St. Olaf College | COVID-19

March 23, 2022 at 12:19 p.m.

COVID Response Update

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

Dear St. Olaf Community,

As we approach spring break, I am writing to share some reminders for the days ahead—and to update you on our plans to revise our COVID-19 Campus Alert Levels to reflect the current dynamics of the pandemic.

Cases on campus have continued to decline over the last week, easing the strain on our case management operations and putting us more in line with transmission levels in the broader community. (For up-to-date information, continue to check our COVID-19 dashboard.)

We remain at a Yellow (medium) Campus Alert Level, with masks required indoors. Masks will be required for those remaining on campus during spring break, and for at least the first week after we return from break.

Pre-return testing requirement
A reminder: all students who leave campus during spring break are expected to take a rapid test no more than 24 hours before returning to campus or a PCR test 48-72 hours before returning. Students who have tested positive within the last 90 days should take a rapid antigen test 24 hours before returning to campus. Test results need to be obtained before your return, and if you test positive you’ll need to report using our COVID-19 reporting form and delay your return to St. Olaf until you’ve completed your isolation period.

Students who need a rapid test for this purpose can pick one up at the Pause from 10-11:30 a.m. this Thursday and Friday, March 24 and 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.

Please continue to use the COVID-19 reporting form to report your symptoms, exposure or positive test.

Updates to Campus Alert Levels
We are working to update our alert level system to reflect the changing nature of the pandemic and the dynamics of our campus population and COVID-19 response.

Our new system will better reflect the multiple factors that determine our campus protocols, including: transmission rates on campus and in the broader community, change in infection rates, testing and isolation bed availability and capacity, case management capacity, impact on campus and operations, and local hospital capacity.

As you’ve experienced, COVID-19 variants can impact our campus in very different ways. Because this virus will be with us for the foreseeable future, we need a system that can flex with both the virus and our unique needs and capacity.

You can expect a refreshed COVID-19 website when you return from spring break. Along with our dashboard, you’ll be able to see the current alert level (Green, Yellow or Red) and a clear summary of what that means for everything from masking policies to events. We plan to continue to be at Yellow upon our return, but we are hopeful that we’ll be in a position to move to Green in the near future.

Thank you for your continued attention and cooperation, and enjoy the break!