To first-year students:

As you make final preparations to come to Macalester, we are sharing the most up-to-date information about your arrival on campus. This interactive map provides an overview of campus and key stops as we welcome you to Macalester.

The first stop when you arrive will be the Leonard Center (125 Snelling Ave S), where you will be given a COVID-19 test. We expect all students who will live in Macalester residential housing will complete a test, even if you already have contracted and recovered from COVID-19.

Once the test has been administered, you will proceed to the lower level of the Campus Center where you will pick up your welcome-to-campus health kit and name tag. Next you will proceed to the welcome tent in front of the Campus Center to receive your on-campus housing room key and then move your belongings into your room.

Following are important reminders and updates about three areas: testing, move-in, and orientation. In addition, we’re including a general checklist to review before you arrive.

COVID-19 testing plans and procedures:

  • We are using tests administered by PWNHealth through CIC Health with the analysis carried out at the Broad Institute.
  • ACTION REQUIRED: This testing process requires that you take action BEFORE you arrive for move-in. NOTE: If you are under 18, you will receive a separate message that contains an electronic parent/guardian consent form along with additional information.
      • By the end of the day on August 23, you will receive an email with the subject “Macalester College: Please verify your email” from “” that asks you to verify your account.
      • You will then receive a second email with the subject “Welcome to Macalester College!” that will prompt you to login to your Labpass account.
      • Once logged in, you will be asked to complete 1) a digital consent form, 2) verify a minimal set of information that is required for state and federal reporting by the lab and 3) answer four health screening questions that will be reviewed by a PWNHealth physician.
        • NOTE: The required set of information includes the selection of a binary male/female gender. We know this binary does not adequately represent our students’ identities. This field is required for the mandated reporting of results that the lab must complete.
        • NOTE: For the last question, please select the statement “I am an individual, student or employee and it is time for my PCR recurrent test.”
  • WAITING for RESULTS: We expect to have results from the test back in 48-72 hours. While you are waiting for test results, we ask that you quarantine in your room, leaving only for meals (which will be coordinated based when you complete your COVID testing) or to spend time outside. You will be expected to observe an enhanced commitment to the 6-foot physical distancing, wearing of face coverings, and good hand hygiene during this time. Also important during this waiting period is a close observance of the names of those that you choose to be within 6-feet of for 15 minutes or more during a 24-hour period. In the event that you were to test positive, this information will be helpful for identifying others who may have been exposed.
  • TEST RESULT NOTIFICATION: If your test result is negative, you will be notified by an email from PWNHealth. If you test positive, you will receive a phone call from a PWNHealth physician and a member of Macalester’s Hamre Center for Health & Wellness will follow-up to provide medical and mental health support, as well as additional instructions on next steps.

Move-in expectations: We recognize that for some there will be significant emotional challenges for making the move into a residential housing situation. The following reminders are in place to help prepare you for this transition as we implement steps to minimize risks associated with assembling on campus.

  • You will have a two-hour move in-window, and may have two helpers with you during move-in. We ask that you minimize the time the helpers spend inside the residence halls. You and your helpers are expected to wear masks during the move-in process.

  • Once your move-in is complete, please plan to say goodbye to your helpers and minimize the number of physical interaction you have with others.

  • Any last-minute meals or shopping trips should be completed prior to your arrival on campus and move-in.


New Student Orientation takes place from August 28 through September 1. Orientation is a required, immersive experience for all first-year and transfer students to become familiarized with Macalester’s community, expectations, values, and resources that will support your transition to college life. Before your arrival to campus, be sure to review the Orientation Schedule, complete all mandatory tasks in your New Student Portal, and view the This Matters at Mac video series.


  • Please review our Mac Stays Safer Community Commitment and ensure you’re ready to abide by it once you arrive on campus.

  • Prior to arrival, it is extremely important you upload a photo so your MacPass will be printed and ready for you to pick up when you arrive. Please follow the instructions to upload your MacPass photo as soon as possible.

  • Remember that you may be asked to move rooms between the first and second modules. Please pack less than you might otherwise bring to make a potential room shift easier.

  • In an effort to keep us all safer, please remember to download and install Macalester’s COVID-19 symptom checking app, CampusClear. We’ll send you a text or an email to remind you to use the symptom checker daily, especially before entering shared campus spaces.This app will also help you understand what to do if you don’t feel well.

Safe travels,

Professor Paul Overvoorde
Special Advisor to the President and Director of COVID Operations

Laurie Adamson
Director of Student Leadership and Engagement

Coco Du
Assistant Dean for Residential Life


Published: 8/21/2020