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Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Response

COVID Policy and Procedures for Students in the 2023 – 2024 Academic Year

The Hamre Center is offering guidance to students and those supporting students, though much of the best practice is the same for everyone.

For those with COVID

Macalester College will continue to request that students report their Covid status here. We continue to recommend a 5-day to 10-day isolation period with the option to leave isolation with a negative antigen test after day five.  (Note: Day 0 is the day your symptoms started or the day you provided a sample for the COVID-19 test that was positive).  

If symptoms resurface, even after testing negative, please test again as rebound cases are possible. If you are still testing positive on a rapid antigen test after 10 days, you are encouraged to either continue to stay home or wear a high-quality well-fitted mask when you are around others.

Full CDC recommendations regarding isolation can be found here.

Students: You can contact the Hamre Center, 651-696-6275 or [email protected], during business hours to make an appointment. Call the Access Nurse line (651-696-6275, option 3)*  for 24/7 medical advice. If you are experiencing severe symptoms and want to be seen urgently, see this list of urgent and emergency care medical resources.

We encourage faculty, coaches, and supervisors to be supportive in allowing those with COVID to isolate until they test negative (up to 10 full days); allowing them to get well and to minimize their chances of infecting others.

Residential students 

If you are symptomatic with COVID or any other illness, we encourage you to pick up to-go meals from Bon Appetit which can be done by filling out the Cafe Mac google form for an isolation meal order


Macalester no longer has access to bulk free at-home tests through the Minnesota Department of Health; however MDH continues to offer free, rapid at-home tests to individuals (4 kits/8 tests per household per calendar month) while supplies last.  Tests can be ordered from sayyeshometest.  Residential students please include your SPO in your address (in the apt line) to request tests.  Non-residential students should request tests sent to their off-campus address.  We encourage all campus community members to have COVID tests on hand.


Wearing high-quality, N95 or KN95 masks continues to be one of the most effective prevention steps you can take.  Free masks are available inside and outside the Hamre Center, at the front desk of the library, and through the food pantry.  We encourage our campus to continue to welcome masking.

Until September 15th, 2023 (unless you are notified of an extension), masks are required in the Hamre Center for Health & Wellness, the  athletic training room, and in Disability Services.  

If you’d like to post a sign in your individual space requesting others to mask in that space


The Hamre Center will continue to monitor wastewater levels reporting in Ramsey County and other information sources, including guidance from MDH, ACHA, and other organizations.  

The Infectious Disease Task Force will currently operate on an ad hoc basis with no regularly scheduled meetings.


Vaccination continues to be highly effective in preventing severe disease and hospitalization in most populations.  Students are required to have a primary COVID vaccination series or one dose of the bivalent vaccine or an exemption. Macalester highly recommends staying up to date on your COVID vaccinations per CDC guidelines, but does not currently require that you do so.

We anticipate a new monovalent booster will become available in early fall.  This vaccine will no longer be free through the federal government.

Once the Hamre Center has access to the updated monovalent booster:

Hamre plans to offer at least two monovalent booster clinics

  • One through Hamre (see insurance information below)
  • One provided by CVS or Walgreens which can directly bill most insurance companies; thus students with private insurance can receive the vaccination without incurring a charge to their student account, however they may still have a charge associated with receiving the vaccination depending on their private insurance plan.

Students with United Health Care coverage through the college can receive the vaccine at no cost.  Like all vaccines received through Hamre Center, students would incur a charge on their student account, which they may submit to insurance. 

The booster will also be available through regular medical appointments at Hamre.  

Hamre will continue to provide information on where to access vaccinations in the community, including local Medicaid-eligible sites.

We encourage faculty, coaches, and supervisors to be supportive in allowing people who have reactions to the vaccinations to take the time they need to recover.

Isolate-in-place policy for residential students

Since August 2022, along with the majority of institutions of higher education, Macalester moved to an isolate-in-place plan for COVID.  This is parallel to how most other respiratory diseases, such as influenza, have been handled on campuses.  A roommate of a student who has tested positive for COVID is free to make their own decisions about where to stay. 

Students who are immunocompromised or may have other reasons to request an accommodation through disability services can requested to be moved temporarily if their roomate tests positive for COVID here

Additional questions about COVID can be sent to [email protected].

Reviewed September 5, 2023