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The College of St. Scholastica

Important Updates

Key messages to know

  • Well-fitted masks are encouraged, but not required for indoor spaces at the Duluth main and St. Cloud campuses
  • Saints vax up! The COVID-19 vaccination and booster series has been added to the list of required immunizations for students who are participating in in-person curricular and co-curricular activities.
  • Students who participate 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 immunization community standards, students may submit an exemption form to Student Health Service; all exemptions will be reviewed and verified
  • Students and employees who were participating in weekly testing efforts are now only required to test if symptomatic/exposed
  • In the event that our community level changes or we experience significant transmission on campus, mitigation protocols including masking and testing may be reinstated

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.

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.

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?

Up to date COVID-19 Vaccination has been added to the list of immunization requirements for students at The College of St. Scholastica. Up to date means a person has received all recommended COVID-19 vaccines, including booster dose(s) when eligible. Students must provide a copy of their COVID immunization record by one of the following methods:

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.

How do I submit an exemption?

In keeping with our immunization community standards, students may submit an exemption form. These forms are located in the Student Health and Wellness portal in my.CSS. Once submitted, completed forms are reviewed and verified by Student Health Service to ensure compliance with Minnesota College Immunization Law requirements.

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. Event requests 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 March 14, 2022, the College will transition to a mask-optional policy in all indoor spaces on the Duluth Kenwood and St. Cloud campuses
  • It’s important to note:
    • students and employees at our embedded sites will adhere to Minnesota State protocols
    • students and employees at our Health Science Center and in our Counseling and Student Health Service Clinic will continue to adhere to clinic environment protocols
    • students participating in external clinicals/partnerships will adhere to masking protocols set forth by those partners
    • guests of the Monastery will adhere to their masking protocols
  • While masks will no longer be a requirement, the College fully supports individuals who choose to continue wearing a face mask
  • Additionally, in the event that our community level changes or we experience significant transmission on campus, the College may reinstate the face mask requirement on a temporary basis

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 for students on the Duluth Kenwood campus through Student Health Service
  • Experiencing symptoms? Get a test!
  • What’s the difference between PCR and antigen?
    • Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests are much more accurate than antigen tests; PCR tests are processed in a lab and typically take between 24-72 hours to receive results
    • Antigen tests, also called rapid tests, can be administered anytime, anywhere, with results in approximately 15 minutes
    • Students and employees who are required to submit weekly test results must submit a PCR 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

  • If you test positive for COVID-19, regardless of vaccination:
  • If you were exposed to someone with COVID-19 and you are not up to date* on COVID vaccinations:
    • Stay home for 5 days. After that continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days
    • If you can’t quarantine you must wear a mask for 10 days.
    • Test on day 5 if possible.
    • If you develop symptoms get a test and stay home
    • Complete the COVID-19 Positive, Symptoms, and Close Contact Report Form
  • If you were exposed to COVID-19 and had confirmed COVID-19 within the past 90 days (you tested positive using a viral test):

Up to Date vs. Fully Vaccinated

  • Up to date means a person has received all recommended COVID-19 vaccines, including any booster dose(s) when eligible
  • Fully vaccinated means a person has received their primary series of COVID-19 vaccines
  • This also means your booster significantly impacts your quarantine
  • If you are exposed to someone with COVID-19 and you:
    • Completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine over 5 months ago and are not boosted, OR
    • Completed the primary series of J&J over 2 months ago and are not boosted, OR
      Are unvaccinated
    • You must quarantine for five days

Contact Tracing

  • Starting February 2022, Contact Tracing will no longer routinely ask faculty for seating charts in the course of contact tracing case investigation in classroom settings. Instead, Contact Tracing efforts will provide classroom exposure notification, and prioritize resources towards identifying cluster cases in classes
    • Contact Tracing will continue to email faculty and students in the event of a student testing positive for COVID-19 attended class during their infectious period
    • Contact Tracing will continue to work with MDH and in accordance with CSS policies to employ mitigation strategies in the event of identified clusters
    • Contact Tracing will continue to provide contact tracing of individuals identified specifically as close contacts by individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19
    • This change in strategy aligns with other Minnesota colleges, and was made in light of evidence that classroom settings have not been identified as an area of high transmission of COVID-19, likely as a result of the masking and distancing mitigation strategies in place
  • What happens if I test positive? Am exposed? Experiencing symptoms?
    • The COVID-19 Positive, Symptoms, and Close Contact Report Form is for employees and students to personally report if they have tested positive for COVID-19, have had a close contact exposure, or are experiencing symptoms
    • Thank you for supporting the College’s Contact Tracing efforts by submitting this form!

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.