New Guidance and Requirements — January 14, 2022

Dear St. Catherine Community,

As case numbers continue to increase more broadly, we are also seeing increases in infections within our campus community. It’s important that we all do our part to help limit the spread. Please get your booster, wear your mask, get tested when needed (and report any positive test results), and stay home if you are sick. 

Following up on last week’s Community Update, we have received additional guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) related to quarantine and isolation and will be making some changes to our campus policies and procedures based on this information. In addition, we are outlining more specifics related to the booster requirement and some changes to our campus mask policy. 

These changes will also be incorporated into the Preparedness Plan and Faculty Guide; updated documents should be available on the website by next week (January 17-21).

 

Quarantine and Isolation

In accordance with the latest MDH guidance for colleges and universities, we are revising our campus quarantine and isolation policies, effective Tuesday, January 18. Anyone currently in quarantine or isolation will receive additional information about how this change impacts their specific situation from the COVID Response Team soon.

 

Quarantine

Anyone identified as a close contact (someone who has spent a total of 15 or more minutes within six (6) feet of an infected person over the course of 24 hours) will be required to quarantine if they:

  • Are eligible for, but have not yet received their COVID-19 booster dose.

  • Have received an approved exemption to the University’s COVID-19 vaccination requirement and are not vaccinated or boosted.

 

Individuals who need to quarantine should:

  • Stay home and away from others for at least five days (day 0 through 5) after their last contact with the positive case. The day of last exposure is considered day 0. 

  • Monitor for symptoms for a full 10 days following exposure. Anyone developing symptoms during this time should be tested for COVID-19 as soon as possible and isolate until results are received.

  • Get tested at least five days following the date of exposure if asymptomatic.

    • If the results are negative, you can return to campus. All individuals leaving quarantine between day five and day 10 are required to wear a well-fitting mask when around others or in public.

    • If the results are positive, you will need to isolate for at least five days. See below for details.

    • If you are unable to test, you can return to campus after five days as long as you are asymptomatic. All individuals leaving quarantine between day five and day 10 are required to wear a well-fitting mask when around others or in public.

  • Avoid places where they are unable to wear a mask and avoid eating around others for a full 10 days following exposure.

 

Isolation

Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19, regardless of vaccination or booster status and whether or not they have symptoms, will need to isolate for at least five (5) days.

  • The day the test is conducted is considered day 0. 

  • Individuals who never develop symptoms may end isolation after day 5, but must wear a well-fitting mask when around others or in public for an additional five days.

  • Individuals who are symptomatic may exit isolation after:

    • At least five days have passed since their positive test, and

    • They are fever-free for 24 hours without medication, and 

    • All other symptoms have improved.

They must wear a well-fitting mask when around others or in public until a full 10 days have passed.

  • Individuals should avoid places where they are unable to wear a mask and avoid eating around others for a full 10 days after testing positive.

 

For more information about why these changes were recommended, click here.

 

Booster Requirement

By February 15, 2022, all faculty (including adjuncts), staff, students, and residents age 12 and over, will need to have a COVID-19 vaccine booster as part of the University’s vaccine requirement. 

  • Individuals will need to log in to the patient portal and add the date of their booster dose and an updated copy of their vaccination record card by the deadline to be in compliance. 

  • Anyone who is not yet eligible for their booster dose will need to document compliance once they are five (5) months out from their second Moderna or Pfizer vaccine dose, or two (2) months following their Johnson & Johnson dose.

  • Anyone requesting additional time to receive their booster for medical reasons may request an exemption. Employees should submit a completed request form to HR (hr@stkate.edu); students should submit a completed request form to Student Affairs (studentaffairs@stkate.edu). 

  • Faculty, staff, and students who previously received an exemption for an ongoing medical or religious exemption for the vaccination requirement do not need to submit an additional request for a booster exemption.

    • If an individual received a medical exemption to the vaccination requirement for a temporary, time-based reason that still applies, they will need to re-submit their request as noted above.

 

The Health and Wellness Clinic will be holding on-campus booster clinics (Moderna vaccine) for students, faculty, and staff as follows; appointments can be made through the patient portal

  • Wednesday, February 2, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the CDC ballroom

  • Monday, February 7, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the CDC ballroom

 

Booster doses are also available at a variety of off-campus locations, including community vaccination program sites and local pharmacies. Visit the Minnesota COVID-19 Vaccine Connector to find and schedule an appointment.

 

Masking Policy

As we learn more about Omicron and how it spreads, masking continues to be an important mitigation strategy and MDH recommends wearing an appropriate, well-fitting mask to help limit spread. 

The University recommends that all community members wear an appropriate, well-fitting mask to help limit COVID-19, including variants like Omicron. Examples of appropriate masks include those with two or more layers of tightly woven fabric, medical-grade disposable masks, or N95/KN95 masks.  

Students and employees in specific areas of the University may be required to wear a certain type of mask, per their established policies.

Additionally:

  • The University will provide medical-grade masks to those who need them. Boxes were distributed to each department previously, and supervisors may request replacements by emailing purchasing@stkate.edu.  

  • N95 and KN95 masks will continue to be provided as required by clinical rotations and to other previously identified areas of the campus.

  • Face shields remain available by request; departments and/or supervisors may do so by emailing purchasing@stkate.edu

  • Masks continue to be required indoors in all common and shared areas on campus. Individuals working in a private office or in their residence hall room do not need to wear a mask when alone in the space.

  • Masks may be removed for eating and drinking, however must be replaced once finished.

 

Again, we are grateful for your continued partnership, compliance, and support of one another.

 

Sincerely,

 

Safely Returning to Campus Committee Co-Chairs
Lauren Peterson, MS, MPAS, PA-C, Director, Health & Wellness Clinic
Matt Goodwin, PhD, Associate Provost for Student Affairs
Pat Pratt-Cook, Senior Vice President of Human Resources, Equity and Inclusion