Results from our Initial Winter Term Testing Efforts

7 January 2022

Dear Members of the Carleton Community,

When you visit the COVID-19 Dashboard today, you’ll notice that it has been updated to reflect what we are learning from our initial testing efforts in this first week of the term:

  • 46 positive cases have been identified through baseline testing so far. While complete results from Monday’s baseline tests are in, some results from Tuesday, and many results from Wednesday and Thursday, are still pending. Complete numbers are expected over the next 48 hours. The dashboard will be updated daily as results arrive.
  • 20 positive cases have been identified through other on-campus testing efforts.
  • 10 positive cases were reported by staff and faculty through testing taking place off campus.

Based on this data, our campus positive rate is currently 2.6%. As we await full baseline test results, we expect this rate to increase, and we are continuing discussions about which additional mitigation strategies may be implemented next week. Changes will be considered in the context of Carleton’s decision-making framework, which was developed with our consulting epidemiologist and is used alongside other conditions in Rice County to inform our decisions. Social gatherings continue to be restricted, and grab-and-go dining is encouraged.

Within our fully vaccinated and boosted community, individuals who have tested positive continue to experience mild or no symptoms. Our Case Investigation and Contact Tracing team (CICT) is working hard to quickly identify and notify those who may have come into close contact with a positive case and to clearly communicate what steps should be taken. Recent updates to the FAQs page of the Responding to COVID-19 website clarify what to do while you await instruction from CICT.

While this increased campus positive rate isn’t unexpected given how Omicron is surging nationwide, we know it may feel unsettling. We will continue to keep you updated on how the virus is impacting our community, and the steps we need to take to continue working and learning together.

Sincerely,

The COVID-19 Core Team

Carolyn H. Livingston, Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students
Eric Runestad, Vice President and Treasurer
Elise Eslinger, Vice President and Chief of Staff
Eric Egge, Associate Dean of the College
John Bermel, Director of Security and Emergency Management
Helen Clarke, Director of Digital Strategy and Public Affairs