St. Olaf College | COVID-19

March 16, 2022 at 10:45 a.m.

COVID Response Update

To St. Olaf College staff, faculty, and studentsFrom Campus Reopening Lead Enoch Blazis

Dear St. Olaf Community,

COVID-19 cases on campus are continuing on a slow, steady decline, following the surge that peaked earlier this month.

While we have not yet returned to the very low levels of transmission we experienced earlier this semester, we believe that we are headed in that direction. For the latest information, check out our COVID-19 dashboard, which now includes a chart tracking daily case counts.

Assuming that the current trend continues, we will remain at a Yellow (medium) Campus Alert Level until spring break, with masks required indoors. We are hopeful that transmission will continue to decline and that we’ll be able to dial back to a Green Alert Level when we return from break.

Pre-return testing requirement
We continue to provide testing for anyone who is experiencing symptoms or is identified as a close contact. (Fill out the COVID-19 reporting form to report your symptoms, exposure, or positive test.)

All students who leave campus during spring break are expected to take a rapid or PCR test no more than 24 hours before returning to St. Olaf. Test results need to be obtained before your return, and if you test positive you’ll need to delay your return to campus until you’ve completed your isolation period.

Students who need a rapid test to use before returning from spring break may pick one up at the Pause from 10-11:30 a.m., March 21-25. Please remember to bring your St. Olaf student ID in order to pick up a test. Tests will also be available for faculty and staff.

Classes and activities
The vast majority of positive cases this semester have been in students, and are the result of transmission occurring in living spaces and at informal social gatherings. We are not seeing widespread transmission in classrooms, workspaces, or structured events, so we feel confident in our ability to continue to safely provide those in-person functions on our campus — even when our case numbers are higher than we’ve experienced at earlier points in the pandemic.

Use COVID common sense
Though cases have dropped, COVID-19 is still circulating on our campus and in the broader community. Please keep looking out for yourself and for others by staying home when you feel sick, getting tested, and being consistent with your mask use. Keep your social gatherings small, and gather outside, rather than inside, whenever possible.

We’re getting very close to spring break! Let’s all continue with these common sense behaviors to continue this good trend until then.