Community Update: New Guidance — November 20, 2020

Dear St. Catherine Community,

On Wednesday, November 18, Governor Walz announced a four-week pause on social gatherings and other activities. In addition, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has issued new guidance for colleges and universities as community spread of the virus continues to increase across the state.

MDH is strongly encouraging resident students to either go home for Thanksgiving and stay home for the remainder of the semester, or stay on campus for the break to help limit potential exposure. 

For those who do head home for the holiday and come back to campus, MDH recommends getting tested five to seven (5-7) days after your return. 

We recommend the following groups schedule a test for five to seven (5-7) days after their return:

  • ALL students returning to the residence halls

  • ALL students taking Tier One, in-person classes


Testing Options

St. Kate’s will continue to offer free saliva PCR testing for faculty, staff, and students through Tuesday, November 24, and then again beginning Monday, November 30. 

Schedule an on-campus saliva PCR test

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) also has a variety of testing resources available:

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. Wear your mask, keep your distance, wash your hands, and stay home if you have any symptoms. 


Guidance for Travel and Holiday Gatherings

Both MDH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are now discouraging travel and gathering for the Thanksgiving holiday. For those in Minnesota, Executive Order 20-99 limits all gatherings to only those within a household. Per MDH guidance, college students returning home for break are not considered a separate household.


Check Your Email

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. 


We recognize that this is a difficult time for everyone. Please take care of yourself — physically, mentally, and emotionally — and know how grateful we are for the care and concern you continue to show each other.



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