Community Update — December 4, 2020

Dear St. Catherine Community,

As we move into the final weeks of the fall semester, we want to take a moment to say how grateful we are to all of you for your work to help limit the spread of COVID-19 on our campus and within the community. We recognize that the past months have been stressful, and hope you found time to relax and recharge over break.

Regardless of where you are working or learning right now, we ask that you remain committed to each other and continue following health and safety guidance. Wear your mask, keep your distance, limit your contacts, wash your hands, and stay home if you’re feeling sick. Also, remember that the Governor’s four-week pause on social gatherings and other activities remains in effect through December 18.


Testing Recommendations and Availability

As a reminder, we are strongly recommending that residents who left for the break and returned to campus housing and those participating in Tier One classes and labs schedule a COVID-19 test for five to seven (5-7) days after returning to campus. In addition, we are also asking that those taking in-person courses consider getting tested weekly for the remainder of the semester.

We will continue to offer free saliva PCR testing by appointment for faculty, staff, and students, AND going forward, to immediate family members. Please select a time slot for EACH person who needs testing. The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) also has a variety of testing resources available.

If you test positive, be sure to complete the Diagnosis Notification Form.

It’s important to note that a negative test does not mean you are free from risk, just that you are not infectious on the day of testing. 

Now, more than ever, we must remain diligent in our efforts to protect our community. 


Quarantine Guidance

As you may have heard, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has put out new options regarding quarantine length. MDH will be reviewing information, but for now we will continue to follow MDH’s current 14-day quarantine guidelines for anyone exposed to COVID-19.


Reporting Concerns

We want campus to be a safe place for everyone and will continue to quickly address concerns when we are made aware of them. 

If you have concerns about a member of the community not following established protocols, we encourage you to talk to the person directly. If you are not comfortable approaching the individual, or if talking with them did not resolve your concern, reach out to the program director, dean, supervisor, or VP. Additionally, you can complete this form. 


Preparedness Plan Updates

The following revisions have been made to the Preparedness Plan:

  • Updated policy for eating and drinking during class breaks (page 23)

  • Updated policy for personal protective equipment (PPE) in face-to-face classes (page 23)

  • Addition of policy for reporting concerns (page 38)


COVID-19 Impact Survey

Recently, all faculty, staff, and students received an invitation to participate in a survey about the University’s response to COVID-19 and how we can best support you during this difficult time. If you haven’t yet shared your feedback, we hope you will. The faculty and staff survey will close today, and the student survey will close on December 11. 

 If you have questions about this survey, you may contact Denise Baird, Assistant Provost, at or 651-690-6163 or Lisa Kidd, Research Analyst and Data Manager at the Higher Education Data Sharing Consortium, at


Workout Without a Gym

Looking for a yoga class or strength training program that you can do from the comfort of your home or dorm room? The Butler Center has you covered with live Zoom yoga on Tuesdays and Thursdays through December 17, as well as workout plans you can do whenever your schedule allows. 

Workout without a gym


COVIDaware MN App

A new app — COVIDaware MN — is now available to help slow the spread of COVID-19 throughout Minnesota. Learn more about it at


Ongoing Communication

As we’ve all seen, guidelines and recommendations for responding to the pandemic change and evolve quickly. We will keep you updated on how these changes may impact our campus community, so please continue to check your email. 


Thank you for your continued partnership.



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