Roadmap for Reopening

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Prepared by the Dordt University Covid-19 Task Force (December 2020)

Please note that this information will likely be revised to reflect changing circumstances.


Motto: Love God, love your neighbor, love yourself, love Dordt


  • Carry out the mission of Dordt University and bring glory to God.
  • Care for our students, our campus, and our community. Consistently seek health and safety for all community members.
  • Complete the semester on campus, face-to-face, without significant disruptions.

Key Concepts:

  • Flexible. Not everything will be as we would like it to be, or as it was previously. Not everything will remain the same once the semester starts. We may need to change the roadmap as the semester progresses. 
  • Finite. We do not have the resources to do everything everyone might ask. We have limitations with resources, finances, and labor. We do not have full knowledge of everything that experts might say or recommend, and those experts may disagree. Prudently and diligently, we will seek wise counsel. 
  • Fair. We will endeavor to act as equitably as possible. Some decisions may inconvenience or cause discomfort for some, while working for the goal of the common good. 

Guiding Authorities: 

We will manage the fall semester according to these principles:

covid-19 task force

The task force is responsible for the development and implementation of policies and procedures to manage the campus impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

  • Co-chairs
    • Robert Taylor—Students
    • Howard Wilson—Campus
  • Derek Buteyn—Residence Life
  • Beth Baas—Student Health
  • Dr. Kristin Van De Griend—Epidemiology and Public Health Adviser
  • Nate van Niejenhuis—Facilities
  • Jim Bos—Registrar
  • Dr. Teresa TerHaar—Curriculum and Instruction
  • Sue Droog—Human Resources
  • Ross Douma – Athletics
  • Dr. Mark Christians—Faculty Chair
  • Sarah Moss—Communication
  • Chris Fagerness—Athletic Training Center

Key dates

  • Thursday, January 14 – First day of classes
  • Monday, February 15  – Rest day (no classes)
  • Tuesday, March 9 – Mid-semester break (no classes)
  • Wednesday, April 7 – Registration day (no classes)
  • Thursday, April 29 – Assessment day (no classes)
  • Friday, May 7 – Commencement

covid-19 alert levels

Dordt will begin the spring 2021 semester at a yellow alert level. A decision to move from stage to stage will be recommended by the Covid-19 Task Force to the Administrative Cabinet and to President Erik Hoekstra for a final decision.

Changes in alert level will be determined based on:

  • On-campus infection / quarantine rates
  • Local infection rates
  • Availability of off-campus isolation and quarantine
  • Recommendations from local health care partners

When possible, faculty will be given 48 hours of notice prior to transitioning to a higher stage. 



  • Regular (Pre-Covid-19) campus operations.


  • Similar to Dordt University in January 2020.


  • None.
  • Vaccination of the majority of campus to provide immunity could lead to a return to blue conditions.


  • Minimal Covid-19 spread on campus.


  • Face-to-face instruction for healthy students. 

  • Student instruction available in online format only by prior approval from the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Vice President for Student Success. This includes sick or immune-compromised students.

  • Employees with health challenges may apply for alternate working arrangements, to be approved by their supervisor and appropriate Vice President. 

  • Residence hall living with roommate(s). 

  • Dining in the Commons and Grille.

  • Co-curricular practices and events.

  • Social distancing as required by regulations.

  • Campus open to visitors. Allowance of overnight stays for prospective students or others in campus housing yet to be determined.

  • Limited campus rentals.

  • Maximum class size of 48 whenever possible.

  • Occupancy guideline of 30 square feet per student to accommodate social distancing.

  • Groupwork in classroom with limited number of group partners during the semester.

  • Faculty office hours may be provided face to face in office, face to face outside office, or online through Teams or Zoom. 

  • Travel for some field trips and other activities is allowed.



Likely evidence of spread on-campus or increased local community spread.


  • Classroom/online contingency plans as approved by Academic Affairs
  • Face-to-face instruction for healthy students and faculty, and online instruction for approved students in quarantine or isolation
  • Labs limited to one person per station
  • Class size may be restricted, and there will be distancing in classrooms
  • Field trips will be restricted
  • Residence hall living with heightened precautions
  • Quarantine/isolation housing in use
  • Dining with heightened precautions; additional seating in the Commons and Grille due to the use of newly installed air filtration systems
  • Campus is open to the public but closed to rentals
  • Co-curricular practices and events subject to cancellation
  • Social distancing as required by regulations
  • Restricted attendance with social distancing at events such as chapel or athletic events
  • No overnight stays
  • Employees with health challenges may be permitted to work from home, with prior approval from supervisor and appropriate Vice President
  • Intensified cleaning
  • Heightened standards of community health invoked


  • Daily health symptom reporting required
  • Daily temperature checking and badging
  • Face masks should be worn everywhere except in your bedroom


Significant on-campus spread, controlled by quarantine


  • Campus physical facilities closed to external personnel apart from essential services
  • Classroom/online contingency plans as approved by Academic Affairs
  • Dining facilities closed; to-go only and restricted menu and services
  • Reduced campus activity
  • No field trips
  • Minimal co-curricular events
  • No public events, and no fans at indoor games
  • No gatherings beyond 10 people in residence halls
  • Some employees permitted to work from home, following an approval process by supervisor and appropriate Vice President


  • Daily health symptom reporting
  • Daily temperature checking in residence halls across campus 
  • Universal masking
  • Full mitigation practices in place as recommended by state and federal agencies. Working with local health officials to determine how to best control spread


Large-scale spread, beyond capacity to isolate or quarantine.


  • Physical campus closed to external personnel
  • Classes delivered online
  • Very limited residential life for students who must remain on campus
  • International students and students with special situations permitted to remain
  • Dining via meals delivered to residence halls
  • Campus locked down. Minimal face-to-face service
  • Many employees working from home, following approval by supervisor and appropriate Vice President


  • Universal masking
  • Daily health symptom reporting

Campus-wide planning

Dordt will seek to provide programming that encourages willing and joyful compliance with Covid-19 prevention policies and practices will be included in chapel, co-curricular, and curricular activities.

There will be campus-wide messaging of campus health practices, including:

  • Banners
  • Signage
  • Bulletin boards
  • Social distancing stickers
  • Directional signage

All Dordt employees, students, and visitors must wear face masks when in campus buildings. Removable podium shields are installed in each classroom. Gloves will be provided to all employees requesting them. Gloves will be required in computer labs to use keyboards and mice. 

Hand sanitizer stations are installed in multiple locations across campus, particularly in classroom areas. Additional hand sanitizer dispensers will be distributed liberally. Temperature-taking stations are available at all major entrances. Social distancing and directional signage have been installed across campus. An alert level banner will be placed prominently on

Regarding movement on campus in constricted areas, there are floor decals that state: 

  • Keep to the right
  • Keep moving
  • Keep your distance

The governing authorities on matters of individual health will be the Director of Student Health and Counseling and the Executive Director of Human Resources.

Campus Community health

All students must update their health history with Student Health via the Health History form, which is located on the online student health portal,

Students, faculty, and staff will be required to conduct daily personal self-screenings for symptoms of Covid-19. Students should report their symptoms at Employees should report their symptoms at

All Covid-19 testing guidelines will follow local, state, and federal public health practice. Testing of any person with symptoms of Covid-19 will be prioritized. Testing of symptomatic individuals will adhere to local, state, and federal guidelines and be conducted as soon as possible. Testing of exposed students identified through contact tracing will be completed if they become symptomatic or at the discretion of the healthcare provider.

Surveillance testing may be used, depending on the alert level. Surveillance and routine testing will be used to systematically identify individuals within groups or communities with confirmed Covid-19 cases. Dordt may choose to require testing for all individuals, if adequate testing is available. When an effective Covid-19 vaccine is available, all personnel will be encouraged to receive a vaccination. 

Symptomatic individuals will be required to quarantine while awaiting results. Students who test positive will be required to:

  • Return home for 10 days if their home is within 250 miles. 
  • Remain in isolation for 10 days.

Symptomatic students will be required to move to quarantine or isolation immediately. Assistance may be provided to move limited personal items to isolation. Transportation will be provided if offsite. Linens, trash, and food service will be provided. Daily follow-up care will be provided by Student Health and Counseling in collaboration with Residence Life and Campus Ministries.

Sick students will be required to comply with directives from Student Health and Counseling and should communicate with the Academic Enrichment Center for student support. The duration of quarantine and/or isolation will be determined by public health guidelines.

Students with known exposure to Covid-19, as identified through contact tracing, will be required to quarantine for 10 days. Testing may be recommended for Covid-19-exposed individuals who do not exhibit symptoms. If during the 10-day quarantine individuals develop symptoms of Covid-19-like symptoms, or they have a positive Covid-19 test result, they will follow the self-isolation protocol outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Iowa Department of Public Health for individuals with confirmed Covid-19. If individuals develop symptoms after testing positive, they must follows the guidance for positive or Covid-like symptoms.

Regarding HIPAA / privacy, positive Covid-19 tests are reported to Community Health Partners and then to Dordt University. Sioux Center Health and Student Health and Counseling will provide a mechanism for Sioux Center Health to contact Student Health and Counseling Center when students with Covid-19-like illnesses are seen and require isolation.

Iowa Department of Public Health will conduct contact tracing. Individuals will also be asked to list known contact in the 48 hours prior to symptoms through their Medicat online student portal (

Regarding emergency planning, the university will determine thresholds (confirmed cases beyond manageable capacity) that would indicate a need to change the institutional alert level. The university has a written rapid response emergency plan for (a) increases of virus transmission within the community surrounding campus, and/or (b) within the campus community, including students, faculty, and staff. There is also a protocol to notify local hospitals and public health in the event of an outbreak. In the event the university no longer is able to provide face-to-face instruction, the university will manage housing, feeding, screening, and testing for students who are unable to return home.

Dordt reserves the right to close the campus to visitors when it deems necessary to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus. The university will determine the appropriate thresholds for allowing external visitors to enter the campus or campus buildings. 

Student Health and Counseling Center staff includes one registered nurse, two part-time nurse practitioners, two counselors, and additional help. Their hours are 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., 12:30 – 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Students must make an appointment to be seen. All counseling appointments will be held via telehealth, and medical appointments will be held via telehealth as appropriate.

During after hours, please call Students Services’ on-call number. Iowa Department of Public Health and Community Health Partners has 24/7 on-call availability for students with symptoms of Covid-19.

Students, faculty, and staff are required to submit their flu vaccination information to Student Health and Counseling at the start of the spring semester.  Students with applicable, existing immunization waivers will be exempt from this requirement.

Regulations regarding travel for students from outside the United States will be determined by federal and state government laws and regulations. Anyone with symptoms should not return to class or work and should follow current CDC guidelines for self-isolation and testing. These guidelines are found at CDC Guidelines on Covid-19

When planning to return to campus, students should plan to bring the following:

  • Illness supplies (e.g., thermometer, fever reducer, water bottle)
  • Proof of insurance
  • Several face masks (100% cotton two-ply or better are recommended)

Students, faculty, and staff will also receive instruction for:

  • Proper use of masks
  • Handwashing
  • Importance of physical distancing

Academic information

If a transition in alert level takes place, this shift will normally be announced two workdays prior to changing to more stringent tier, to be approved by the President and the Vice President for Academic Affairs, and to be announced via email from Vice President for University Operations and posted on a banner.

Classroom furniture has been arranged to provide adequate social distancing. The goal is to maintain social distancing while still effectively using available square footage. 

Classroom technologies include:

  • Use of faculty laptops with Zoom/Teams (Dordt University has acquired a site license for Zoom)
  • Tracking cameras, such as a tabletop Owl device, and headsets
  • Dedicated technology cart with camera/microphone
  • Ability to lead online discussion groups
  • Ability to facilitate live discussions for remote students
  • Ability to record and incorporate lectures into Canvas content

Faculty members may request to teach from outside the assigned classroom, for health reasons. Faculty will be required to complete the appropriate form, available from Human Resources, and be approved by their division chair and the Vice President for Academic Affairs in consultation with Human Resources. 

On-campus cleanliness

Public spaces:

  • Dordt has acquired several large-capacity pump sprayers for cleaning large surfaces with disinfectant. 
  • Small sprayers will be provided in each classroom for disinfection of desktops after classes. Faculty will be asked to appoint a volunteer after each class to quickly spray down the desk surfaces. Surface dries within three minutes.
  • Facilities personnel will increase frequency of cleaning, using an antiseptic product, on door handles, handrails, restroom fixtures, and other commonly-touched items.

Classrooms will be equipped with:

  • Podium screens.
  • A small supply of masks for students who forget their mask.
  • Roster for spraying tables.


  • Regular disinfection of door handles, toilet flush valves, and taps.


In addition to regular cleaning throughout the week, residence halls will now also be cleaned on weekends. A weekend cleaning protocol for restrooms will use student custodial staff.

Heating and cooling: 

The HVAC systems will increase the volume of outside air in order to dilute any aerosolization. The university’s HVAC systems do not accommodate significant HEPA filtration. 

communication efforts

Update emails will continue to be sent out to parents, students, and employees. The communication team will continue to update to reflect the latest information regarding Dordt’s plans for fall 2020 and additional responses to Covid-19.