Tenth Week COVID-19 Update

9 March 2022

Dear Members of the Carleton Community,

The increase in COVID-19 cases within our community that we noted last Friday has accelerated, both in cases detected through on-campus rapid antigen testing and self-reported cases. So far this week, we have recorded 55 new cases of COVID-19. As a result, when we next share our 14-day campus positive rate on our COVID-19 dashboard on Friday, it will be greater than 3%.

In response to the increasing 14-day positive rate, and at the advice of our consulting epidemiologist, masks are again required in all indoor public spaces, effective at 10 p.m. tonight. In addition, social gatherings continue to be the primary source of transmission and should be limited. These changes, and other mitigation strategies outlined below, are in line with Carleton’s COVID-19 decision-making framework when the 14-day campus positive rate exceeds 3%:

RESIDENTIAL LIFE & DINING

  • Students should remain on campus and may only leave for essential activities such as medical appointments, grocery shopping, academic activities, and work and volunteer responsibilities.
  • Grab-and-go dining is strongly encouraged. Campus dining spaces remain open to maximize space available for diners to spread out at meal times.
  • Late night breakfast scheduled for Sunday, March 13, 2022, in the LDC, has been canceled.
  • Admissions visitors must follow stated protocols and may not visit classes or stay overnight in residence halls.

CLASSES, MEETINGS & ACTIVITIES

  • Faculty continue to receive notifications of students who have tested positive. If you are a student who has tested positive, your faculty members and Class Dean will assist in arranging to complete your final exams. The Class Dean for first-year students is Trey Williams, the Class Dean for sophomores is Sindy Fleming, and the Class Dean for juniors and seniors is Cathy Carlson. Depending on your situation, you may have a proctored exam in a designated testing space, or you may receive an end of term extension and take your exam(s) after being released from isolation.
  • Social gatherings continue to be the primary source of transmission and should be limited.
  • Varsity athletics will continue with existing health and safety protocols, including testing on competition days and masking during both training and competition.

MASKING & TESTING

  • More protective masks (N95, KN95, KF94, or double-masking with two cloth masks or cloth and surgical masks) are strongly encouraged for all members of our community. Masks are not required to be worn when you are alone in your private, enclosed workspace or while in your residential room with your roommate(s). Masks continue to be available in the Dean of Students Office and in the Dean of the College Office.
  • The Carleton Rapid Test Site remains open daily through the last day of final exams, on Wednesday, March 16 to test symptomatic individuals, as well as those who have been identified as close contacts and given a testing schedule by the Case Investigation and Contact Tracing team.
  • Starting on Thursday, March 10, rapid tests will be available to students (one per person) who want to test for COVID-19 before departing campus for Spring Break. Flowflex antigen tests are self-administered and can be picked up from the Dean of Students Office during regular business hours through Thursday, March 17.

We know that the increase in the COVID-19 positivity rate and these changes are disappointing at this time of the year, particularly as the winter term is coming to a close.  We continue to be thankful for your flexibility and care towards each other. All the best as you approach the end of the final week of winter term.  

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