Safe Return to Campus Plan – June 4, 2020

Details of Plan for Safe Return to Campus

St. Kate’s Faculty and Staff, 

This note may seem like we are moving from thinking and absorbing the huge truths we are all confronting on the tragedies of racism to a note filled with great detail on how to safely return to campus. We need to do both; thank you for understanding that. 

The planning details for our summer and fall return to campus, now that the Minnesota stay-at-home order has been lifted, keep the protection and safety of our community central to our efforts. This planning is done with the understanding that no one knows how this will play out for the world, acknowledgement that we are only beginning to understand and accept our new normal, and a continued commitment to show our love for the dear neighbor by protecting them as much as we protect ourselves from the spread of this virus.

The following Safe Return to Campus Plan keeps all of this in mind as we work to bring you back to campus. All of us are responsible for implementing and complying with all aspects of this plan. Our return to campus needs to be gradual and follow best practices for social distancing and other risk mitigation measures, as well as guidance from the state and health experts. Together, by adhering to this plan, we can mitigate the potential for transmission of COVID-19 at St. Kate’s and maintain the health and safety of everyone. 

Employee Safe Return to Campus Plan – Phase 1: Summer

To guide our return to campus, the Safe Return to Campus Planning Committee (SRC) and Incident Management Team (IMT) have developed a phased approach based on information about COVID-19 as it is known today and flexibility to adjust to the fluidity of the situation and potential for things to evolve quickly. 

This plan is heavily informed by outside medical experts from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) , the American College Health Association, and Governor Walz, and the specific guidelines these groups have provided for colleges and universities. We are all deeply grateful for their leadership and help, and I appreciate the contributions of numerous University departments, who played key roles in the development of this plan. 

At this time, we are only sharing details for Phase 1 – Summer 2020, which will begin June 8. Phase 1 maintains our efforts to minimize the number of people on campus to limit the number of contacts (de-densify). Subsequent phases are in development and will be dependent upon learnings from Phase 1. Information about Phase 2 and Fall 2020 will be shared as soon as it is available, including details about testing (if it is available) and quarantine/isolation options for student residents. Information about commencement and fall plans will be shared later this month.  

Plan Elements

  • During this phase, all safety processes and protocols must be followed, and employees should not come to campus unless necessary to do so. 

  • All faculty, staff, students, and approved visitors must wear a cloth face covering or mask when entering and walking through buildings on campus and while in common or shared spaces. 

    • Facilities staff whose roles that involve work that allows adequate social distancing are permitted to not wear a face covering while working.

    • If you are in need of a mask, Public Safety is able to provide one for you. Employees are responsible for the purchase of additional masks. 

  • Employee Work Mode: All employees who are able to work remotely will continue to do so for the summer term (through Friday, August 21). 

    • Decisions regarding when employees can return to work on campus regularly will be announced at a later time based on continued evaluation of the situation and health and safety needs.  

    • We recognize that employees may need to come to campus on specific occasions to perform work that can only be done on campus, for IT support, or other needs. On these limited occasions, faculty and staff are required to follow all SRC policies and procedures

    • If an employee would like to make changes in their current working situation (on campus/remote), they should work with their Senior Leadership Team member or delegate. Absent hearing from them, you are to remain working as is until August 21.

  • On-Campus Classes: Academic Affairs has identified priority courses that must be delivered in an on-campus, face-to-face format to meet curriculum and degree requirements, and/or complete face-to-face instruction for courses from the spring 2020 semester during the summer term. This is a very limited set of courses/labs; all other courses will be held in an online format.

  • Visitors, Contractors, and Vendors: Visitors are not allowed on campus. This includes family of faculty and staff (e.g. spouses, children) and friends or family of student residents. Non-approved visitors will be asked to leave. 

    • In those instances where business-critical in-person visits must occur, such as to allow equipment or facilities to remain operational, all visitors (contractors, repair people) must complete a Visitor Health Screening Checklist.

    • The Safe Return to Campus Committee is working with our Admission teams regarding the ability to safely offer campus visits for prospective students and their families beginning later in June. Details will be shared as they are known.

  • Tracking COVID-19 Cases at St. Kate’s: MDH continues to be the central organization tracking COVID-19 cases and conducting contact tracing. Additionally, we are continuing to ask faculty, staff, and students to self-report if they have been diagnosed with COIVD-19 via the COVID-19 Diagnosis Notification Form. This information is confidential and goes to the Health and Wellness Clinic.

  • Cleaning and Sanitizing: The Facilities team has established a detailed cleaning and sanitizing schedule and process that follows specific guidelines from MDH and the CDC. Additional details will be provided for spaces with specific equipment that will need to be cleaned. Additionally, ventilation systems have been reviewed to make sure they are operating efficiently and allow for as much airflow circulation as possible.

  • Signage: All signage must be created and approved by the University/Facilities. Employees should NOT create or post their own signs. 

Note: Any persons (faculty, staff, students, visitors, contractors, or vendors) who have known exposure to COVID-19 within the past 14 days, or who are exhibiting symptoms of illness consistent with COVID-19 are not permitted to come to campus. 

Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and Supply Ordering

Facilities, along with the SRC, have identified the appropriate PPE and standard items that are needed to ensure safety for faculty, staff, and students to be on campus as needed this summer, as directed by MDH and CDC guidelines. This includes evaluating the need for plexi shields and other items, which will be installed in high volume areas only, such as the cafeteria and per CDC guidelines. 

Requests for other equipment (masks, gloves, etc.) should be submitted to your Dean or Vice President for review. Pending their approval, it will be submitted to the Incident Management Team for review and final approval before ordering. Requests should not be submitted directly to Purchasing or Facilities. 

Thank You

It is important for us to acknowledge all of the employees who have remained on campus during the stay-at-home order to perform deep and day-to-day cleaning, maintain our grounds, complete administrative functions, and ensure the safety and security of our campus.

We are the role models for the culture change we are embarking upon. Read all the policies and procedures as generous acts of love and compassion for our mutual safety. It is important to remember that doing all of the above well does not eliminate all risk. That is impossible. These steps help us all to manage it so that we may eventually return to the campus life we all love and enjoy.

Be well, 

Becky Roloff


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