Presidential COVID-19 Update: October 14, 2020

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students:

With the addition of positive cases from testing completed on Monday, October 12 Carroll College currently has approximately 40 active COVID-19 cases.  Students recently tested positive have been moved into isolation and we are working to identify close contacts and move students who are close contacts into quarantine.  Some students who have been placed in quarantine because they are close contacts and have not tested positive for COVID-19 are being moved to off campus quarantine locations. Most of those who reported positive are not showing any symptoms.  While the recent increase in cases on our campus is of concern, we have prepared well for this situation. Additionally, we have the benefit of having learned from other institutions who have had similar short-term spikes and brought them down, and we are confident that by implementing and adhering to these short-term mitigation strategies, we will flatten the curve and get our case numbers down soon. 

Together, we will get through this. Now is the time to support one another, certainly not the time to panic, criticize, or accuse. Remember, Saints are formed in times of challenge!

Please see below Temporary Emergency COVID-19 Mitigation Measures, effective tomorrow, Thursday, October 15th: 

  • We are providing the opportunity for all students, faculty and staff who wish to receive a  COVID-19 test to do so here at the College.
    • Students - an email will be sent to all students tomorrow, October 15 which includes additional testing times and dates for asymptomatic students that have not been tested.  We will begin testing again tomorrow.
    • Faculty and staff - an email will be sent tomorrow, October 15 which includes when testing will begin and procedures for obtaining a test.
    • Symptomatic Students, Faculty, and Staff should follow the guidelines in the Marching Back Plan.
  • As required in our Marching Back plan, masks or face shields are required in all of our academic classes for both the instructor and the students.   Some additional classes may be temporarily moved to a remote delivery format (through October 28), however, the College is continuing with face to face classroom and lab instruction as well as off-campus experiential learning.  Faculty will communicate any changes in mode of delivery.
  • Starting tomorrow all meals in the STAC will be “Grab and Go”:
    • Tonight dinner hours will remain the same, as will Hab’s and Jazzman’s.
    • Tomorrow;  Hab’s will be open from 10 am – 6 pm and Jazzman’s  will be open from 8 am-3 pm
    • STAC dining hours are being adjusted:
      • Breakfast 7 am-9:30 am
      • Lunch   11 am -1 pm
      • Dinner  5 pm - 6:30 pm
    • Students will get one hot meal, per meal period. Students, please grab your hot meal and continue; do not stop, open it, and put it back. This step will help us to keep the lines moving as quickly as possible. All meals will be gluten free meals.   If there are any questions/concerns please ask a member of the dining staff. 
    • Also, employees in Hab’s and Jazzman’s have been instructed to not serve any one wearing their mask incorrectly, or not wearing one at all. Should students approach any dining location without a mask, they will be asked to put one on correctly.  

On-Campus Student Experience

  • Students who reside on campus are not to leave campus, except for scheduled or emergency medical or mental health appointments, to fulfill academic requirements, to work or to obtain essential goods (e.g., groceries, medications, and household products) for an outside pick-up order at a local business, or off campus employment.
  • The Hunthausen Activity Center and P.E. Center will be closed until further notice (to be reevaluated on October 28).
  • Students are asked to reduce density in common spaces (e.g. Corette Library, Fortin Science Building, etc.). Students not following protocols, including wearing masks will be asked to leave.
  • Lounge spaces in residence halls will be closed until further notice. 
  • Student clubs and organizations should carry on business remotely.
  • Until further notice all athletic practices have been suspended.
  • Mass and Confessions will continue to be offered as scheduled in All Saints Chapel with all health and safety protocols in place (masked and distanced). Adoration in Trinity Hall will continue as planned in accord with the safety measures.

Off-Campus Student Experience

  • For these 14 days, off-campus students are not permitted on campus except for classes, to pick up meals, religious services, work study, labs, or other necessary academic purposes.
  • Like on-campus students, off-campus undergraduates should not gather inside with anyone who does not live in their apartment unit or home

We have known from the onset of this semester that we must be prepared to adapt to changing conditions. Due to the number of active cases of COVID-19, primarily among students, our ability to offer a safe and healthy on-campus experience this semester depends upon our collective commitment to these mitigation strategies. This document contains information regarding modifications that must be enacted at this time.

Health and Safety Modifications

  • Everyone must practice social distancing at all times. 
  • Masks/face coverings must be worn properly on campus at all times and in all places. (Exceptions: when walking alone outside, exercising outside, or when students are in their assigned residence hall rooms as households). Increasing amounts of students have been seen not wearing masks in hallways and in stairwells--it is critical to wear masks in these places as well. It's what Saints do! 
  • Knowing that socialization has been shown to contribute to spread, physical distancing must be more vigilant.
  • Students who have returned from quarantine or isolation must still adhere to all college health and safety guidelines.

These are challenging times across our nation and our World, however, I have full confidence our Carroll College community will come together to support each other, protect each other, and do the necessary things to remain safe.   Thank you in advance for your help!  I would also like to ask that you keep the Carroll and our entire community in prayer and please join me as I ask our Blessed Virgin Mary to intercede to keep everyone at Carroll safe throughout this semester as well as Spring semester.

Sincerely,

John E. Cech, Ph.D., President

Carroll College Marching Back Task Force