St. Olaf College | COVID-19

November 19, 2020 at 3:19 p.m.

COVID-19 Update

To St. Olaf College students, faculty, and staffFrom Campus Reopening Lead Enoch Blazis

Dear St. Olaf Community,

Based on the governor’s new executive order and the subsequent guidance that the Minnesota Department of Health provided specifically to colleges and universities, St. Olaf will be taking several additional measures to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The mitigation measures we currently have in place as part of our heightened Yellow Alert Level will remain in place, and are consistent with the new executive order and Minnesota Department of Health guidance.

Here are the additional steps we will take beginning this Friday, November 20, for the period that the executive order is in effect (it is currently scheduled to expire December 18):

  • Skoglund and Tostrud athletic facilities will close to comply with the executive order.
  • Intramural, club, and recreational sports will not be allowed, and there will be no athletic team practices. Physically distanced individual exercise activities are allowed outdoors.
  • No more than five people at a time will be allowed in common areas in residence halls and student housing, and these individuals must maintain 6 feet of physical distance.
  • No more than two people will be allowed at each dining table in Stav Hall.
  • Students remaining on campus for the holiday break will need to limit themselves to their “household” bubble. The Minnesota Department of Health defines this as their residence hall floor or housemates. This includes eating and other activities. Per our current alert level, all students will be required to stay on campus. If you have an essential reason to travel off campus (such as a medical appointment or work), please fill out the following request form to be reviewed and approved by Student Life.

The Minnesota Department of Health made it clear that:

  • Colleges and universities may remain open. St. Olaf will continue to be closed to campus visitors.
  • In-person classes and exams that meet physical distance and masking requirements are allowed to continue.
  • Musical performances with music mitigation measures in place but only virtual audiences are allowed.

The health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff is central to us completing this semester. We will continue with our planned schedule of completing finals by early next week and ending the semester before Thanksgiving. The plan we have in place for students to go home on this schedule complies with the executive order and Minnesota Department of Health guidance.

COVID-19 testing is being made available to all students before break. We will continue with regular testing of students who are remaining on campus during the break period. Details on the holiday break testing schedule will be shared next week.

Many thanks to all of you for your hard work in keeping our campus community safe and for your continued commitment to your fellow Oles.

All the best,
Enoch