Campus Expectations

Where am I required to wear a mask on campus?

Masks are required to be worn indoors except for students in their own residence hall room or house, and for faculty and staff in their private workspace. More protective masks (N95, KN95, KF94, or double-masking with two cloth masks or cloth and surgical masks) are available and are strongly encouraged for all members of our community.

What type of mask should I wear? Will the College provide one?

When you need to wear a mask, you should use a well-fitted cloth mask with two or more layers of fabric that completely covers both your mouth and nose. More protective masks (KN95, KF94, or double-masking with two cloth masks or cloth and surgical masks) are strongly encouraged for all members of our community.

If you need a mask, you may pick one up from the following locations:

  • Students: Dean of Students Office (8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday)
  • Faculty: Dean of the College Office
  • Staff: Human Resources
  • Departments/bulk orders: Email covid@carleton.edu

Neck gaiters or face shields should not be worn in place of a mask.

Are there any restrictions on campus events at this time?

Events are permitted on campus. Food and drink may be provided, and visitors may attend. Please ensure that your visitors follow our expectations for visitors. Masks are required for all attendees during indoor public events where visitors will be present, except while eating or drinking.

Do the College’s testing and masking plans mean the COVID-19 vaccines are not effective?

Absolutely not. Vaccines remain the first and best defense against COVID-19. Despite breakthrough infection, the current vaccines remain highly protective against severe illness, and the risk of hospitalization among those who are fully vaccinated is very low. We are confident that Carleton’s high vaccination rate is playing a significant role in limiting the risk of on-campus transmission of COVID-19.

Student & Employee Health

What should I do if I have symptoms or suspect I have COVID-19?

If you have mild symptoms, you should visit the Carleton Rapid Test Site.

If you need medical care or have severe symptoms such as a high fever or shortness of breath, or if your symptoms have become more than you can manage, you should stay in your residence and contact SHAC (if you are a student), or your health care provider (if you are faculty or staff).

Difficulty breathing requires immediate attention, either by calling 911 or Security Services at (507) 222-4444.

Even if you don’t have COVID-19, you should stay home if you aren’t feeling well. The Minnesota Department of Health Decision Tree for People in Schools, Youth, and Child Care Programs can be helpful in determining which actions to take based on your symptoms.

Where can I go to get a COVID-19 test on campus?

The Carleton Rapid Test Site, open daily during academic terms in Burton 003, is open to students, faculty and staff who have been identified as close contacts or who are experiencing mild symptoms.

The Carleton Rapid Test Site is not for visitors, children, parents, spouses or partners of current Carleton students, faculty or staff.

It also should not be used by anyone who needs medical care or who is experiencing more severe symptoms of COVID-19, such as a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher, difficulty breathing, or new loss of taste or smell. Students in need of medical care should contact SHAC, and faculty and staff should contact their health care provider. Difficulty breathing requires immediate attention, either by calling 911 or Security Services at (507) 222-4444.

A friend told me they tested positive and I may be a close contact. What should I do?

If you are fully vaccinated, you should continue to follow our community expectations—including wearing a mask—while continuing to attend classes and other activities. If you are confirmed to be a close contact, you will be contacted by the Case Investigation and Contact Tracing team and instructed on when and how to get tested.

If you are unvaccinated, you should go to your residence room, keep your mask on, and await further instructions from CICT on where and when to quarantine.

Please do not go to SHAC or the Carleton Rapid Test Site for a test unless you are symptomatic or have been instructed by the CICT team to do so. We are following an epidemiologically informed testing schedule for close contacts; you do not need to be tested immediately.

What should I do if I’ve been exposed to someone with COVID-19?

If you are fully vaccinated:

If you are a student or if you were identified as a close contact of a positive case at Carleton, a member of the College’s Case Investigation and Contact Tracing team (CICT) will contact you and instruct you on how and when to be tested at Carleton. If you are an employee who was identified as a close contact of a positive case outside of Carleton, follow CDC guidance.

You do not need to quarantine. You may still go to work and attend classes so long as you don’t test positive or exhibit any symptoms. If at any time you experience symptoms of COVID-19, you should get tested, preferably 24 hours after the onset of your symptoms.

If you are not fully vaccinated:

You should follow CDC guidance and quarantine for at least 5 days after your last exposure to a positive case. Using the last day of exposure as day 0, you should test on day 6 and may return to campus if your test is negative, wearing a N95 mask or equivalent through day 10, and a well-fitting mask of your choice (KN95 or KF94 provided and strongly recommended) thereafter. If at any time you experience symptoms of COVID-19, you should get tested. If you tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 90 days, you do not need to quarantine.

Close contacts of close contacts are not required to test or quarantine.

What happens when a student or employee tests positive for COVID-19?

If you test positive through a Carleton-administered test, you will be contacted by a member of the Case Investigation and Contact Tracing (CICT) team, who will instruct you on where and how long to isolate. If you test positive through a test outside of Carleton, you should report the result to the College:

>>> Students: Report a Positive Test

>>> Faculty and Staff: Report a Positive Test

Is isolation space available on campus?

Yes. The College has dedicated isolation space available for students who test positive for COVID-19. Anyone who tests positive for the virus is required to isolate, regardless of their vaccination status.

Students may isolate in designated spaces or in place in their residence, when circumstances allow—such as when two roommates test positive and a dedicated bathroom is available. Some students have requested to isolate at their family home and have been permitted to do so.

How long am I required to isolate if I test positive for COVID-19?

The exact length of a person’s isolation period is determined by Carleton’s Case Investigation and Contact Tracing team, based on the circumstances of the positive case. When your positive result is reported to the College, CICT follows up to determine your isolation release date.

While CDC guidance allows release from isolation on day 5 without testing, as a residential community, we have not adopted that change. We have, however—after consultation with our epidemiologist—shortened the isolation period for fully vaccinated and boosted (if eligible) students, faculty and staff; they may leave isolation after 7 full days with a negative antigen test on day 8. COVID-positive unvaccinated individuals are required to isolate for the full 10 days.

We will continue to look at the transmission dynamics in our unique population this term and may revise isolation timeframes in the weeks ahead.

Visiting Carleton

What are the expectations for campus visitors?

All visitors are required to wear a mask while indoors on campus, except while eating or drinking.

Visitors who will be dining or attending indoor public events on campus are expected to be fully vaccinated and boosted (if eligible) or to have received a negative COVID-19 test result no more than 24 hours before their visit. Masks are required for all attendees during indoor public events where visitors will be present. While most visitors are not required to be vaccinated in order to spend time on the Carleton campus, overnight visitors are required to be fully vaccinated and boosted (if eligible).

Please refer to the Office of Admissions and Reunion for expectations specific to their visitors and events.

Are campus sporting events open to the public?

Yes, for most events. Visitors attending indoor public events on campus are expected to be fully vaccinated and boosted (if eligible) or to have received a negative COVID-19 test result no more than 24 hours before their visit. Masks are required for all attendees during indoor public events where visitors will be present. 

Live video and/or live statistics are also available for many sporting events. Fans can find links to these resources by visiting the athletic events calendar.

Are students allowed to have overnight guests in their campus residence?

Students may host overnight guests in their campus residence, provided guests are fully vaccinated and boosted (if eligible), and masked when not eating, drinking or sleeping.

Are dining halls and residence halls open to visitors?

Visitors who are fully vaccinated and boosted (if eligible) may eat in campus dining spaces.

Where can I get a test near Carleton to ensure I’m not bringing the virus to campus when I visit?

We recommend using the State of Minnesota’s website to find a testing location, which includes a list of community testing sites. In Northfield (ZIP code 55057), Walgreens offers rapid testing, and Northfield Hospital & Clinics also offers testing. If you’re traveling by plane, the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport offers multiple on-site testing options, including rapid testing. 

Is the Office of Admissions offering in-person visits for prospective students and their families?

Yes. Please visit the Admissions website for details. Pre-registration is required for in-person events. 

Are campus buildings and resources like the Rec Center and Gould Library available for emeriti faculty and retired staff to use?

Access to the Rec Center and library is open to retirees and Affiliate OneCard holders who have reported full vaccination to the College.

Vaccination Information

Does Carleton have a COVID-19 vaccination requirement?

Yes. In order to offer the best protection against disease transmission in our campus community, all Carleton students, faculty, and staff are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This requirement took effect Aug. 1, 2021.

Effective Jan. 21, 2022, all students, faculty, and staff are required to receive a booster dose for the COVID-19 vaccine. Booster eligibility is determined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and depends on your age, and the date and manufacturer of your original vaccine. If, by Jan. 21, it will not have been 5 months since you completed your primary vaccination series for Pfizer or Moderna, or 2 months since you received your Johnson & Johnson vaccination, or if you are younger than 18, you will be required to get your booster dose within 14 days of reaching eligibility.

All students, faculty, and staff also are required to be vaccinated against influenza.

Am I eligible to get a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine?

Most of our community members are now eligible to receive a booster. Eligibility is determined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and depends on your age, and the date and manufacturer of your original vaccine. If, by Jan. 21, it will not have been 5 months since you completed your primary vaccination series for Pfizer or Moderna, or 2 months since you received your Johnson & Johnson vaccination, or if you are younger than 18, you will be required to get your booster dose within 14 days of reaching eligibility.

Where can I get a booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine near campus?

We recommend using vaccines.gov to find a COVID-19 vaccine nearby. Vaccines are readily available in Northfield, including at Walgreens, Family Fare, and Sterling Pharmacy, all of which are within walking distance of campus, as well as at Target and Cub Foods. Many primary care clinics also are providing boosters to their patients.

Do I need to I report my booster to the college?

Yes. Proof of your booster dose—including a photo of your vaccination card—is now required to be submitted to Carleton. All students, faculty and staff must complete the new designated reporting forms no later than Friday, Jan. 21, 2022.

>>> Student COVID-19 Vaccination Reporting Form

>>> Faculty and Staff COVID-19 Vaccination Reporting Form

Why is the vaccination rate of Carleton’s students, faculty and staff below 100%?

Our highly vaccinated community—98% of faculty and staff are fully vaccinated, and 99.7% of students are fully vaccinated—affords us significant protection against even highly transmissible variants of COVID-19.

Carleton manages requests for exemptions from its vaccination requirements in accordance with state and federal law. Exemptions may be granted based on medical reasons or sincerely held religious beliefs, and reasonable accommodations are made for those individuals who receive exemptions.

How should I report my vaccination to Carleton?

Proof of your vaccination—including a photo of your vaccination card—is required to be submitted to Carleton using the designated form.

>>> Student COVID-19 Vaccination Reporting Form

>>> Faculty and Staff COVID-19 Vaccination Reporting Form

What if I can’t get vaccinated before arriving on campus?

Carleton will help you find a COVID-19 vaccine if you were unable to get vaccinated in your home state or country. Some restrictions will be in place until 14 days after you complete your vaccination series. SHAC is supporting students in this effort, and Human Resources is supporting employees.