Community Standards

Community Standards

St. Olaf’s Community Standards is a living document; we expect that it will be revised throughout the summer and academic year 2021-22 as understanding of the virus deepens, best practices change, and therapeutic measures become increasingly available. Changes to the document will be announced to the St. Olaf community, and each community member is expected to remain apprised of these changes as they occur. With the new mandatory vaccination policy and the decline of COVID-19 cases in Minnesota and across the United States, the college is moving into a new phase for managing the pandemic. We will, however, still expect community members to follow mitigation measures when appropriate.

The guidance provides important practices everyone on campus must follow:

  1. Vaccination Requirements
  2. Health Reporting
  3. Isolation, Quarantine, Testing, and Contact Tracing
  4. Prevention Practices
  5. Campus Guidelines
  6. Staff and Faculty Guidelines
Bias Based Discrimination

The current COVID-19 outbreak has provoked cognitive bias and discriminatory behaviors against people of certain ethnic backgrounds as well as anyone perceived to have been in contact with the virus. We know that the virus is not a respecter of race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, or physical ability.

St. Olaf College is committed to creating and maintaining an environment in which all members of the community (students, faculty, and staff) are respected and treated with dignity, free from bias and harassment. We encourage victims of hate crimes, harassment, or bias to report the incident to the appropriate authorities or through the college’s Bias Incident Reporting Form.

Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination

In an effort to maintain an educational and work environment that supports our goal of providing an intensely residential experience, we are adopting a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy. With this policy, we aim to minimize the risk of transmission of COVID-19 and to ensure that students, faculty, and staff may participate in St. Olaf’s programs and activities with minimal disruption or modification. This policy complies with applicable laws and is based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and applicable local health authorities in Minnesota. The FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccinations are safe and effective. If you want to know more about COVID-19 vaccines, visit the CDC website for more information.

St. Olaf will require all new and returning faculty, staff, and students to be fully vaccinated by the start of the fall 2021 semester. All new and returning faculty, staff, and students need to have at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by August 1, with a scheduled second dose (if required) to be completed prior to arrival on campus. Faculty, staff, and students will be required to report their vaccination status by August 1. Individuals who are unable to obtain the vaccine are encouraged to contact for assistance. St. Olaf will provide assistance to students returning for the 2021–22 Academic Year who have been unable to obtain the vaccine before arriving on campus. This assistance may be provided through on-campus vaccination clinics or through a local medical provider.

Before the stated deadline, you will be required to report vaccination or to obtain approval of a reasonable accommodation to be exempted from the requirement.

Reasonable Accommodations

Contact if you believe you have a need for a reasonable accommodation because of a disability or because of a sincerely held religious belief. We will provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with a disability who provide sufficient documentation from a medical provider demonstrating that their disability prevents them from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, provided that such reasonable accommodations do not constitute an undue hardship on the college or pose a direct threat to the health and safety of others.

We will provide reasonable accommodations to individuals with sincerely held religious beliefs that prevent them from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, provided that such reasonable accommodations do not impose more than a minimal burden on the operation of our business or pose a direct threat to the health and safety of others.

If you request a reasonable accommodation at, you will receive forms enabling you to request a reasonable accommodation.

All students, staff, and faculty are expected to comply with the College’s COVID-19 Community Standards. Individuals who receive a reasonable accommodation that provides an exception for them from this requirement may be expected to comply with additional COVID-19 safety precautions, such as wearing a mask or engaging in social distancing. Any additional safety precautions will be communicated to you.


Faculty, staff, and students are required to report their vaccination status, any COVID-19 symptoms, a positive COVID-19 test result, or exposure to COVID-19. Please go to the health reporting web page and contact if you have any questions. If you need emergency medical assistance related to COVID-19, call the Northfield Hospital Triage Line at 507-646-1494 (daytime hours).

For more information about symptoms or about conduct that qualifies as close contact, refer to the Minnesota Department of Health website.

If you have symptoms you should still get tested even if:

  • You have had COVID-19 before.
  • You are fully vaccinated (you have received one dose in a one-dose series or two doses in a two-dose series more than two weeks ago).

Health Reporting Requirements


Keeping someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 away from others.

  • Faculty and staff that test positive must remain at home and not travel to campus.
  • Students living on campus who test positive for COVID-19 will be moved to a room or space identified for isolation purposes. 
  • Based on guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health, students may self-isolate at their family home if they are within regional driving distance (2-3 hour drive) and family composition and home layout are conducive to isolation/quarantine.
  • Processes will be in place to provide those quarantined or in isolation on campus with necessary support, including meals.
Students with symptoms will self isolate until:
  • They get test results back and discuss with the St. Olaf Contact Tracing Team.
  • They feel better and cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms are better.
  • It has been 10 days since they first felt sick.
  • They have had no fever for at least 24 hours, without using medicine that lowers fevers.

    The St. Olaf Contact Tracing Team will establish your status and clear you from isolation.
Students without symptoms who have tested positive:
  • If you continue to have no symptoms, you can be with others after: 10 days have passed since the date you had your positive test. 
  • The St. Olaf Contact Tracing Team will establish your status and clear you from isolation.


Quarantine — or separating oneself from others — is required for unvaccinated people who have been a close contact to a person with COVID-19 (an exposure). Since people with COVID-19 become contagious before symptoms start or may have no symptoms at all, quarantine is an important way to keep COVID-19 from spreading.

Who is a Close Contact?
  • Those who were within 6 feet of someone contagious with COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more over the course of a day (24 hours), even if that person was wearing a mask.
  • Those who live in the same household as someone with COVID-19.
  • Those who had direct physical or intimate contact (e.g., kissing, hugging, other types of physical contact) with a person who is sick with COVID-19.
  • Those who provide care for a person who is sick with COVID-19 at home.
  • Those with direct exposure to respiratory droplets from a person contagious with COVID-19.
Who Needs to Quarantine?
  • Unvaccinated students, faculty, and staff who have self-identified or been identified through contact tracing as close contacts of someone who tested positive for COVID-19 will be required to quarantine for 14 days. We are aware of some guidance indicating a shorter 7-10 day quarantine period. We will continue to follow a 14-day period based upon guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health for Minnesota college campuses because we are a highly residential community.
  • If someone has received a COVID-19 vaccination (two doses in a two-dose series or one dose in a one-dose series) and is exposed, they do not need to quarantine if ALL of the following are true:
    • The COVID-19 exposure was at least 14 days after their vaccination series was fully completed.
    • They do not currently have any symptoms of COVID-19.
Symptom Self-monitoring Requirements

Students, faculty, and staff are required to know the symptoms of COVID-19 and should monitor their symptoms on a daily basis. If you are experiencing symptoms, you are required to report them on this form.

Testing Requirements


Everyone must take active prevention measures. Even though you may not be at high risk, there are others around you who are.

Face Coverings
  • Members of our campus community who are fully vaccinated no longer need to wear a mask on campus (indoors or outdoors).
  • Members of the campus community who are not fully vaccinated are strongly encouraged to continue to wear a mask indoors.
  • Members of the community who have received a reasonable accommodation exempting them from a COVID-19 vaccination based on a disability or a sincerely held religious belief may, on a case-by-case basis, be asked to wear a mask or face covering or to take other steps to protect themselves and the community.
  • Masking requirements may change based on government guidance and requirements.
  • We also ask the community to respect those who, even if vaccinated, still choose to mask in public.

Vaccinated or not vaccinated, MDH strongly recommends that you:

  • Wash your hands often, with soap and water. Wash for at least 20 seconds.
    • If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol.
    • Hand Hygiene
  • Follow guidance on staying home (quarantine) if you have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19. Depending on the situation, people who are fully vaccinated may not need to quarantine.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Cover Your Cough: cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue. Throw used tissues in the trash. Wash your hands.
  • Clean and then disinfect surfaces.

If you are not vaccinated:

  • Keep at least 6 feet away from people from other households.
  • Wear a mask indoors when you cannot keep 6 feet away from others.


Mental Health Resources

There are several mental health resources available for students, staff, and faculty. Students can also visit the St. Olaf Counseling Center website for more information.

Wellness Center

The Wellness Center offers several resources and programs to support the health and safety of students. The Wellness Center also has a supply of masks for any student who needs a replacement mask.

Student Life

Students should visit the current students web page for quick links to various offices and resources within Student Life.

If students have specific questions, concerns, or issues related to personal or academic matters they should contact the Dean of Students office by calling 507-786-3615. 

Human Resources

Staff and faculty who have specific questions or concerns can talk to the immediate supervisor and refer to St. Olaf’s HR website for access to a range of reporting and resources tools, including:


As we approach the 2021–22 academic year, we will be updating the guidelines for college-owned housing, Stav Hall and other Buntrock Dining Spaces, and classrooms. These guidelines will be based on recommendations provided by the Minnesota Department of Health and the CDC.

This summer the Cage will be open to students, faculty, staff, and visitors. Due to the limited number of people on campus this summer, Stav Hall will not be open daily over the summer. For students who desire to be on a meal plan, the college is offering a meal plan option through the Cage.

Tostrud and Skoglund will be open to current employees in addition to students who are living on campus this summer. It will not be open to retirees, family members of current employees, or Northfield residents.

Cleaning and Disinfection Guidelines For All Spaces

  • Custodial practices are detailed in the COVID-19 Cleaning and Disinfection Protocols document. Priority spaces and objects have been identified and will be cleaned and disinfected more frequently due to their location in high-traffic areas. Custodial staff provide daily cleaning and disinfecting services to high-touch objects such as door handles, elevator panels, and railings, as well as common areas in the work environment including restrooms, break rooms, lounges, kitchens, utility rooms, laundry rooms, learning spaces, and meeting rooms. The document also includes enhanced disinfection procedures should a college employee, student, or visitor be diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • We encourage students, faculty, and staff to keep personal items (e.g., cell phones and other electronics) and personal work and living spaces clean. The college will provide hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipe supplies for cleaning of personal work spaces and shared equipment and/or resource usage.
Visiting Campus, Events and Gatherings

These guidelines are subject to change based on guidelines provided by the Minnesota Department of Health and mandated executive orders from the Governor of Minnesota.

  • Visitors with a business purpose are allowed on campus. Students, faculty, and staff who host visitors are responsible for ensuring that they adhere to our campus community guidelines.
  • Anyone who is not fully vaccinated is strongly encouraged to wear a mask.
    External groups and organizations will not be allowed to reserve or use campus facilities.
  • Campus vendors necessary to support campus operations are expected to follow the college’s guidelines regarding physical distancing, wearing of masks, and handwashing/use of hand sanitizer.
  • The Admissions Office will coordinate all prospective student campus visits following the college’s guidelines regarding physical distancing, wearing of masks, and handwashing/use of hand sanitizer.
  • Students may not have visitors come to campus. This is an added precaution that we are taking to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on campus.

Faculty and Staff Guidelines