Action Level 3: High

The current action level of the Carleton College campus based on the college’s identified threshold measures. Action levels, threshold measures, and campus impacts are described on this page below.

14-Day Infection Rate: 1.19%

Rate of lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 among all students, faculty and staff who are living, learning or working on campus over the 14-day period spanning Sunday, Nov. 8, through Saturday, Nov. 21.

Weekly Campus Data

This table is updated on Wednesdays with the previous week’s data. How to interpret this data.

 New Confirmed Cases Surveillance Testing Positivity RateAverage Number of Close Contacts per CaseIsolation & Quarantine Occupancy (% in Use)
First Week (Sun 9/13-Sat 9/19)4N/A3.2536%
Second Week (Sun 9/20-Sat 9/26)10.4%834%
Third Week (Sun 9/27-Sat 10/3)00.0%N/A37%
Fourth Week (Sun 10/4-Sat 10/10)20.4%9.523%
Fifth Week (Sun 10/11-Sat 10/17)10.3%036%
Sixth Week (Sun 10/18-Sat 10/24)10.3%832%
Seventh Week (Sun 10/25-Sat 10/31)10.0%226%
Eighth Week (Sun 11/1-Sat 11/7)61.0%2.717%
Ninth Week (Sun 11/8-Sat 11/14)140.6%1.937%
Tenth Week (Sun 11/15-Sat 11/21)12N/A2.858%

Comprehensive Test Data

Campus-Wide Test Results

This table is updated on Wednesdays with the previous week’s data. Data reflects all tests conducted by Carleton College, including baseline student and employee testing, surveillance testing, symptomatic testing, and quarantine-related testing. Test counts align with the test collection date.

WeekTotal TestsNegative ResultsPositive ResultsPositivity Rate
Sun 8/9-Sat 8/1516115742.5%
Sun 8/16-Sat 8/2223523320.9%
Sun 8/23-Sat 8/2918518500.0%
Sun 8/30-Sat 9/546546230.6%
Sun 9/6-Sat 9/121,5191,51900.0%
Sun 9/13-Sat 9/191,2771,27340.3%
Sun 9/20-Sat 9/2632432310.3%
Sun 9/27-Sat 10/334034000.0%
Sun 10/4-Sat 10/1031931810.3%
Sun 10/11-Sat 10/1734033910.3%
Sun 10/18-Sat 10/2433233110.3%
Sun 10/25-Sat 10/3133433310.3%
Sun 11/1-Sat 11/734033641.2%
Sun 11/8-Sat 11/14385373123.1%
Sun 11/15-Sat 11/21534947.5%

Fall 2020 Baseline Student Test Results

All students were tested for COVID-19 upon their initial return to campus and retested 7 days later. The data shown here reflects only those tests conducted by Carleton College. Test counts align with the test collection date.

 Total TestsNegative ResultsPositive ResultsPositivity Rate
Round 1 (9/4-9/10)1,5111,50920.1%
Round 2 (9/11-9/17)1,5131,50940.3%

Fall 2020 Pre-Departure Test Results

All on-campus students, faculty and staff were invited to test for COVID-19 prior to departing campus at the end of fall term. The data shown here reflects only those tests provided by the Minnesota Department of Health in partnership with Vault Health. Test counts align with the test collection date.

 Total TestsNegative ResultsPositive ResultsPositivity Rate
Sun 11/15-Sat 11/2186886170.8%

Rice County

Current Situation
Information from Rice County about the current situation in our area.


Weekly COVID-19 Report
The weekly report from the Minnesota Department of Health.

United States

CDC COVID Data Tracker
Maps, charts, and data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Carleton College Threshold Action Levels

Carleton College’s senior leadership team is continuously monitoring the public health metrics of the campus in the context of county, state, and national data. We have identified COVID-19 Action Levels to help describe potential transmission scenarios and how the College would plan to operate at various stages. 

These risk levels take into account the important work our campus community is doing to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 through the behaviors defined in our campus covenant. Impacts on campus operations, residential life, and testing are adjusted at each of the low, medium, high, and critical action levels (and each level is additive: e.g., the actions at Level 3 include also the actions from Levels 1 and 2). The Threshold tool also incorporates both internal and external measures that together help inform movement from one action level to another. It is important to note that the increase or decrease in a single measure is not likely to create a shift to a new action level; rather several measures must be trending in a similar direction to spur a shift. 

As we’ve learned since the beginning of the pandemic, the science regarding COVID-19 is continually evolving, and subsequently, we may change or amend specific threshold measures as public health guidance and recommendations are updated, new testing technologies emerge, and we implement learnings from others in higher education. Any changes will only be considered where they result in safer outcomes for the Carleton community.

Transmission Scenarios

Action Level 1: LowAction Level 2: MediumAction Level 3: HighAction Level 4: Critical
Transmission ScenariosA small number of individuals have tested positive and contact tracing suggests that exposures are confined to a small number of people. Through contact tracing, the situation can be contained through isolation and quarantine measures.Cases are occurring in what appears to be a defined population (residential hall, academic/administrative building, team, classroom, event, etc.). Due to the number of cases identified, the confidence in the ability to accurately complete contact tracing is moderate. More widespread cases are occurring (multiple unrelated cases, in a short period of time on campus in multiple locations, etc.), and there is low confidence in the ability to identify and trace close-contacts.The situation has escalated to the point where ongoing campus transmission is occurring at a significant rate. There is no realistic strategy to contain or control the situation and it is estimated that it will take a month or more to decrease on-campus transmission. Given the timing in the academic calendar, campus operations will be significantly limited to reduce the risk of ongoing transmission.

Campus and Residential Life Impacts

Impacts to CampusInfected individuals are isolated and close contacts are quarantined. Any potentially contaminated areas are disinfected. Communication is made to the community regarding the identification of a cluster of illnesses. Discontinue operations in select programs or areas but no impacts to campus-wide operations. Some programs or functions may need to suspend face-to-face activities. Campus comes to a pause to allow programs to move online. External access to campus is more restricted and employees work from home whenever possible. Based on the specifics of cases occurring, a remediation plan will be implemented to mitigate the spread of the disease and resume normal operations in approximately 1 to 4 weeks. Campus operations limited to only the most essential services, continuing until we've limited the number of people on campus as much as possible.
Impacts to Residential LifeAny common areas potentially affected will be cleaned and disinfected. All other residential life activity remains unaffected.If the increase in cases is associated with a residence hall, house, or a floor in a residence hall, a hall, house or floor-specific quarantine may be required. Access to common spaces in affected areas may be limited. All residents are instructed to "shelter-in-place" in residence halls and campus housing. In consultation and coordination with MDH and LPH, a move-out process will be initiated. Students will leave campus with their possessions as part of a formal check-out process. Students in isolation or quarantine will leave campus in consultation with local and state authorities.
TestingIn consultation with MDH, LPH, and other resources, targeted testing may be warranted.Use of asymptomatic surveillance may be warranted.Campus-wide surveillance testing of the entire population may be conducted.Working with MDH and LPH, campus-wide surveillance testing of the entire population will be conducted to ensure safe travel and minimize the risk of further infection outside of the Carleton Community.

Carleton Internal Threshold Measures

Carleton Population Confirmed Infection Rate (14-day period)0-1%1-3%3-5%≥5%
Weekly Surveillance Testing Positive Test Rate (300 tests per week)0.3%0.3-3%>3% >3% for 2 or more consecutive weeks
Isolation and Quarantine Occupancy (% in use)0-25%25-50%50-75%75-100%
Campus Population with Influenza-like Symptoms (7-day rolling average; gathered from daily symptom reporting)0-2%2-5%5-10% ≥10%
Contact Tracing Capacity (time to trace and reach all contacts after results are received for a confirmed case)<12 hours12-24 hours24-36 hours >36 hours
Average Number of Contacts Per Case (14-day average)0-33-55-8>8
PPE ReservesNecessary PPE is widely available and could accommodate a surge in casesPPE is available but levels would be significantly reduced after a surge in casesPPE is available but may need to be reused between patients to conserve suppliesPPE shortages
Test Collection SuppliesSupplies are widely available—enough for campus-wide testing if neededSupplies are available but there may be delays if campus-wide testing is neededSupplies are available for weekly testing, but would not be readily available for campus-wide testingTest supply shortages
Test Turnaround Time (time from collection to result report)<24 hours24-48 hours48-72 hours>72 hours

Carleton External Threshold Measures

Rice County Case Rate (14 Day Moving Total)10 per 10,00010-19 per 10,00020-30 per 10,00030+ per 10,000
Rice County Test Positive Rate (14 Day Moving Average)0-3%3-5%5-10%10%+

Interpreting this Data

  • Data is updated weekly on Wednesdays.
  • The 14-day infection rate is the rate of lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 over a 14-day period among all students, faculty and staff who are approved to live, learn or work on campus. For Fall Term 2020, the total campus population is 2,179 people. The 14-day infection rate includes cases of COVID-19 confirmed through testing outside of Carleton. 
  • The number of new confirmed cases is tallied weekly and reflects known data for all Carleton students, faculty, staff, and contractors who are approved to live, learn, or work on campus. This number includes cases of COVID-19 confirmed through testing outside of Carleton. 
  • Surveillance testing began Sept. 25, 2020, and is conducted weekly on 300 randomly selected members of our on-campus community. This statistically based sampling plan was established to give us a clear picture of where we are as a campus each week. The actual number of people tested may be slightly lower or higher each week.
  • The average number of close contacts is tallied weekly. A close contact is defined as any individual who was within 6 feet of a confirmed case of COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic cases, 2 days prior to positive test administration) until the time the confirmed case is isolated.
  • Isolation and quarantine occupancy is calculated using the denominator of 90 dedicated campus spaces for isolation and quarantine, and reflects total use of this space over the course of the week. Occupancy includes new and existing student cases that require isolation, students who require quarantine due to contact with a confirmed case on or off campus, and symptomatic students who require isolation.
    • Isolation means separation, during the period of communicability, of a person infected with a communicable disease, in a place and under conditions so as to prevent direct or indirect transmission of an infectious agent to others.
    • Quarantine means restriction, during a period of communicability, of activities or travel of an otherwise healthy person who likely has been exposed to a communicable disease to prevent disease transmission during the period of communicability in the event the person is infected.