COVID-19 Indicators and Alert Levels

The Luther College COVID Response Team (CRT) meets regularly to review the COVID-19 indicators described below and, in conjunction with President Ward decides what alert level is active for Luther College. When there are changes in alert level, all students, parents, faculty, and staff will be notified via email; and this web page and the website alert banner will change.

As of June 22, Luther College is at

Level 0 Blue: Normal

COVID-19 Indicators

Alert Level in Winneshiek County

  • Activated at 25+ daily cases per 100,000 people (seven-day moving average)
  • If county-level data is unavailable, state-level data will be used.

Test Positivity Rate in Winneshiek County

  • Activated at 10% (past 14-day average)

Luther College Case Count Trend

  •  Activated if the number of new cases per day is increasing every day, over a five-day period

Community Spread on Campus

  • Activated at three cases at Luther College over a five-day period that are not linked through contact tracing

Occupancy of Campus Isolation/Quarantine Spaces

  • Activated at 50% occupancy

Occupancy of Beds at Winneshiek Medical Center

  • Activated when Winneshiek Medical Center notifies Luther College that current bed occupancy levels at Winneshiek Medical Center exceed capacity to serve Luther College's needs

Luther Health Service Visits

  • Activated if COVID-like illness visits are increasing over a five-day period

Employee Illness in Critical Departments

  • Activated if 50% of employees in the following departments are out:
    • Health Service
    • Campus Safety and Security
    • Dining Services
    • Facilities Services
    • Residence Life

COVID-19 Alert Levels

Level 0 Blue: Normal

In force when no COVID-19 indicators are activated, no health mandates are in effect, and 70% of students, faculty, and staff have submitted proof of COVID-19 vaccination through the Voluntary COVID-19 Vaccination Program. Health mandates may include those from Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Iowa Department of Public Health, and Winneshiek County Public Health.

  • Physical distancing not required
  • Face coverings are not required
  • Practice good hand and respiratory hygiene
  • Cleaning: standard
  • Dining Services: 100% capacity
  • Residence Halls: Normal guest/intervisitation policy
  • Courses: in-person without modified room capacities; students at increased risk may request accommodations
  • Recreational and Fitness Facilities: 100% capacity
  • Student Activities: in-person
  • Chapel: in-person without modified room capacities
  • Campus Events: in-person without modified room capacities. Campus events with large numbers of anticipated participants and/or guests on campus (e.g., Homecoming and Christmas at Luther) may be adjusted to accommodate a smaller number of in-person guests.
  • Athletics and Music: Operations for NCAA athletics and the performing arts (e.g., music, dance, and theatre) will be determined over the summer of 2021 in consultation with the NCAA and performing arts professional organizations.
  • Online Courses: minimal, with approval from the Provost
  • Remote Work: minimal, with approval from vice president; employees at increased risk may request to work remotely
  • Employee Meetings: in-person without modified room capacities
  • Travel from Campus: exercise caution
  • Travel to Campus: no restrictions
Level 1 Green: Limited Exposure and Spread

In force when no COVID-19 indicators are activated and health mandates are in effect. 

  • Follow all current health mandates. Health mandates may include those from Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, the Centers for  Disease Control and Prevention, the Iowa Department of Public Health, and Winneshiek County Public Health
  • Physical distancing required
  • Face coverings required, with the following exceptions:
    • When alone in a private, enclosed office; common workspace; meeting room; classroom; or laboratory with a closed door. Face coverings must be worn when leaving these spaces to enter shared or public spaces.
    • When in a residence hall room that contains only the registered occupants. Face coverings must be worn when leaving residence hall rooms to enter shared or public spaces.
    • While swimming in the Aquatic Center.
    • While eating indoors, provided that physical distancing is possible when in the presence of others, including at tables.
    • When outdoors and more than six feet away from other people.
  • Practice good hand and respiratory hygiene
  • Cleaning: standard and enhanced
  • Dining Services: 50% capacity
  • Residence Halls: Pandemic Visitor/Guest Policy Phase 1, 2 or 3
  • Courses: in-person and hybrid, with modified room capacities; students at increased risk may request accommodations
  • Recreational and Fitness Facilities: reduced capacity
  • Student Activities and Chapel: in-person if outdoors; otherwise virtual
  • Athletics: Mitigation protocols in place and surveillance testing (as required by the NCAA and the American Rivers Conference)
  • Music: partial ensemble activities with surveillance testing; in-person and hybrid lessons
  • Campus Events: virtual
  • Remote Work: employees at increased risk may request to work remotely
  • Employee Meetings: virtual or in-person, with modified room capacities
  • Travel from Campus: limited to recruiting and fundraising
  • Travel to Campus: allowed visitors include
    • essential outside contractors and vendors
    • prospective students and their families who have scheduled appointments with Admissions
    • alumni, donors, and friends of the college who have scheduled appointments with Alumni and Development
    • community members with business at the college
    • athletic teams participating in scheduled competitions
Level 2 Teal: Increased Exposure and Spread

In force when 1-4 COVID-19 indicators are activated.

  • Follow all current health mandates. Health mandates may include those from Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, the Centers for  Disease Control and Prevention, the Iowa Department of Public Health, and Winneshiek County Public Health.
  • Physical distancing required
  • Face coverings required, with the following exceptions:
    • When alone in a private, enclosed office; common workspace; meeting room; classroom; or laboratory with a closed door. Face coverings must be worn when leaving these spaces to enter shared or public spaces.
    • When in a residence hall room that contains only the registered occupants. Face coverings must be worn when leaving residence hall rooms to enter shared or public spaces.
    • While swimming in the Aquatic Center.
    • While eating indoors, provided that physical distancing is possible when in the presence of others, including at tables.
    • When outdoors and more than six feet away from other people.
  • Practice good hand and respiratory hygiene
  • Cleaning: standard and enhanced
  • Dining Services: 50% capacity
  • Residence Halls: Pandemic Visitor/Guest Policy Phase 1 or 2
  • Courses: in-person and hybrid, with modified room capacities; students at increased risk may request accommodations
  • Recreational and Fitness Facilities: reduced capacity
  • Student Activities and Chapel: in-person if outdoors; otherwise virtual
  • Athletics: 
    • High-contact Sports: Phases 1-3 of team training protocols implemented, as appropriate, with weekly testing of all players, coaches, and managers if travel and competition are occurring with mitigation protocols in place. If travel and competition are not occuring, weekly surveillance testing at 25-50% of the group will be in place. Sports in this category include basketball, football, and wrestling.
    • Medium-contact Sports: Phases 1-3 of team training protocols implemented, as appropriate, with weekly surveillance testing. Travel and competition can occur with mitigation protocols in place. Sports in this category include baseball, softball, cross country, volleyball, and soccer.
    • Low-contact Sports: Phases 1-3 of team training protocols implemented, as appropriate, with weekly surveillance testing. Travel and competition can occur with mitigation procedures in place. Sports in this category include golf, swimming and diving, tennis, and track and field.
  • Music: partial ensemble activities with surveillance testing; in-person and hybrid lessons
  • Campus Events: virtual
  • Remote Work: department heads may stagger remote work for individuals to lower the density in common workspaces; employees at increased risk may request to work remotely
  • Employee Meetings: virtual or in-person, with modified room capacities
  • Travel from Campus: limited to recruiting and fundraising
  • Travel to Campus: allowed visitors include
    • essential outside contractors and vendors
    • prospective students and their families who have scheduled appointments with Admissions
    • alumni, donors, and friends of the college who have scheduled appointments with Alumni and Development
    • community members with business at the college
    • athletic teams participating in scheduled competitions
Level 3 Yellow: Heightened Exposure and Spread

In force when 5-6 COVID-19 indicators are activated. 

  • Follow all current health mandates. Health mandates may include those from Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, the Centers for  Disease Control and Prevention, the Iowa Department of Public Health, and Winneshiek County Public Health.
  • Physical distancing required
  • Face coverings required, with the following exceptions:
    • When alone in a private, enclosed office; common workspace; meeting room; classroom; or laboratory with a closed door. Face coverings must be worn when leaving these spaces to enter shared or public spaces.
    • When in a residence hall room that contains only the registered occupants. Face coverings must be worn when leaving residence hall rooms to enter shared or public spaces.
    • While swimming in the Aquatic Center.
    • While eating indoors, provided that physical distancing is possible when in the presence of others, including at tables.
    • When outdoors and more than six feet away from other people.
  • Practice good hand and respiratory hygiene
  • Cleaning: standard and enhanced
  • Dining Services: 50% capacity; increased use of Grab-N-Go
  • Residence Halls: Pandemic Visitor/Guest Policy Phase 1
  • Courses: all courses online
  • Recreational and Fitness Facilities: closed
  • Student Activities and Chapel: virtual
  • Athletics: virtual
  • Music: virtual
  • Campus Events: virtual
  • Remote Work: department heads will transition 50% of non-essential employees to remote; employees at increased risk may request to work remotely 
  • Employee Meetings: virtual 
  • Travel from Campus: restricted, unless essential
  • Travel to Campus: allowed visitors include
    • essential outside contractors and vendors
Level 4 Red: Severe Level of Exposure and Spread

In force when 7 or more COVID-19 indicators are activated. 

  • Follow all current health mandates. Health mandates may include those from Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, the Centers for  Disease Control and Prevention, the Iowa Department of Public Health, and Winneshiek County Public Health.
  • Physical distancing required
  • Face coverings required, with the following exceptions:
    • When alone in a private, enclosed office; common workspace; meeting room; classroom; or laboratory with a closed door. Face coverings must be worn when leaving these spaces to enter shared or public spaces.
    • When in a residence hall room that contains only the registered occupants. Face coverings must be worn when leaving residence hall rooms to enter shared or public spaces.
    • While swimming in the Aquatic Center.
    • While eating indoors, provided that physical distancing is possible when in the presence of others, including at tables.
    • When outdoors and more than six feet away from other people.
  • Practice good hand and respiratory hygiene
  • Cleaning: standard and enhanced
  • Dining Services: Grab-N-Go only
  • Residence Halls: closed except for international students and students with a hardship waiver
  • Courses: all courses online
  • Recreational and Fitness Facilities: closed
  • Student Activities and Chapel: virtual
  • Athletics: virtual
  • Music: virtual
  • Campus Events: virtual
  • Remote Work: all non-essential employees remote; employees at increased risk may request to work remotely
  • Employee Meetings: virtual 
  • Travel from Campus: restricted
  • Travel to Campus: allowed visitors include
    • essential outside contractors and vendors