We hope that you enjoyed a restful and safe Thanksgiving holiday. Prior to and since Thanksgiving break, we have observed a concerning increase in our positive COVID-19 cases among faculty and staff. This week alone, we have seen 8 positive COVID-19 cases from faculty and staff compared to a total of 4 from July 26, 2021 through November 28, 2021. In light of COVID-19 transmission in the State of Minnesota, these reports are not surprising, especially since many employees may have travelled to be with family and friends over the holiday.
While our positive COVID-19 cases remain generally low, we are concerned about these increasing numbers among our employees. Please remember that when you test positive, you impact your colleagues with whom you have been in close contact, forcing them to quarantine. We want to do all that we can to ensure we make it safely through the remainder of the semester. So, we ask that you re-commit to COVID-19 protocols:
- We are making one minor change to our masking policy moving forward. Masking will be required for all meetings of students, employees, or visitors that occur in conference rooms or classrooms on any campus.
- In an effort to be vigilant, we ask you to consider mask wearing on campus, off-campus in public indoor spaces, and when in crowds. Please ensure that your mask covers your nose and mouth. (Please note that masks are still required in all classes and labs, at all sporting events, and for all meetings in conference rooms or classrooms on our campuses.)
- We would recommend that you avoid crowds.
- We remind you to observe 6 feet of distance. Please do not add desks or rearrange desks in classrooms. They have been set up for 6 feet of distancing wherever possible and 3 feet of distancing otherwise.
- We ask that you wash your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds or more.
- If you are not vaccinated, we encourage you to consider that option
- If you are vaccinated, the CDC is now recommending that you obtain a COVID-19 booster shot.
Thank you for doing your part to protect yourself and those around you.
Together we are Saint Mary’s. Together we are stronger.