January 25, 2021 at 5:53 p.m.
Preparing to Return to Campus
To St. Olaf College faculty and staffFrom Campus Reopening Lead Enoch Blazis
With the beginning of spring semester now just a few short weeks away, we continue to carefully monitor COVID-19 on campus and in Rice County. We still anticipate beginning the spring semester as planned, and I will provide an update next week on the Campus Alert Level that will be in place as the new term begins.
In the meantime, I’m writing to share important information about updates to the Community Standards, a new health reporting form, and steps to take in preparing to return to campus.
Updated Community Standards
We have updated the Community Standards, and you should review them prior to your campus return. Understand that your previous acknowledgement of and agreement to follow these standards remains in place. We know that many people are experiencing “pandemic fatigue,” but it is critical that we continue to wear masks, physically distance, and follow all of our Community Standards. Now is not the time to let our guard down.
One important point to note for this semester is that students, faculty, and staff identified as a close contact of someone who tests positive for COVID-19 will be required to quarantine for 14 days. We are aware that the CDC has provided options for alternative quarantine periods, but we will continue to follow a 14-day quarantine period based on guidance the Minnesota Department of Health provided to residential campuses. This quarantine protocol is not negotiable, and following it is a condition of being on campus this semester.
New Health Reporting Form
We have simplified the health reporting process for the spring semester. Now campus community members will only report when they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, and they will do so using a streamlined form. The ProtectWell app will no longer be used, so please delete that app from your phone.
All campus community members are encouraged to download and use the state of Minnesota’s COVIDaware MN app.
Preparing for a Return to Campus
As a reminder, the first round of COVID-19 baseline testing for faculty and staff will be February 8 and 9. The second round of testing for faculty and staff will be February 15 and 16. You will receive an email from the Testing Team in the coming days with a form to sign up. This testing is required for all faculty and staff members who will be on campus this spring. Please email TestC19@stolaf.edu with any additional questions about testing.
In the coming weeks you should continue to monitor your health and take appropriate steps if you have symptoms or test positive for COVID-19, including reporting your situation to the college. Whether you are on campus or not, you 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. Please report using this form.
If you have any questions, please contact the Campus Reopening Team. As always, thank you for your attention to these updates and your care for the St. Olaf community.