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Carthage and COVID-19

Frequently Asked Questions

To prepare for a safe return to campus, Carthage has made important modifications to nearly every aspect of campus life. That adds up to a lot of information on the Carthage and COVID-19 website. We encourage you to read through each section, but we know there’s a lot to digest.

Here are some FAQs to help you. These will be updated as more information becomes available. Please check back often to find the most up-to-date answers to your questions.

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Undergraduate Spring 2021 Calendar

General Questions

What has changed?
Carthage has announced the following changes to the 2021 undergraduate J-Term and Spring semester calendars as we continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • J-Term 2021 will now be a “May Term,” held April 28-May 20.
  • The Spring 2021 semester will begin on Jan. 12.
  • Carthage will not have a Spring Break this year.
  • Spring 2021 final exams will be April 20-22.

To ensure students and advisors have time to discuss spring course options, we have also adjusted the advising and registration periods. Advising for Spring 2021 has been extended through Friday, Nov. 6. Spring. Registration for Spring 2021 will now begin on Monday, Nov. 9. See the full list of Spring 2021 calendar modifications

Why are these changes necessary?
Carthage is modifying our undergraduate J-Term and Spring semester calendar because the COVID pandemic will likely continue through the winter months, and we need to prioritize the health and safety of our campus community. These changes will help Carthage minimize risk, and maximize the impact of J-Term classes.

First, starting the spring semester early and eliminating spring break reduces the number of times students and faculty travel away from campus and back. This will help keep our campus community safer, but also our families and our extended communities.

Second, on-campus J-Term courses have an intense meeting schedule. Groups gather in person for hands-on learning and discussion several hours every day. Our hope is that much more will be known about preventing COVID by late spring, so the rich learning experiences that traditionally happen during a Carthage J-Term are fully possible.

Will there be a Spring Break?
No. Like many colleges and universities across the country, Carthage has decided to eliminate spring break this year. Having students leave campus, travel home or elsewhere, and then return to campus raises risk of bringing COVID-19 to the Carthage community.

Is there a plan to end the Spring semester remotely, like we are for the Fall semester?
No. Our intent is to be on campus in person together after Easter Break. However, should the pandemic necessitate a move to remote learning later this Spring, we will respond accordingly.


When will Carthage residence halls open for the spring semester?
The residence halls will reopen on Monday, Jan. 11. All new residential students for the term can move in between 9 and 11 a.m. This includes new first-year residential students, new transfer residential students, and students who were remote in the fall term and are returning to the residence halls for the spring term. Returning residential students will be able to come back to their rooms after 1 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 11.

Advising and Graduation Requirements

I already met with my advisor about my spring courses. Do I need to meet with my advisor again?
Some students have already begun meeting with their advisors, and that’s great! The advising period officially began on Monday, Oct. 5. Given these changes, we have extended advising through Friday, Nov. 6. If you have already connected with your advisor about your spring courses, there is no need to meet again. If you have new questions in light of these changes, please contact your advisor for a follow-up.

I am a graduating senior. Does this mean I’m done in April?
If you have completed all of the requirements for graduation by the end of the spring semester in April, then yes, you will officially be finished on April 22. If you need your May Term course to meet graduation requirements, then you will be finished at the end of May Term.

I am a graduating senior and I need my J-Term course in order to graduate. Now what?
You will still be able to take your J-Term course, but you will now take the course in May.

What if May Term is canceled and I needed my May Term course to graduate?
At this time, we have no plans to cancel May Term, and we anticipate having May Term courses on campus. If the global pandemic worsens, preventing Carthage from having an in-person May Term, the College would offer classes remotely. All students will be able to continue progressing toward their degrees.

Will this impact Commencement?
It may affect the dates of Commencement Weekend. We are considering all options and will update our graduates and Carthage community as soon as plans are finalized. We will also update the Class of 2020, which will celebrate their in-person Commencement this year.

May Term Courses and Study Tours

Will study tours be available in May, or just on-campus courses?
We plan to offer both on-campus courses and study tours. While COVID-19 forced the College to cancel all January study tours, most J-Term 2021 study tours have been rescheduled for summer. Travel dates range from May through August. For a complete list of J-Term 2021 travel opportunities, visit the J-Term website

I am enrolled in a J-Term study tour that was already rescheduled to this summer. Does this announcement change my study tour or travel plans?
No. This calendar modification does not affect J-Term study tours. Students who plan to travel for J-Term 2021 should continue to visit the J-Term website for updates and be in touch with their faculty leaders.

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COVID-19 Practices and Procedures

COVID-19: General Questions

Will you be announcing how many people are COVID-19 positive and how many people are in quarantine?
Yes, you can find that information on our COVID-19 Dashboard, which is updated weekly.
See the COVID-19 Dashboard

At what point will Carthage send students home?
There are a number of conditions that will have to be taken into account to determine if the College were to shut down residential education and send all students home for remote learning much like we did last spring. Some of those conditions may be placed on the College by the federal, state, or local government or health departments due to broader societal conditions. We are doing all we can to prevent having to take such action. We have set up quarantine plans for students who are awaiting a test result or who have tested positive, and have plans to accommodate student learning both in-person and remotely.

What happens if there is a spike of COVID-19 cases on campus?
If there is an increased spread of COVID-19 within our student population, Carthage may need to take one or more of the following steps:

  • Move to a strict no-guest policy in the residence halls. Right now, residential students are allowed one guest per room during approved visitation hours. If we move to a no-guest policy, that means no one is allowed in your room except for you and your roommate.
  • If we exceed our quarantine space capacity on campus, we may relocate students to a non-Carthage housing facility in the local community for quarantine.
  • Quarantine an entire residence hall wing, floor, or building. 
  • Quarantine all residential students for a set period of time, and likely move to fully remote classes during that same time period.

How will the faculty and staff enforce wearing masks at all times?
If a student does not wear a mask to class, they will be asked to secure one and return to class or make other arrangements to be online for the day. If this becomes a repeated behavior by the same student, faculty and staff may also file a report about the student’s behavior with the dates and related information in this report form. A first-time report will most likely result in an educational conversation about failure to comply with #StaySafeCarthage expectations, a College directive. If a student repeatedly fails to comply with the directions of the College, it will be handled through non-compliance through the conduct system.

Departments with student employees will need to address repeated compliance challenges with a student employee with assistance from Human Resources not through Public Safety and Student Conduct. If Carthage employees have concerns about another employee’s behavior, contact Human Resources. 

What can we do to keep ourselves and each other healthy?
Follow our #StaySafeCarthage guidelines all the time.

  • Wear a face mask in any indoor space (including empty conference rooms). 
  • Wear a face mask outside when other people are around. 
  • Make sure you’re wearing and taking care of your masks correctly. 
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use hand sanitizer. 
  • Follow physical distancing guidelines when walking across campus, standing in line for food, and when talking with friends.
  • Use the Daily Check-in Symptom Monitoring tool.

How do faculty/staff/students make a report about someone not following proper mask/distancing protocol?
Faculty and staff should find ways to encourage students and each other to follow protocols. For example, say: “You need to have a mask and have it on” and “Please keep more distance, thank you.” We all need to get comfortable being assertive, but of course not aggressive, with this.

Will we be asked to keep track of who we come in contact with on a daily basis?
No, but we ask that you are aware of the amount of contact you have with others.

If a student in one of my classes tests positive for COVID-19, what will the procedure be for the other students?
If a student tests positive, the Health Department will facilitate contact tracing and will direct actions of those deemed at risk for exposure.

COVID-19: Quarantining on Campus

If I become ill and need to be quarantined, where will I go?
Carthage has put in place quarantine housing protocols for if a student tests positive for or has a presumptive positive case of COVID-19.

If I have to be quarantined, how will I take my classes?
Students who are quarantined while awaiting test results or due to testing positive will be able to work with faculty to create a plan for completing work for the class during that time, not unlike situations of other extended health issues. In some cases the class may be able to be offered remotely, in others it may require completing work differently and in very rare cases it may require an incomplete being taken for a class or withdrawal from a given class.

I have an underlying condition. If I am put into the quarantine wing or test positive, can I be picked up and brought home instead of staying in quarantine on campus?
If a student tests positive for COVID-19, they will have the option to go home if their family is able to get them or to stay on campus in a designated quarantine space. Students who will be picked up may need to quarantine on campus for a few days until family is able to get them. Read more about our quarantine protocols

If I’m quarantined, how will I be able to eat?
If a student is in isolation or quarantine on campus, a food delivery service with friends will be implemented in coordination with Sodexo. If friend delivery is not available, staff will assist. Students isolating or in quarantine in off-campus housing will be encouraged to use a similar method for food delivery. Read more about quarantine protocols

COVID-19: Testing

Will COVID-19 tests be readily available on campus?
Yes, Carthage is offering testing Monday through Friday for students who have symptoms or have been in contact with someone’s who’s tested positive for COVID-19.

Carthage has also begun offering population testing of students and employees. We will offer 70 tests per week, and all tests will be on campus by appointment. Individuals will be selected for testing at random, and will be notified by email a week in advance, so they can sign up for a specific time slot. 
See information about on-campus testing and local testing centers

If I need a test, will I have to pay for it?
You will be responsible for any costs related to COVID-19 testing and treatment. The costs of COVID-19 tests vary and some locations are offering tests at no charge. Check with local testing sites for prices and if you have insurance, have your insurance billed first.

Can I get tested?
Testing is available for students with signs or symptoms of COVID-19 or students with known or suspected exposure to COVID-19.

I’ve tested positive for COVID-19. What do I do? 
If you’ve tested positive for COVID-19, you need to call the Dean of Student Office at 262-551-5800 to speak with the Dean of Students or Associate Dean of Students about your next steps. Additionally, you need to be responsive to outreach from the Kenosha Health Department (KHD) for the standard COVID-19 Health Investigation Interview, and any outreach from a KHD or Carthage Contact Tracer who will need to gather supplemental information about any and all points of contact you had with individuals from the point of testing positive back three days.

What do I do if I think I have COVID-19 but haven’t received my test results yet? 
Whoever is administering the test, whether you’re tested on or off campus, should give you a directive on what to do next. If you’re told to self-isolate or quarantine, you should contact the Dean of Students Office immediately at 262-551-5800 to speak with the Dean of Students or Associate Dean of Students about their next steps. Additionally, you need to be responsive to outreach from the Kenosha Health Department (KHD) for the standard COVID-19 Health Investigation Interview, and any outreach from a KHD or Carthage Contact Tracer who will need to gather supplemental information about any and all points of contact you had with individuals from the point of testing positive back three days. 

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Campus Life


Will Carthage consider requiring students to stay on campus most of the time and not travel home or other places on the weekends?
We encourage students to limit their points of and frequency of unnecessary exposure, so that could mean for some students who live on campus not visiting home unless absolutely necessary, but situations will vary.

Will students be participating in J-Term study tours in January 2021? 
Carthage has announced the following changes to the 2021 undergraduate J-Term and Spring semester calendars as we continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • J-Term 2021 will now be a “May Term,” held April 27-May 19.
  • The Spring 2021 semester will begin on Jan. 12.
  • Carthage will not have a Spring Break this year.
  • Spring 2021 final exams will be April 20-22.

To ensure students and advisors have time to discuss spring course options, we have also adjusted the advising and registration periods. Advising for Spring 2021 has been extended through Friday, Nov. 6. Spring. Registration for Spring 2021 will now begin on Monday, Nov. 9. See the full list of Spring 2021 calendar modifications

Read our J-Term 2021 FAQs to learn more

Living on Campus

If COVID-19 cases rise on campus and we are sent home to finish the semester online, will there be a partial room and board reimbursement?
 Carthage is going to great lengths to modify our campus operations in a way that will allow us to safely provide on-campus experiences for our students. Unless ordered otherwise by public health officials, we intend to continue to provide in-person instruction (with remote options) and keep the residence halls open as they are the primary residence for many students. We will continue to monitor our internal and external environments and will make changes where necessary to keep students, faculty, and staff safe.

As there could be unanticipated circumstances as we move through the fall semester, please take a moment to familiarize yourself with current refund policies.

  • If a student resides on campus during the Fall 2020 academic term, and Carthage College determines that it cannot resume with an on-campus residential program before the term starts, students will receive a full room and board refund.
  • If in-person instruction resumes but is later canceled as required by the institution or public health officials, students will receive a prorated room and board refund.
  • If a student is identified with a presumptive positive case of COVID-19, and is quarantined on campus in a designated space or chooses to go home for this time period, there will be no change in room and board charges.
  • If a student withdraws during the semester, room and board will be refunded at the typical prorated rate based on the date of the withdrawal. See semester refund schedules.
  • There will be no refund in room and board charges for the week between Thanksgiving Break and final exams when students will be remote. The modifications to the Fall 2020 calendar do result in most residential students spending approximately 10 fewer days in the residence halls, but all staffing and building monitoring must continue during this time. Meal swipes and flexible meal points from Nov. 24-Dec. 9 will be rolled over as flex points for the spring term.

There will be no tuition refunds or reductions in tuition if a student or the institution must move from in-person instruction to remote and online courses. Faculty have created Fall 2020 courses using an adaptive course design model to allow transition from in-person to online instruction as necessary, including for individual cases. The change in modality does not diminish the quality and value of a degree from Carthage College.

Dining on Campus

What food services will be provided?
All dining locations on campus will be open during the academic school year. Sodexo is part of a large corporation that is putting plans together to deliver food services on campus. In order to maintain physical distancing, we’ve:

  • Reduced seating capacity in all dining locations on campus
  • Developed an ordering app to allow students to order food for pick-up to eat in their rooms or somewhere they feel more comfortable.

If I’m not comfortable eating in The Caf, can we take our food to go?
Food and drinks at all dining locations will be served in to-go containers. Caf meal swipes will also be accepted at Lentz Do Lunch and two new grab-and-go locations — one in the Campbell Student Union and one in the Library near Einstein’s.

Will the seating or layout of The Caf change?
Seating in the Caf has been reduced and overflow seating is available in the Jockey Club, Room B as well as the outdoor patio, weather permitting. There are one-way traffic entering and exiting The Caf, signs are posted to direct you. Signs are posted reminding you to wear a mask and stay six feet apart while waiting in line.

Will dining hours change or will we be assigned a dining time in order to ensure physical distancing?
Dining hours have been adjusted to better accommodate the traffic patterns that occur throughout the day. The Caf will close for one hour between breakfast and lunch as well as two hours between lunch and dinner to deep clean dining areas between meal periods. This is in addition to the added staff that will be cleaning the dining room during the meal period.

Will The Caf still be self-service?
The Caf is full service. Every meal station is served by a Sodexo employee. Sodexo has had extensive training with their team on COVID-19 guidelines for food service. All staff are in full personal protective equipment (PPE) and working behind sneeze guards and plexiglass dividers. Food is served in to-go containers with prepackaged cutlery and condiments to ensure the safety of the food as well as allow you to take food to an overflow location or location of their choice.

I have food allergies. If we need to pick up pre-packed meals to help with physical distancing, how can ensure those meals will be safe?
If you need food accommodations due to an allergy or health issue there is a process in place to articulate those needs and work toward the needed accommodations with Sodexo Food Service. In addition, students can order their food to go through the GrubHub app. Learn more on our Dining Services page

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Previously Published Questions

Arriving on campus

Will Carthage consider telling students to quarantine for 14 days once they arrive on campus? What if I am flying in from out of state?
At this time, the College is not mandating a quarantine for students when they arrive on campus. This includes students who are flying in from out of state. It is possible student-athletes who use public transportation to return to campus may be asked to quarantine for a period of time before engaging in a team activity.

That said, we do advise all students to quarantine as much as possible in the 14 days before arriving on campus. Limit social interactions to your family and monitor for any symptoms. If possible, contact your local testing resource and get tested for COVID-19 before traveling to campus. Be sure to check the average test result turnaround time in your location, so you can time your test to receive results in the days before your arrival. If your test results are positive, or if you are concerned about symptoms you are experiencing, contact the Dean of Students Office at 262-551-5800 or, so we can help you with any accommodations you may need.

Will students’ temperatures be taken as they’re arriving on campus for move-in? 
All students — commuting, residential, and off-campus — will have their temperature verified outside of the Clausen Center prior to entering for arrival. If a student’s temperature is 100.4 degrees or greater, they will be asked to return home (including residential students) and monitor their symptoms before returning to campus for an alternate arrival time when they are symptom-free and/or have tested negative for COVID-19. We urge students to take their temperature before driving to campus to avoid having to return; whether you are traveling 5 miles or 250 miles, it is an important, worthwhile step to take.

Will students be required to self-monitor themselves for symptoms? Are thermometers provided for students to check their temperatures, or should students plan to have their own?
As part of our #StaySafeCarthage guidelines, we’ve developed a mobile-friendly app for daily health self-checks, which will be sent to students every day through text. When individuals click on the link provided, they will see a list of COVID-19 symptoms and have the ability to communicate any new COVID-19 testing. Users will need to review the buttons and click all that apply on a daily basis.

Students will receive a digital thermometer and smell test kit upon their arrival to campus to use as part of their daily monitoring of key health symptoms. It is expected that students use the tools (digital thermometers and smell cards) to input symptoms for potential follow up. 


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Additional questions?