Dear St. Catherine Community,
As we near the mid-point of the semester, we want to again thank you for your ongoing efforts to keep our campus community healthy and safe. Rising case numbers not only in Ramsey County but throughout the state and across the nation remind us that COVID-19 is still here, and likely will be for the foreseeable future. While our efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus on campus are working, we were reminded this week of how important it is that we don’t let down our guard.
COVID-19 Case Update
While we didn’t see an especially large increase in cases over the past week, we have identified what the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has designated an outbreak in a cohort-based academic program (i.e., among a single group of students who share the same classes — NOT a campus-wide outbreak). Exposures have been tied to activities outside of the classroom setting. Three students have currently tested positive and are in isolation; individuals identified as close contacts are in quarantine; and, out of an abundance of caution, the remaining members of the cohort have also begun a two-week quarantine.
Our policies and procedures were designed and have allowed us to react quickly to situations as they arise, meaning there is little risk to the larger campus community and those impacted are receiving the support they need. However, this situation serves as a reminder of the impact COVID-19 can have — and with influenza season upon us and more activities moving indoors, it is more important than ever that we maintain social distance and wear a mask.
Please be sure to:
Stay Home if Feeling Sick
DO NOT come to campus or attend in-person classes if you aren’t feeling well, regardless of what information or test you might miss. COVID-19 can present with a variety of symptoms, so if you are experiencing ANY new symptoms — especially fever, cough, shortness of breath, or loss of taste and smell — stay home and contact your medical provider. Faculty will work with students, and Human Resources will work with employees, to help ensure academic work can be made up and work schedules can be adjusted.
If you test positive for COVID-19, be sure to complete the Diagnosis Notification Form. Faculty members who are informed by a student that they have tested positive should submit a referral via Student Success and direct students to submit the Diagnosis Notification Form, as outlined in the Faculty Guide.
Complete the Daily Symptom Screening
Before coming to campus or leaving an on-campus residence, be sure to complete the Daily Symptom Self-Check via the LiveSafe app or online form. Be sure to report ANY symptoms and stay home if you receive a red X upon completion.
Wear a Mask and Keep Your Distance
Don’t forget — face coverings are required in all campus buildings, common areas, and shared spaces. And be sure to keep a minimum of six feet between yourself and others.
Wash Your Hands, Cover Your Cough, and Don’t Touch Your Face
These best practices can help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, influenza, and other respiratory illnesses.
If you haven’t already, we also recommend getting a flu shot. While we don’t know exactly how the pandemic will impact flu season, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is preparing for the spread of both viruses at once, which could have major implications for our healthcare system. If you are on-campus and need a flu shot, they are available by appointment in the Health and Wellness Clinic.
Butler Center Reopening Update
As Minnesota’s positivity rate continues to rise and flu season begins, MDH has recommended not increasing access to facilities. Therefore, Butler Center will not be moving to the next phase of reopening at this time, remaining open only to St. Kate’s student-athletes and those living on campus. We will continue to monitor guidelines and data, and look forward to welcoming more of you back as soon as possible.
We know the pandemic is impacting everyone in many different ways. Please take care of yourself, remain steadfast in your commitment to each other, and remember that we are all in this together.
Safely Returning to Campus Committee Co-Chairs
Amy Kelly, MD, MPH, Director, Health and Wellness Clinic
Ann Garvey, Interim Assistant Provost for Student Affairs
Pat Pratt-Cook, Senior Vice President of Human Resources, Equity and Inclusion
Lynda Szymanski, PhD, Associate Provost