February 5, 2021
Feb. 5 Safe Return update
Happy Friday College Community,
It appears we’re going to get a cold snap for about a week or so and we’d like remind everyone to practice wise decision-making and to take appropriate safety precautions such as wearing protective winter clothing and ensuring you have appropriate gear in your vehicle if you are driving longer distances. If you have questions or concerns regarding classes or activities, please contact your supervisor.
With regard to the residential Duluth campus, Campus Safety officers will be watchful for students that are going to and from our back apartments and will be available to offer rides as needed. Early next week there will also be additional officers on hand making make rounds to ensure safety during this cold snap.
With the early phases of COVID-19 vaccinations underway across the country and here in our State, we know students, staff and faculty have many questions about the vaccines and what it means for our community. Information from public health officials is still evolving and there is much we don’t know.
We are working with the Minnesota Department of Health and the St. Louis County Department of Public Health to better understand the distribution plans and vaccination priorities. As that guidance becomes clearer, we commit to sharing how that will impact our own planning. We know you have lots of questions: Where do I fall in the priority list? Which vaccine will be offered? Is my family eligible for these vaccinations? How do I sign up? Will the vaccination work? What are the side effects? Can I trust that the vaccine is safe? To help answer these questions, St. Louis County Department of Public Health has provided a website to answer COVID-19 vaccine frequently asked questions. To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine, please access the Minnesota Department of Health website. This information can also be found in the Frequently Asked Questions section on our Saints Rise Up Safe Return website.
Our Student Health Services staff, Mike Turner and others have also been working closely with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). The College has applied to be a community vaccination site, as many higher education institutions have in Minnesota. The MDH is looking favorably at these options but there is a lot of logistics to consider. We’ll keep you posted as we hear more.
We are in the process of reconvening a college-wide task force, much as we did last spring, to provide recommendations for our summer and fall “return”. Our goal is to be proactive in our approach to prepare for our future modalities with the hope of returning to a more “normal environment”. At the same time, the pandemic has taught us a lot. We certainly want to capitalize on those learnings in terms of best practices and new discoveries regarding how best to do our work, with a focus on student success. We will share the recommendations with the community.
CSS athletics has recently resumed home and away competition for the winter sports. The spring sports have begun practice sessions while preparing for upcoming competitions and the fall sports are moving forward with spring plans as well. Starting next week, CSS Athletics will allow spectators for both basketball and hockey teams but at this time spectators are limited to only immediate family members of the home team. No spectators will be allowed to attend CSS Indoor Track & Field and Nordic Ski events. For more information on CSS spectator policy visit: https://umacathletics.com/documents/2021/1/25//CSS_Spectators_as_of_1_25.pdf?id=820
Celebrate the Feast of St. Scholastica with us!
Next week is the Feast of St. Scholastica! As in recent years, we will be celebrating with the Living Our Values Alumni Panel. This year, rather than physically gather together in the Mitchell, we pre-recorded the “conversation” portion of the panel discussion and invite you to view it at your leisure. On Tuesday, February 9, please join us as we host a synchronous webinar at noon via Zoom (https://css.zoom.us/j/96103567700) for a live question and answer period in which attendees may pose questions of our panelists. On February 10, join us either in person in Somers Lounge (RSVP requested) or via Live Stream, to celebrate the Feast Day Mass, with Fr. John Petrich presiding. Complete details of all events, including bios of our panelists, links to videos, fun facts about the Feast and additional resources are available at https://tinyurl.com/FeastDay21. Please contact Sister Kathleen at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions. May St. Scholastica, our patron, guide us in all our ways.
I wish you a safe weekend ahead, stay warm!