St. Olaf College | COVID-19

November 10, 2020 at 5:06 p.m.

pre travel testing & precautions

To St. Olaf College studentsFrom Dean Of Students Rosalyn Eaton

Dear Students,

As of today, November 10, we are within 14 days of the end of the term. You’re tired, you’re stressed, you’ve noticed how distinctive your friends’ eyes are, and YOU’RE NEARLY THERE!

Within the next 14 days (14 days = the COVID-19 incubation period, and the length of time you must quarantine if you have been in close contact with someone with the virus), many of you will leave campus. Please know that in order to do so, you must lay low to minimize the possibility of isolation or quarantine.

Lay Low

The Governor of Minnesota is advising each of us to lay low, which means:

  • SHRINK your circle of close contacts. Don’t do anything that would make new close contacts. It’s wisest to keep your close contact bubble to 3 friends. Eat with these few people and wave at the rest across the physical distance (6 feet).
  • A close contact is anyone who is within 6 feet of you for 15 minutes (cumulative over a 24 hour period) or more, both with or without a mask. *Hugging, kissing, and sharing food make someone a close contact, regardless of the duration of time.
  • Wear your mask so that it covers both your NOSE AND MOUTH, please.
  • MONITOR YOUR HEALTH. If you have any symptoms, please stay in your room, and seek a medical evaluation right away. Go to the Student Health Services website, where you can scroll down to Frequently Asked Questions for instruction.

Mandated COVID-19 Testing on November 18, 20, and 23

Later this week you’ll get an email updating you on the campus status and asking you to sign up for a time to be tested. That email will tell you where to go for the test.

IF YOU NEED TEST RESULTS in order to fly or to to enter another country AND that requirement includes a timeline, you will have to time your test appropriately. You may request your own COVID-19 test for a time before you leave campus and within any windows of time dictated by an airline or destination. Use this link to order a free saliva test (PCR) that will arrive by mail:

  • OPEN the package and READ the instructions. This thing isn’t difficult, but TIMELINES are key. Results will be delivered to your email.
  • If you’re traveling by air or a long distance by road, consider testing again 5-7 days after you arrive at your destination. It’s possible to pick up the virus en route to your destination.

Some of you will be staying here with us — we have some activities planned for you, so please stay tuned. AND you might consider letting Bon Appetit know some of your favorite foods. Simply send a list or recipes to:


Dean Roz