COVID-19 Updates and Next Step – April 1, 2022

Posted on April 1st, 2022 by

TO: The Gustavus Community
FROM: COVID-19 Response Leadership Team
SUBJECT: COVID-19 Updates and Next Steps
DATE: April 1, 2022

Now that our community is back together after spring break and looking ahead to the remainder of the semester, the COVID-19 Response Leadership Team is pleased to report that our pandemic metrics on campus and in the surrounding area remain overwhelmingly positive. 

As of this morning, we have two active cases among members of our on-campus community. It has been nearly three months since the Omicron peak on campus in early January.

Considering these positive trends and our sustained pattern of low transmission and infection rates on campus, we are moving the needle from structured institutional responses to relying on individuals to make their own mitigation choices based on personal assessments of their risk level. We still have a shared responsibility as members of a living and learning community to follow masking requirements when they are in place, to promptly get tested if you have symptoms, and to complete the self-reporting form and follow isolation protocols if you test positive.

Our community will implement three significant changes to campus mitigation strategies. Effective on Monday, April 4: 

1) Gustavus is moving to COVID Level 0. Masks are no longer required in most campus settings. Faculty members may require them in classes on a course-by-course basis as a COVID exemption for the remainder of the Spring 2022 semester. If masks will be required in classes, labs, or other learning spaces, faculty members will communicate this requirement to students and add language to their syllabus indicating the requirement. As always, students, faculty, and staff may continue to choose to wear a mask. See details about the COVID Level 0 regulations here.

2) We are suspending weekly mass testing in Lund Center. In recent weeks, we have had fewer people participating in mass testing, and fewer (and in many weeks, zero) positive results. We are also cognizant that insurance regulations may shift in the coming weeks, which may result in individuals being responsible for some portion of COVID-19 testing costs. Testing will still be available in the Gustavus Health Service. See the Gustavus testing resources webpage for on- and off-campus testing options. In addition, Minnesota has recently launched a new website for residents to order free at-home rapid tests.

3) Weekly testing is no longer required for unvaccinated or unboosted individuals. This change reflects the current guidance in the CDC Community Level prevention strategies. 

Gusties, these updates to our on-campus mitigation strategies represent a significant step in our return to “normal” campus operations. We have collectively done a good job of adjusting based on changing conditions, being resilient in the face of adversity, and continuing to support one another through the many difficulties of these last two years. Let’s continue to work together to take on this great challenge of our time! 

 

Comments are closed.