May 4, 2022 at 4:42 p.m.
COVID Response Update
To St. Olaf College staff, faculty, and studentsFrom Campus Reopening Lead Enoch Blazis
Dear St. Olaf Community,
Over the past two weeks, we have experienced an uptick in COVID-19 cases on campus. This increase mirrors the recent rise in cases in the broader community, as the highly transmissible BA.2 Omicron subvariant sweeps across the U.S.
Because the virus is not significantly disrupting campus operations and the uptick in cases has been moderate, we remain at a Green (low) Campus Alert Level, and are not imposing any additional restrictions. The rising number of cases, however, is an indication that we should continue to take COVID-19 safety into account as we gather and go about our daily routines:
- While masking is optional in most places on campus, keep your mask handy and consider masking up when in higher-risk settings, like indoor group gatherings. If your roommate or housemates are symptomatic, masking in these spaces can also reduce the risk of transmission.
- Continue to report your symptoms, exposure or positive test results using our COVID-19 reporting form.
- Most important: stay COVID-19 symptom aware. Stay home and self-isolate when you are experiencing symptoms. Test 24 hours after symptom onset. We’ve learned that antigen tests may not immediately identify an Omicron infection, so if the initial test is negative, test again 24 hours later. If symptoms are still present after a second negative test, you should continue to mask until symptoms resolve. On-campus testing is available for symptomatic individuals. Please report your symptoms first before coming to your campus test.
With many large and small events planned for the next several weeks, we’ve had some questions about COVID protocols for visitors and events. If you are organizing an event, here’s what you need to know:
- Vaccines: All campus visitors are expected to be up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations, per current CDC guidelines, or have tested negative on a COVID-19 test taken within 24 hours (antigen) or 72 hours (PCR) of arrival on campus. It is the responsibility of the event organizer(s) to communicate this expectation to guests.
- Masking: Masking is not required for visitors, with some exceptions, including in classrooms or individual workspaces where a faculty or staff member has requested that people wear a mask. Event organizers may require masking for specific events, and should reach out to email@example.com with questions.
All students, staff, faculty and visitors are required to comply with the college’s current COVID-19 protocols, which are listed on the main COVID-19 website. For specific questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your continued attention to these updates, and for making community health a priority. Good luck in these final weeks of the semester!