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Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Response

Current Status

  • We will implement a “masking period” beginning Wednesday, August 10 and continuing through the first two weeks of classes (through September 14). During this masking period, high-quality (e.g. N95, KN95) masks will be expected in all public indoor spaces on campus. Read the August 3 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 2.0 Community Commitment.

COVID-19 Procedures

  • What To Do if You Feel Sick

    *Please note, the Hamre Center is closed until August 15. If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, it is important to minimize your interactions with others. Hunker down in your room, wear a well-fitting mask if you need to leave your room, make use of grab-n-go food options, and maintain 6-feet distance where possible. 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 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 5/19/2022: If you get tested for COVID-19 and your test result comes back positive, you should email The CDC recommends a 10-day isolation period that includes modified behaviors within this time frame. Macalester’s expectation is that an employee or student who is up to date on their COVID-19 vaccinations isolate for at least 7 full days following the date of symptom onset or testing. A negative test on day 7, 8, or 9 would allow you to modify your isolation practice to resume activities as long as you wear a well-fitting, high-quality (i.e. N95, KN95) mask when around others.

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.

For students or parents of current students: Have a question that isn’t answered in our FAQ or on this site? Please email us at

For alumni: Have a question that isn’t answered in our FAQ or on this site? Please email us at

Reviewed: August 3, 2022