• COVID-19 Information and Plans

  • Message from President Arnold

    Summer 2021

    Dear Hendrix College community,

    With in-person classes beginning Tuesday, August 24, we are excited to return to a more familiar campus life in the fall 2021 semester.

    As we prepare for the fall, the ongoing health and safety of our community will continue to be a priority. Our Steering Committee will continue meeting regularly to discuss changes to our protocols based on the percentage of community members who are vaccinated, as well as latest public health data and guidance from local, state, and national public health authorities.

    Widespread vaccination is key to a successful, healthy fall semester. The College expects students to get the COVID-19 vaccine unless they have a religious or medical reason not to be vaccinated.

    It is very important that you submit your proof of vaccination. Knowing the percentage of our community that is vaccinated will greatly influence our plans for campus events and adjustments to our policies. Vaccinated students will be exempt from biweekly surveillance testing and quarantining protocols.

    We will continue to update our FAQ page at www.hendrix.edu/coronavirus, including our COVID-19 Dashboard. Please check this page for updates on the fall semester, and email any COVID-19 questions 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.

    I am grateful for the care you have shown for one another and your commitment to upholding the character and spirit of Hendrix.


    Ellis Arnold ’79


  • COVID-19 Dashboard

    During the summer, the College will issue periodic updates of the vaccination rate among students and employees.

    View the COVID-19 Dashboard for July 23, 2021 (student and employee vaccination updates)

  • 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.

    *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? 

    On June 21, 2021, the College sent an email to students, faculty, and staff announcing a policy change which allows vaccinated students, employees, and visitors to go without masks on campus, including inside buildings. The College is requiring unvaccinated members of the community and unvaccinated visitors to campus to continue to mask. In addition, the College supports individuals who are vaccinated in the choice of continuing to mask. This policy will likely continue in the fall semester unless the pandemic significantly worsens 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? 

    This fall, all classes will be held in person. We do not anticipate offering online or hybrid classes unless the pandemic significantly worsens in Central Arkansas. 

    What will classrooms look like in the fall? 

    We anticipate full capacity in the classroom 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%). We will decrease classroom density if the pandemic significantly worsens in Central Arkansas. 

    Will student events and activities be allowed this year? 

    If the pandemic doesn’t significantly worsen and the vast majority of students are vaccinated, typical activities—such as orientation trips, Shirttails, concerts, etc.—will occur. Unvaccinated students must wear face masks and social distance at such activities and events. Vaccinated students are also encouraged to mask at large, concentrated events. 

    Will visitors, including parents, be allowed on campus? 

    Yes, visitors will be allowed on campus. The College expects visitors to follow all COVID protocols, including masking if unvaccinated. Prospective students and their families will be able to enter designated residence halls during their visits to campus. The Admission Office has collaborated closely with the Dean of Students to reduce the likelihood of contact among these visitors and other members of our community. Other personal guests will not be allowed in the residence halls, and students’ access cards will only work for their own residence halls. 

    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? 

    As we head into the fall, the two best ways to keep the community safe are still vaccination and surveillance testing. More than 85% of Hendrix employees are fully vaccinated, and we expect students to exceed that number. 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 (the week of June 20, 2021, yielded the most new cases since March, and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences has reopened one of its covid units). 

  • 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

  • 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

    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