St. Olaf College | COVID-19

February 2, 2021 at 12:47 p.m.

Campus Alert Level and Conditions

To St. Olaf College studentsFrom Campus Reopening Lead Enoch Blazis

Dear Oles,

We’re looking forward to having you back on campus next week for the beginning of spring semester.

Based on current COVID-19 data and conditions for Minnesota, Rice County, and the St. Olaf campus, we will begin the spring semester together in a heightened Yellow Campus Alert Level (medium). This is the same Campus Alert Level that was in place as we ended the fall semester.

All students will participate in a modified campus quarantine February 9–21 as we conduct two rounds of baseline testing. You will receive an email from the Testing Team this week with a form to sign up for a COVID-19 testing time, so please watch for that. During this modified campus quarantine, you will leave your housing only for meal appointments and individual exercise outdoors. You may not work on or off campus during the quarantine period unless the work is virtual. Please make arrangements accordingly.

After the modified campus quarantine period ends on February 22, all of the Community Standards and heightened Yellow Campus Alert Level conditions will remain in place. This means:

  • Masks must be worn at all times outside your room.
  • All students will be required to stay on campus. If you have an essential reason to travel off campus (such as work or a medical appointment), you are required to fill out this form to be reviewed and approved by Student Life. Students who need to work off campus should fill out the form above as soon as possible to ensure that all approvals are in place from Student Life by the time the modified campus quarantine period ends. Students who live off campus should keep their activities limited to their residence and campus, and also need to fill out the form above for anything beyond that.
  • Residence Halls and Honor Houses are closed to visitors, including students who live in other residence halls or houses. You should only enter the residence hall/house you reside in.
  • Meal times in Stav Hall will continue to be by appointment. Additional dining space will be open in Buntrock, including rooms 220, 221, and 222, to ensure all diners are physically distanced. Tables and chairs will be set up with the correct spacing and must not be moved.
  • You must report to the college if you have a positive test result, have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, or if you have COVID-19 symptoms. Please report using this form. The ProtectWell app will no longer be used, so delete that app from your phone.
  • You need to limit yourself to your “household” bubble on campus. The Minnesota Department of Health defines this as your residence hall floor or housemates. This includes eating and other social activities. No more than five people at a time are allowed in common areas in residence halls and student housing, and you must maintain 6 feet of physical distance.
  • Only approved group activities and those that fulfill academic requirements will be allowed. This includes:
    • Meals
    • Classes and labs
    • Required and approved music and fine art activities
    • Approved athletic and extracurricular activities
    • COVID-19 testing

We will continue to monitor the indicators that determine our Campus Alert Level, with the hope that we will be able to return to a Green Campus Alert Level — and fewer restrictions — as the semester progresses. We also continue to monitor data about the new variants of the virus and information about the availability of the vaccine in our vicinity, all of which could also play a role in our Campus Alert Level. We will provide ongoing updates on any changes we see in conditions on or surrounding campus.

Symptomatic and Surveillance Testing
COVID-19 surveillance testing will begin after February 22. Each week students, faculty, and staff will be randomly selected to participate in this testing. You must participate in this testing if you are selected. In addition to random surveillance testing, the college will increase surveillance testing of athletes who are practicing in approved groups (in accordance with guidance from MDH and the NCAA) and continue to do targeted testing of individuals more likely to have been exposed to COVID-19.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms and it has been determined by the St. Olaf Contact Tracing Team that you need to be tested, you will receive a test on campus. You will be required to isolate until you receive your test results.

Our ability to spend another semester together will once again require hard work, diligence, and a commitment to our Community Standards. You rose to the challenge this fall, and I’m confident you’ll approach the spring semester in the same way. If you have any questions, please contact the Campus Reopening Team.

Enoch