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COVID-19 tracking dashboard transmission level

by Carissa Andrews

September 3, 2020

News Undergrad Student Information

Saint Mary’s University will keep the transmission level on our COVID-19 tracking dashboard to green or low for the time being. Despite the rising numbers of positive cases in Winona County, the situation at Saint Mary’s continues to be manageable; our quarantine capacity remains strong; and contact tracing is working. We are pleased to report that no close contacts of students or staff who tested positive for COVID-19 were identified from classroom interactions.

However, we do want to let our community know that positive cases in Winona County have risen significantly since Aug. 27, primarily in the 18- to 24-year-old age group. Prior to the start of the school year, Winona County typically reported between five and seven positive cases a day.

These are last week’s Winona County totals:

  • Aug. 27 — 38
  • Aug. 28 — 12
  • Aug. 29 — 25
  • Aug. 30 — 37
  • Aug. 31 — 19
  • Sept. 1 — 35

We know this has been a stressful time for everyone, and anxiety levels continue to fluctuate with the lifecycle of this virus. We are grateful for your hard work and diligence. We want to congratulate students, faculty, and staff who are observing the many good policies and protocols we have in place. We remind everyone that the best way to keep levels low is to maintain social distance, adhere to the mask-wearing policy, and frequently wash hands and sanitize areas.

As a reminder, no external guests are allowed in buildings at Saint Mary’s; all major events have been canceled, rescheduled, or switched to virtual; and most travel is prohibited or discouraged. We ask our students to refrain from going to bars and house parties, where they are most susceptible to the virus, as safety protocols are most often not followed. We strongly encourage students to stay on campus so we can stay green.

We remind students to practice social distancing. According to the Minnesota Department of Health, the most important way to prevent the spread COVID-19 is social distancing.

If the university is required to move its transmission level to yellow or moderate, additional mitigation efforts may be implemented including, but not limited to:

  • A campus curfew
  • Cancellation of athletic practices and scrimmages
  • Modification of hours for the Cardinal Club
  • Reduced entry to campus

We will continue to re-examine our policies and protocols and will alert our community of any resulting changes, including any additional mitigation measures.

We are monitoring the COVID-19 situation on a daily basis at the university. In fact, administrators are meeting twice a day to review the case of every student who needs to be placed in isolation/quarantine, is in isolation/quarantine, or is awaiting a test result. Appropriate action then flows from those meetings.

We are very proud of the large number of students, faculty, and staff, who are actively following our guidelines. Together, we can keep classes on ground and our students on campus. Together, we are Saint Mary’s.