To the Macalester community:

This afternoon, Governor Walz issued an executive order for residents of the state of Minnesota to stay at home effective this Friday, March 27 at 11:59 p.m. through Friday, April 10, except when they need to go out for essential needs. In the wake of that announcement, we are reaching out to share the implications for the Macalester campus.

In general, the order is designed to limit, as much as possible, the spread of COVID-19. It does not mean you can never leave your home, apartment, or residence hall room. It means that most businesses and public spaces are closed, but most grocery stores, doctors’ offices, gas stations, and other essential services will remain open. Under the order, it is fine to go outside to exercise or walk a dog while following social distancing guidelines.

Here are details for our community — 

  • While most Macalester staff will continue to work remotely, there are staff who will continue to come to campus. These staff are connected to campus functioning and support the students and staff who continue to live on campus, and those students who live off campus but will continue to come to campus. Following are the staff who have been deemed essential to be on campus on a regular basis: custodians, Public Safety officers, Residence Hall Directors, select members of ITS who may need to address on-site issues, foodservice workers, select members of staff and faculty in Olin-Rice who must care for animals and sensitive equipment, medical staff in the Health & Wellness Center, Business Services team members including mailing services staff and Accounts Payable staff. Staff who are on call for emergencies will continue to respond to identified needs but otherwise they should continue to work from home. If you have a question about whether you are included in any of these groups, or whether you can come to campus, please consult with your supervisor. 
  • Open Pantry will remain open, and has moved to the Campus Center in the former Student Organizations Resource Center (second floor at the north end of the hallway, just past the Office of Student Leadership & Engagement). It will be open on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays from 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Questions about the pantry can be directed to Fatiya Kedir at or to Andrew Wells at All students will have access to the Open Pantry space using their ID cards, however use of the program will remain anonymous. 
  • If you are in the process of moving out of your room on campus between now and March 30, this order does not prevent you from departing from campus.
  • For students who have been approved to remain on campus after March 30, the Campus Center will remain open, and Café Mac will continue to serve meals for students to take back to their rooms. The Hamre Center for Health & Wellness also currently is staffed 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Call 651-696-6275 to schedule an appointment. We plan to close the Chapel by Friday, March 27, but will work to find a contemplative space in the Campus Center for students to use. Residence Hall Directors will remain on campus. 
  • For students who are living off campus, the Campus Center, Café Mac, and the Hamre Center for Health & Wellness remain open for you, as well. 
  • For students, no matter your location, remember you are not alone. The Division of Student Affairs is working to re-imagine a number of campus events and traditions, and  campus resources and offices remain available via remote connections including email, Zoom, or telephone. 
  • For faculty and some library staff, please note that the Governor’s order provides an exemption (section 6w) for educators who need to travel to campus to perform aspects of your job that can not be done remotely. As with all other employees, you are encouraged to limit those visits to campus for your own safety and that of others.
  • In previous communication, we shared that the college would reassess remote work guidance on March 27. Please consider this communication an extension of guidance for staff who are able to work remotely to do so. For staff who currently are working remotely, please continue with your current arrangement and follow guidance from your supervisor. If you can work from home but have not yet begun to do so regularly, you are encouraged to move to remote work as much as possible.

We continue to update the COVID-19 website. Please check there for updates, and if you have a question that is not covered in the FAQ, please contact

Sara Suelflow
Communications and Marketing
member, Macalester College Infectious Disease Task Force

Published: 3/25/20