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Answers to your questions

July 23, 2020

Undergrad Student Information

How will the mask mandate be enforced?
Anyone not complying with the mask mandate will be asked to leave. The only way we can get through this pandemic safely is if everyone follows these guidelines.

Will choir still happen?
The Department of Fine and Performing Arts is moving forward with all offerings as planned. Productions and performances will still be held but without an audience. Everything will be done for an empty house and recorded for broadcast at a later time.

How will meal pick-ups in the cafeteria be handled?
Students will be able to get a takeout container and fill it with whatever they’d like. Only Chartwells staff will handle the food and packaging (except for drinks). It’s not prepackaged, so students have an opportunity to choose their desired meal.

Will student temperatures be monitored before entering classrooms?
At this point, we do not plan to monitor student temperatures before entering classrooms. But we will continue to remind students (and all employees) to stay home, isolate, and get tested if they have a fever or any COVID-19 symptoms.

Why is the university not requiring COVID-19 testing when this disease takes an asymptomatic form? If the university is willing to test student-athletes for COVID-19, why is the rest of the university not being held to the same standard?
We are asking everyone to quarantine at home for 14 days prior to arriving on campus. If students comply, they should arrive on campus virus free. COVID-19 tests are also available on campus to students at the Wellness Center (in collaboration with Mayo Clinic). There is an added danger to athletes who cannot be wearing masks and must be in close contact during practices and competitions; in testing them, we are also complying with NCAA guidelines. But testing isn’t limited to only athletes. We are committed to the safety of all of our students. Other student sub groups might be mandatorily tested such as resident assistants, orientation leaders, etc.

Why aren’t the majority of classes online? Is it really smart to be bringing everyone back in the midst of a pandemic?
Saint Mary’s closely monitors local, state, and national guidance in making all decisions. This fall will look very differently at Saint Mary’s with classes and other high-traffic areas socially distanced, everyone in masks, and most major gatherings either canceled or virtual. Should guidelines change, we will also be ready to switch to online learning quickly. We also know there is great benefit academically and socially to in-person learning. We are committed to creating the safest situation we can at this time, but we’ll need everyone’s partnership. Students (as well as all employees) who have underlying health concerns are encouraged to complete an accommodations request.

What happens if the Alverna Center (quarantine facility) fills up?
We are very fortunate to have the Alverna Center available to us, as not every school has this luxury. We are planning to use over 30 rooms of this facility, all of which will be fully equipped to meet the needs of the students. If this building is full, we have contingency plans to quarantine students in their own sleeping rooms, wings of buildings, or an entire building. Students will also be encouraged to go home if they become sick and are able to do so. Food service is prepared to deliver meals to students no matter where they are quarantined … in the Alverna Center or their residence hall.

What costs are students responsible for during quarantine?
There will be no additional costs. This is part of the room and board charge.

If the campus closes, where do out-of-state students go temporarily?
The campus will never fully close. The residence halls may close, but academics will continue in an online format. If this occurs, all students will be encouraged to travel home. Students would be asked to leave within a certain timeframe, but we would work with students on a case-by-case basis knowing it will be more difficult for some students to arrange travel.

How will students pack up to leave in case of school closure?
If we close for the remainder of the year, students would be encouraged to move all items home or find a storage locker in the Winona area. As students move in this fall, we are encouraging them to only bring what is truly needed this semester, just in case we do need to close the residence halls and students return home.

Since outside guests are not allowed on campus this fall, what are we supposed to do with guest passes in the new Chartwells meal plans?
If you have a friend who is a commuter guest, they could utilize your two guest passes. Or you could treat your professor.

Have an additional question or concern? Fill out the form and let us know.