March 4 Message to CSB/SJU Community

Dear CSB/SJU students, faculty, and staff:

The College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University continue to monitor developments related to the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19). As the situation continues to evolve rapidly, the safety and well-being of our community remains our top priority. A team of CSB/SJU staff have been meeting regularly to monitor and follow recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Minnesota Department of Health

As you return from spring break, it is important to emphasize that there is no immediate threat to our community. No cases have been confirmed in Minnesota at this time. Individuals should not be excluded or separated from any university or work activity based on their race, country of origin or travel history.

This is an evolving situation and we will continue to update the community as additional guidance becomes available from the CDC. You can get updates from www.csbsju.edu/covid-19.

To reiterate, the risk of contracting the coronavirus in Minnesota remains low at this time. However, influenza and upper respiratory viruses currently are widespread in Minnesota, so there are some precautions you should always take:

  • Get a flu shot if you haven’t gotten one yet
  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and warm water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home if you are feeling sick, except to seek medical care

Information related to other frequently asked questions about COVID-19 are available at www.csbsju.edu/covid-19, including:

If you are experiencing fever and respiratory symptoms (such as fever with coughing or difficulty breathing/shortness of breath), seek medical advice by calling ahead to your healthcare provider or nurse advice line. Please do not show up at a clinic, urgent care, emergency room or other health facility without calling first. Your provider will need to take special measures to protect other people in the clinic. Telemedicine may also be available, enabling you to consult a provider from home.

CSB and SJU continue to maintain normal operations due to the low risk in our communities. If you are sick, you should take steps you normally would when sick, including focusing on caring for your health, contacting your healthcare provider if you feel you need to, not attending class if contagious, and in the event you miss class due to illness, working with your instructor on any necessary arrangements for making up coursework.

We recommend that instructors think about the accommodations they will offer to students who miss class because of illness, such as makeup exams, alternate assignments, or alternate weighting of missed work. Academic Affairs will reach out with more information and resources soon.

We strongly recommend reviewing applicable travel warnings and heading the advice of the CDC and U.S. Department of State.

Know that the Center for Global Education is also taking steps to ensure the health and safety of our students abroad. The Center for Global Education refers to the CDC’S Coronavirus Disease 2019 Information for Travel to guide our programmatic decisions. CSB/SJU, in keeping with our peer institutions, will not send students to “Warning Level 3” countries. Should students be studying in a country that is re-classified to a “Warning Level 3” the program will be suspended, and students will return home.

More information about COVID-19 can be found at CDC website and World Health Organization.

Thank you for contributing to a healthy learning environment at CSB/SJU!

Richard Ice

CSB/SJU Provost