January 21: COVID-19 Update

Dear CSB/SJU Students, Employees and Parents:

As we finish up our second week of spring semester, we are continuing to evaluate our COVID-19 measures on-campus in consultation with the Minnesota Department of Health. Our goal was to start the year slowly and cautiously, allowing us to monitor the changing conditions of the pandemic and its impact on our communities.   

Our positive case counts are still fluctuating. We are seeing higher numbers than fall semester which is to be expected with this newer strain of the virus. However, the illnesses reported are less severe, with most reporting mild cold-like symptoms.   

The vast majority of students have expressed a strong desire to be in the classroom with their faculty. We continue to expect that all faculty and students will be in the classroom unless they have to isolate or quarantine as a result of COVID. Although the reduced quarantine and isolation times will mean students will miss fewer days of class, we ask that faculty work with students who must isolate or quarantine as a result of COVID. We will continue to use hybrid and remote technologies to assist those in quarantine and isolation. Faculty should contact Pam Bacon, the Dean of Faculty, with any questions. 

Events, Meetings and Gatherings 

We are continuing our “slow” approach. We recommend events, meetings and gatherings be moved to Zoom or rescheduled through Jan. 30, at which point we will hopefully see improvement and assess next steps. 


In accordance with MDH recommendations for higher education institutions, we have reduced our quarantine and isolation times to 5 days, with a continued masking requirement for days 6-10. Whenever possible, students who have tested positive or are close contacts who need to quarantine are being directed to do so at home. While most of our students are completing quarantine and isolation at home, some students are doing so on-campus. We have been able to accommodate those students in the designated quarantine and isolation spaces on both campuses, but occasionally, we may ask students to quarantine or isolate in place. In addition, if our quarantine and isolation spaces reach capacity, we may need more students to quarantine or isolate in place.  

What does it mean to quarantine or isolate in place?  

  • The student wears a mask at all times.  
  • The student remains in their room, leaving only to use the bathroom or pick up food from the designated location and limited contact with others as much as possible. Specific signage will be posted in bathrooms to designate which facilities are to be used by those who are quarantining or isolating in place.  
  • The student monitors symptoms and communicates with the Student COVID Coordinator for questions or guidance that is needed.  

Booster Requirement  

As of March 1, CSB/SJU is requiring COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for all eligible students and employees. Students and employees qualify for a booster shot if they are five months past their second Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or two months past their one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.  

Masking Reminders  

Please remember that masks are required indoors which includes classrooms and public spaces. Currently, exceptions to the masking requirement include:   

  • When seated and actively eating or drinking in dining/events and catering operations  
  • Residence hall private rooms   
  • Private offices    
  • Outdoors   

While the institution does have masking standards (for example, gaiters are not an acceptable form of mask), we do not require that individuals wear N95, KN95, or other specialized masks. As a reminder, faculty are empowered to ask students to leave the classroom and staff may deny services (bussing, dining, etc.) if individuals are not following the masking policy.  

What can you do?  

We remain committed to a robust in-person experience for spring semester. To do so requires the support and commitment of all members of our community.   

  • We need you to follow our masking guidelines and wear your masks correctly. Masks must cover the nose and mouth.  
  • We need you to stay home and get tested if you are feeling ill.  
  • We need you to get your booster shot if you are eligible.  
  • We need your support and patience. Temporarily, things will look and feel different, and there may be short-term changes to services in order to manage through the higher numbers of COVID cases we are experiencing right now. We will return services back to normal as soon as possible.  
  • We need to limit guests in residential facilities to just members of the CSB and SJU community.  

You can find the most current information on our CSB/SJU COVID-19 Dashboard.  

Thank you for your continued support and cooperation as we get through this together. 

Casey Gordon 

Chair, CSB/SJU Pandemic Planning Committee 

[email protected]  

(320) 363-3300 

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