October 21: COVID Update

The Pandemic Planning Committee has met this week. The temporary mask mandate outside of the classroom was lifted on October 2. Since this time period, there has not been a spike in cases nor evidence that COVID-19 is rapidly spreading across campuses. This is good news but does not mean we can ignore the transmission occurring in the state of Minnesota. We are diligently evaluating the data and working with MDH. We continue to examine the below components as they relate to our recommendations around masking, social distancing, and other mitigation measures.

Current case count:

  • Students: There has been one new student case of COVID-19 reported on our campus in the past 10 days.
  • Employees: We have three current active employee positive cases right now.

On-campus student positivity rate: 1.06%. We are testing regularly in Health Services and Athletics, and nearly all of those tests are negative.

Transmission rate in Stearns County: This rate is classified as “High” by the CDC, and the Stearns County positivity rate is 9.73% today. It is important to note that we are not seeing this same transmission rate reflected in our on-campus community.

Vaccination rates on campus:

  • Students: We currently have 89% of our student body vaccinated with an additional 2% having received the 1st dose.
  • Employees: We currently have 90% of our employees vaccinated with an additional 2% having received the 1st dose.

MDH and CDC recommendations: Both MDH and CDC continue to recommend indoor masking in areas of high transmission. However, MDH has stated that our on-campus transmission rate, quarantine/isolation capacity, and vaccination rates should be a large influence on our mitigations. We have been in regular contact with MDH as conditions change.

Our surrounding community continues to be at greater risk for transmission of COVID-19 than our on-campus community. Based on that, we encourage individuals to mask when off-campus.

There are no changes to the current policy at this time.

  • [email protected]
  • 320-363-3300 (general questions)
  • 320-363-5370 (medical questions related to COVID-19)