Coronavirus Community Update – April 9, 2020

Coronavirus Community Update – April 9, 2020

Dear St. Catherine Community, 

I hope you are well and successfully navigating our new online world as we wrap up our second week of online classes and head into the long holiday weekend. The following update is part of our continued commitment to keep you updated and informed. 

Stay-at-Home Order Extended

Yesterday, Governor Walz announced the stay-at-home order is extended until May 4. During this order, the University remains an essential business and is open. We will continue with all of the social distancing best practices we have implemented to assist in helping manage this pandemic, including online classes and remote working for employees. We recognize that the stay-at-home extension and social distancing give us the time necessary to be in the best position to treat COVID-19 cases in Minnesota.

We are thankful for all of the health care professionals, public servants, grocery store workers, and their families and friends who support them so that we continue to have access to the services and goods that help us be healthy and alive. We invite you to join our social media campaign–#YOUleadandinfluence–as a special way to thank alumni, faculty, staff, students, and others. See the University’s social media channels or the April 3 community message for details and messages to share. 

Health Update

The CDC has issued new guidance on the use of cloth face coverings to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Face coverings and masks are not designed for keeping healthy people from getting sick. Rather, their purpose is to help prevent your germs from infecting others – especially in situations where you may spread the virus without showing symptoms. Wearing a face covering or mask does not protect you from others who may spread the virus. 

There is growing information that asymptomatic people (those not showing symptoms) may spread COVID-19, and therefore, it is advised that people wear a cloth face covering to protect others when they are out in public and social distancing is not possible. The CDC has guidance on wearing and making your own face covers

It is critical that we continue to practice social distancing wherever we are, including for those remaining on campus. We are an open campus and community members continue to visit for walks and outdoor activity. In all instances, we should engage in social distancing. 

Academic Updates

Textbook Buybacks

Pending health-expert guidance, the University Bookstore will plan to be open to accept rental books and textbook buybacks by the end of May. If the Bookstore is not able to be open at this time, we will provide an online form to print off a packing slip to ship back rented books/textbooks for buyback to the bookstore free of charge. Updated information will be available on the University Bookstore website, as well as the COVID-19 information page.  

Residence Hall Move Out

As you know, Minnesota is currently under a stay-at-home executive order. While under this order, hosting a move out process could put students, their family, and our staff at risk. Your safety and wellbeing is our top priority, especially during this time when we have been asked to stay at home to minimize contacts between people. We are working closely with healthcare professionals to devise a safe move-out plan that we hope will address concerns and also allow enough time for each person to collect their belongings. We hope to provide more information about this plan in the next few weeks after the stay-at-home order is lifted. 

Easter Break

The University will officially be closed April 10-13 to celebrate this traditional Christian holiday as well as the Holy Weeks and Seasons of many religions. Regardless of how we each express our spirituality and beliefs, it is so important that we remember that our inner life needs nourishing, too. Please promise yourself that you will find time over this break to reflect on the blessings in your life, and the love that binds us all together. 
It also helps that chocolate is the predominant ingredient of most Easter treats! Enjoy! Stay safe and healthy!

Becky Roloff