SaintsRiseUp Safe Return | Campus Updates

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) information

Important spring semester updates

Key messages to know

  • Spring semester classes begin January 19
  • Campuses will be operating in a hybrid format just as the fall semester started
  • Classes will be held in their scheduled formats (in-person, online or hybrid as determined by the departments)
  • Residence halls will be open
  • We will have a 2-week quiet period at the beginning of the semester that will limit in-person student activities and visitors in the residence halls

Spring dates for no classes
There will be no classes on the following dates (in lieu of spring break), administrative offices will be open:

  • Tuesday, Feb. 16
  • Thursday, Feb. 25
  • Wednesday, March 3
  • Tuesday, March 16
  • Friday, March 19
  • Monday, April 12

Complete updates from the College for the spring semester are available in the Community Updates.

Fall courses on the College’s Duluth and extended campuses will move to a fully virtual format after Thanksgiving break through finals. Students in our fully online programs are not experiencing any change to the delivery of their courses.

This plan remains flexible and could change if pandemic circumstances require it. The safety of our students, faculty and staff will remain our top priority. We will continue to monitor guidance provided by Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

For more information, visit the frequently asked questions (FAQ) page.

Important resources

Important forms

Community updates

Dear Colleagues:

As we prepare for our Spring semester courses to resume, I welcome everyone from all of our sites back to the new term. I also want to offer my gratitude to all who are faithfully abiding by the Coronavirus health and safety precautions of physical distancing, masking, and frequent hand washing. Our numbers of positive coronavirus cases remain manageable at this point, but it is the nature of the virus that this could change quickly, so it is important that we remain vigilant to our community pledge.

COVID Update

Because we have seen our COVID positivity rates fall to lower levels, we are officially returning to the Level 2 on our Alert Dashboard. We begin the spring term much like we started fall, in hybrid format, modified activities in accordance with MDH guidelines, and with a two-week “quiet period” with regard to restrictions in residential living. SHS will continue to monitor the situation and provide testing for symptomatic individuals. 

In addition, as spring semester gets off to a start, we are strongly encouraging all faculty, staff and students to complete COVID testing prior to arriving back or within the first days of return to campuses and sites this semester. The MN Department of Health has made this process even easier. You can still go to an in-person site or can order a kit to be delivered to your home. These options are free of charge regardless of your insurance coverage. You can also obtain testing through your health provider.

  • Returning students and employees who have traveled internationally over the break will be required to test within 5 days of their return.

To help contain the spread of Coronavirus, each of us must continue to take personal responsibility to protect ourselves, our families, our co-workers, and our friends.  You have heard in the news that new strains of the virus are being discovered that appear to be more easily passed on. Wearing a face covering is an important element in maintaining a safe environment for everyone. Make sure that when you wear a face covering, you select the right type, wear it properly, and keep it clean. To help you out, here are tips from the CDC:

COVID Aware MN App

Also, if you haven't already, we strongly encourage you to download the free COVID-19 exposure notification app, COVIDaware MN. The app notifies you if you've been near someone who tested positive for COVID-19. If you test positive, you can use the app to anonymously notify anyone you've been near. If you are outside of Minnesota, you can download your state's app.

Employee Reopening Plan

I also ask that you refer to our Employee Reopening Plan that can always be found on css.edu or on the Human Resources page in the updates section ofmy.CSS. In this plan you will find information on our required daily COVID-19 personal health screening process that should be conducted each day you come to a campus location, how to report confirmed positive COVID-19 illness, and what steps you should take to protect yourself and others.

CSS Athletics Update

CSS Athletics is currently planning to resume winter, fall and spring practices and competitions during the second semester. We are committed to following UMAC, NCHA, NCAA SSI and MDH guidelines and have updated our CSS Athletics Safety Plan which covers home event management, practice protocols and travel arrangements. We have secured PCR testing and will adhere to both NCAA and MDH testing recommendations as we move forward. In addition, all student-athletes will be tested upon re-entry to campus.

As we prepare for the semester, we are still closely monitoring our campus safety plan, NCAA/MDH protocols, and our CSS athletics safety plan which will all have an impact on our practices and competitions. If You have any questions, don't hesitate to reach out to Franco Bari, CSS Athletic Director, at fbari@css.edu  A huge shout out to the entire team of staff in the athletics for managing a very complex and ever-changing environment to support our student athletes.

Reminder of Martin Luther King, Jr Celebration

The Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion would like to welcome you to a day of events celebrating Martin Luther King Day on January 18, 2021. Below is the agenda for the day.

All CSS programming is free and open to the community. This year, everything will be streamed online for safety.

9:00 - 10:00 a.mLive Stream from the Mitchell: 

Welcome: Sarah Stewart, Associate Director, Office of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

Ogidaaki-bines Drum with Jeremy & Jakob Wilson

Opening Remarks from President Barbara McDonald

12-1:30

NAACP Rally, Live Stream 

5:00 - 5:30 p.m.

Evening Message from Pastor Frank Stewart, CSS YouTube

Thanks to you all and have a safe and restful weekend!

Barbara

Dear Colleagues,

As we witnessed the horrific violence and unrest in Washington DC this week, I was reminded of Nelson Mandela’s wisdom: An educated, enlightened and informed population is one of the surest ways of promoting the health of a democracy. This is the very core of our sacred work as educators, that we indeed focus on preparing thoughtful, ethical and moral leaders shaped by our Benedictine mission and our values so that they can transform the world.

In response to this week’s events, I wanted to share thoughts from Fr. Dennis H. Holtschneider, CEO of the Association of Catholic College and Universities, who issued on Wednesday a thought-provoking statement (attached) that I invite you to read. Within that document he asks us to reflect on what we can do to ensure we meet the sacred work of our mission - here is an excerpt:

I am…. reminding us that we have accepted the responsibility of preparing the nation's leaders, and that yesterday's failure [at the Capitol] should — at the very least — push us to double-down on the responsibility we have undertaken. We may not be responsible for yesterday's events, but we have a responsibility. 

My prayer is that yesterday's events will offer all of us a leadership opportunity to stir campus reflection on how we teach civil responsibility, a sense of the common good, racial equality, and moral integrity. It is a shame that yesterday's events transpired. It would be another shame if we miss this moment's educational possibilities.

College Update

COVID Funding: CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE AND RELIEF SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2021 (CRRSA) - 

  • As I’m sure you have heard, the Federal Government reached an agreement on funding to assist colleges and universities with lost revenue and additional expenses incurred related to the COVID-19 event.  This is referred to as the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), to provide funds to students and institutions. 
  •  Final details are being worked out, but at this point, it appears CSS will receive in excess of $3 million dollars.  The allocation of these funds will likely be similar to the previous assistance in the earlier CARES Act funding; approximately 50% allocated specifically to student assistance and the remainder to institutions to assist with COVID-19 related costs and lost revenue. We will continue to provide updates as more information is received from the Federal Government.

COVID Testing

In the fall we asked everyone to take our community pledge which is grounded in our Benedictine Values. I would encourage everyone to once again read through the pledge and reaffirm your commitment to it. 

  •  As spring semester gets off to a start, we are strongly encouraging all faculty, staff and students to complete COVID testing prior to arriving back or within the first days of return to campuses and sites this semester. The MN Department of Health has made this process even easier. You can still go to an in-person site or can order a kit to be delivered to your home. These options are free of charge regardless of your insurance coverage. You can also obtain testing through your health provider.
  • Returning students and employees who have traveled internationally over the break will be required to test within 5 days of their return.
  • The UMAC Athletic Conference has approved a competitive schedule for spring semester in adherence with Minnesota Department of Health and NCAA guidelines for testing procedures. Our Athletic Director, Franco Bari and the athletic department is working through these protocols as well as the strict guidelines that will be in place for transportation and events. If you have questions, please reach out to Franco at fbari@css.edu.

In accordance with our Safe Return Plan, we will continue symptomatic testing and tracing as we operated in the fall. In addition, Duluth campus residents will be required to adhere to a 2-week "quiet period" with restrictions in place. Elliott Johnston will be providing this information to our resident students and will be posted to the CSS Safe Return webpage.

Update from the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

  • The Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion would like to invite you to a few online events in celebration of Martin Luther King Day (Monday, January 18). The office will also be hosting a few inaugural events online so please watch for the schedule posted next week. In addition, we also encourage you to attend the Duluth 2021 NAACP's online rally at 12:00 pm on January 18.
  • Join us for our January Diversity Dish on Wednesday, January 20 from 12-1 p.m. January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month so please join us for a presentation by Mel Alvar, the Safe Harbor Northeast MN Regional Navigator from PAVSA (Program for Aid for Victims of Sexual Assault). Mel will be sharing how trafficking affects our community and how we can remain vigilant, safe and informed.

I hope you had a peaceful winter break and took the opportunity to rest and recuperate from the fall semester. I know many of you also worked to complete your fall semester grading, recruit and enroll new students for the spring semester, and prepared your courses and supports for students in the new semester - for that I am also thankful.

In closing, let me share a prayer Sr. Kathleen Del Monte, Associate VP of Mission Integration has offered, the Prayer for Peace in National Violence from Catholic Health Association:

God who is beyond politics and nations,
Christ who transcends the power of violence,
Holy Spirit who animates all people,
Be with our country in this moment of violence, division, and turmoil.
Transform our rage and hate that we might see our brothers and sisters with your eyes.
Break our hearts of stone, give us hearts of love and understanding that your peace might prevail. Amen.

Enjoy your weekend ahead, stay safe and well!

Sincerely,
Barbara

Dec. 4, 2020

Dear College Community,
I hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgivings and came back reenergized for the remaining time of our semester as we head into the winter break. I understand news and updates within our world and our own closer communities are ever changing, and I appreciate the hard work everyone has put in to keep the College community running smoothly and positively.

Important Spring Semester Information

Spring Term: We have been getting questions from students about spring semester, and some confusion about how we plan to return. As a reminder, our spring semester, with classes beginning on January 19, will be operating in a hybrid format just as fall semester started. Classes will be held in their scheduled formats (in-person, online or hybrid as determined by the departments), residence halls will be open, and campus/extended site operations will continue as we have in the fall term.

Upon return, we will have a 2-week quiet period at the beginning of the semester that will limit in-person student activities and visitors in the residence halls, similar to what we did at the beginning of the fall semester. The hybrid schedule will not be altered.

Spring Dates for No classes: Also, we have finalized the spring no-contact dates in lieu of spring break. There will be no classes on the following dates, administrative offices will be open:

  • Tuesday, Feb. 16
  • Thursday, Feb. 25
  • Wednesday, March 3 (moved Community Day here)
  • Tuesday, March 16 (during original Spring Break week)
  • Friday, March 19 (during original Spring Break week)
  • Monday, April 12

Native American Heritage Month Celebration

On Monday Native Studies hosted a ceremony to close out Native Heritage month. Three jingle dress dancers were brought in to accompany our college drum, Odagaaki-Bines (Thunder being on the hill). In traditional Ojibwe and Indigenous culture, the jingle dress is a healing dress. The dress and songs are meant to provide hope and healing to all. If you were unable to attend this session here is a link to the recording. We were given permission by the singers and the dancers to share this with our campus community. Many thanks to Native Studies, the EDI office, and all those involved who made this very special occasion happen.

Congratulations to Dr. Kim Kruger!

Dr. Kim Kruger has been awarded the Rural Health Hero Award by the MN Dept of Health (MDH) Office of Rural Health & Primary Care in recognition of her service to the UMD residency program and CSS PA program. She was nominated for this award by Bria Schurke, PA-C (CSS PA Program, Class of 2019) and the nomination was supported by the entire department as well as current and former students. We are so proud of this recognition! See attached program, page three for the full details.

President’s Holiday Celebration

In celebration of the Advent Season, we held the annual President's Holiday Event virtually. The video event features an Advent reflection from Sister Beverly Raway, Prioress of the St. Scholastica Monastery, reflections of hope from the St. Scholastica community, an address from President McDonald, the previously recorded Lighting a Tradition event held on Nov. 18, and music from the College's Concert Choir. A huge shout out thank you to the Advancement Office, facilities, IT and our wonderful Concert Choir for making this event so special this year! You can check it out here: View the President's Holiday Event.

Winter Zoom Backgrounds

We have added some new winter campus scenes to our collection of Zoom backgrounds. Enjoy!

Thank you again for all of your hard work this week, for your generous spirits, and flexibility. Because of you, we continue to be that beacon of light and hope for our Saints Community. Enjoy your weekend, many blessings to you, stay safe and be well!

Sincerely,
Barbara

View Previous Community Updates

FAQs

Contact Us

If you have questions, please email or call us.

COVID19info@css.edu
(218) 723-6252

If you're not feeling well, please call Student Health Services or your health provider instead of going in-person.

Student Health Service
Somers Hall, Room 42
Phone: (218) 723-6282
Fax: (218) 723-5953
studenthealthservice@css.edu

Emergency and After-Hours Contacts

Essentia Health Urgent Care
400 East Third Street
Duluth, MN
(218) 786-8364

Essentia Health Nurse Care Line
(218) 725-3110

St. Luke's Lakeview Building
915 East First Street
Duluth, MN
(218) 249-5555