President Zach Messitte shares COVID-19 guidelines for fall semester

Dear Ripon College community,

We believe that the most effective way to keep our campus community safe and healthy during the ongoing pandemic is to follow CDC and Fond du Lac County health guidelines regarding vaccination. It is our intention to continue to provide opportunities for students, faculty and staff to easily get vaccinated throughout the coming academic year.

However, we also recognize that some individuals may have personal reasons for electing not to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. In those cases, we also will follow CDC and Fond du Lac County health protocols  regarding contact tracing and masking.  

It is our expectation that all members of the Ripon College community will work together to keep each other healthy by following the  COVID-19 policies and protocols described below.

Vaccines and surveillance testing

Ripon College strongly encourages all faculty, staff and students to be fully vaccinated. More information will follow about how to submit proof of vaccination to Campus Health Services. Those who do not submit proof of their vaccination will be assumed to be unvaccinated. Free vaccinations are readily available and can be found from the CDC. There also will be opportunities for students and employees to get vaccinated, free of charge, on campus in the fall.

All unvaccinated students and employees will be required to take a COVID test upon their return to campus for fall semester or they will be required to submit proof of a negative COVID test result taken within three days before their return to campus. They also will be required to participate in regular surveillance testing throughout the academic year. Unvaccinated student athletes and participants in other activities requiring close contact may be required to test more frequently.

Symptomatic testing will be required for all, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated. If you exhibit COVID-19 symptoms, please consult Health Services or seek a COVID test within the community before leaving your residence hall room or before coming to campus.


Vaccinated individuals will not be required to wear masks, either indoors or outside, but they may elect to do so if desired. Members of the Ripon College community and visitors to our campus who are not vaccinated will be expected  to wear a mask indoors. The College will not enforce  mask-wearing, but expects the campus community and visitors to follow our rules.  

Quarantine and isolation

Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status, will be required to isolate for 10 days or as directed by their health care professional.  

However, vaccinated individuals will not be required to quarantine after being in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, unless they are exhibiting symptoms.  

Unvaccinated individuals will be required to quarantine for up to 14 days after being identified as having been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, whether or not they exhibit symptoms. 

If a student tests positive for COVID-19 or is unvaccinated and is a close contact, we will encourage the student to leave campus and to isolate or quarantine at home. If travel home is not possible, the College will provide isolation or quarantine housing.

Students who fail to comply with our COVID-19 policies will be subject to cooperation and compliance policies as listed in the student handbook. Repeated failure to comply may yield further penalties. Failure of employees to comply with these policies may result in disciplinary action. We cannot predict what the months ahead hold with regard to COVID-19 and policies are subject to change, pending circumstances. 

We believe that our policies and a good faith commitment from our students, faculty and staff to remain vigilant in fighting the spread of COVID-19 will allow us to return to the full in-person Ripon College experience we have all so sorely missed. However, we will continue to monitor the local health situation and will adapt and change these policies if the need arises.

Zach Messitte


More COVID-19 related information.

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