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Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Response

Current Status

  • Students must receive a bivalent COVID-19 booster or file an exemption (medical or non-medical) before the start of spring semester on January 19, 2023. Read the Oct. 3 student message for more information.
  • Effective September 15, masks will no longer be expected to be worn indoors (with some exceptions). For more information on the new masking policy, read the Sept. 12 campus message.
  • Students, faculty, and staff who test positive for COVID-19 are expected to report results using this COVID-19 Student, Staff, and Faculty Reporting Form. All students will receive an arrival kit that includes two high quality masks, two COVID-19 antigen tests, information on how to obtain more tests, and instructions on what to do if you test positive. For more information and reminders, read the August 19 campus message.
  • There are several options for student COVID-19 testing. The section below (“Options for Getting a COVID-19 Test”) describes the types of COVID-19 testing available for students.
  • We expect everyone to follow the Mac Stays Safer 3.0 Community Commitment.

COVID-19 Procedures

  • What To Do if You Feel Sick

    Students: You can contact the Hamre Center, 651-696-6275 or health@macalester.edu, 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.

    Faculty and staff: The Minnesota Department of Health provides guidance for COVID testing. For more information about COVID-19 testing and related Macalester benefit programs, refer to this Employment Services COVID-19 Employee Resource Guide.

  • Options for Getting a COVID-19 Test

    Order free rapid antigen tests from:

    Students, be sure to include your residence hall name, room number, and the 1600 Grand Avenue street address when ordering. Example:
    Student name
    Dupre 501
    1600 Grand Ave.
    Saint Paul, MN 55105

    Minnesota Department of Health community testing sites

    Free COVID-19 testing is available at Minnesota Department of Health community testing sites. The closest site to Macalester is the St. Paul Midway site, which is a test to treat location offering medications for COVID-19 treatment for those who are eligible.

    Other area options for COVID-19 testing

    There are other options that provide testing that is either free or covered by insurance (either covered or reimbursed). Be sure to confirm insurance coverage and process before getting tested.

    Students: you can also get over the counter, at home COVID-19 test kits for free with the Macalester student insurance (UnitedHealthcare- UHCSR). Returning students continue to be covered throughout the summer– coverage ends this year Aug 19, 2022; if a returning student new coverage starts Aug 20, 2022.

    • Beginning January 15, 2022, UnitedHealthcare (UHCSR) will cover health plan members’ FDA authorized or approved over-the-counter (OTC) at-home COVID-19 diagnostic tests without a doctor’s prescription. This at-home COVID-19 test benefit includes up to 8 tests per member per calendar month.
    • If you are a UHCSR member with an OptumRx logo displayed on your member ID card, you can now receive reimbursement for an OTC at-home COVID-19 test. You may do this in two ways:
      • Visit an in-store pharmacy counter at one of UnitedHealthcare’s Preferred Retailers for OTC at-home COVID-19 tests: To get OTC at-home COVID-19 test(s) at no upfront cost, you must make your purchase at a UHCSR Preferred Retailer — and be sure you bring your member ID card with you.
      • Visit any other in-store or online retailer: You may submit a receipt for reimbursement online at uhcsr.com/My Account along with the completion of a reimbursement form. See FAQ below for detailed steps on submitting and access to the form.
        • Maximum reimbursement of up to $12 per test
        • Many COVID-19 tests are sold as a 2-pack kit (up to $12 for each test) and would be reimbursed at a maximum of up to $24 per kit

  • What To Do if You Test Positive

    Updated 8/19/2022: If you test positive for COVID-19, fill out and submit the COVID-19 Student, Staff, and Faculty Reporting Form. Isolate from others for 10 full days. You may leave isolation prior to day 11 if you have a negative rapid antigen test on day 5 or later. Inform any close contacts that you have tested positive. Wear a high-quality mask (N95 or KN95) if you need to be around others. For more details, refer to the COVID-19 FAQ.

Thanks to those of you who’ve asked how to support students. You can make a gift to the Macalester Fund, which provides critical flexible support that can be deployed rapidly wherever it’s needed. Gifts will help our students with unanticipated expenses and help every campus department reimagine remote student support and programming.

Do you have a question that isn’t answered in our FAQ or on this site? Please email us at healthresponse@macalester.edu.

Reviewed: November 16, 2022