COVID-19 Updates for Fall 2021

The COVID-19 Response Leadership Team sent this message to Gustavus students, faculty, and staff on July 16, 2021.
Posted on July 22nd, 2021 by

TO: The Gustavus Community
FROM: COVID-19 Response Leadership Team
SUBJECT: COVID-19 Updates for Fall 2021
DATE: July 16, 2021

As the Gustavus community prepares for the beginning of the 2021-2022 academic year, the COVD-19 Response Leadership Team continues to meet regularly to review and update the College’s COVID-19 policies and procedures. In general, students, faculty, and staff should expect that life at Gustavus will return to more typical operations with less COVID-19 measures in place.

As the school year begins, students and employees are asked to be mindful and respectful of the comfort level of others on campus. We anticipate it will take a few weeks for some people to feel comfortable being together with less COVID-19 restrictions. Students and employees are encouraged to continue practicing COVID-19 behaviors such as mask wearing and social distancing based on each individual’s comfort level.

Masks/Facial Coverings
Masks/facial coverings are no longer required on campus. Members of the community are encouraged to wear masks at their discretion. There are many reasons why a person may choose to wear a mask, including, for example, not being vaccinated, feeling sick, living with someone who is sick, attending a gathering with a large number of people, or going on vacation. While masks and face coverings are not currently required on campus, all students should bring masks/facial coverings with them when returning to campus in the fall, in the event that COVID-19 conditions change on campus or in the region.

Academic Life
Our faculty are excited to see Gustie students in classrooms again this fall. Our classes will return largely to pre-pandemic modes of delivery with greater than 90% of Gustavus class/laboratory/rehearsal/studio courses having in-person meetings and interactions. Most classroom and academic spaces have been reset to pre-COVID configurations with approximately three feet of distance between desks/chairs. A small number of online-only classes are still being offered to support those students who continue to require online learning. Documented student academic accommodations should be requested through the Academic Support Center.

Students can check the course delivery method for their classes using WebAdvisor. Although WebAdvisor updates are still occurring through July, in August and beyond, we do not anticipate that course delivery modes will change substantially unless COVID conditions change or due to exceptional circumstances. Students, you will note that some courses will continue to be offered in a hybrid mode, including both in-person and online class meetings. We have asked faculty to include details about their hybrid class plans in the ‘general comments’ section of WebAdvisor by the end of July. Most hybrid class offerings will meet at least 50% and up to 75% of the time in an in-person format.

COVID-19 Testing
Gustavus Health Service will have on-campus COVID-19 testing available to students, faculty, and staff beginning August 18, 2021.

Student Activities, Events, and Residential Life
Student organizations, events, fine arts, and athletics will largely move back to typical operations. Physical distancing restrictions have been lifted. Furniture across campus will be reset to pre-COVID distancing.

There will no longer be restrictions on the number of people gathering in a residence halls room or other places on or off campus.

Residential Life is planning to allow students to drop off belongings two weeks prior to move-in day to reduce traffic and congestion during orientation weekend. Students should expect an email from Residential Life at the end of July with details.

New Student Orientation activities will be similar to pre-COVID times. The size of some activities may be adjusted to allow for more physical distancing based on students’ comfort levels.

Regardless of vaccination status, anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 will need to go into isolation. Unvaccinated people will need to move into isolation/quarantine if they have COVID-19 symptoms or are a close contact of a person who tests positive.

As announced on May 18, Gustavus is requiring students to be vaccinated for the 2021-2022 academic year. As with all Gustavus vaccine requirements, students may request an exemption under the College’s existing vaccine/immunization waiver process. Please see the Gustavus Health Service Immunization webpage for more information. Faculty and staff are also strongly encouraged to get vaccinated.

If you are vaccinated in Minnesota, record of your vaccination status will automatically be sent to the Gustavus Health Service through the secure Minnesota Immunization Information Connection (MIIC) system. If you are vaccinated in a different state or outside of the United States, you must upload documentation of your vaccination status to the Gustavus Health Portal.

Travel Policy
Travel restrictions have largely been lifted for College-sponsored travel. Please note that per CDC recommendations, unvaccinated people are required to quarantine following domestic air travel and a COVID-19 vaccine will be required for international travel.

Gustavus will continue to monitor guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health and adjust COVID-19 measures as necessary throughout the year.



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