Spring Semester 2022 – COVID-19Spring semester will begin in person and on campus as planned.
Posted on January 20th, 2022 by

TO: The Gustavus Community
FROM: President Bergman
SUBJECT: Spring Semester 2022 Begins February 2
DATE: January 20, 2022

Greetings, Gusties! In less than two weeks, we will begin Spring Semester 2022. As we prepare to welcome back those who have been away for the month of January, I write today with some thoughts and reminders for all Gustavus students, faculty, and staff.

First and foremost, we will begin the semester in person and on campus as planned. While course modalities may be adjusted by faculty in some circumstances, students should expect that their classes will primarily be delivered in person and that most events will continue to be held as scheduled. Having successfully navigated a spike in on-campus COVID-19 numbers due to the Omicron variant during January Term, our COVID-19 Leadership Response Team is confident that we can continue to manage cases without making significant changes to campus operations. This decision is based on several data points:

  1. The Omicron wave appears to be peaking now in Minnesota and case rates are expected to diminish in the coming weeks.

  2. Infections during this wave have generally been less severe, especially for vaccinated/boosted individuals, and we are a highly vaccinated community.

  3. We had nearly 70 percent of students on campus during January Term, which means we are not doubling or tripling our on-campus population at the beginning of the semester.

That being said, it is vital that each member of our community do their part to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. That means properly wearing your mask in indoor spaces, self-isolating and getting tested as soon as possible if you experience symptoms, promptly filling out the College’s COVID-19 Self-Reporting Form if you test positive, and following isolation instructions from your case manager. As we have experienced during the pandemic, conditions may change at any time and we must be prepared to adjust as necessary.

Gusties, we must continue to be diligent in following these protocols. Help one another with a kind reminder if someone forgets or is not sure what to do. Our collective commitment to good public health behaviors the first two weeks of Spring Semester will set the tone for the rest of our academic year, and I firmly believe that we can have a successful semester just like we did this fall. The days are already growing longer. In a few short weeks, it will start getting warmer. If we all do our part, it will be another wonderful spring on the hill.

Below, I’ve included some additional reminders. In the meantime, wherever you are, I hope that you have a safe and successful rest of the month. I am excited for us to be back together on campus soon. I continue to be grateful for all the ways that each of you commits to keeping our community healthy and supporting one another during these challenging times. We can do this, Gusties!

Yours in community,
President Bergman

Gustavus Spring Semester 2022 Reminders:

  • Testing: On-campus mass testing will be available on Tuesday, February 1 from 1:30-3:30 p.m. and Wednesday, February 2 from 8:30 a.m to 1:30 p.m. All students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to get tested before the beginning of the semester and/or at one of these on-campus mass testing events in Lund Center.

  • Mask Update: The College has ordered two (2) KN95 masks for all students, faculty, and staff. These masks are expected to arrive by the beginning of Spring Semester and will be distributed to members of the campus community. Keep an eye on your email for updates on how to get your KN95s once we have them on hand.

  • Booster Shots: As communicated to students, faculty, and staff on January 12, 2022, members of the Gustavus community will be required to either be fully protected against COVID-19 based on vaccination timing and booster status or to test weekly. The Gustavus Health Service now has limited availability to give on-campus vaccines to individuals starting the COVID-19 vaccination process, individuals who need their second Pfizer dose, and individuals who need their booster (regardless of original vaccine series type). Visit the College’s Vaccine Resources page for information about on- and off-campus vaccine and booster options.

  • CDC Guidance on Isolation/Quarantine: Gustavus is following the updated CDC guidance for isolation/quarantine for all students, faculty, and staff. The guidelines call for formal isolation for at least five days and up to 10 days or more for all members of the community who test positive for COVID-19. Students, faculty, and staff who test positive are required to fill out the College’s COVID-19 Self-Reporting Form. After filling out the form, you will be contacted by a case manager who will provide individualized guidance for you based on your symptoms and will clear you to exit isolation once you meet the criteria to do so. Learn more at the College’s “Next Steps” webpage.


Comments are closed.