SaintsRiseUp Safe Return | Campus Updates

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) information

Important fall 2021 semester updates

Key messages to know

  • Eligible members of the community are encouraged to receive the COVID-19 vaccination
  • Fall semester classes begin Sept. 7, 2021
  • Campuses are planning for an in-person return
  • Face coverings are optional for indoor spaces at the Duluth, Health Science Center and St. Cloud campuses
  • Per MDH and CDC guidance, those who are not vaccinated are strongly encouraged to continue wearing face coverings for their safety as well as those around them

The College intends to maintain a contact tracing program, quarantine and isolation space, and vaccination offerings, while continuing to strongly encourage all eligible community members to receive their vaccine.

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

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.

Vaccine resources

The College, along with the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities and many leading US Catholic organizations, encourages all of our eligible community members to receive a COVID vaccine as an act of charity and solidarity with others. Accepting a vaccine represents a way of showing love to one’s neighbor, and demonstrating our values of respect, community and hospitality. 

Resoundingly, we know that our students and employees are eager to resume “normal” campus operations; getting vaccinated is a crucial step in this journey.

We also acknowledge that there might be anxiety and hesitancy in receiving the vaccine, and that the recent pause in the Johnson and Johnson vaccine has exacerbated some of these fears. As a learning community, we recommend checking out the following resources to answer common questions you might have and to address myths regarding the

COVID-19 vaccine

We will continue to share vaccine opportunities as they arise, and recommend Minnesotans bookmark the vaccine locator site to find a vaccine provider in your area.

Important forms

Community updates

Dear colleagues,

As the weeks move forward, we continue to hear the good news of the country's recovery from COVID-19. Although we are watchful of new strains and continued infections, these numbers have dropped dramatically. There is much to celebrate as we continue our return to a more normal environment. I want to thank the Saints Rise Up team, all who contributed to the planning and execution of the Saints Rise Up Safe Return efforts. Everyone did their part, and we have much gratitude for the ways, big and small, that you have contributed to keeping our Saints family safe. We continue to be watchful and mindful of our safety while also having a sense of great hope thanks to our Community Pledge and vigilance.

COVID-19 Update: Pulse Survey and Protocols

Thank you for your participation in the recent COVID-19 Vaccination Pulse Survey. The second iteration of the survey garnered a more significant number of responses totaling 888. Overall, 92% of respondents reported that they were fully or partially vaccinated, scheduled to get vaccinated, or planned to get vaccinated, with the majority of responders reporting full vaccination at 88%. Compared to the first survey in early April, those who reported being fully vaccinated more than doubled!

This wonderful news symbolizes our continued efforts to keep our community safe! We are grateful for your feedback as we move forward with summer planning and our safe return this fall. 

Face coverings after today

Beginning May 29, face coverings will be optional at the Duluth, Health Science Center and St. Cloud campuses. If you are not fully vaccinated, you are strongly encouraged to continue wearing your face covering while indoors. For those serving at our extended sites, please continue to follow the protocols of your locations. Thank you for your compassion and patience as we readjust to a new normal!

Understanding Migrant Journeys

Members of the St. Scholastica community are invited to attend the Twin Ports’ observance of World Refugee Day event. The Interfaith Committee for Migrant Justice will host an observance of global migrations on Sunday afternoon, June 20, at 1:30 p.m. in Leif Erickson Park. Speakers with experience in various parts of the world will share their migration stories. You can find out more information about this event on the ICMJ Facebook page.

Athletics updates

We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate our student-athletes for their high academic achievements as their cumulative fall and spring grade point average finished at 3.46 with over 10 teams completing the year above a 3.5 GPA.

After a season of uncertainty with regards to athletics participation due to the complexity of the pandemic, the UMAC has officially announced that The College of St. Scholastica Athletics has won the UMAC Jerome Kruse All-Sports Competition Award after finishing number one overall in the conference. Each year the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference awards the institution that has accumulated the most points based on where each team finishes in the final standings of their respective sports. Read more about this honor here.

Congratulations to Olivia Howe for being named Third Team All-America by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association.

While baseball ended their season falling in the UMAC championship final, seven members of the team were named First Team All-UMAC. Congratulations to Grant Taival, T.J. Martin, Bryce Huffman, Jake Schelonka, Mitchell Novak, Luke Schemenauer and Matt Tautges. In addition, Mitchell Olson and Jack Perala were named All-UMAC Honorable Mention.

Share your story with the Marketing and Communications team

Help us tell our story! The Marketing and Communications team invites you to submit your story idea about a noteworthy student, faculty, staff or alum. In turn, these stories may be used in pitches to the media, social media, the St. Scholastica Magazine, the website and in advertisements to recruit new students. Thanks in advance for helping to celebrate all of the tremendous people that make up our Saints’ community.

As a reminder, future College Updates will be delivered every other week throughout the summer term. Please look for our next message Friday, June 11. 

Wishing each of you a safe, restful Memorial Day weekend! I hope you are able to join safely with family and friends to enjoy being in community, as we commemorate and remember our loved ones.

Blessings to you all,


March 24, 2020

The College of St. Scholastica is planning for a normal semester this fall as the College makes plans for an in-person return. An appointed group of faculty and staff have come together to develop best-case recommendations for a safe return to the College’s campuses and sites.

The Planning Task Force is committed to ensuring the best learning environment for student success, which includes delivering courses in face-to-face formats while capitalizing on the innovative learnings over the past twelve months. Recommendations will focus on programs that are typically housed on-campuses or at sites while programs typically delivered in an online format will continue that way.

Regardless of the delivery mode, the College remains committed to serving and supporting all students, whether they be in-person, hybrid or online.

“Our students are anxious and excited about being back in community with one another. If there’s one thing we have discovered, it's the power of the human experience where one can build friendships and participate fully in curricular and cocurricular activities,” said Steve Lyons, Vice President of Student Affairs.

“We also want to maximize the innovative best practices we have gleaned from having to shift to alternative delivery methods and incorporate those into our plan,” shared Dr. Ryan Sandefer, Vice President of Academic Affairs. “We have learned a lot about innovative teaching and learning.”

In addition to the classroom environment, the Planning Task Force will provide recommendations on faculty and staff returning to work. The College’s planning will also focus on resuming events safely, resuming study abroad and travel, and expanded return to play for athletic teams who will be joining the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) this fall.

The College will continue to closely monitor guidelines from the Minnesota Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control, as well as guidance from federal and state leadership. With increased accessibility to vaccinations and decreased rates of COVID transmission, leaders are hopeful that the institution will be able to return to a more traditional fall semester.

“The ground is always shifting and we cannot predict the trajectory of the pandemic,” said Dr. Barbara McDonald, St. Scholastica’s president. “We are developing plans for several scenarios; however, it is the goal to return normally to our sites as soon as possible.”

Above all else, the health and safety of the community remains the institution’s number one priority.

View Previous Community Updates


Contact Us

If you have questions, please email or call us.
(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

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