COVID-19 Communication

For more information on our current alert level, please visit the Roadmap to Reopening.


Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Updated on October 27, 2020

  1. Why is Dordt moving fall semester classes and finals online between Monday, November 30, and Friday, December 11?

  2. What does the fall semester calendar look like between now and December 11?

  3. Can I get a refund on my board expenses for the fall semester?

  4. I'm a student athlete, and we have athletic events between November 30 and December 11. What should I do?

  5. I'm an international student. Am I able to stay on campus through the start of the spring semester?

  6. I don't have a place to go starting on Monday, November 30. What should I do?

  7. What are some important dates for us to be aware of for the spring semester?


1. Why is Dordt moving fall semester classes and finals online between Monday, November 30, and Friday, December 11?

There are many reasons why Dordt is moving fall semester classes and finals online through Friday, December 11:

  • Leaving campus and traveling over Thanksgiving break increases the likelihood that students and employees will come into contact with Covid-19. In the United States, there is a likelihood of an increase in Covid-19 cases in November due to colder temperatures, indoor gatherings, and the influenza virus. While these concerns were anticipated from the beginning of the semester, what was unexpected was the high infection and positivity rates in the local Sioux County community. This added factor makes successfully managing a return after Thanksgiving break a challenge, because of the high risk of exposure from the surrounding community.
  • With only two weeks left in the semester, returning to campus increases the risk that students will need to quarantine or isolate during one of the busiest, stressful times in their semester. Moving to an online format will provide students with a more consistent learning experience as they begin studying for and taking their finals.
  • According to our records, more than half of finals are papers or projects, and in some cases the traditional exam block is not fully used. In addition, Dordt faculty have prepared remote and online curricular backup this summer for all their courses and are prepared for this transition.
  • If students contract Covid-19 during the last two weeks of the semester while on campus, they run the risk of having to quarantine or isolate on campus past Friday, December 11.
  • Students returning to some areas, including all of Canada and states like Illinois, will need to quarantine for 14 days before spending time with extended family and friends. By shifting to online classes for the final two weeks of the semester, students returning to these areas will shorten the amount of time they need to quarantine.

2. What does the fall semester calendar look like between now and December 11?

Students will continue in-person classes between now and Tuesday, November 24.

Faculty who wish to give face-to-face cumulative exams may schedule them for Monday, November 23, and Tuesday, November 24. Friday, November 20, through Sunday, November 22, will be available for students to study. Classes that opt for a face-to-face cumulative exam on November 23 or 24 will still meet online between November 30 through December 7, as scheduled by the Registrar’s Office. Your professor will reach out to you if they decide to do a face-to-face cumulative exam on November 23 or 24.

Thanksgiving break will be from Wednesday, November 25 (which will serve as a travel day) to Sunday, November 30.

From Monday, November 30, until Monday, December 7, online classes will take place.

Final exams will take place online from Tuesday, December 8, to Friday, December 11.

3. Can I get a refund on my board expenses for the fall semester?

Covid-19 has created hardships for many, and Dordt continues to look for ways to support students during these uncertain times. As Dordt transitions to online courses and finals beginning on November 30, we anticipate some savings in the cost of food during the two weeks following Thanksgiving. We want to pass these savings directly along to students.

The refunds are calculated based on our expected cost savings, your meal plan, and the approximate cost you pay per meal:

  • 21-meal plan: $250
  • 15-meal plan: $225
  • 5-meal plan: $50

If you leave campus before Thanksgiving, these will be applied as a credit on your account and applied to your tuition or room and board costs in the spring. If you are graduating in December or do not plan to return to campus in the spring, you will receive your refund sometime during the spring semester.

4. I'm a student athlete, and we have athletic events between now and December 11. What should I do?

Men’s and women’s varsity basketball games will go on as planned, but junior varsity games will be canceled.

There will be on-campus housing available for student athletes, should it be needed. Please fill out this "Winter Break Housing Request" form and connect with your coach.

5. I'm an international student. Am I able to stay on campus through the start of the spring semester?

We’re happy to help. To request to remain on campus during winter break, please fill out this "Winter Break Housing Request" form.

6. I don't have a place to go starting on Wednesday, November 25. What should I do?

We're here to help you. To request to remain on campus during winter break, please fill out this "Winter Break Housing Request" form.

7. What are some important dates for us to be aware of for the spring semester?

The first day of spring semester classes will be in-person and on Thursday, January 14. Spring break and Easter plans will be announced in late January. Commencement will be held on Friday, May 7.


COVID-19 DASHBOARD

What is quarantine? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to Covid-19 away from others. Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms.” Anyone who is exposed to a person who has tested positive for Covid-19 – is within six feet for more than 15 minutes – must quarantine if possible. A person in quarantine must remain exclusively in the assigned space for 14 days since his or her last contact with a person with Covid-19.

What is isolation? Those who test positive with Covid-19 must isolate for 10 days from the date of the positive test if asymptomatic, or for 10 days from the onset of symptoms, and be symptom-free for 24 hours before returning to home. To learn more, visit the CDC’s website.

The university will provide limited isolation and quarantine housing for infected students. Students living within 250 miles of Dordt should quarantine at home until they have met the conditions for their return. For infected students who live further than 250 miles, Dordt is providing isolation and quarantine housing. For more information, please see our "Roadmap for Reopening."

Covid-19 Student Case Reports

Dordt University maintains this dashboard to update the community on the number of positive Covid-19 cases among students as well as the number of students who are in quarantine or isolation. The dashboard will be updated twice a week.

November 23, 2020

  • Active positive Covid-19 cases (students): 0
  • Students in quarantine or isolation: 18

November 19, 2020

  • Active positive Covid-19 cases (students): 4
  • Students in quarantine or isolation: 39

November 16, 2020

  • Active positive Covid-19 cases (students): 12
  • Students in quarantine or isolation: 48

November 12, 2020

  • Active positive Covid-19 cases (students): 14
  • Students in quarantine or isolation: 65

November 9, 2020

  • Active positive Covid-19 cases (students): 12
  • Student in quarantine or isolation: 71

November 5, 2020

  • Active positive Covid-19 cases (students): 10
  • Students in quarantine or isolation: 59

November 2, 2020

  • Active positive Covid-19 cases (students): 13
  • Students in quarantine or isolation: 56

October 29, 2020

  • Active positive Covid-19 cases (students): 7
  • Students in quarantine or isolation: 41

October 26, 2020

  • Active positive Covid-19 cases (students): 6
  • Students in quarantine or isolation: 26

October 22, 2020

  • Active positive Covid-19 cases (students): 4
  • Students in quarantine or isolation: 30

October 19, 2020

  • Active positive Covid-19 cases (students): 3
  • Students in quarantine or isolation: 23

October 15, 2020

  • Active positive Covid-19 cases (students): 8
  • Students in quarantine or isolation: 35

October 12, 2020

  • Active positive Covid-19 cases (students): 8
  • Students in quarantine or isolation: 44

October 8, 2020

  • Active positive Covid-19 cases (students): 8
  • Students in quarantine or isolation: 84

October 5, 2020

  • Active positive Covid-19 cases (students): 20
  • Students in quarantine or isolation: 80

October 1, 2020

  • Active positive Covid-19 cases (students): 21
  • Students in quarantine or isolation: 134

September 28, 2020

  • Active positive Covid-19 cases (students): 18
  • Students in quarantine or isolation: 135

September 24, 2020

  • Active positive Covid-19 cases (students): 17
  • Students in quarantine or isolation: 57

September 21, 2020

  • Active positive Covid-19 cases (students): 8
  • Students in quarantine or isolation: 63

September 17, 2020

  • Active positive Covid-19 cases (students): 0
  • Students in quarantine or isolation: 9

September 14, 2020

  • Active positive Covid-19 cases (students): 0
  • Students in quarantine or isolation: 4

September 10, 2020

  • Active positive Covid-19 cases (students): 2
  • Students in quarantine or isolation: 24

September 7, 2020

  • Active positive Covid-19 cases (students): 3
  • Students in quarantine or isolation: 38

September 3, 2020

  • Active positive Covid-19 cases (students): 28
  • Students in quarantine or isolation: 78

September 1, 2020

  • Active positive Covid-19 cases (students): 24
  • Students in quarantine or isolation: 64

August 25, 2020

  • Active positive Covid-19 cases (students): 9
  • Students in quarantine or isolation: 27

Helpful Resources:

 


CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Statement

Student Portion

First and final report: June 1, 2020

To assist students who have been impacted financially, Dordt University is distributing emergency government grant funding via the CARES Act. The CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund-IHE/Student Aid supplies funding for institutions to provide emergency financial aid grants to on-campus students who have been impacted by disrupted campus operations due to COVID-19, many of whom are facing financial challenges and are struggling to make ends meet.

The CARES Act requires all colleges and universities participating in the program to provide access to the following information.

On April 22, 2020, Dordt signed and returned to the Department of Education the CARES Act Certification and Agreement. This document is an assurance that the university has used, or intends to use, no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

The total amount of funds that the university will receive or has received from the Department pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement [for] Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students is $1,082,435.

The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of the date of submission is $541,218.

The estimated total number of students at the institution eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act is 905.

The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act is 565.

The university ‘s method of evaluating eligibility was based on the student being Title IV eligible and based off of the students Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as determined by the FAFSA to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants, and how much they would receive under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.  Remaining funds will be distributed to students who have shown additional financial need as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Expected Family Contribution Band Award
0 - 6,000

$1,200

6,001 - 18,000 $750
18,001 - 30,000 $300

Dordt University will send out the following letter to qualifying students concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants:

Dear Student,

We realize that many of our students are facing financial challenges due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.  To address the pressing financial need of students, Dordt University has received funds through the CARES Act that we are making available to you via an emergency financial aid grant.  This grant does not need to be repaid, and you are not required to substantiate your expenses; it is for your expenses related to the disruption of campus (food, housing, course materials, technology, health care and child-care expenses).

As a current student you may also be eligible to receive aid from the Hope Fund.  This is a separate fund provided by generous gifts from students and donors.  If you would like to apply, please use https://u.dordt.edu/hope-fund.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call Harlan Harmelink at 712-722-6082 or Brenda Postma at 712-722-6010.

Thank you,

Dordt University Business Office

Institutional Portion

Download quarterly report here: CARES Act Institutional Portion Quarterly Reporting

 


Previous announcements:


Campus Communication on Novel-Coronavirus (COVID-19)

February 3, 2020

What is novel-coronavirus (COVID-19)?

COVID-19 is a newly identified coronavirus that is causing an outbreak of pneumonia related illness. It was first identified in December 2019, in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.

Since then, the virus has been identified in multiple other countries, including 11 current cases in the United States.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), human coronaviruses are common throughout the world and usually cause mild to moderate illness in people. This new virus is a public health concern because:

  • It is newly identified, so much is still unknown about it.
  • Two other human coronaviruses, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, have caused severe illness in recent health concerns.
What is the risk?

The World Health Organization has declared this a Public Health Emergency.  However, the immediate health risk to the general US public is considered low at this time. The CDC and the World Health Organization are closely monitoring the situation and providing ongoing guidance. 

Symptoms and transmission:

Symptoms may be flu-like, ranging from mild to serious, and include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing.

Person-to-person spread is occurring, although it’s unclear exactly how it is transmitted and how easily the virus spreads between people.

Travel Advisory:

The U.S. State Department has issued a level 4 travel alert (travel not advised) for all parts of China. 

Dordt University officials and The Global Education office are watching developments closely.  Questions concerning the potential effect of the illness on study abroad programs may be directed to Rebecca Tervo.

Treatment:

People infected with 2019-nCoV should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. Currently, there is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for 2019-nCoV infection (source: CDC).

Prevention:

There is no vaccine to prevent this virus, and the CDC advises that the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

Here are everyday actions to help prevent the spread of Novel-Coronavirus and 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.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.  Return to regular activities (including work or class) when you have been fever-free, without the use of medications, for 24 hours.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Recommendations for people with respiratory symptoms:
If you have symptoms of fever, cough, and/or difficulty breathing and in the 14 days prior to onset of symptoms you:
  • Traveled to Hubei Province where Wuhan is located
  • Visited mainland China
  • Have had close contact with a laboratory-confirmed 2019-nCoV patient
You should:
  • Seek medical care right away. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel or contacts and your symptoms. Sioux Center Health’s Emergency Department can be reached at 712-722-1271, Physician Offices at 712-722-2609.
  • Avoid contact with others.
  • Do not travel while sick. Please do not use public transportation or just arrive at a health care facility without calling ahead.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available
  • Student Health and Counseling offers advice by phone (712-722-6990) during our business hours from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, to help save students and staff a trip to the Emergency Department.  

Kind Regards,
Robert Taylor, Dean of Students
Beth Baas, Director, Student Health and Counseling