St. Olaf College | COVID-19

December 21, 2020 at 4:03 p.m.

COVID-19 Planning for Interim

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

Dear Colleagues,

With January just around the corner, I’m writing to provide an update on our plans for on-campus testing and mitigation strategies throughout Interim.

Although all Interim classes will be held online, we will have 370 students on campus. We will be quarantining returning students from January 3 to January 15 and conducting COVID-19 baseline testing on Monday, January 11, and Tuesday, January 12. After the baseline testing is complete, we will conduct surveillance testing each week to monitor for the presence of the virus on campus.

All of the Community Standards and Yellow Alert Level Conditions that were in place at the end of the fall semester remain in force, and we expect that will continue to be the case throughout Interim. As you celebrate the holiday season in the coming weeks, please be mindful of the CDC guidance and Minnesota Department of Health tips for safer celebrations that will protect the health of your family and colleagues.

All members of the campus community must report to the college if you have a positive COVID-19 test result, have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, or if you have symptoms. We are asking you to report a positive COVID-19 test result regardless if you are working remotely or on campus. At this end of this month we will cease using the ProtectWell app because we’re moving to exception reporting, which means that rather than report your health each day we ask that you report if you are experiencing a new or worsening unexplained health symptom(s). Employees should report here. Please continue this reporting practice even if you are not working on campus, as Human Resources and the Contact Tracing Team will be continually monitoring and tracking COVID-19 symptoms, exposures, and positive tests.

Even though we will have relatively few students on campus during Interim and our campus housing will be significantly de-densified, it’s important that we all continue to take precautions to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and use the public health strategies we found successful during the fall semester.

Thank you for your ongoing support of these efforts.

I hope that you and your family and loved ones have a safe and joyous Christmas and Holiday Season!