scenarios is taking place in a timely, integrated fashion. We will share additional planning details as they are refined.

In our academic programs, our faculty are prepared for remote delivery of courses. They have participated in peer-led workshops and trainings, which allowed them to quickly broaden their skills in remote course delivery. Faculty and staff are serving as a resource to one another, sharing expertise and creative ideas on how to continue offering their course content online. This is a time of extraordinary collaboration and cooperation throughout the college, driven by a shared commitment to getting our students to the finish line of spring semester.

College Decision-Making

This situation is rapidly evolving, and the college’s guidelines and recommendations may change.

A Hope response team, working closely with the college’s Risk and Responsibility Team and coordinating with the Ottawa County Department of Public Health, is monitoring the situation on an ongoing basis. The team will offer additional guidance to the campus community as necessary and will ensure that college policies, communications and planning are timely and coordinated.

Two common questions about Hope’s response to COVID-19 are:

  • How are decisions made to test and isolate an individual who has symptoms of COVID-19? The Ottawa County Department of Public Health gives the directive for testing and quarantining an individual. We work very closely with Dr. Heidel, medical director for the Department of Public Health, who provides instruction on how to proceed with cases involving possible exposure to COVID-19.
  • How are decisions made to change operations at the college, such as cancelling events and modifying course delivery? These kinds of decisions are made by the college in very close consultation with Dr. Heidel and the Ottawa County Department of Public Health. Dr. Heidel guided the college through decisions and processes during the norovirus outbreak in 2008 — and has helped us successfully navigate through many other health-related situations.

This collaborative partnership with our local health department follows recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which states in its Interim Guidance for Administrators of US Institutions of Higher Education:

Institutions of higher education (IHE) administrators should work in close collaboration with local health officials and the IHE’s university system to make class suspension and event and activity cancellation decisions. IHE are not expected to make decisions about suspending classes or canceling events on their own. IHE can seek specific guidance from local health officials to determine if, when, and for how long to take these steps. Class suspension and event and activity (e.g., on-campus sporting, theater, and music events) cancellation may be recommended for at least 14 days, or possibly longer if advised by local health officials. The nature of these actions (e.g., geographic scope, duration) may change as the local outbreak situation evolves.