Cases within our campus community have been low through J-term and spring semester, and vaccinations continue to increase throughout the state. In addition, our mitigation measures and robust contact tracing have proven effective in limiting spread of the virus. Based on this information, we feel confident that we can safely begin bringing more people back to campus over the coming weeks and months.
We will continue to monitor case data and public health guidance, making adjustments as needed to protect our campus community.
Campus buildings will remain accessible by key-card through the summer.
The health and safety policies and procedures outlined in the Preparedness Plan remain in effect, including:
- Wearing a mask and/or other required PPE
- Maintaining social distance
- Completing the daily symptom screen
- Washing hands
- Getting tested if you feel ill or are identified as a close contact of someone with COVID
- Staying home when sick
Our plans and procedures have been designed to allow us to quickly adapt to changing situations. As we have done throughout the pandemic, we will continue to monitor case data and public health guidance to determine if and when adjustments are needed to maintain the health and safety of our campus community.
Yes. Vaccinated or not, everyone is still required to mask on campus and maintain social distance.
Following your final dose, it is important to continue to wear a mask, maintain social distance, wash your hands, limit contact with others, and stay home when feeling sick for the next two weeks. Once you reach the two-week mark, you should consult the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). St. Catherine University faculty, staff, and students should also refer to the Preparedness Plan.
While we encourage everyone who is able to be vaccinated to do so, vaccination status will not be used to determine whether or not you will be asked to return to campus for work or for classes. We will continue to take the necessary safety precautions as we transition back to more in-person activities and in accordance with public health guidelines.
Throughout the pandemic, we have had faculty, staff, and students on campus successfully practicing COVID safety guidelines. While many have been working remotely throughout the past year, it is now time to begin a return to campus. Individuals who do not feel comfortable working on campus can talk with their supervisor and Human Resources about their concerns. Those with underlying health conditions should work with Human Resources to determine if an accommodation is warranted.
As we prepare to have over 1,000 students actively taking classes on campus for the rest of the spring semester, we will need additional staff on campus to support them, which is why student-facing offices will begin a limited return on April 6.
Minnesota’s Stay Safe plan continues to evolve and the latest guidance shifts remote work from a requirement to a strong recommendation beginning April 15. Higher education has consistently been designated an essential business. Increasing in-person operations in the remainder of offices is in alignment with the state’s Stay Safe plan.
Prior to COVID-19, the University had already developed a draft policy for working remotely and will finalize it this fall. Working remotely will be considered on a case-by-case basis driven first and foremost by the needs of the University to support student success, and the effective operation of St. Kate's.
We are reviewing all of our service delivery hours, services, and strategy to determine how to best meet the needs of students across all three colleges. That work will not be completed until later this fall. Consistent with the University’s mission, strategic priorities, and operating goals, there may be circumstances in which working remotely can be implemented to optimally balance the ability to serve students and meet the needs of the University.
Medical masks and face shields will be available to any faculty or staff member who would like them, and we will work with supervisors to distribute supplies.
Throughout the pandemic, Facilities has been going above and beyond current MDH guidelines. As more people return to campus, they will continue to focus efforts on regularly cleaning and disinfecting high-touch areas. Classrooms will continue to be disinfected each evening and offices will be cleaned daily. In addition, cleaning caddies are readily available around campus for use as needed. Instructions for use, and who to contact if additional supplies are needed, are included with the caddies.
Individual office garbage pick up and vacuuming will be done less frequently. When needed, especially if there is food waste, trash can be emptied in common area receptacles for daily pick up.
Ventilation systems have been reviewed to make sure they are operating efficiently and allow for as much airflow circulation as possible based on buildings and building infrastructure. In most buildings, the University has installed Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization (NPBI) units, which work to safely clean the air. The technology uses an electronic charge to create a plasma field filled with a high concentration of (+) and (-) ions. As these ions travel with the air stream, they attach to particles and pathogens. The ions produced travel within the air stream into the occupied spaces, cleaning the air.
University-related travel (both domestic and international) will remain suspended through the summer, except for Institutional Advancement, Admissions, and Athletics. Information about fall will be communicated as decisions are made.