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Covid Updates, Archive for 2020-21​

Notice: This page is no longer being updated. It is for archival purposes only, as it includes the first COVID-19 notifications to campus beginning March 2020 and continuing through May 2021. 

May 21 Campus Update

Dear Campus Community,

Hastings College has moved to Green on our Covid Phased Guideline Matrix. We are excited to be able to reopen our campus this summer to visitors, guests and camps. We trust that all visitors to campus will honor our guidelines, which follow CDC and local directed health measures. More information can be found at

Those fully vaccinated no longer need to wear a mask indoors or outdoors on campus. Those who are vaccinated may certainly choose to continue to wear a mask. When gathering in groups for meetings or events, we ask that the group respectfully decide if attendees should wear a mask. We always want to support and care for one another.

Unvaccinated individuals will follow current campus and CDC guidelines for mask wearing and social distancing.

We have had a very successful year and we look forward to that good news progressing this summer. Please continue to monitor your own health and report any symptoms. Those sponsoring groups on campus this summer are responsible for adhering to campus guidelines and addressing any symptom related concerns. Guests should not come to campus if symptoms are present.

Dr. Rich Lloyd
Executive President

Guideline Matrix
{Current Status: GREEN}

Dashboard (final 2020-21)

First Time Symptom Tracker (Students)

Report Covid Concerns

List of Campus Contacts

CDC Covid & Vaccine Information

South Heartland District Health Department

HEERF Funds Policy

Previous Campus Announcements

With COVID positivity rates remaining low both on campus and in the community, beginning today, Hastings College will move to YELLOW on our Phased Guideline Matrix. Please review the matrix in detail to evaluate how this affects you and your participation on campus.

A few important reminders:

  • Masks will continue to be worn in all campus buildings
  • Classroom occupancy will remain 50%
  • Social distancing and regular hand washing continue to be vital

The South Heartland District Health Department has also lowered their risk dial to “Moderate” (yellow). While a community-wide mask mandate has ended, many local businesses continue to require masks.

The College remains in frequent contact with the health department and our eligibility for vaccines. All educators in the community are eligible for a vaccine in the current vaccination timeline — Phase 1B. However, vaccine supply remains limited.

Thank you for everyone’s continued good work and support of our COVID-19 precautions. It will be important for us to continue to take the proper precautions as we move through the remainder of this semester.

We are looking forward to having you back on campus for the start of the spring semester, Tuesday, January 5, 2021. This semester will operate the same as the fall semester. Faculty members will continue to offer their classes in a hyflex environment, both virtually and in-person.

For at least the first two weeks of the block, the college will be in PINK as defined on the Phased Guideline Matrix. This means that courses will be in-person, group sizes are limited and dining hall restrictions remain in place. Please refer to the matrix for how this phase affects you and the groups that you participate in. If you are having symptoms, please fill out the First Time Symptom Tracker.

Based on recommendations from the CDC and our local health department, the College has updated our quarantine and isolation guidelines and reduced the time window for both quarantine and isolation. This includes a reduction down to 7 days if the individual receives a negative test result after day 5 of exposure. The updated policies are reflected in the Return to Campus Plan and will be communicated with those affected by the COVID Case Manager.

In late December, the College discussed the statewide vaccine process with representatives from the Nebraska National Guard. We are hopeful that vaccines will become available for essential personnel at the College by the end of January. Widespread availability for all employees and students remains a large question, but we are optimistic about this first step. As more information becomes available, we will let the campus community know.

Hastings Community
As a reminder, the city of Hastings does have an indoor mask mandate while in the community.

We are glad you are all back on campus!

As we enjoy the brief few weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas break, we remain focused on ensuring a successful start to the spring semester.

Hastings College’s intention is to return to in-person classes with the start of Block 4 (January 5, 2021). We will likely return to campus in the revised PINK phase on our Return to Campus Matrix. This will mean a reduction in campus activities, but with in-person classes. Faculty members will continue to offer courses in a hyflex environment to accommodate those students who have a need due to quarantine or isolation.

We expect to remain in the PINK phase for the first 2 weeks of the semester and evaluate a variety of factors as we work to reduce some of the restrictions.

We continue to work with our local health department related to the determination on requiring testing for students as they return to campus. At this time, we expect that testing will be optional for students upon their return to campus. Please continue to check your email throughout the month of December regarding our policies for returning to campus.

Finally, we ask all students, regardless of whether you’re on or off campus, to continue to use the Symptom Tracker Form should you experience any COVID related symptoms. It is important for us to maintain accurate records of infection rates for all students. Also, please continue to practice mask-wearing, frequent hand washing, and social distancing whenever possible.

As you may be aware, the CDC has updated the quarantine and isolation guidelines, our COVID Case Manager has updated these policies for those who are affected.

Campus Testing for Students

Hastings College offers no-cost, on-campus COVID-19 testing to students thanks to a partnership with Test Nebraska and Mary Lanning Healthcare.

Before receiving testing, students complete the symptom tracker form and work with the COVID-19 case manager on campus to schedule testing. 

Hastings College is mindful of the rising COVID numbers throughout the state and region and our collective work to keep our campus, our community and our families healthy remains critical.

As a result, after the Thanksgiving break (November 25-29), students have the OPTION to not return to campus for the remainder of Block 3 courses. The Hastings College campus will remain open (including residence halls and food service) to support students. This decision is being made to provide the greatest flexibility and to reduce density with health and safety in mind.

Students will receive an email from the Student Engagement team that will include:

  • A list of all Block 3 classes (updated by faculty members) detailing whether each class will meet in person or be completely remote through the end of the semester. For those of you that choose to stay home, you are encouraged to visit with your professors regarding the plans for your classes.
  • A Google Form where every student will need to identify their choice regarding staying on campus or finishing the block virtually. We ask every student to complete this form by Tuesday, November 17.

We have pulled together a Frequently Asked Questions document to help answer some of your questions. Should you have further questions, please email

We appreciate everyone’s efforts as we work towards a successful completion of the fall semester. Please continue to be diligent about wearing your mask, washing your hands and maintaining proper social distancing.

Good afternoon students –

We are looking forward to your return to campus in just a few short weeks!

Over the last weeks and months, a team of Hastings College faculty and staff have been working to create a plan for everyone’s safe return to campus. It’s important to note that we all play a role in our collective community — so this plan only works if all of us take an active part in keeping everyone safe and healthy.

Hastings College’s Return to Campus plan is linked from the College’s website at [Plan]. The plan includes complete details related to the dining hall, campus events, screening, academic considerations and the process for getting tested should you possibly be exposed to COVID-19. While we have done our best to think through many scenarios, we know we will have to adapt and change as we move through the upcoming academic year.

We will be hosting our final online info session for students and parents on Thursday, August 6 at 4:00 p.m. (Central). (Click here to watch the recorded video). Like we’ve done in the past, you are welcome to participate on Thursday or we will post the video on the website on Friday so you can watch it when it’s convenient for you.

Again, we are excited to welcome students back to campus later this month!

Dear Students,

I hope that each of you continue to enjoy your summer. We at Hastings College continue to look forward to having you back on campus in August!

As we continue to navigate the beginning of the academic year, we have provided the attached document with details regarding HC’s policies and procedures for your safe and healthy return to campus. Please make sure you take the time to read through this document and familiarize with our plans for the fall. We will also be sending this document to parents later today.

We will also plan to host our next online info session for students and parents on Tuesday, July 21 at 4 p.m. via Zoom. You can watch a recording of the session here.

Please know that we continue to work with the other regional colleges and universities, public health officials and our local partners at Mary Lanning Healthcare to limit our campus exposure to COVID-19.

We look forward to seeing you in August!
Go Broncos!

Susan Meeske
Executive Vice President of Admissions and Student Experience

I hope that your summer has been an opportunity to recharge and engage in experiences that matter to you. We are eager for students to return to campus for classes in August.

I wanted to provide an update about move in dates this fall, as well as invite you and your family to a 30-minute online information session. We have two sessions scheduled:

During these sessions we’ll discuss plans for the beginning of the school year and answer questions — if you have questions or concerns, please submit them here. We’ll address them during the online session or via a note back to you. [Find FAQs here.]

First, note that we are maintaining our fall schedule as planned — meaning classes begin on Wednesday, August 19, and classes will wrap up for the semester on December 18. You can find the full schedule here.

If health officials mandate a return to remote learning during the semester, Hastings College is prepared to do so, either at the start of a block like we did this past spring, or even during a block if necessary. (Although we all hope that is not the case!)

Earlier today, the Great Plains Athletic Conference announced its plan to allow fall athletic practices to begin on August 15, with competitions beginning in September, although schedules will be modified.

Knowing when fall practices allowed us to firm up move in dates for fall athletes, as well as move in dates for all new and returning students, shown below.

  • August 12-16 — fall athletes move in (coaches will notify athletes with details)
  • August 15-16 — incoming first year students move in (details to come)
  • August 16-18 — returning students move in (details to come)
  • August 19 — first day of fall classes (academic calendar)

Our COVID response team has created a number of plans based on various scenarios that could play out this fall. It’s likely Directed Health Measures will change again over the summer, so we are holding off on finalizing details — but please know we are working in partnership with the local health department, Mary Lanning Healthcare and other colleges to understand the best ways to create a safe and healthy environment for you and your classmates once you arrive.

This update will be shared with you and posted on our COVID-19 webpage [this page], as will future details once they are known.

As we look to the upcoming academic year, Hastings College is planning for on-campus classes to resume in August. We remain committed to following guidelines from the CDC and our local Health Department, so it’s possible that our classes and activities may look different than before. Hastings College students and alumni are problem solvers, and we value the opportunity to gather and connect with each other in person.

Hastings College has always been known for small class sizes with personalized attention. This is more important and valuable than ever!

Here are a few areas that are being evaluated to ensure a safe and healthy campus:

Housing – The Student Engagement Team has been looking at a variety of scenarios from increased single housing, additional sanitation and cleaning, as well as policy changes for on campus housing. As recommendations become more clear in the coming weeks and months, the Student Life Team will keep you up to date.

Classes – The Academic Dean’s Office has been working with faculty to ensure classes are scheduled and coordinated throughout the day to ensure small class sizes with appropriate social distancing.

Athletics – Our Bronco Athletic Staff has been in frequent communication with the NAIA and other schools in the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) related to the recommendations for organized athletics. All of our peer institutions are eager to begin practices and athletic contests in the fall, but we will work together to ensure these contests are done with the health and wellness of all involved at the forefront.

Campus Events – While our events may need to look different over the course of the year ahead, we will continue to offer creative and fun opportunities for you to gather and celebrate.

Health Center – Our on campus nurse remains an important member of the college community. We continue to update our wellness support practices for all students.

All faculty and staff at Hastings College are eager to welcome students back to campus. You are the reason we come to work each day and your success truly is our success.

We will continue to communicate with you throughout the summer related to continued updates.

Each year we look forward to the end of the academic year and celebrating the many successes of our students. While this year we must celebrate those successes in different ways than we’ve done in the past, we continue to look forward to Honors Convocation, where we recognize high achievement by students and faculty, and Commencement, where we honor the distinguished Class of 2020.

This year, Hastings College will hold these events in a different way online. 

Here’s an overview of what’s planned: 

  • Honors Convocation – Sunday, May 3 at 5 p.m. (hosted on Facebook and YouTube)
  • Commencement – Saturday, May 16 at 10 a.m. (hosted on Facebook and YouTube) 

As a Hastings College family, gathering and celebrating together is important. We are also planning an in-person Commencement celebration for the Class of 2020 in conjunction with Homecoming (September 25-27, 2020). Details on that celebration will be announced over the summer. 

Refunds will be issued for students utilizing housing and/or dining plans as of March 23, 2020. Those refunds will be coming in the next 30 to 60 days. Once refunds are applied, students could see any of the following changes to their account:

  • If you do not have a balance, you’ll receive notification of a refund being processed.
  • If you’re on a payment plan, you may see a decrease in the amount for the remaining payments or see payment(s) cancelled due to payment in full and possibly a refund of any remaining dollars.
  • If you have an outstanding balance and are not on an established payment plan, you could see your balance reduced or receive a potential refund if the balance was less than the refund amount.

Refunds are 60% of the prorated cost from March 23 to the end of the semester, based on the housing and meal plan in which you were enrolled (see below for an example).

Students can review the balance on their account on Finance tab of Self Service.

Please reach out to the Student Accounts staff at if you have any questions.

Refund examples​
HousingOriginal cost for spring semesterEstimated refund
Apartment on campus$4,000$864
Residence Hall – Single$3,000$648
Residence Hall – Double$2,420$523
Meal PlansOriginal cost for spring semesterEstimated refund
Classic/Flex Full Plan$2,575$556
Classic/Flex Discounted$2,075$448
Commuter Meal Plan$900$194
  • Calculations are based on 60% of the prorated amount with an end date of services March 23, 2020.
  • Prorated calculations use the Return of Title IV (R2T4) guidelines.
  • Credit for housing and meal plans will be placed on student accounts within 30-60 days of March 23, 2020.
  • Housing Damage Deposits will be processed for those planning to permanently leave HC housing and will be applied in June.

Dear Campus Community –

Through this quickly evolving COVID-19 outbreak, I’ve seen the strength in this community, and the kindnesses shown to others. This coming together, of trying to remain positive when so much around us is unsteady, is part of what makes Hastings College such a wonderful place.

The College has made the difficult decision to conduct all Block 6 classes online for the rest of the spring term. Block 6 is scheduled to begin Monday, March 23.

We understand this decision will be challenging for our campus but it’s become clear that we, as a community, must do our part to mitigate the spread of the virus and put the health and wellness of people first.

We are therefore asking all students on campus to head home as soon as possible. Exceptions may be made for those with extenuating circumstances.

Students who are already away from campus are asked to stay home. The Student Engagement team is working on a plan to allow access to the residence halls and apartments for a safe, managed move-out process.

During this difficult time, I’d like to share:

  • As a campus we remain committed to the care and education of our students, and we will work with those who may not have a place to go or access to the internet for online learning.
  • We know employees will have concerns, and we will be sensitive to their needs.
  • Faculty, I know you love to meet with and work with students face-to-face, and that you enjoy the classroom dialogue and interactions. Thank you for taking on the challenge of maintaining these relationships in an online environment.
  • To all staff, thank you for working so hard to support students through this time, as well as making online learning and virtual campus visits possible, and remote working a reality for those who need it.

Administrative Offices on campus will remain open, but I encourage managers to work with employees in situations where work from home options may become necessary.

Students, I want to recognize that this is especially challenging for you. Part of the unique Hastings experience is being on campus, in classrooms and at athletic practices, in music and theatre performances and in creating art — in essence, learning to live to your amazing potential. I encourage each one of you to continue to engage in learning as a community, and to support one another as we move through the rest of this semester.

Seniors. I am sorry the last half of your last semester is one that is so different from what you had imagined and planned for. Please know that while a decision is several weeks away, we will make every effort to host Commencement on campus so we can honor and recognize you for all you’ve achieved as Broncos.

Faculty, staff, students and parents can access an FAQ page (ie. registration updates) on ourHC, and we will add information as needed. Please continue to check your email for updates as well. Students and parents with specific questions can also reach out to Campus Connect via text message at 402-205-0611 or email at

The next few weeks are critical to slow the spread of the virus, and the steps we take as individuals and collectively as a community will make a difference. We are resilient and resourceful, and together we will emerge as even stronger Broncos Everywhere.

I am grateful for all you do,

Roger Doerr
Chair of the Board of Trustees

After much consideration and with guidance from the South Heartland District Health Department, the GPAC and other colleges and universities across the state, Hastings College will conduct all classes online from March 23 through April 9, which is the start of Easter Break. At this time, we anticipate resuming regular in-person classes on April 14.

Instead of returning from Spring Break, we strongly recommend that all students stay home until classes resume in person. Residence halls and dining facilities will remain open, although with limited support for students who are unable to be away from campus. Administrative Offices will remain open and operational.

Student Engagement will be providing more details regarding available campus services later next week.

We continue to monitor this ever evolving situation and will continue to provide updates as they become available.

Questions can continue to be sent to

Dear Campus Community –

As coronavirus considerations continue to change we wanted to provide a few updates about Hastings College:

  • First and most importantly, all of our study abroad groups have boarded their flights back to the United States. Most students, faculty and staff will arrive back to Omaha late tonight.
      • Five students on the Irish Fellows Program are returning early, and will arrive in Omaha Saturday night.
  • Those returning from France and Spain were notified that last night the advisory level from the CDC was raised to Level 3 for those countries. This means those students, faculty and staff will need to stay home for 14 days and monitor their health.
      • We have been working with each student to determine their plan for returning to campus. Many have parents picking them up at the airport or they will be going directly home.
      • For those who temporarily return to campus, we will provide specific living areas and meals and guidance on limiting their exposure to the rest of campus.
  • We are advising all other returning students (Ireland and England) to self monitor for the next 14 days.
  • Some activities associated with the college, such as athletic practices, the forensics national tournament event and academic conferences, have been cancelled or postponed.  We encourage students to follow-up with faculty/staff advisors for questions about specific events.
  • Again, we remind all students currently on campus as they depart today for spring break to take their Block 6 course materials and iPad with them in case circumstances change and a portion of Block 6 moves to online instruction.
      • We hope to have a decision made by Wednesday related to online instruction for all campus classes either for a short time or the full duration of Block 6.

Any questions can be directed to or via text at 402.205.0611.

Dear Campus Community –

The Hastings College Coronavirus Task Force continues to meet daily to monitor changes, review updates and make plans for the campus community. We remain grateful for everyone’s cooperation as we navigate this ever-changing challenge.

Be Prepared
As we think through managing whatever the coronavirus situation throws our way, students are advised to bring home course materials (textbooks can be picked up from the Bookstore from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday and Friday) and their iPads should classes need to move to online instruction before you return.

International Traveling Students
We’d like to update you on the current plans for welcoming back our international traveling students as well as the work being done by the campus coronavirus task force. Traveling students and faculty will be returning to campus early Friday morning from trips to France, Spain, Ireland and England. At this time, none of those countries have a CDC-issued travel advisory due to Coronavirus. Out of an abundance of caution, we are asking them to rest up, head home, restrict their activities to avoid populations at risk (elderly and health-compromised) and self-monitor for signs of the virus.

Spring Break
We are encouraging students on campus to leave for spring break and have extended break to include this Friday to minimize potential exposure. All students have been asked to follow the current CDC recommendations to prevent additional spread of the coronavirus and to exercise good judgement in choosing activities and travel over break.

Start of Block 6
When classes resume after Spring Break (Monday, March 23), students who just returned from international trips have been given the approval to study away from campus until Friday, March 27. This covers the full 14-day monitoring for showing potential symptoms.

Should anyone show symptoms consistent with the Coronavirus, we ask that you notify your local health departments and contact your primary care physician for further support.

Regular communications will continue to be sent to the campus community and posted on the Hastings College Coronavirus webpage.

Dear Campus Community –

Hastings College remains focused on maintaining a healthy campus and community during the uncertainty related to the coronavirus (COVID-19). We are in frequent contact with our local health department and continue to monitor recommendations from the CDC.

As a reminder, NO Hastings College students, faculty or staff have tested positive for coronavirus. Our international travel groups have been diligent about their time overseas and taking preventive measures to stay healthy. Additionally, none of our study abroad groups have visited a country issued a health-related travel advisory from the CDC.

End of Block 5
Out of an abundance of caution, the last day of in-person classes for Block 5 will be Thursday, March 12. This will allow current on-campus students the ability to go home early for Spring Break. Faculty members have the authority to decide on the requirement for course completion for the missed day of Friday, March 13. Administrative offices will be open normal hours.

This schedule change allows our study abroad groups to arrive back to campus at their originally scheduled time Thursday night. These students will then be able to rest from their travel back to Hastings, gather their belongings and head home for their Spring Break. Our maintenance team will then do a thorough cleaning of all public campus areas.

Beginning of Block 6
As a precaution, we encourage students and faculty who have spent time abroad to stay home through Thursday, March 26, which would equal the 14-day window for presenting coronavirus symptoms. These individuals are encouraged to self-monitor for symptoms related to coronavirus and register with the Department of Health and Human Services. We will send instructions on how to register specifically to all traveling groups.

While Block 6 courses are still scheduled to start in-person on March 23, all faculty should be prepared to offer online course options for the first 4 days of the block for students who have traveled or for students with other special considerations. A list of resources for online teaching is currently being prepared and will be shared with faculty this week.

We encourage all students and employees to monitor coronavirus cases for all travel away from campus.

It is important for all of our students, faculty and staff to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.

Recommendations and guidance for the coronavirus change rapidly. We encourage the campus community to be adaptable as it relates to planning for the remainder of this semester. This means we would encourage all students to take their campus issued iPad with them on their spring break travels.

All questions should be directed to

Hastings College continues to monitor the coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impact on our local and global communities. In conjunction with recommendations from the CDC and our local South Heartland Health Department (located in Hastings) we are identifying plans to keep our students and community healthy.

At this time, Hastings College is not aware of any students exhibiting symptoms of the coronavirus. With students currently traveling internationally, we monitor international travel recommendations daily. Once students return to campus, we will be working with them individually on monitoring their health needs to ensure they continue to be healthy.

As with all illnesses, the campus Health Center staff reminds the campus community to (review recommendations from the CDC):

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.

Hastings College has identified a working committee to meet daily and as needed to assess proper planning and communication.

The Hastings College Campus Health Center will remain a resource for students that feel ill.

Helpful resources:

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