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COVID Update – September 12

Dear Macalester Community:

Before the semester started, we promised to periodically reassess our approach to COVID risk mitigation and reconsider our public health strategies as we monitor cases on campus and in the county. We write today with an update.

Masking

In some locations on campus, we will no longer expect masks to be worn indoors for community members or guests, effective Thursday, September 15. Please remember that masking remains one of our most effective and accessible forms of primary prevention against a COVID-19 infection. Consistent with our community commitment, we ask our campus community members to be respectful of those who choose to wear a mask, and to mask when requested.

  • This is subject to change depending on current campus case levels, conditions in Minnesota/Ramsey County, the emergence of a new variant of concern, etc.
  • Masking indoors will still be expected for those with a known exposure, and those in isolation when around other people, and those who have symptoms or continue to test positive.  
  • Masks will be required in clinical spaces such as the Hamre Center and the athletic training room.
  • Departments or event organizers may continue to have more specific, discipline-related expectations for competitions, rehearsals, and performances – including for audience members.
  • Individuals may set masking expectations for particular spaces as follows:
    • Faculty or staff may require masks in classrooms, in their own office space, or in other instructional spaces.
    • Students may require guests to wear masks in their residence hall rooms.
  • Students may work with Disability Services if they need an accommodation for a masked classroom environment.  

COVID-19 Bivalent Boosters

  • The new bivalent booster is currently available through local pharmacies as well as Minnesota Department of Health sites, including Mall of America.  Find a booster shot here:  https://mn.gov/covid19/vaccine/find-vaccine/locations/index.jsp
  • The Hamre Center will offer a student COVID-19 booster clinic and a flu shot clinic (possibly combined) prior to fall break. Keep your eyes on the Mac Daily and the HWC instagram!

Additional guidance about boosters will be forthcoming as the semester unfolds. If you have a COVID-related question, visit the FAQ section of our COVID website and if you cannot find what you need, e-mail healthresponse@macalester.edu.

Jen Jacobsen, MA, MPH, Executive Director, Hamre Center for Health & Wellness
Steph Walters, MD, MPH, Medical Director of the Hamre Center
Co-Chairs, Infectious Disease Task Force

Published: September 12, 2022