COVID Community Update — April 9, 2021

Dear St. Catherine Community,

With our Tier Two students and faculty moving to in-person classes this week and our employees beginning a phased return, we are getting closer to the robust and vibrant community we have been missing so much. 

As the number of people on campus increases, however, it’s important that we all remain diligent in our efforts to protect each other, including:

  • Completing the Daily Symptom Screening online or via the LiveSafe app
  • Wearing a mask that includes at least two layers, completely covers the nose and mouth, and fits snugly
    Students and faculty participating in face-to-face courses are required to wear medical masks in the classroom or lab; face shields are also required when social distancing is not possible. 
  • Maintaining social distance
  • Limiting contacts
  • Washing hands
  • Staying home when sick

 

Post-Break Testing

We encourage everyone — students, faculty, and staff — returning to campus to get tested for COVID-19. This will help us identify those who may be asymptomatic and limit potential spread.

Sign up for a saliva-testing appointment

Testing will continue to be available throughout the semester, and we encourage anyone concerned about COVID-19 to make an appointment — especially those who are:

  • Symptomatic
  • Identified as a close contact
  • Required to be tested for participation in athletics, clinicals, etc.
  • Returning from travel (domestically, internationally, or to an area of the state with a high rate of COVID-19 infection)

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) also has saliva testing available through community testing sites and the Test at Home program


Quarantine Requirements

Based on campus case data and public health guidance, we are moving from a 14-day quarantine for most individuals to a 10-day with the following additional requirements:

  • Testing will be required (details will be provided by the COVID Support Team when quarantine begins).
  • Those identified as a close contact because of a household exposure (e.g., roommate, immediate family member, etc.) will need to complete a 14-day quarantine.

As always, we will continue to monitor data and guidance and make adjustments as needed to best protect our community.


Vaccines

Availability
Vaccination is an important factor in ending the COVID-19 pandemic. We do not currently have vaccine to provide on-campus, however are continuing to work closely with MDH and local public health agencies to determine if additional doses might be available. For now, the State of Minnesota’s Vaccine Connector is the best resource for getting an appointment through one of the State’s community sites. Some pharmacies are now offering vaccination appointments, as well; additional information can be found on their websites.

While we encourage everyone who is able to get vaccinated to do so, we also know that this is a personal decision and some are not able to or will choose not to be vaccinated for a variety of reasons. As an inclusive community, it is important that we continue to respect people’s choices and encourage others to do the same.


Post-Vaccination Guidance
As more of our community becomes vaccinated against COVID-19, we recognize that some may experience side effects that mimic symptoms of infection and have developed some post-vaccination guidance to help answer questions about coming to campus and/or attending class.

Please note that ALL individuals, regardless of vaccination status, will need to continue following the mitigation measures and University policies when on campus.


Reporting
While not required, we encourage all members of the St. Kate’s community to let us know when they are fully vaccinated by completing the COVID-19 Vaccination Reporting Form or entering the information in the Health and Wellness Clinic’s patient portal. This information will help as we plan for the months ahead.


Room Reservations

Study Rooms
Study spaces in CdC, Whitby, and the Library can be reserved via Google Calendar or by booking at the room. Masks are not required in these spaces if there is only one person using the room and the door is kept shut. Users should clean the space before leaving using the provided supplies.


Meeting Rooms
In-person meetings can be scheduled in the University meeting rooms via your Google Calendar or through University Events for access to PDR. Capacities for in-person meetings are capped at 10, however many rooms will not allow for this many people due to social distancing. Everyone who uses the shared meeting rooms must wear masks and maintain a six-foot social distance from others. A virtual option should also be provided to those who would prefer to meet remotely. For capacity information, view the room in your Google Calendar.  Eating and/or drinking during meetings is discouraged.


Closed Rooms
Classrooms and other spaces around campus that are marked as closed should not be used for any class or informal gathering, as they are being prepared for fall and may not be set to accommodate current social distancing requirements.

 

Additional Classroom Space Needs
If additional space is needed for a class or an on-site activity, please complete the Request for On-Campus Activity form.


Reservations for Fall
All room reservation requests for fall, outside of the registrar classroom bookings, are on hold until this summer as we work to reset the campus for our planned return. Additional information will be provided as it becomes available.


Cleaning and Disinfection

Throughout the pandemic, Facilities has been following MDH guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting. 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 between classes, and high-touch areas in offices will be disinfected daily. 
  • Cleaning caddies are available around campus for use as needed. Instructions and who to contact if additional supplies are needed are included with the caddies.


Preparedness Plan Updates

Our COVID-19 Preparedness Plan continues to be an important resource, outlining the policies, procedures, and plans in place to keep our community healthy and safe. As data and guidance changes, we continue to review and revise the information as needed. We are currently finalizing an updated version for late spring/summer, which reflects the latest changes outlined above. It will be available on the website by Monday, April 12.


Thank you for your continued commitment to our community.


Sincerely,

Safely Returning to Campus Committee Co-Chairs
Amy Kelly, MD, MPH, Director, Health and Wellness Clinic
Matt Goodwin, PhD, Associate Provost for Student Affairs
Pat Pratt-Cook, Senior Vice President of Human Resources, Equity and Inclusion
Lynda Szymanski, PhD, Associate Provost