November 5: New COVID-19 Mitigation Strategies

Dear CSB and SJU Students:

Today’s (Nov. 5) data indicate a surge in positive COVID-19 cases among students at Saint Ben’s and Saint John’s. This is not surprising given the surge of positive cases overall in Minnesota. We continue to work closely with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) to develop appropriate mitigation strategies as our case data continues to change.

In order to slow the spread of COVID-19, we are implementing free testing and prioritizing academic activities from today through the end of Block C, November 19. UPDATE from Nov. 16: CSB/SJU mitigation policies announced on Nov. 5 will be in effect for the remainder of the semester.

What does this mean?

  • No athletics practice or in-person extracurricular activities
  • No in-person campus programs or activities
  • No Link bus transportation after 4:15 PM (from CSB) and 4:30 PM (from SJU), beginning Friday, November 6
  • No visitation outside of one’s own residence hall
  • No parties or visiting bars
  • Limited in-person campus services (library, mail, and bookstore services will be communicated separately)
  • No campus visitors
  • To the extent possible, students should remain on campus

What is allowed?

  • In-person academic courses or music lessons, as long as appropriate social distancing and masking can be maintained (MDH has not seen COVID-19 spread between students or between faculty and students)
  • In-person, appropriate library use (masked, socially distant, table limitations)
  • In-person visits to Health Services or COVID-19 testing locations
  • Student work, as long as appropriate social distancing and masking can be maintained (please check with your supervisor)
  • In-person, individual, prescheduled, workouts in fitness areas on your home campus
  • ‘To go’ food service and dining at on-campus locations, with limited seating options

Next week, we will have a testing site on campus to conduct free testing of all students. WE WANT EVERY STUDENT TO BE TESTED. This level of testing will help us get in front of the surge in cases and help prevent further spread. More information is forthcoming.

Please do not delay testing if you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or have been identified as close contact. Please call CSB Health Services at 320-363-5370 to schedule a test or speak with a nurse.

Decisions related to further mitigation measures for Block D will be announced after the COVID-19 testing period.

As Thanksgiving approaches, we encourage students to remain on campus during the break for the health and safety of those at home. Per earlier communications, please let us know if you wish to remain on campus over Thanksgiving Break and complete the form by November 16.

We’ve experienced surges on campus before, and our past mitigation efforts have succeeded in slowing the spread of the virus on campus within days. We appreciate your cooperation as our campus COVID-19 data continues to change. Together, we will keep our community healthy and safe.

If you have any questions, please reach out to the Student COVID-19 Coordinator Team at [email protected]. If you are symptomatic and want to speak with an RN, please call the COVID-19 nurse line at 320-363-5370.

Sincerely,

Mary Geller, Vice President for Student Development, College of Saint Benedict
Michael Connolly, Interim Vice President for Student Development, Saint John’s University