Undergraduate Winona Campus

Relationship-rich and hands-on experiences are the foundation of a Saint Mary’s University education. Although this year may look and feel different, Saint Mary’s is committed to providing these important experiences and to providing a challenging, motivating, and engaged classroom and campus.

Questions? Call 507-457-1614 or email COVID@smumn.edu. You can also submit your question or concern.

As more updates and new information become available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) around the increased cases of COVID-19 due to the effects from the delta variant, we are mindful of our commitment to safety for all on our campuses.

We continue to closely monitor federal, state, and local guidelines. We are also monitoring other universities and looking at current case levels in and around our surrounding campus communities. As was the case last year, we know it is imperative to plan and, when necessary, adjust those plans.

We ask for your support and flexibility as changes to our policies and protocols may need to be made quickly and will certainly evolve throughout the coming days and weeks ahead.

We will communicate frequently with our Saint Mary’s community as information and decisions are made. Thank you for your continued support. We remain steadfast and resilient.

We will operate under our traditional academic calendar for fall 2021. Learn more.


Masks are required inside all university buildings on any campus for all employees and students.

  • Masks are not required in a student’s residence hall room when only the student or the student’s roommate are present. Masks are required when other students are in the room.
  • Masks are encouraged, but not required, for employees when they are working in their office alone.

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota - Winona Campus Masking Regulations


The in-classroom experience will continue to look different this year as we all work together to deliver Saint Mary’s learning experiences while safeguarding the health and safety of students and instructors. Classroom furniture continues to be rearranged to provide appropriate distance between students and faculty. Masks must be worn by all students and faculty in classrooms, labs, and studios.

Additional measures have been implemented, including:

  • Regular cleaning of classrooms.
  • Installing posters and floor decals as needed.
  • Setting up sanitizing stations throughout campus so students and faculty can clean shared equipment and areas as they enter and leave each space.
  • Posting occupancy limits for shared spaces.

No eating will be permitted in classrooms. Students may drink in classrooms, but open beverage containers are not permitted. The mask should be removed only long enough to take a drink. It should then be returned to the student’s face. Faculty are encouraged to use seating charts so that close contacts can be easily identified in the event a student tests positive for COVID-19 in the class.

Fitzgerald Library and McEnery Center

  • The library will be open during usual scheduled hours.
  • The entire building will be available for use. Students are asked to observe physical distancing of at least 6 feet when using spaces in the library.
  • Study rooms will be available, but students will need to reserve all study rooms through the library reservations system. Students will pick up a key to open the study room at the circulation desk and will need to leave their ID at the desk until they return the key. If a study room is open when a student is in the library, the student should speak with library staff to see if the room is available and if they may reserve it for immediate use.
  • There will be disinfecting materials available for students to use prior to using any study space in the library.
  • As required for all university buildings, all students must wear masks inside the library.

2021-22 Study Abroad

After much consideration, Saint Mary’s canceled all fall 2021 and spring 2022 study abroad programs. This decision was based on a firm commitment to student health and safety and took into account travel and visa restrictions, ongoing CDC guidance related to limiting international travel, vaccination rates worldwide, and the unpredictable timeline of COVID-19.

Student Success and First Generation Initiative

This important office and dedicated individuals are still available to students, however, a few changes have been made:

  • Tutoring will be held in person or online, based on an agreed upon modality between tutors and tutees comfort levels and preferences. All in-person sessions will be expected to observe physical distancing of 6 feet.
  • The Student Success and First Generation Initiative Center doors will be unlocked during business hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and sometimes later. Please check in at the front desk when you enter.
  • Rooms have been arranged with physical distancing in mind.
  • Occupancy signs have been noted.

Performance Arts

All ensembles will take place this fall with certain adjustments.

After much discussion and careful consideration, Saint Mary's University of Minnesota is mandating vaccinations for students in the music and theatre programs while taking into consideration appropriate medical and non-medical exemptions.

Accordingly, all students in music or theatre programs must upload proof of a COVID-19 vaccination to their student health portal by Monday, Aug. 23, 2021. Exemptions to this vaccination requirement are available to students consistent with the Minnesota statutes on immunizations. Thus, students may claim either of the following exemptions:

  • Medical exemption: If an immunization is medically contraindicated for you, you may submit a statement to this effect, signed by a healthcare provider, in order to be considered exempt from the contraindicated immunization.
  • Non-medical exemption: If you wish to be exempt, based on your beliefs, from COVID-19 vaccination requirements, you may submit a notarized statement to this effect, signed by you.

Appropriate exemption forms are available from Health Services.

The Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference is planning for a return to regular season competition for this fall. Cardinal fall sports will be permitted to participate in regular-season competition.

Students will be permitted at athletic contests, but the university reserves the right to change this if COVID-19 transmission increases on campus, in the broader Winona community, or in the state of Minnesota.

Protocols for athletic team practice will be conveyed by coaches at the beginning of each sport season.

Locker rooms will be available to Saint Mary’s faculty and staff only during workout periods. Lockers are not reservable for long-term use.

Student-Athlete Health

Student-athletes may be tested for COVID-19 as required by the NCAA, MIAC, or university. Any testing will be done on campus through the university's partnership with Hy-Vee. All testing will be coordinated by athletic training staff.

Saint Mary’s communitywide health guidelines include washing hands frequently, sanitizing public spaces after use, and, for all student-athletes, wearing a mask that covers both nose and mouth at all times while inside university buildings. Student-athletes are also required to observe physical distancing of 6 feet whenever possible.

Mass will continue in Saint Thomas More Chapel consistent with workship guidelines from the Diocese of Winona-Rochester.

We welcome students with their safety and well-being in mind. Shared spaces, including the dining room, have posted occupancy limits. Campus dining spaces will return to traditional occupancy limits with meals served on dishware. Takeout meals will be available to students who purchase a reusable clamshell.

The Gostomski Fieldhouse has been rearranged to allow for social distancing while working out. It will return to normal operating hours in fall 2021. Masks are required for all students, faculty, and staff when using the fieldhouse.

Contact the Rev. Robert S. Horihan, rector, at rhorihan@ihmseminary.org or 507-494-8840 for more information.

Entering the U.S.

Currently, there are restrictions for entry into the U.S. for many countries due to COVID-19. Prior to making flight arrangements, students should review the most current information regarding these travel restrictions. Students can review the U.S. Department of State travel information or seek information from their local embassy or consulate. Entry restrictions continue for students coming to the U.S. from China. Students coming from the Schengen area of Europe, which was previously restricted, are now able to enter. There are exceptions for students.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requires all air passengers entering the U.S. to present a negative COVID-19 test, taken within three calendar days of departure, or proof of recovery from the virus within the last 90 days. Airlines must confirm the negative test result or proof of recent recovery for all passengers prior to boarding. Airlines must deny boarding of passengers who do not provide documentation of a negative test or recovery.


The university prefers that any international student be fully vaccinated before arrival on campus. Students need to be vaccinated with an FDA-approved or WHO-authorized vaccine. International students should upload proof of their COVID-19 vaccine into their Student Portal or work directly with Christina Uribe Nitti, director of health services. If a student is not vaccinated before arrival, the university strongly encourages the student to be vaccinated as soon as possible upon entry into the U.S. The following facilities are offering COVID-19 vaccines in Winona:

  • Winona Health (walk-in COVID vaccine clinic)
  • Walgreens
  • Hy-Vee
  • Wal-Mart

Quarantine and Testing at Time of Arrival

Incoming international students starting in fall 2021 will not be required to quarantine upon arrival if they are fully vaccinated with an FDA-approved or WHO-authorized vaccine. Students who are not vaccinated will be required to quarantine for seven days after arrival on campus. Both fully vaccinated and unvaccinated international students will be expected to have a COVID-19 viral test within three to five days after travel.

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Residence Halls

Saint Mary's continues to house students in double or single occupancy rooms while following Minnesota Department of Health recommendations. We have spread students out to reduce the number of students using shared bathrooms, and rooms are reconfigured so beds meet social distancing requirements. Lounge spaces have been returned to their original configurations, but students must observe physical distancing of 6 feet when using lounges. Cardio rooms in residence halls are open. All students must wear a mask when using the equipment and clean equipment before and after use.

Signage has been installed about safety protocols in various areas.

Residence halls are fully staffed, and programming will be focused on building community.

Guest Policy

Off-campus guests are not permitted in residence halls at this time; only on-campus residents may visit each other.

R.I.S.E. Activities

Both in-person and virtual programming will be offered. Outdoor activities are encouraged. All events must comply with the university’s masking and physical distancing protocols.

R.I.S.E. continues to offer events with a special emphasis on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evening programming. Some programs will be virtual and others will be planned outdoors or indoors with adherence to university COVID-19 protocols.

Isolation Information

Students who become ill with COVD-19 or test positive for COVID-19 will be provided with isolation rooms on campus, assuming medical attention is not required. Students should bring to their isolation room necessities (including academic items) for up to 14 days.

Quarantine Information

Students who meet the criteria below will be provided with quarantine space on campus. That quarantine space may be another residence hall room or the student’s own sleeping room.

  1. Students waiting for a COVID-19 test. (Typically this will occur in one's own room.)
  2. Unvaccinated students who have been in close contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19.
  3. Students experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

We will not generally quarantine students who:

  1. Do not live on campus. Commuter students would be expected to quarantine in their off-campus residence if they meet one of the criteria above.
  2. Have been in close contact with an individual who has tested negative for COVID-19.
  3. Have not been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. (i.e., “My roommate was with a friend who tested positive for COVID-19, but I was not.” or “My roommate is quarantined, but I am not — but I am watching for symptoms and will notify the Jay Johnson Wellness Center if I begin showing symptoms.”)
  4. Have received a COVID-19 vaccination. However, fully vaccinated people who have come into close contact with someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 should be tested 3-5 days after exposure and wear a mask while indoors and outdoors for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result.

Saint Mary's University of Minnesota reserves the right to quarantine any student who travels to an area or attends an event identified as "high risk" by the university.

Additional guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Minnesota Department of Health about quarantine:

  1. When to quarantine
  2. What to do if you are sick
  3. What to do if you have had close contact with a person with COVID-19
  4. If you are sick
  5. Tracing COVID-19
  6. When can I return to work if someone living with me is sick?

Quarantine and Isolation Process

The Office of Student Affairs will:

  1. Connect with food service to ensure two warm meals are delivered to quarantining and isolating students daily. Dietary restrictions should be shared with covid@smumn.edu as soon as students are told about their quarantine or isolation. Students can also order items from the Cardinal Market.
  2. Connect with the Student Success Center to ensure the appropriate faculty are notified. Students will:
    1. Be copied on the email to faculty.
    2. Receive additional information from their faculty.
    3. Be responsible for keeping up with their academics if they are not too ill.

Students should not contact faculty prior to the Student Success Center contacting faculty.

Releasing students from quarantine and isolation

  1. The Jay Johnson Wellness Center will be very clear and specific with students about when they can be released from quarantine and next steps. Students must have either had a negative COVID-19 test result or have shown no symptoms for the requisite time period. The Student Success Center and Student Affairs will be contacted by the Wellness Center.
  2. On the next full day after their release from quarantine, students will be allowed to attend class and use food service.

There are two different quarantine/isolation durations:

  1. Ten days for those who have tested positive for COVID-19. For a student (or faculty member) to be able to return to class, all of the following must be true:
    1. No fever for 24 hours without fever reducing medication,
    2. Ten days have elapsed since symptoms first appeared; and
    3. Other symptoms are improving.
  2. Fourteen days for those who have been in close contact with a positive individual (from the first day of contact with a symptomatic individual or the date of a positive COVID-19 test for contact with an asymptomatic individual).

Another valuable Minnesota Department of Health resource:

What to do while you wait for a COVID-19 test result (PDF)

External Visitors and Travel

External visitors will be permitted on campus but not in residence halls.

Students who travel to areas or attend events that are identified as "high risk" by the university may be required to quarantine for 14 days after such travel or attendance at an event.

Motor Pool and Club/Organization Guidance

The following guidance has been developed to assist all leaders with organizing programs and gatherings on campus. Protocol for the motor pool has also been updated to ensure compliance with Minnesota Department of Health and Saint Mary’s COVID-19 guidelines.

COVID-19 guidance on gatherings and events
COVID-19 motor pool use protocol

Students can contact the Jay Johnson Wellness Center by calling 507-457-1492 or emailing wellnesscenter@smumn.edu to schedule an appointment. A nurse practitioner and a registered nurse, both of whom are connected with Winona County and Winona Health Officials, are on campus. Counseling services will continue during the year through our partnership with Catholic Charities.

Contact tracing will be done in collaboration with the Minnesota Department of Health and Winona County Public Health. COVID-19 testing will be available to all students through a collaboration with Mayo Clinic and Hy-Vee. Students who get tested will quarantine while they await results. Faculty will be notified by the Student Success Center, and meals will be delivered to students' rooms while in quarantine.

COVID-19 Testing

COVID-19 testing will be provided by the Wellness Center and available for all students. Testing will be available by appointment Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Testing criteria follows Minnesota Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and includes testing for anyone who is symptomatic or has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Wellness Center tests will be processed through the University of Minnesota and Mayo Clinic laboratories. If a student has insurance, the insurance company will be billed directly. If a student does not have insurance, they will not be billed for the test. Results are usually available in two to three days.

Students who would like to be tested on evenings or weekends can visit the following locations or self-quarantine in their rooms until they are able to schedule an appointment at the Wellness Center:

  • Winona Health Urgent Care
  • Mayo Clinic (multiple locations)
  • Gundersen Clinic (multiple locations)
  • Winona Saliva Community Testing (Vault Medical)
  • Hy-Vee Pharmacy

If being tested off campus, students should contact the test site to first determine whether they meet the criteria for testing.

Students tested off-campus should notify the Wellness Center that they are awaiting test results and of their result once available. The Wellness Center will work with other campus departments to notify faculty of a student’s absence and provide meal delivery for on-campus students.

To schedule an appointment at the Wellness Center, students can call 507-457-1492 or email wellnesscenter@smumn.edu.

Weekly surveillance testing

Because we will have both vaccinated and unvaccinated students on campus, Saint Mary's will conduct weekly surveillance testing of at least 10% of the student body each week through December 2021. Participation in surveillance testing is mandatory for all students. Failure to submit to surveillance testing may result in fines, quarantine, or loss of university housing.

Exemptions from testing and quarantine

A student is exempt from surveillance testing if:

  • The student provides documentation of a positive COVID-19 test within the past 90 days and
  • The student is fully vaccinated.

If a student is identified as a close contact of someone who tests positive for COVID-19, the student is exempt from quarantine if:

  • The student provides documentation of a positive COVID-19 test within the past 90 days or
  • The student is fully vaccinated.

Documentation of previous positive COVID-19 tests and vaccination should be uploaded to the student health portal for review by the Wellness Center.