Sept. 15, 2021, update: Please review adjusted guidelines Kenyon has implemented to respond to evolving COVID-19 conditions. Read COVID-19 Steering Committee Chair Drew Kerkhoff's message to the Kenyon community regarding these updated guidelines. 

Kenyon College remains committed to lowering the risk of COVID-19 transmission and illness and working to protect the health and safety of our employees, students and visitors. The return-to-campus protocols below reflect current state and federal guidance as well as Kenyon-specific guidelines.

The support of our employees is critical to a successful return to more normal operations. All employees are required to follow the return-to-campus protocols until the College deems it no longer necessary. 

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Guiding Principles

Because Kenyon is a residential campus, where students live and learn together, often in close collaboration with faculty and staff, the College has adopted protocols that in some cases are more conservative than state and federal guidance. Our core expectations are:

  • Students are required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine; exemptions will be considered for medical reasons and sincerely held religious beliefs. 

  • Kenyon strongly recommends that all employees receive the COVID-19 vaccine. 

  • Effective Sept. 15, 2021, universal masking guidelines remain in place. Everyone, regardless of vaccination status, must wear a mask when in the presence of others indoors. Employees working alone in a private office or workspace are excepted.

  • Regardless of vaccination status, all members of the community are required to follow Kenyon’s reporting instructions if they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.

Because we know the efficacy of the vaccines is very high, and we also know that the vast majority of the Kenyon community is vaccinated, we are confident that the risk of transmission of COVID-19 to vaccinated individuals is low for most campus activities. Certain higher risk activities, such as indoor exercise, require proof of vaccination to participate.

Guidelines for Reporting to Work on Campus

Daily Health Assessments

  • Because of the possibility of breakthrough infections, and the importance of limiting community spread, all employees, especially if unvaccinated, are encouraged to continue daily symptom checks. They should follow the appropriate reporting instructions if:

  • Their temperature is 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher; OR

  • They have other symptoms associated with COVID-19, such as cough, chills, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea; OR

  • They have been exposed to someone with confirmed COVID-19 within the last 14 days.

  • By reporting to work on campus, employees certify that they are fit for duty and do not have an elevated temperature or symptoms of COVID-19. 

Symptomatic Employees

  • Regardless of vaccination status, employees who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, including a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, should:

  • Isolate at home and not report to work;

  • Immediately notify their supervisor and the Office of Human Resources;

  • Get tested for COVID-19 if possible;

  • Monitor their symptoms and call a doctor or use telemedicine if their symptoms concern them.

  • Regular paid leave will be used to cover the time off, as it is for any other illness.

  • Employees may return to work when:

  • A doctor confirms that their symptoms are not caused by COVID-19 and approves their return to work; OR

  • All of the following are true: it has been 10 days since their symptoms first appeared, they have not had a fever for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medications), and other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving; OR

  • They have complete at least 10 days in quarantine and experienced 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and other symptoms are improving (this does not apply to people with severe COVID-19 or with weakened immune systems);

By reporting to work on-campus, employees certify that they are fit for duty and meet the terms as described above.

Employees Exposed to Someone with Confirmed COVID-19

  • Vaccinated employees who have been exposed to someone with confirmed COVID-19, and who are not experiencing symptoms, should get tested 3-5 days following the exposure. They need not quarantine and may continue to report to work on campus while wearing a mask in public indoor settings.

  • Unvaccinated employees who have been exposed to someone with confirmed COVID-19 must quarantine. They may return to work on campus when they have completed 7 days in quarantine and have a negative COVID-19 test result at day 5 or later and are not experiencing symptoms, or have completed 10 days in quarantine and are not experiencing symptoms

  • Regular paid leave will be used to cover the time off, as it is for any other illness.

Guidelines for When Working on Campus

Masks or Facial Coverings

Universal masking guidelines remain in place. Individuals must wear a mask indoors when in the presence of others, regardless of vaccination status. Unvaccinated individuals should continue to wear a mask and practice social distancing when in the presence of others anywhere on campus. The following exceptions apply:  

  • Masks or facial coverings are not advisable for health reasons;

  • The employee works alone in an assigned work area (office or partitioned workspace);

  • Masks or facial coverings are in violation of documented industry standards or Ohio rules or regulations;

  • There is a functional (practical) reason for the employee not to wear a mask or facial covering when performing their duties and the supervisor has given the employee permission to opt-out of wearing a mask while completing certain tasks.  


  • Vaccinated employees need not maintain a 6-foot distance from others, indoors or outdoors.

  • Unvaccinated employees are encouraged to maintain a 6-foot distance from others indoors.

Meetings and Gatherings

  • In-person meetings are permitted.

  • Meeting participants should wear masks and follow distancing guidelines based on their vaccination status.

  • Hold in-person meetings in open, well-ventilated spaces when possible.

  • As needed, use videoconferencing or teleconferencing to include employees working remotely.

  • If unvaccinated, consider taking lunch and rest breaks alone; if vaccinated, consider keeping groups small.

Related Policies


  • Employees are permitted to travel as part of their job duties. 

  • It is strongly recommended that employees receive the COVID-19 vaccine prior to traveling on Kenyon’s behalf.

  • People traveling internationally should consult health and other advisories from the Centers for Disease Control and the Department of State.

Remote Work

A Remote Work Policy has been established and any arrangements to begin or continue to work off-campus must adhere to this policy. 

Paid Leave

Effective June 2, 2021, COVID paid leave will be eliminated. Regular sick leave will be used if time off is needed for COVID-related illness.

Accommodation or Variance Request 

The Ohio Department of Health recommends that older Ohioans or people with chronic health conditions monitor their health carefully for symptoms of COVID-19, consult with your healthcare provider and limit your interaction with others as much as possible. Please check the CDC list of people with certain medical conditions who are considered at an increased risk for severe illness.

Employees who need an accommodation or variance from any workplace requirement (that has not already been met by a remote work or other arrangement approved by the supervisor) should reach out to the Office of Human Resources (staff) or the Office of the Provost (faculty) to make a request. The request must be submitted in writing and employees will be required to provide written documentation to support their request. All requests, including requests for remote work arrangements, will be evaluated in accordance with federal and state laws and College policies.


Any medical information employees share with their supervisor or Human Resources will be kept confidential. While we have an obligation to notify employees of their potential exposure to someone who is confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19, our policy is to not reveal the identity of the individual with confirmed or suspected COVID-19.


Failure to comply with return-to-campus protocols could endanger co-workers, students and the public and may result in discipline, up to and including termination.


As local, state and federal guidance and requirements regarding COVID-19 continue to evolve, our directives may change. Thank you for agreeing to read these guidelines and protocols and any future updates in their entirety. Any questions or concerns should be directed to your supervisor, the Office of Human Resources (staff), or the Office of the Provost (faculty).