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 guests. Effective June 2, 2021, the Ohio Department of Health will lift most pandemic-related health orders, including those requiring social distancing, facial coverings, and reduced capacities for indoor and outdoor events. The Centers for Disease Control, too, relaxed its guidelines on May 16, 2021, in recognition of the efficacy of vaccines and their widespread availability in the U.S. 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 beginning with the Summer 2021 term; exemptions will be considered for medical reasons and sincerely held religious beliefs. 

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

  • Community members who are unable to receive the vaccine or who wish to have added protection are urged to wear a mask and practice social distancing, especially indoors. Of course, we cannot enforce expectations for unvaccinated individuals, and thus we are trusting community members to do the right thing for the sake of protecting themselves, their co-workers, colleagues, and classmates. 

  • 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.

Finally, 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 (~98% of students, ~75% of employees, as of May 2021), 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. Otherwise, our goal is to return to more normal operations by the start of the 2021-22 academic year.

Guidelines for Reporting to Work on Campus

Daily Health Assessments

  • Vaccinated employees need not perform daily health assessments, temperature checks, symptom checks or exposure checks.

  • Unvaccinated employees are encouraged to perform daily health assessments, temperature checks, symptom checks and exposure checks before reporting to work each day. 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 completed at least 7 days in quarantine and received a negative COVID-19 test on or after the fifth day of quarantine;

  • 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. 

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, need not quarantine or test and may continue to report to work on campus.

  • Unvaccinated employees who have been exposed to someone with confirmed COVID-19 must quarantine. 

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

    • They may return to work on campus when they have completed 10 days in quarantine, if they are not experiencing symptoms.

Guidelines for When Working on Campus

Masks or Facial Coverings

  • Vaccinated employees need not wear masks or facial coverings, indoors or outdoors.

  • Unvaccinated employees are encouraged to wear masks or facial coverings indoors, except for the following reasons:

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

  • The employee works alone in an assigned work area (office or cubicle where social distancing of at least three feet is possible);

  • 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. 

Distancing

  • 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 follow mask and 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

Travel

  • 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.

Confidentiality

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.

Compliance

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.

Questions

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).