St. Olaf College | COVID-19

October 28, 2020 at 3:57 p.m.

Update on Yellow Alert Status

To St. Olaf College studentsFrom Campus Reopening Lead Enoch Blazis

Dear Oles,

Last week we made the determination to move to a COVID-19 Yellow Alert Level in response to an increase in cases on campus, as well as regionally and nationally. Unfortunately, the current weather is behaving more like December than October, which prematurely pulls us more indoors and further exacerbates the situation.

We need to take additional precautionary steps to help mitigate the spread of the virus. This is necessary to achieve our goal of completing the semester on campus and, for those returning home for the holiday break, minimizing the transmission risk to family and loved ones.

Beginning immediately, the following additional precautions will be enacted as part of our Yellow Alert Level:

  • Residence Halls and Honor Houses are closed to visitors, including students who live in other residence halls or houses. Students should only enter residence halls/houses they reside in.
  • Students living on campus are strongly encouraged to stay on campus. Students may only leave campus for:
    • Medical appointments
    • Specific academic program requirements
    • Work or internship positions that follow the college’s Community Standards and have been verified using this form
    • Short trips into town to get necessary essential items (health care and hotel transportation will still be available)
    • Students who live off campus but are still taking classes on campus are also strongly encouraged to limit their activity to campus and their housing, with the exceptions noted above
  • Meal times in Stav Hall will once again be by appointment. Students will receive an email from Pamela McDowell later this afternoon with more information and links for meal sign up. Additional dining space will open in Buntrock, including Buntrock 220, 221, and 222, to ensure all diners are physically distanced.
  • All events must be pre-approved. Student organization events should be approved by the Office of Student Activities. To receive approval for any other events, contact the Reopening Team (

We also strongly encourage students to:

  • Establish a small, core group of friends to eat and socialize with on campus. Eating and socializing with the same small group of friends in the remaining weeks of the semester will help mitigate spread of the virus.
  • Lay low in the two weeks before the end of the term. We want all of you to remain healthy as you prepare to leave campus or to remain here with us.

So far this semester we have worked together to get us to this point. We are counting on that continued communal effort as we pivot to meet these changing conditions. With this commitment to fellow Oles, we’re optimistic we can keep our campus case numbers relatively low and complete the semester as planned.

Oles Care. Together.