Published on Rhodes College: Rhodes Handbook (

COVID Guidelines - Fall Semester 2023

Below are the COVID guidelines for the fall 2023 semester. These guidelines are based on current conditions and are subject to change as circumstances warrant. As conditions dictate, we will consult with infectious disease experts at Baptist Memorial Health Care, use CDC guidelines, monitor trends in the Memphis area, and consider our previous campus experience to make decisions about COVID protocols. COVID-related updates will be sent as necessary based on circumstances and events.


All members of the Rhodes community, especially the most vulnerable, are strongly encouraged to be fully vaccinated against COVID, including boosters. Up-to-date vaccination remains one of the best tools to protect ourselves and each other.


Masks are not required on campus. However, individual faculty retain the option of requiring masks in their classrooms, labs, and studios. Faculty and staff may ask visitors to their private offices to masks. You must comply with the requests if asked to mask in such circumstances.

Student Testing

We will provide testing for symptomatic and close contact exposed students in Student Health Center. 

If a student is experiencing COVID-19 Symptoms:

  1. Contact the Student Health Center to schedule a symptomatic testing appointment.
  2. Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.: Students should contact the Student Health Center at or 901-843-3895.
  3. After 5:00 p.m. Monday-Friday and Saturday-Sunday: Students should contact Campus Safety by calling 901-843-3880
  4. You will be scheduled for testing (self-isolate until tested).
  5. Attend your symptomatic testing appointment masked and distanced.
  6. If your rapid test is positive, the Student Health Center staff will follow up with you about the appropriate positive or contact protocols. You will be issued an isolation order, which you must follow.
  7.  If your rapid test is negative, the Student Health Center staff will contact you about the appropriate protocols, including following up on your rapid test with a PCR test. You will be advised to mask and personally distance yourself from other community members when possible, pending the results of the PCR test, which may take up to 72 hours.
  8. PCR testing will be completed by the outside vendor (American Esoteric Laboratories) that will bill your insurance information on file with the college.  If you do not have insurance information on file with the college, the vendor will bill you the test cost.  The college does not cover the cost of the PCR testing. Please ensure your insurance information is updated and on file by viewing the Medicat Patient Portal (

Student COVID-19 Care Clinic: The Student Health Center can provide onsite rapid testing for symptomatic students and those who may have been in close contact with or exposed to a positive case of COVID-19. The clinic will be available to all students (residential and non-residential) for symptomatic testing and COVID-19 care support. The Student Health Center continues to require wearing masks at this time.

Appointments are available Monday thru Friday, and students should contact Student Health Center at 901-843-3895 or to schedule an appointment ahead of time.

Students experiencing severe symptoms or a medical emergency, be sure to call 911 immediately and then contact Campus Safety by calling 901-843-3880

Faculty and Staff Testing

Faculty and Staff who need a COVID test should seek one off-campus.  Many pharmacies and clinics nearby offer testing by appointment. 

  • The Shelby County Health Department lists locations for free tests, including at-home tests;
  • CVS offers drive-through tests at many locations in Memphis and Shelby County; and
  • Walgreens also offers testing at most of its locations.

Contact Tracing

COVID-positive students, faculty, and staff are expected to communicate directly with their close contacts. A close contact is someone within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over 24 hours (for example, three individual 5-minute exposures for 15 minutes). An infected person can spread the virus 48 hours before symptoms until 5 days after symptoms begin.

Students who test positive are responsible for completing the COVID-19 Reporting Form and contacting all close contacts from the past 48 hours of exposure. Students, contact for questions. Faculty and staff should communicate with all close contacts from the past 48 hours of exposure.

Isolation and Quarantine

Isolation and quarantine for students who test positive will occur in place, which means students will remain in their assigned rooms for the duration of the isolation/quarantine period. 

Vaccinated roommates are not restricted from class and should be tested by the protocols.

Isolation/Quarantine Protocol
Positive for COVID 

The Rhodes isolation and protocols are based on an adaptation of CDC recommendations.

5-day isolation protocol.

  • Day 1 is the day you were tested (not the day you received your positive test result)
  • The isolation protocol ends at 5 pm on day 5.
High Risk/
 Close Contact Exposure  
No isolation or quarantine. Recommended test at 48 hours and another test between days 5-7.

Distinguishing mild symptoms from more significant symptoms:

Significant Symptoms:

  • Lingering cough
  • Fever within the last 24 hours**
  • Severe respiratory systems
  • Lingering GI symptoms like diarrhea or vomiting
  • Severe sore throat, fatigue, headache
  • Body aches, chills

Mild Symptoms:

  • Mild headache, mild or scratchy sore throat, fatigue
  • Lingering loss of smell or taste
  • Mild congestion (nasal
  • Sneezing, coughing, runny or stuffy nose

 **For the purpose of this guidance, fever is defined as subjective fever (feeling feverish) or a measured temperature of 100.0oF (37.8oC) or higher. Note that fever may be intermittent or may not be present in some people, such as those who are elderly, immunocompromised, or taking certain fever-reducing medications (e.g., nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs [NSAIDS]).

Student-Athletes will be required to follow protocols outlined by the SAA under NCAA guidance and will receive guidance from the Coordinator of Athletic Training.

Class Attendance Guidelines for Students with COVID

Students who have COVID must not attend class in person and will be responsible for sharing their need to isolate directly with faculty. Students will be on their honor in doing so but are not expected to provide medical documentation. Normally, a COVID-positive student will remain in isolation for five days.

Faculty should develop their own attendance policies in line with the college’s existing Class Attendance Policy. This policy states that “students are responsible for knowing the attendance policy in each of their courses, for obtaining and mastering material covered during an absence, and for determining, in consultation with the instructor, whether and under what conditions make-up work will be permitted. It is the student’s responsibility to address the issues related to missing a class, whatever the reason for the absence.”

Faculty will use their best judgment in deciding how students can best make up class time or material they have missed. Faculty are not required to provide remote access via a Zoom link to students who are in isolation. They may encourage the student to receive class notes from another student, meet individually with the student (either in person and properly distanced or via Zoom), ask the student to review materials on Canvas (including a recorded lecture), or, if they prefer, provide remote access to the class for a student via Zoom. 

Isolation and Quarantine Meals

Students in an isolation or quarantine protocol and with a meal plan may access to-go dining options through the college’s Quarantine Café.  Students order through the following link: Quarantine Café. Please create an account and place daily orders by visiting the "Quarantine Café" section. We recommend that students place weekly orders upon creating their accounts to avoid missing a meal. To pick up meals, students must leave the isolation/quarantine space fully masked and distanced to pick up prepared meals for each day. Students will pick up their food between 8-10 a.m. daily in the Brooks Room in the Refectory. Students will enter the Brooks Room using the outside entrance, which opens on the Refectory north patio and is located at the Hyde-Moore breezeway.

Contact Chris Caldaro, Catering Director, at for ordering confirmation.

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