Dear Saints Community,
This week we heard from Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz that the state's stay-at-home order is extended to May 4. This precautionary move will allow our healthcare community more time to prepare for the expected COVID-19 surge and to keep our communities safe. Although this is not the news we were hoping for, we have seen the positive impact this order has had on mitigating the spread of the virus. So, we'll stay the course and hope for the best.
We have a few updates for you as we close out the third week back from our extended spring break:
Pandemic Planning Update:
Our team continues to meet regularly. Among the developments:
● Additional measures will be implemented at the Duluth campus checkpoint next week. Campus Security will be checking temperatures of all persons being granted access to campus, including authorized employees. Each person will undergo a temperature check via no-touch infrared thermometer. Anyone exhibiting a temperature above 99.5 will not be allowed into the buildings.
● Security is asking that requests to be on the Duluth campus be initiated through supervisors, managers, and VP's as needed. If an employee feels it is essential to visit campus, the access request must be initiated through the appropriate supervisor, manager or VP. Supervisors will work with Security to approve access requests.
● The College continues to coordinate with St. Louis County in the event the Duluth campus Somers Hall may be needed to support the emergency needs of our region. Cleaning of Somers Hall is underway and we are very grateful to our housekeeping and facilities staff for their work in preparing these spaces.
IT Help Desk:
A reminder that the IT Help Desk is regularly open 7 a.m. - 9 p.m., seven days a week. However, this week it is closed on Sunday, April 12, in observance of Easter. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org - you can also leave a message (218) 723-5911.
Human Resources Update:
Our HR team has put together a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) with new updates regarding benefits coverage for those immediately impacted by COVID-19, as well as information about the CARES Act and related benefit changes, and Wellness info for employees. Please see the attached document or go to http://www.css.edu/administration/safety-and-security/coronavirus/coronavirus-faqs.html#benefits.
CARES Act: The Department of Education will be providing specific guidelines for the federal funding being distributed to higher education. You can refer to these links to see the distribution to higher education institutions: U.S. DoE chart of fund distribution. In addition, there's a letter from Secretary DeVos: DeVos Letter with limited guidance. The College of St. Scholastica is expecting a little over $2.2 million dollars in relief to offset the impact of COVID-19; however, this is still being finalized. Specific guidance will be forthcoming through NIACU in the coming days.
This season continues to challenge us. Yet our educational mission is moving forward in spite of the dislocations and uncertainties, thanks to your remarkable dedication, focus and flexibility. I am so proud to call you my colleagues!
Wishing you a happy and blessed Easter, and continued good health for you and your loved ones. And remember, #SaintsRiseUp!