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 we have done through the pandemic, we are closely monitoring information and guidance relating to the omicron variant. We also are making decisions based on the best scientific information and data available. The variant’s transmission rates, especially given holiday gathering, could impact university operations. That data is indicating that we will see a surge in COVID-19 cases in Jan. 2022.

Because of the projections, we ask students to self-quarantine for the 10 days before their return to campus. During that self-quarantine period, please limit interactions with other people, avoid large crowds or gatherings, stay away from bars, wear a mask, and physically distance. The university also asks students to test for COVID-19 before their return to campus. Obviously, if a student tests positive for COVID-19, do not return to campus. Notify Student Success of any positive test result. 

Once students return to campus, they will be required to participate in a mass testing event for COVID-19. That event is tentatively scheduled for Monday, Jan. 17, 2022, through Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022. The university is also considering a “lay low” period for the start of the semester if needed but will monitor updates before any decisions are made. During a “lay low” period, the campus remains fully operational and classes are held in-person. Students would be asked during this period to limit contact with other students, faculty, and staff on campus.

As an additional mitigation measure, masks will be required inside all university buildings effective Dec. 27, 2021.This requirement will be reviewed on Jan. 31, 2022, to determine if an extension is needed. While we understand this action may be disappointing, our first priority is your health and safety. By starting the term cautiously, we will hopefully be able to offer our usual robust learning and experiences for the remainder of the academic year.

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

Classrooms

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.  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.

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.

The Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference has returned to 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 as required by the university’s masking protocols. 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 has also returned to normal operating hours.

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.

Vaccinations

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 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.

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.

COVID Gathering Form

For the month of Jan. 2022 and possibly beyond, all student activities or events must be approved. Please submit information about your event or activity using the COVID Gathering Form.

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.

Club sports: Club sports teams may travel to competitions at other universities, but must abide by university protocols while there. Travel is currently limited to WI, MN, IA, and IL. Transportation protocols must also be observed, meaning all members of the team must be masked while in a university van, rental vehicle, or private car, windows should be cracked, and physical distancing should be observed. In addition, seating charts should be created, used, and maintained for all travel, whether by bus, rental vehicle or private car. Club sports may not host any multi-team tournaments on campus.

Clubs and organizations: Clubs and organizations may not host any individuals from another university on campus as the campus remains closed to the public. Speakers may be hosted for club events.

Clubs and organizations may not travel out of state for the first semester. They may travel within the state of Minnesota, but must follow university protocols while at any off-campus location. Transportation protocols must also be observed, meaning all members of the team must be masked while in a university van, rental vehicle, or private car, windows should be cracked, and physical distancing should be observed. In addition, seating charts should be created, used, and maintained for all travel, whether by bus, rental vehicle, or private car. No overnight stays will be permitted for any clubs or organizations.

Isolation Information

If a student tests positive for COVID-19, the student should isolate at home or as directed by the COVID-19 Case Management Team, for at least five (5) days after symptoms started or five (5) days from the date of a positive COVID-19 test. 

If the student has symptoms, the student should stay in isolation until all three of the following are true:

  • It has been five (5) days since the student first felt sick. Day zero is the day symptoms started. Day one (1) is the first full day after symptoms started.
  • The student has had no fever (Temperature is 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or lower) for at least 24 hours, without using medicine that lowers fevers.
  • The student feels better. Any cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms the student experienced have improved since symptoms started on day zero. 

If the student does not have symptoms, the student should stay in isolation and away from others for five (5) days after the positive test date. Day zero is the day the student got tested.

  • If the student develops symptoms during this time, the student must start isolation over. Day zero is the day symptoms start. Day one (1) is the first full day after symptoms started. Refer to the above section above on what to do if you have symptoms.

After the isolation period ends, the student should continue to do the following for another five (5) days:

  • Wear a well-fitting mask, preferably a KN95 or KF94 mask, or double up on a cloth mask.
  • Avoid others who are at risk for getting very sick from the COVID-19 virus, including older adults, those living in long-term care facilities, and people with health conditions like asthma, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, or weakened immune systems.
  • Avoid places where a mask needs to be removed to participate in an activity (e.g., gyms, restaurants) and avoid eating near others at home and work. Use grab-and-go options in the dining hall.
  • Avoid travel. If travel is required, wear a well-fitting mask.

Quarantine Information

The university will quarantine students who live on campus and are a close contact of an individual who tested positive for COVID-19. Close contact includes: 

  • Living in the same residence hall room as an individual with confirmed or suspected COVID-19;
  • Caring for a sick person with COVID-19;
  • Being within 6 feet of an individual with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes during a 24-hour time period starting from two (2) days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic individuals, two (2) days prior to a positive specimen collection) until the time the individual is isolated; or
  • Being in direct contact with secretions from a sick person with COVID-19 (e.g., being coughed on, kissing, sharing utensils, etc.).

If a student is a close contact, the student does not need to quarantine if:

After exposure to the virus, these students must:

  • Wear a well-fitting mask for ten (10) days when around others, even at home, preferably a KN95 or KF94 mask, or double up on a cloth mask. The 10 days start from the day after the student’s last close contact with someone with COVID-19. The actual day of close contact is counted as day zero.
  • Get tested at least five (5) days after close contact. If the student tests positive, the student must now follow isolation recommendations at If You Are Sick or Test Positive. The student must start counting for the isolation period with day zero being the date of the positive COVID-19 test.
  • Watch for symptoms for 10 days after close contact. If symptoms develop, stay home and away from others (isolate) and test immediately for COVID-19. Start counting again from day zero (day one (1) is the first full day after symptoms start) and follow the CDC’s isolation recommendations at If You Are Sick or Test Positive. This includes people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past three (3) months, even if they are up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Avoid travel. If travel is required, wear a well-fitting mask, preferably a KN95 or KF94, or double up on a cloth mask.
  • Avoid places where the student may need to remove a mask (e.g., gyms, restaurants). Use grab-and-go options in the dining hall.
  • Continue to wear a well-fitting mask around others, preferably a KN95 or KF94, or double up on a cloth mask.

If a student is a close contact, the student must quarantine if:

  • The student is not vaccinated.
  • The student is not up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations. “Not up to date” means the student has completed a primary COVID-19 vaccine series, but has not yet received the booster, or the student has received only one dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. Refer to CDC: Stay Up to Date with Your Vaccines.

For a student who does need to quarantine, the following protocols apply: 

  • Wear a well-fitting face mask for ten days whenever the student is around other people, even at home. Refer to CDC: Improve How Your Mask Protects You.
  • Stay in quarantine for five (5) full days. The actual day of close contact is counted as day zero.
  • Test on day five (5).
    • If the student tests positive, the student must now follow the CDC’s isolation recommendations at If You Are Sick or Test Positive. The student must start counting for the isolation period with day zero being the date of the positive COVID-19 test. The student does not get credit for any days spent in quarantine.
    • If you test negative, finish the full five (5) days in quarantine.
  • On days six (6) through 10:
    • Avoid people who are immunocompromised, or at high risk of severe disease and the settings where the student may find these people.
    • Avoid travel. If travel is required, wear a well-fitting mask, preferably a KN95, KN95, KF94, or double up on a cloth mask.
    • Avoid places where the student may need to remove a mask (e.g., gyms, restaurants). Use grab-and-go options in the dining hall.
    • Continue to wear a well-fitting mask around others, preferably a KN95 or KF94, or double up on a cloth mask.

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.

At-Home COVID Testing

The State of Minnesota and Vault Medical Services have teamed up to offer at-home COVID-19 saliva testing for everyone who lives in Minnesota, with or without symptoms, at no cost. Students can order this test using their Saint Mary’s addresses here. The test will be shipped to the student’s mailbox here on campus.