October 30: Campus Update--New COVID-19 Mitigation Strategies

Dear Bennies and Johnnies,

Today we learned that the number of COVID-19 cases on our campuses is increasing significantly despite our best efforts. We are implementing additional mitigation strategies immediately to try to keep these numbers from rising higher and to ensure we can continue in-person learning. 

Transmission is occurring in residence spaces; therefore, we are imposing a 10:00 p.m. end to intercampus visitation in campus residences. CSB students may not be in SJU residences and SJU students may not be in CSB residences after 10:00 p.m. In support of this mitigation strategy, the bussing schedule is also being changed. The last LINK bus from CSB to SJU will depart at 10:00 p.m. and the last LINK bus from SJU to CSB will depart at 10:15 p.m. We are hoping this interim step will slow transmission of the virus. Students may attend events or socialize in public spaces, on either campus, while masked and socially distanced. 

CSB athletics will return to practicing in small groups as you did in September; SJU athletics may continue to practice as you are currently doing as long as positive cases numbers remain low.  

All indoor extra-curricular activities must adhere to COVID in-person guidelines (no more than ten people) or they must be done virtually.  

We recognize many of our students have made positive efforts to maintain the safety measures that have been implemented in our community, and we regret the impact this will have on you.  We are choosing to implement reasonable mitigation strategies now in the hope that we do not need to be even more restrictive in the future. We hope these two changes and the reminder to double down on your efforts will move our numbers in the right direction.

Additional precautions we ask you to consider:

  • Remain on campus as much as possible; leave campus only for necessary reasons like groceries, attending medical visits, etc.
  • Use the grab-and-go options for dining and eat outside or in a place where you don’t need to sit at small tables.
  • Choose larger areas to hang out with small groups of friends – Sexton, Haehn, O’Connell’s, the dome, or the Palaestra.
  • Refrain from going to parties and bars which are locations where the spread of COVID is occurring.
  • Remain vigilant: wear a mask, socially distance, complete daily health screenings, and utilize health services.

We are hopeful that a pause will bring our numbers back down. We will send a notice when we are ready to lift these restrictions.

This is OUR community and together we can bring these numbers down and keep them down if we ALL participate. We are asking you to please consider your Bennie and Johnnie friends and to support these mitigation strategies. 

Thank you.

Mary Geller

Vice President for Student Development

College of Saint Benedict

Michael Connolly

Interim Vice President for Student Development

Saint John’s University