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The College of St. Scholastica

Important Fall 2021 Semester Updates

Key messages to know

  • Saints vax up! The COVID-19 vaccination has been added to the list of required immunizations for students who are participating in in-person curricular and co-curricular activities
  • Proof of vaccination must be shared with Student Health Service by Oct. 22, 2021
  • Students who are participating in solely online or remote programs and/or students who are participating in studies at our embedded site locations are exempt from this requirement
  • In keeping with our community standards, students may submit a COVID-19 vaccine exemption form; these students will be required to undergo weekly self-testing and reporting
  • By Nov. 22, 2021, all College of St. Scholastica employees are also required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or to be tested weekly
  • Employees working from home/remotely who have no contact in the course of their job duties with co-workers, students, visitors or the public are exempt from this policy
  • Employees who choose not to be vaccinated against COVID-19 must present a negative COVID-19 test result weekly to Human Resources
  • Well-fitted masks continue to be required for indoor spaces at the Duluth, Health Science Center and St. Cloud Campuses

The College intends to maintain a contact tracing program, quarantine and isolation space, and vaccination offerings.

Community Safety Expectations

Everyone has been asked to take the Saints Rise Up Community Pledge, a promise to follow health guidelines in keeping with our Benedictine values of respect, hospitality, community, stewardship and love of learning.

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended life for all of us. In our continued planning for a safe campus for our students, staff and faculty, we look to these guiding principles as foundational to our work

Saints Rise Up Community Pledge

I choose to be in the St. Scholastica community of learners. In doing so, I accept my responsibility to live in this inclusive community, guided by the light of our Catholic Benedictine values. I will welcome each person, in each moment and each interaction, as a holy human being.

I will do my best to safeguard the health of all by following guidelines, including those for face coverings, physical distancing, hand-washing and other safety measures. I will be attentive to changing circumstances and policies.

As a member of the St. Scholastica community, I pledge to help steward this inclusive Benedictine community and the lives of all its members in becoming the Saints the world needs.

“…let them gently encourage one another…” Rule of Benedict, Chapter 22

Guiding Principles

We will be guided by our rich Catholic Benedictine legacy and our core values. In all decisions we will strive to honor the inherent dignity of each member of our community, as created in the image and likeness of God.

We are committed to providing equity in access and opportunity for all groups, with particular attention to how our decisions may affect students facing barriers. We will cultivate flexibility and embrace patience as our guide in all things. We will withhold judgment, remembering that we are called to kindness, mercy and compassion.

Throughout, we will create ways to put our principles into action. COVID-19 realities and health considerations represent an opportunity to enlarge our sense of community and enrich our stewardship of our precious mission.

“Community members are not to pursue what they judge better for themselves, but instead what they judge better for someone else.” The Rule of Benedict, Chapter 72

Vaccine Resources

With news of full FDA approval for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the College has added the COVID-19 vaccination to the list of required immunizations for students. All students participating in face-to-face programming, both academic and co-curricular, must provide proof of vaccination by Oct. 22, 2021.

Based on recommendations from the Faculty Assembly and Staff Council, the College has also introduced an employee vaccination policy requiring all employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Nov. 22, 2021.

Which vaccines will fulfill the requirement?

Pfizer/BioNTech, Janssen/Johnson and Johnson and Moderna, AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 (e.g., Covisheld, Vaxzeria), Sinopharm COVID-19, Sinovac COVID-19

How do students/employees submit proof of vaccination?

Students submit a copy of their immunization card to Student Health Service by either dropping it off in their office, Somers Hall room 42, or emailing it to studenthealthservice@css.edu.

Employees submit a copy of their immunization record by submitting the COVID-19 Vaccination Attestation Form.

Where can students/employees get vaccinated?

All members of the community are encouraged to use the Vaccination Connector for nearby sites.

Is there an exemption process?

In keeping with our immunization community standards, students may submit an exemption form. These forms are located in the COVID-19 Resources folder in my.CSS.

Employees working from home/remotely who have no contact in the course of their job duties with co-workers, students, visitors or the public are exempt from this policy.

Employees who work in person and choose not to be vaccinated against COVID-19 must present a negative COVID-19 test result weekly to Human Resources.

Higher Education Vaccine Ambassador

The College’s own Jaci Tourtellott ’22 offers her encouragement to get vaccinated. Jaci was one of four students who participated in the state’s Higher Education Vaccine Ambassador Campaign this fall.

Important Forms

This form is for employees and students to personally report to The College of St. Scholastica if they have tested positive for COVID-19, have had a close contact exposure, or are experiencing symptoms.

Employees and students who have not provided proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 must complete a COVID-19 test weekly, and upload the results of that test to this form.

Events

The Scheduling Committee has been providing guidance on navigating event safety. Current processes for reserving campus space and submitting a COVID-19 safety plan will remain through summer and into fall. Event requests will continue to be reviewed by the Scheduling Committee for approval. Refer to the Event Guide for safety protocols, reservation information and FAQ guidance for guests.

Community Updates

The most recent updates can be found on our News Center.

We thank the Saints community for showing patience and grace as we work through this challenging time. Please refer back to this webpage for the latest updates, or contact Pandemic Manager Mike Turner. We welcome your feedback.

To support our COVID-19 response efforts, visit our giving page.

Safe Return Frequently Asked Questions

During the past year and a half, our Saints community has come together in remarkable ways to care for and support one another. The following guidelines were established so that everyone can continue to safely live, learn and work together as a Benedictine community.

Well-Fitted Masks

  • Effective Aug. 5, 2021, all students, employees and visitors to our Duluth and St. Cloud campuses are required to wear well-fitted masks while indoors, regardless of vaccination status
  • Students and employees at our embedded site locations in Austin, Brainerd, Cloquet, Grand Rapids and Inver Grove Heights are encouraged to follow the guidance outlined by the Minnesota State system
  • Need a well-fitted masks? Disposable masks are available at the Duluth Campuses and the St. Cloud Campus

Social Distancing

  • If you are not vaccinated, we encourage you to continue to respect the distance between you and others
  • If we experience a surge in cases, social distancing measures may be reinstated on our campuses
  • Hugs and handshakes may not always be welcome; please be mindful and respectful of the comfort level of those around you

COVID-19 Testing and Exposure

  • COVID-19 testing is available on the Duluth Kenwood campus through Student Health Service
  • The College has partnered with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the University of Minnesota, Mayo Clinic, and Essentia Health to coordinate our testing and contact tracing efforts
  • Experiencing symptoms? Get a test!

Symptoms

  • Please monitor your health daily
  • Regardless of vaccination status, if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, connect with your primary healthcare provider or Student Health Service and stay home until your test results are known
  • Then, regardless of your test results, please stay home as long as severe symptoms such as fever and body aches persist

Isolation/Quarantine

  • MDH defines a close contact as a person within 6 feet of someone contagious with COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more over the course of a day (24 hours)
  • MDH recommends close contacts of a COVID-19 case be tested 3-5 days after exposure or if they become symptomatic regardless of vaccination status
  • Quarantine guidelines for people exposed to COVID-19: people who have been fully vaccinated (at least 14 days after vaccination series completion) and are not experiencing any symptoms do not need to quarantine if they were exposed to someone with COVID-19. However, MDH recommends they get tested 3-5 days after exposure and wear a mask for 14 days or until they have a negative test result.
  • Unvaccinated close contacts should get tested 3-5 days after their exposure and quarantine for 14 days
  • In accordance with MDH guidance, a person who tests positive for COVID-19 must isolate for 10 days, regardless of vaccination status

Cleaning and Sanitation

  • The College will continue to maintain enhanced cleaning, sanitation and disinfecting processes
  • We recommend all of our employees clean their personal workspaces on a daily basis

Travel

  • The College is following CDC guidance for domestic travel:
    • Fully vaccinated people can travel safely within the US
    • Unvaccinated people are encouraged to get tested before and after travel within the US
    • Face coverings are still required on all forms of public transportation
  • The College is following CDC guidance for international travel:
    • Do not travel unless you’re fully vaccinated
    • Read up on your destination’s face covering, quarantine, testing requirements
    • Get tested upon your return to the US
  • All College-related international travel must be approved by your vice president.