Masking Update – February 23, 2022 Posted on February 23rd, 2022 by

TO: The Gustavus Community
FROM: President Bergman
SUBJECT: Update Campus Masking Guidance
DATE: February 23, 2022

Greetings, Gusties! As I write this email, we currently have four cases of COVID-19 among our on-campus community. Our continued decline in cases over the last several weeks, our high vaccination/booster rate, on-campus testing availability, and positive trends in our local area, state, and nation have caused the College’s COVID-19 Response Leadership Team, Faculty Emergency Planning Committee, and the President’s Cabinet to re-evaluate our on-campus mitigation strategies. Today, I am pleased to announce that Gustavus will begin dialing back masking restrictions on campus. Please carefully read the entirety of this email for more details.

Effective Thursday, February 24, masks will still be required in all academic buildings. However, in all other buildings, masking will be an individual decision in public spaces but may be required in individual departments/offices.

Academic buildings where masks are still required, including in public spaces: 

  • Anderson Hall
    Beck Hall
    Confer Hall
    Mattson Hall
    The Nobel Hall of Science
    Old Main
    Olin Hall
    Schaefer Fine Arts Complex (both buildings)
    Vickner Hall

Buildings where masking is not required in public spaces but may be required in specific areas (as indicated by signage) include:

  • Carlson Administration Building
    Christ Chapel
    Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library
    Jackson Campus Center
    Johnson Student Union
    Lund Center
    Lundgren House
    Melva Lind Interpretive Center
    Swanson Tennis Center

Additional notes:

  • Masks continue to be required for students, faculty, staff, and other guests at all indoor athletic competitions in accordance with Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) policies.

  • Other large indoor campus events may require or recommend that attendees wear masks.

  • The on-campus guest policy has been updated so that residential students may now have overnight guests who are not members of the Gustavus community as long as all other visitation rules and regulations are followed.

As you navigate the campus, please be diligent in properly wearing your mask in required academic buildings as well as any office/department where a mask requirement is communicated via signage and listed on the College’s COVID-19 website.

We will operate under these guidelines through March 6. At that time, if our community continues to have manageable case numbers and a high level of compliance with these mitigation protocols, our intention is to further loosen the masking requirement in all locations on campus (while still allowing individual faculty, offices, and departments to make determinations about their classrooms and spaces).

Gusties, this is an important step for our community. You should continue to have a mask on hand at all times, as they are still required in many buildings and may be required in offices/departments across campus.

The College’s masking criteria and levels have been updated and reviewed by the Minnesota Department of Health. More information about the rationale for our masking decision is available on the Gustavus COVID-19 FAQs page.

I will close by saying this: It is always okay to wear a mask. With the wide availability of N95/KN95 masks and research that indicates they are highly effective in protecting those who wear them (see chart here), members of the community can feel confident that high-quality masks protect the wearer against COVID-19 transmission.

I am pleased about these changes, as they indicate that our community is in a good place regarding COVID-19. While we must continue to be diligent, self-report positive test results, and follow masking and quarantine protocols, there is much cause for optimism as we look ahead to the rest of spring semester. 

Yours in community,
President Bergman


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