Simpson reevaluates COVID-19 policy


Sophie Reese

The COVID Management Team has decided not to change the current COVID-19 policies and will reevaluate on Oct. 1.

by Isaac Parks, Staff Writer

On Friday, Sept. 19, the Simpson COVID Management Team (CMT) sent out an email to the Simpson community regarding a recent reevaluation of COVID-19 policies. 

According to the email, the current indoor mask policy is going to remain in place due to the student population not reaching the 80% vaccination goal.

Vice President for Student Development and Planning Heidi Levine said there are several factors that lead to COVID-19 policy decisions. 

“We’ve been closely watching three main things: vaccination rates, positivity rates on campus and the surrounding area and monitoring how we are doing with space to quarantine students who become ill,” Levine said. 

The vaccination rate among students is currently 72% and is steadily approaching the 80% goal. Vaccination rates among faculty and staff at the Indianola campus are 85% and 81% at the West Des Moines campus. 

“Our campus positivity rate has stayed low, but that is not the case in the surrounding communities; Warren County has been going up and down but has stayed between about a 10 – 11% positivity rate,” Levine said.

While the COVID-19 policies still remain in place, they feel much less restrictive to students than last year. 

Colin Vanderwarf, a junior at Simpson, said he was content with the current policy.

“No one likes wearing masks, but it’s nice being able to take them off outside. I was really glad we were able to have Stand Around this year along with all the other events that are happening,” Vanderwarf said. 

According to Levine, the CMT will meet on a weekly basis, and plans to send another update to the Simpson community on Oct. 1.