St. Olaf College | COVID-19

June 7, 2021 at 10:14 a.m.

COVID Transitions for Summer 2022

To St. Olaf College faculty and staffFrom Leslie Moore ’77 P’19
Vice President | Human Resources

Dear faculty and staff colleagues,

I am writing to let you know that, beginning this June, the College will be welcoming a new team to handle our response to COVID and modifying some of our policies and protocols.

Please take time to review the information below, and please feel free to reach out to your supervisor if you have any questions.

Thanks to those who are leaving the COVID Team

First, I want to thank Enoch Blazis for his two years of dedicated service as the College Reopening Lead. He led us through uncharted territory with thoughtfulness, calm and compassion. Enoch will be returning to his full-time role as the Vice President for Advancement. We are also grateful for the work of the other two members of the COVID Point Team, Jan Hanson and Carl Crosby Lehmann, who will be stepping away from their day-to-day management of our COVID response.

Next, we say farewell to our two contact tracing co-leads, Heidi Quiram and Ryan Townzen, who undertook the herculean effort of building a contact tracing protocol, platform and team. They, too, will be returning full time to their original roles, Heidi as the Director of Alumni & Family Travel, and Ryan as Assistant Director of Recreation.

Finally, thanks to the scores of you – well over a hundred colleagues – who volunteered to help with testing, contact tracing, monitoring, case management and other tasks. We would not be where we are today without your help.

Welcome and thanks to the continuing COVID Team

Going forward, Dean of Students Roz Eaton will lead the College’s COVID operations, and we are grateful to have someone with Roz’s knowledge and expertise at the helm. We are delighted that Sabrina Bakken will continue as our Lead Case Manager, and we are hiring an additional case manager to support her important work. Pat Ceas will assist with testing, arranging vaccination clinics, managing supplies and responding to other needs that arise.

Future communication

The Human Resources team will continue to send communications about COVID to faculty and staff colleagues.

During the summer of 2022, the College will not be updating the COVID dashboard.

Reporting, Testing, and Isolation

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

This summer, we will shift to a “self service” model for most COVID testing. Students living on campus will receive test kits at the start of the summer session.

Faculty and staff should seek out your own rapid or PCR tests, which are now widely available. You can order eight free test kits through the U.S. Postal Service to be shipped to your residence, and another four free test kits through the Minnesota Department of Health. Filling out an online request takes only a couple of minutes, and the tests typically arrive quickly.

If you need a test and are unable to source your own, please speak to your supervisor. The College has a limited number of test kits available for employees in essential roles that cannot be performed remotely. If you are feeling sick, do not come to campus to obtain a test.

It is your responsibility to tell your supervisor if you will miss work because of isolation or symptoms.

If you have symptoms:

  • Self-isolate until you get a negative test result.

  • WAIT to take a test until you’ve had symptoms for at least 24 hours. If the test is negative, you no longer need to isolate, but you should wear a mask when around others and plan to take a second test.

  • Wait 24 hours after the first test and test a second time. The Omicron variant often takes some time to show up on a positive test.

  • When you have a second negative test, you should mask around others until your symptoms have resolved.

If you test positive:

  • Report your test result by submitting the COVID-19 reporting form.

  • Isolate at home, away from others in your household if possible.

  • You’ll receive an email with an isolation timeline from a member of the COVID-19 response team. The team’s hours this summer are from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Friday.

If you test positive for COVID, you can attempt to test out of isolation starting on Day 7, or leave isolation on Day 10 without testing. You should continue to wear a mask through Day 10. It will be your responsibility to inform close contacts that you tested positive, as we are no longer contact tracing. A reminder: you count the start of isolation either as the first day of symptoms or the day you test positive if you are asymptomatic.

If you are unvaccinated and exposed to COVID, you will need to quarantine for 5 days from the date of exposure and then may return to work wearing a mask for the next 5 days.

If you are exposed to COVID and have tested positive for COVID within 90 days of your exposure, you do not need to quarantine regardless of your vaccination status.

While masking, we encourage you to wear effective masks. If you do not have an N95, KN95, or KF94 mask, then wearing two surgical masks is significantly better than wearing just one.

Helpful forms and information can be found on the St. Olaf COVID-19 website at: https://wp.stolaf.edu/covid-19/

If you have questions, please email covid19hr@stolaf.edu.

Thanks for your continued vigilance and care for our community. And, once again, thanks to all of you who volunteered your time to lead us through the challenges of the past two years.

Kind regards

Leslie