• COVID-19 Information and Plans

  • Message from President Arnold

    August 2021

    Dear Hendrix College community,

    As we prepare for the fall 2021 semester, with in-person classes beginning Tuesday, August 24, the ongoing health and safety of our community is our highest priority.

    Arkansas has seen a significant rise in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in recent weeks. While the high vaccination rate among the Hendrix community greatly reduces the risk of hospitalization and death, the delta variant has proven it can infect those who are vaccinated. 

    For these reasons, along with our priority to protect our ability to hold in-person classes safely and successfully this fall, the College COVID Steering Committee has reinstated the indoor mask requirement for all members of the Hendrix community (unless you are working alone in an office, laboratory, or other confined space or your residence hall room). In addition to wearing a well-fitted mask while indoors, please wear one while outdoors when you are unable to maintain a 6-foot distance from others.   

    The COVID Steering Committee will continue adjusting policies and requirements as necessary based on the latest available public health data and guidance from CDC and other authorities. 

    Please continue to check this page for the latest information and email any questions you have to aboutcovid19@hendrix.edu.

    As we prepare to welcome new students and families to campus this fall, we believe that our community will continue to stay healthy and safe based on our success in the spring, along with wider vaccine availability, current public health projections, our ongoing partnership with our local health system, and the continued work of our campus COVID-19 Steering Committee.

    Thank you for your commitment to the health and safety of our campus community, as well as your patience and flexibility, as we prepare for the fall semester, and thank you for your commitment to upholding the character and spirit of Hendrix.


    Ellis Arnold ’79

  • COVID-19 Dashboard

    View the COVID-19 Dashboard for Sept. 24, 2021 (student and employee vaccination updates, testing and tracing on campus, and local positivity rates)

  • Timeline & Plans

    • August 16-23, 2021 — Students arrive according to move-in schedule (communicated directly to students)
    • August 17-22, 2021 — Orientation for first-year and transfer students 
    • August 24, 2021 — First day of classes (download the academic calendar)

  • Contact Tracing & Testing

    Employees: If you are a close contact of someone who has COVID-19, have signs or symptoms of COVID-19, or have tested positive, follow the corresponding instructions here.

    Students: Please review the student information for testing and tracing. Students who are living on campus are required to strictly adhere to designated protocols. Students who are living off-campus are encouraged to follow designated protocols.

    Protocols are based upon the most recent public health guidance available from the Arkansas Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Guidance is regularly monitored for changes that may result in updates to these protocols.

  • FAQ

    These FAQs were released Thursday, July 1, 2021 and updated August 4, and August 10, 2021.

    *If you have questions after reviewing the information presented here, please email aboutcovid19@hendrix.edu.

    Will facial coverings still be required on campus this fall? 

    [Updated August 23, 2021] Because the spread of the delta variant includes transmission among vaccinated persons, the College is once again requiring all members of the community to wear CDC recommendation-compliant masks indoors, and outdoors when not able to maintain distancing of 6 feet or more. This policy will likely continue through the fall semester unless the pandemic significantly improves in Central Arkansas. We continue to monitor public health guidance and carefully monitor the presence and effect of the delta and other variants in Arkansas.

    What’s the difference between gateway testing and surveillance testing?  

    Gateway testing refers to tests performed as students arrive back to campus at the start of a semester.  

    Surveillance testing is the regular, every-two-weeks testing that may continue throughout the academic year. In both cases, samples are collected by medical personnel from Conway Regional Medical Center (via mouth swab), and the PCR testing is completed by Natural State Labs. 

    What’s the plan for students who don’t provide proof of vaccination by Move-In Day? 

    At move-in, students without proof of vaccination will take a PCR test (“gateway testing” as described above). The College will also hold a vaccination clinic for any students wanting the vaccine at that time. Students who are not vaccinated upon arrival should be prepared to quarantine in their living space until their test results are received (usually about 24 hours).  

    How often are students required to undergo surveillance testing? 

    Unless there are extenuating circumstances (for example, Conference or NCAA-mandated testing on a more frequent basis for unvaccinated student-athletes in close contact with each other), the surveillance testing of unvaccinated students will maintain a schedule similar to last semester’s two-week intervals. Students who have proof of vaccination on file with the College will not have to undergo surveillance testing. 

    In what cases would a student have to pay for their own gateway and surveillance testing? 

    If a student provides medical documentation from a health professional listing the medical condition preventing them from receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, the College will exempt them from paying the costs associated with gateway and surveillance testing, but will still require that student to participate in testing. 

    If a student has followed the state exemption process for the required MMR vaccination based on religious or philosophical exemptions, the student will not have to pay for COVID gateway or surveillance testing, but will still have to undergo such testing. 

    Without a documented medical or religious reason for a student to be unvaccinated, that student will be required to undergo gateway testing and regular surveillance testing at their own cost. Most insurance plans do not cover asymptomatic testing, which includes surveillance testing. The testing will be provided at the campus clinic at a discounted rate ($87.00 per PCR test) and will take place every two weeks while classes are in session. (If surveillance testing over the course of the academic year becomes unnecessary, the student’s total estimated cost of $1,400 will decrease accordingly.) 

    How will students be charged for gateway and surveillance testing? 

    Each time an unvaccinated student is tested, a charge will be added to their student account in the amount of $87.00 per test. This charge-per-service model will allow students who become fully vaccinated during the course of the academic year an opportunity to lower their estimated total cost ($1,400) for testing.  

    Where can students get vaccinated? Is there a cost for vaccination? 

    Students may obtain vaccinations at a provider of their choice. The Hendrix Medical Clinic is among the sites providing COVID-19 vaccinations (Pfizer and Moderna). Call 501-506-2747 to schedule an appointment. Vaccines were paid for with taxpayer dollars and are provided to all people living in the United States at no cost. Most health insurance plans cover the full cost of the administration of the vaccine. If someone is uninsured, vaccine providers may seek reimbursement from the federal government. 

    Hendrix will organize vaccine clinics during fall move-in days for any students who would like the vaccine and have been unable to receive it, including international students. 

    Will there be hybrid classroom education this fall? 

    [Updated August 4, 2021] The plan for this fall is a complete return to in-person classes. However, if necessary and appropriate, the College is prepared to implement hybrid solutions in larger class settings. At this time, the Office of Academic Affairs is coordinating with the Campus COVID Steering Committee and Facilities Management to assess how public health needs may affect academic life. 

    What will classrooms look like in the fall? 

    [Updated August 4, 2021] The Campus COVID Steering Committee is exploring options that will increase safety in light of the delta variant’s prevalence in central Arkansas. We anticipate full capacity in most classrooms based on the expectation that the vast majority of students will be vaccinated at the start of fall semester (the faculty is vaccinated at more than 97%). The College may move to larger classroom spaces when appropriate for larger classes; with our relatively small average class size, many classrooms already allow for increased distancing without modification. 

    Will official College travel be allowed in the fall? 

    Students, faculty, and staff will be allowed to travel on official College business this fall (including for Odyssey projects). Special COVID approval for domestic travel is not required, but we do ask travelers to follow any destination COVID protocols and to regularly monitor for COVID symptoms. International travelers must petition for approval at this link

    How can students stay safe? 

    [Updated August 4, 2021] As we head into the fall, the best ways to keep the community safe are still vaccination, masking while indoors, and surveillance testing. More than 85% of Hendrix students and employees are fully vaccinated (see the dashboard above for the latest numbers). It will be necessary to surveillance test any unvaccinated students, especially as the state of Arkansas has verified the presence of the delta variant and is witnessing rapid growth in number of cases.

    Campus Visitors 

    Will prospective students and families be allowed on campus? 

    [Added August 10, 2021] Yes, the Office of Admission will host any prospective students and their families while on campus and ensure that all campus safety protocols are followed during the visit. The Admission Office has collaborated closely with the Dean of Students to reduce the likelihood of contact between these visitors and members of our community. Admission will be able to take these groups inside buildings, including designated residence halls. However, classroom visits, eating in the Dining Hall, and overnight stays in residence halls will not be allowed at this time.

    Will visitors, including parents, be allowed on campus? 

    [Updated August 10, 2021] Visitors from off campus may be limited. The College expects any visitors to follow all COVID protocols, including masking and health screenings before coming to campus. Personal guests will not be allowed in the residence halls, and students’ access cards will only work for their own residence halls.

    Will visitors be allowed on campus as speakers/performers? 

    [Added August 10, 2021] Yes, campus offices and departments may host visitors for college-sponsored activities such as presentations, workshops, guest lectures, performances, etc. The sponsoring office or department will ensure that all campus safety protocols are followed during the visit. Any vendors on campus must also adhere to all COVID protocols. 

    Will visitors be allowed at events as attendees? 

    [Added August 10, 2021] Visitors will be allowed to attend campus events this fall. However, when guests from outside the Hendrix community (such a community is defined by current students, staff, and faculty) attend events with more than 50 people, overall attendance is limited to 50% of full capacity for indoor venues, and 75% of full capacity for outdoor venues. Further, there will be designated seating areas for Hendrix community members and visitors. 

    During fall move-in, the College is requesting that students and families limit population density in the residence halls and rooms for everyone’s safety, given the prevalence of the delta variant in the area. If at all possible, please limit guests to no more than two per student indoors at a time. Please remember masking protocol inside residence hall rooms. 

    Will visitors be allowed in the Dining Hall? 

    [Added August 10, 2021] Visitors will not be allowed in the Dining Hall at this time to ensure a safe and successful start to the fall semester. This policy will be adjusted as COVID-19 conditions on campus and in the surrounding community allow. 

    Campus Events 

    Will student events and activities be allowed this year? 

    [Updated August 4, 2021] With the vast majority of students vaccinated, typical activities—such as Orientation trips, Shirttails, concerts, etc.—will occur with proper precautions in place. We will continue to monitor the COVID conditions on campus and in the community, and some events may need to be altered, postponed, or canceled to ensure safety for all participants.

    Is there a limitation on group size?

    [Added August 10, 2021] Events or activities with group sizes of fewer than 50 individuals do not require any special approval from the COVID administrators. Student organizations can request approval for events through the student organization event request form. All other departments can request events through the master calendar. However, outdoor gatherings are encouraged when possible, and location should always be chosen to maximize social distancing. 

    Events or activities with 50 or more individuals—whether indoors or outdoors—require approval from the Hendrix COVID Response Coordinator and/or Steering Committee. Organizers of such events should use this form to submit a request and plan outlining necessary COVID-19 precautions. 

    Will any off-campus groups be allowed on campus? 

    [Added August 10, 2021] Off-campus groups will only be allowed on campus under certain circumstances. For example, outside groups will not be allowed during class time or significant student activities. These groups will be limited to 50% of an indoor venue’s full capacity, and 75% of an outdoor venue’s full capacity. Appropriate Hendrix staff will be responsible for hosting the group while on campus and ensuring that all campus safety protocols are followed during the visit. 

    Are there any restrictions on food at events?  

    [Added August 10, 2021] The risk of COVID-19 transmission from the handling or eating of food is very low. However, the risk of transmission from eating and drinking with others is higher due to the removal of face masks when eating and drinking. If food and refreshments will be served, outdoors is preferred. If indoors, prevention measures such as limiting group size, social distancing, and strict mask wearing while not actively eating or drinking should be observed. If indoor prevention measures cannot be observed, then to-go options should be considered.  

  • Health and Safety Information

    [Note: This section was last updated July 1, 2021.]

    Students may schedule healthcare visits by calling the Hendrix Medical Clinic, 501-852-1366. When you call, please mention that you are a Hendrix student and be prepared to give the clinic your student ID number. You may also make an appointment at www.conwayregional.org/hendrix. If COVID-19 testing is needed, the clinic has testing available.

    The clinic is open to students, faculty, staff, and the public. Students have three free visits to the clinic per academic year. Currently, the clinic’s hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday – Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

    The health and safety of the entire Hendrix community remains our top priority. Hendrix College continues to monitor information about COVID-19 from the Arkansas Department of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Conway Regional Health System. 

    External Resources

    Vaccination is effective against the coronavirus, including the Delta variant, which is present in Arkansas. Further, Hendrix College policies and responses to the pandemic prevented spread of virus on campus and protected the Hendrix community during spring 2021 and this summer. While the following resources demonstrate the severity of the pandemic, the Steering Committee continues its work to assure success in the fall. 

    Watch a June 22 Today Show segment featuring Dr. Cam Patterson, chancellor of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, describing the severity of illness among young unvaccinated covid-19 patients. 

    This interactive map from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows infection rates, vaccination rates, social distancing, age, health disparities, the availability of healthcare and other factors. It illustrates very clearly that areas in the U.S. with lower vaccination rates have higher infection rates. 

    Sources for information on covid-19 vaccines: 

    Conway Regional Medical Center 

    Arkansas Department of Health 

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 

    Helpful Links 

    Screening and testing information from Conway Regional Health System: Conway Regional Health System offers local COVID-19 testing, which can be obtained following a telehealth or in-person visit with the Hendrix clinic: www.conwayregional.org/hendrix or 501-852-1336. The drive-through testing site is located at the Conway Regional Medical Center Campus west entrance, 2302 College Avenue. A laboratory order from a healthcare provider is required. 

    Arkansas Department of Healthhttps://www.healthy.arkansas.gov/programs-services/topics/novel-coronavirus

    Centers for Disease Controlhttps://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html

    CDC guidelines for selecting and wearing face coverings to protect yourself and others: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/about-face-coverings.html  

  • Detailed Information for Students

    Summer 2021 Domestic and International Travel (policy released Tuesday, March 16, 2021)

    Science, Safety, & What to Do: A Playlist (sent to students Friday, December 18, 2020; includes 8 short videos from faculty and staff, plus a review of items to bring to campus)

    U.S. Department of Education Required Reporting Information for funds received under the CARES Act

  • Forms

    Please use this form to petition for approval to host a group or event with more than 50 individuals in physical attendance:

    Petition for Groups of More Than 50 Individuals

    The College allows petitioning for exceptions to its pandemic-related restrictions on travel. Please use the form linked below to make such requests:

    Petition for International Travel

    If you have been fully vaccinated for SARS-COV-2 (COVID-19) with a vaccine that has been emergency-use authorized by the FDA, you should register your vaccination using the form below. To be considered fully vaccinated, you should have already received all required doses specified by the vaccine manufacturer. Those who are fully vaccinated will be exempted from College-sponsored required gateway and surveillance testing, and in most cases, they will be exempt from quarantine protocols due to close contact with someone infected with COVID-19. Please note that vaccination does not exempt someone from other required College protocols and guidelines related to COVID-19 including, but not limited to, facial coverings, social distancing, monitoring your health and reporting concerns, and symptomatic testing if recommended by a medical provider.

    Proof of COVID Vaccination