• COVID-19 Information and Plans

  • Message from the Dean of Students

    January 5, 2022 

    Dear Hendrix students, 

    I hope that everyone had a safe and restful winter break. While the Hendrix community has been remarkably successful in managing the virus on campus this past year, we are following the omicron variant closely as we look to the start of the semester. Testing positivity in the state and in Faulkner and Pulaski Counties is currently above 20%. The state averaged 3,200 new positive cases a day last week, and added 7,488 cases just today, an alarming new record. COVID hospitalizations are also increasing, especially in Central Arkansas. Based on these current conditions and public health information, we will adjust our protocols at the start of the semester to ensure the health and safety of our campus community.  

    View details relating to Classes, Student Arrival, Masking, Groups and Events, and more

  • COVID-19 Dashboard

    View the COVID-19 Dashboard for Jan. 14, 2022 (student and employee vaccination updates, testing and tracing on campus, and local positivity rates). This dashboard update is the first in 2022.

  • Timeline & Plans

    • Tuesday, January 18, 2022 — Classes begin as scheduled but will be taught remotely for the first week
    • Monday, January 24, 2022 — In-person classes resume
      (Download the full 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

    This FAQ list was released Thursday, July 1, 2021, updated in August 2021, and again on January 7, 2022.

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

    Will the College accept a home test result for the return to campus? 

    [Added January 7, 2022] Because neither the date of the test nor the identity of the person taking the test can be verified, the College cannot accept home test results for the return-to-campus testing. The test can be antigen or PCR so long as it is performed by a medical provider or pharmacy that can confirm the result with dated documentation. Complete testing requirements are listed at the top of the submission form

    Providers may charge a fee or bill insurance for tests administered to persons not exhibiting symptoms. As more testing supplies become available, the College will update students about free or reduced-cost testing options at the Hendrix Medical Clinic. 

    Will face coverings still be required on campus this spring?  

    [Updated January 7, 2022] Because the spread of the omicron 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. In accordance with current CDC guidance, we strongly encourage wearing N95/KN95 masks or adding layers to cloth/disposable masks. This policy will likely continue until the pandemic significantly improves in Central Arkansas. We continue to monitor public health guidance and carefully monitor the presence and effect of the omicron 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 or documentation of a negative test before arrival in January?  

    Before returning to campus, all students  will take a PCR or antigen test (“gateway testing” as described above). The Hendrix Medical Clinic will accommodate any students who were unable to obtain a test before arriving on campus. 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).  Students who wish to receive a vaccination or booster may contact the Hendrix Medical Clinic or a provider of their choice. 

    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 501-852-1366 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 provide vaccination opportunities for any students who want the vaccine and have been unable to receive it, including international students.  

    Will there be hybrid classroom education this spring?

    [Updated January 7, 2022] While the semester will begin with online instruction, the plan for this spring is a complete return to in-person classes as soon as possible. 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 spring semester?  

    [Updated January 7, 2022] The Campus COVID Steering Committee is exploring options that will increase safety in light of the current conditions in central Arkansas. We anticipate full capacity in most classrooms as 97% of students are vaccinated at the start of spring semester (the full-time faculty is vaccinated at 100%). 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 spring?  

    Students, faculty, and staff will be allowed to travel on official College business this spring (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 January 7, 2022] As we head into the spring semester, the best ways to keep the community safe are still vaccination (including a booster if eligible), masking while indoors, symptom monitoring, and surveillance testing. More than 90% 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 is witnessing rapid growth in number of cases. 

    CAMPUS VISITORS  
     

    Will visitors, including parents, speakers, performers, event attendees, or prospective students and their families be allowed on campus?  

    [Updated January 7, 2022] Visitors from off campus are prohibited at this time. When the campus reopens to guests from outside the Hendrix community (such a community is defined by current students, staff, and faculty), rules will be shared here.  

    Will visitors be allowed in the Dining Hall?  

    [Updated January 7, 2022] Visitors will not be allowed in the Dining Hall at this time to ensure a safe and successful start to the 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 January 7, 2022] With the vast majority of students vaccinated, typical activities 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? 

    [Updated January 7, 2022] Events or activities with group sizes of fewer than 50 individuals do not require any special approval from the COVID administrators. Outdoor gatherings are encouraged when possible, and location should always be chosen to maximize social distancing. Events or activities with 50 or more individuals are currently prohibited. When they are cleared to resume, they will 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?  

    [Updated January 7, 2022] Off-campus groups are currently prohibited; as conditions improve, they will 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

    Students and employees who have received a booster vaccination against COVID-19 should submit documentation at the appropriate link below:

    Student COVID-19 Vaccination Update 

    Employee COVID-19 Vaccination Update

    Students should use this form to submit proof of a negative COVID-19 test before returning to campus for the Spring 2022 semester:

    Spring 2022 Return - COVID Test Submission

    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