The CDC has changed its metrics on “COVID-19 Community Levels,” now looking at three pieces of data: new COVID-19 hospitalizations, hospital capacity, and new COVID-19 cases. As a result, more than 70% of the U.S. population is in a location with low or medium COVID-19 community levels. For those communities with medium and low COVID-19 levels, there is no recommendation for masking. For those communities with high and substantial COVID-19 levels, masking is still recommended for indoor public spaces. Hennepin County is at a medium community level. Olmsted and Winona counties are at high community levels.
At Saint Mary’s, we are seeing a significant decrease in COVID-19 cases on our Winona Campus. Students returning to the Winona campus after spring break will participate in a mass testing event. Assuming that testing event results in a low number of positive COVID-19 cases, the university anticipates announcing that masking will be required in classes and labs only. Please watch for an announcement later next week.
We will continually monitor the COVID-19 community levels and will adjust our masking policy based thereon.