SCSU town hall: Nov. 10, 2020; Huskies are encouraged to hunker down as Minnesota updates restrictions

SCSU held another town hall at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020.

Speakers at the town hall included Robbyn Wacker, SCSU President; Brent Nielsen, Medical Director; Jenn Furan-Super, Director of Emergency Preparedness; and Clare Rahm, Student Life and Development Interim Vice President.

COVID Update

Dr. Nielsen shared that “on campus transmission continues to be LOW.” More than 90% of the reported SCSU cases are from off-campus activities.

COVID-19 cases in Stearns County and in Minnesota have been increasing more drastically than at SCSU. 

The State of Minnesota is putting out new guidance suggesting getting tested before you return home for Thanksgiving or go to a gathering.

Students with a Minnesota address will soon be able to receive one free mail-in saliva test. The University is hopeful this will happen before the Thanksgiving holiday.

There is a saliva testing site at the River’s Edge Convention Center. While you can walk in, it is preferred that you make an appointment a day or two in advance. Results typically come back within 24-48 hours. 

University Decision about Thanksgiving

The University will continue classes in their current format throughout the semester; however, the Minnesota Department of Health is encouraging students living on campus to stay on campus for Thanksgiving. 

If a student decides to travel, the University would like them to get tested before they leave to ensure the student would not be spreading the virus and to just stay at one location while traveling, rather than going from gathering to gathering. Then, once returning to campus, the University would like Huskies to “lay low” to protect the campus community.

A few listeners shared their concern in the Q&A about why the University is continuing with in-person classes after Thanksgiving with many hospitals being full in Minnesota. Dr. Nielsen responded that in the University’s conversations with the Minnesota Department of Health they found that classrooms are not where the virus is being spread because of the safety protocols in place.

Governor Tim Walz hosted a press conference at 2 p.m. on Nov. 10 to announce state-wide measures to mitigate the spread of the Coronavirus. 

Due to staffing shortages, along with areas of the state running out of ICU beds, Walz issued a new set of restrictions to accompany the state’s exponential growth of cases to take effect at 10 p.m. on Nov. 13 with dine-in services closing from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.

Standing and/or counter spaces are closed. Unless the establishment is counter-only, all patrons must be seated. In regards to wedding and funeral restrictions, not including the ceremony, attendance is limited to 50 people or less starting on Nov. 27 and 25 people or less starting on Dec. 11.

For the holidays, gatherings should be limited to 10 people from no more than three different households, including the host.

Student Life

Students who live in residence halls on campus can register to stay in their rooms over Thanksgiving break. There is no additional charge and students who stay will receive one hot meal per day. Students will receive a take-out Thanksgiving meal on Nov. 26.

CAs and RDs will also be planning some extra activities for students who are remaining on campus to connect with others. All events will be virtual; there will be no face-to-face gatherings. 

More information was shared during the town hall. Only new information was shared in this recap. For all information, please check out the previous town hall recaps.

Tim Speier contributed to this article.

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Anna Panek

Anna is a junior at St. Cloud State University and is double majoring in Math Education and Spanish Education, with a minor in Special Education. She is the Managing Editor for the University Chronicle this year. When she is not at campus attending class, working as a learning assistant or math tutor, or writing for the University Chronicle, she enjoys volunteering, reading, being overly competitive at board games, and telling horribly funny puns.

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