COVID-19 Alert Levels

St. Olaf College has established a color-coded series of alert levels intended to inform the college community about the level of risk posed by the COVID-19 virus to our community. The alert levels correspond with different levels of operational response and guidance to the community. Each of these levels builds upon our existing mitigation measures identified in the community pledge and community standards.

The alert levels are defined by a set of indicators that include primarily the cases on campus as well as cases in Rice County and availability of on-campus isolation and quarantine beds. Additional factors affecting alert level determination include any new or modified Governor’s Executive Orders, updated guidance from the MDH and CDC, travel availability and restrictions, faculty and staff availability to provide academic programs and essential services, as well as access to critical supplies and testing. Changes in alert levels will always be informed both by data and by our judgment of current conditions. The College will be prepared to move quickly from any level of alert to the highest level if necessary.

Current Level

Alert Levels

More detailed information about the indicators and response level is available.
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Click on the levels below to review a summary of the indicators and requirements.

GREEN – LOW ALERT

Indicators:
Low Transmission Levels

< 1% of campus students infected within a 14-day period

Contacts are able to be identified at the time of interview

< 10 cases per 10,000 over 14-day period in Rice County

< 50% isolation and quarantine beds are full

Other key factors:
Guidelines from the Governor, MDH and CDC support in-person/hybrid classes

Healthcare resources are available

Staff and faculty are available

Critical supplies and testing are available

Requirements:
COMMUNITY STANDARDS REQUIRED:

  • You are still required to report COVID-19 symptoms, test results, and vaccinations through the St. Olaf Health Reporting Form.
  • Everyone on campus is expected to continue to adhere to our Community Standards. Face coverings will continue to be required indoors and recommended outdoors when physical distancing cannot be maintained.
  • All staff, faculty, and students need to continue to stay home when they are sick.

Classes, Athletics, Music, Clubs and Other Student Activities
Will continue as currently structured, with mitigation measures in place. As appropriate, updated guidance will be coming through these organizations.

Social Gatherings (excludes classrooms and structured events/meetings)
Indoor social gatherings are limited to 50 people, and outdoor social gatherings have no maximum group size.

Events
Must be pre-approved by the appropriate supervisor in your department. Indoor events should follow the capacity limits as listed in the 25Live Pro Scheduling system. Outdoor events have no limits for capacity. Masking is still required for all indoor events and for outdoor events that are over 500 people. Any indoor event prior to May 27 requires six foot distancing. All food and beverage needs should be coordinated with Bon Appetit using the catering@stolaf.edu alias. Bon Appetit has created a specific reception menu that is both feasible for their team to produce and is mindful of COVID-19 safety precautions. Departments should keep all events on campus only.

Campus

  • Residence Halls are open to inter-campus visits. The maximum number of students allowed in each room is twice the number of residents (so if two people live in a room, a maximum of four students may be gathered there). Unless the entire group is part of the same “social bubble,” you must all be masked and maintain 6 feet of physical distance when together.
  • Students are encouraged to stay on campus, however they are allowed to leave to socialize or work in surrounding communities while following the Community Standards. If you need to stay overnight off campus, you must fill out this form to be reviewed and approved by Student Life so they can coordinate appropriate arrangements for quarantine and testing when you return.
  • Approved visitors and essential service providers only.
  • All buildings are open and functioning, but in some cases with stricter access.
  • All on-campus dining areas are restricted to students only.

Travel
Continued restrictions on travel of students, faculty and staff.

YELLOW – MEDIUM ALERT

Indicators:
Medium Transmission Levels

1-3% of campus students infected within a 14-day period

> 5% of cases have unknown links over a 7-day period

Cases in Rice County are on the rise over 7-day period

10-30 cases per 10,000 over 14-day period in Rice County

50-75% isolation and quarantine beds are full

Other key factors:
Changes in guidance from the MDH and CDC

Healthcare resources are decreasing

Staff and faculty availability is decreasing

Critical supplies and testing availability is decreasing

Requirements:
COMMUNITY STANDARDS REQUIRED:
Report COVID-19 symptoms through the St. Olaf Health Reporting Form, face coverings required indoors and outdoors when physical distancing cannot be maintained, hand washing, and physical distancing required.

Classes
Classes in-person and hybrid or remote.

Athletics, Music, Clubs and Other Student Activities

  • Athletics practices and competitions will proceed with increased testing and monitoring in accordance with NCAA and MIAC guidelines.
  • Skoglund and Tostrud athletic facilities will be open at reduced capacity and with restrictions.
  • Intramural, club, and recreational sports will have limited practices. Physically distanced individual exercise activities are allowed outdoors.

Events and Social Gatherings (excludes classrooms and structured events/meetings)
Only small group gatherings of 10 people inside and out.

Campus
Residence Halls are closed to all non-hall residents.

  • No more than five people at a time will be allowed in common areas in residence halls and student housing, and these individuals must maintain 6 feet of physical distance.
  • Students remaining on campus will need to limit themselves to their “household” bubble. This includes eating and other activities. The Minnesota Department of Health defines this as their residence hall floor or housemates.
  • All students are highly encouraged to stay on campus. If you have an essential reason to travel off campus in Northfield or the local area (such as a medical appointment or work), you are expected to limit your contacts and observe all COVID-19 precautions. In special cases in which you need to stay overnight off campus, you must fill out this form to be reviewed and approved by Student Life so they can coordinate appropriate arrangements for quarantine and testing when you return.

Essential service providers only.

Stricter access to campus buildings. Campus is closed to visitors.

All on-campus dining areas are restricted to students only. Students will be required to make reservations.

Travel
Continued restrictions on travel of students, faculty and staff.

ORANGE – HIGH ALERT

Indicators:
High Transmissions Levels

> 3% of campus students infected within a 14-day period

Cases continue to rise in Rice County

> 30 cases per 10,000 over 14-day period in Rice County

> 75% isolation and quarantine beds are full

Other key factors: Changes in guidance from the MDH and CDC

Healthcare resources are decreasing

Staff and faculty availability is decreasing

Critical supplies and testing availability is decreasing

Responses:
COMMUNITY STANDARDS ELEVATED:

Report COVID-19 symptoms through the St. Olaf Health Reporting Form, face coverings, hand washing, and physical distancing.

Classes
Move to full remote learning.

Athletics, Music, Clubs and Other Student Activities
Practices and rehearsals are canceled. Increase in virtual activities.

Virtual Gatherings and Events Only

Campus
Students have the option to go home to learn remotely. Students who remain on campus will need to seek approval for off-campus trips.

Students restricted to residence halls and immediate outdoor areas.

Residence halls are closed to inter-campus visits. For exercise, students will be allowed to solo walk/run the Natural Lands or on campus grounds.

Essential staff only on-campus. No student work except essential positions and remote.

Limited access to campus buildings.

Increase in grab and go options. Residence halls will eat together at appointed times.

Travel
Continued restrictions on travel of students, faculty and staff.

RED – VERY HIGH ALERT

Indicators:
Transmissions have exhausted College’s resources
No improvement in High Transmission Level after two weeks
Shelter in place order from the Governor
Responses:
Evacuate the campus with the exception of students who cannot return home and move to minimal essential staff.

Restrict access to campus.

COVID-19 Campus Data

Covid-19 Dashboard ➤

Results of ongoing testing, as well as the current status of the campus community, are reported here.