Jump to a section:
- What is it?
- Center for Disease Control Info
- What should I do if I get sick?
- What should I do if I’m exposed to an individual who tests positive for the virus?
- What is the seminary’s contact tracing protocol?
- What precautions should I take during the pandemic?
- Situation Update from the Minnesota Department of Health
What is it?
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a new virus. Health professionals are learning more about it with each day. As with any infectious disease, hygiene practices such as frequent and thorough handwashing, covering coughs, and not touching your face remain the most effective ways to stop its transmission. At the same time, we are aware that this new virus poses additional risks—and we take them seriously. We are closely monitoring the situation in order to respond quickly and according to expert recommendations.
Center for Disease Control Info
With an avalanche of information and opinions available, students, faculty and staff must rely on reputable sources of information when seeking information about COVID-19. We recommend you visit the CDC’s website for additional information. The CDC has provided the following information:
- What you need to know about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- What to do if you are sick with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- Stop the spread of germs – help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses like COVID-19
What should I do if I get sick?
If you develop symptoms or if you are an unvaccinated individual who has had contact with someone who has tested positive, first call a healthcare provider, stay at home, and then notify Michael Morrow, vice president, finance and administration, if you are staff or faculty, or Leon Rodrigues if you are an on-campus student.
According to the CDC, vaccinated individuals who are in close contact with someone who has tested positive should get tested 5-7 days after exposure. You do not need to self-quarantine or contact the seminary unless you develop symptoms or test positive for the virus.
If you are a student who has tested positive due to COVID-19 and you have been on campus, please immediately inform Dean of Students Leon Rodrigues via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or text (651-300-3537). Also, inform those you have been in close contact with in the last 48 hours. If you were in a class, Luther will share that a student has tested positive with the professor of the class (no name will be shared).
According to CDC guidelines, someone who tests positive for COVID-19 is asked to quarantine for at least five days and to test then. More information can be obtained on the CDC website at Testing and Quarantine.
Luther Seminary has taken the following precautions:
- We are attending weekly conference calls for higher education being held by the Minnesota Department of Health.
- We are closely monitoring recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and adhering to them.
- We are performing daily and routine cleaning of facilities as well as deep cleaning sanitization of communal spaces.
What should I do if I’m exposed to an individual who tests positive for the virus?
The Minnesota Department of Health gives different guidelines for people who are exposed to COVID-19 based on whether or not they are fully vaccinated.
If you are not fully vaccinated and were in close contact with an individual who tests positive for COVID-19, you need to quarantine. You also should get tested immediately. If your test is negative, test again 3-5 days after you were last in close contact with the person with COVID-19. Watch symptoms for 14 days and test again if you develop symptoms. The safest length of time to quarantine after exposure is for 14 days.
If you are fully vaccinated and were in close contact with an individual with COVID-19, you do not need to quarantine if you do not have symptoms. You should get tested 5-7 days after exposure. If you test positive, you need to isolate, even if you are symptom-free.
The MDH defines close contact as being less than 6 feet from someone for 15 minutes or more throughout a 24-hour period. It gives details on how to quarantine and the appropriate length of time to quarantine on its “Close Contacts and Tracing: COVID-19” page.
What is the seminary’s contact tracing protocol?
When an on-campus case of COVID-19 is reported (as happened last week), that person is first asked to stay off-campus and quarantine in accordance with CDC guidelines. In addition, the seminary takes two steps for contact tracing:
1. The Minnesota Department of Health is notified, per guidelines for institutions of higher education.
2. The person reporting the case is asked to identify “close contacts”; the close contacts identified are notified of the exposure and asked to follow CDC guidelines for testing and quarantining (quarantine applies only to close contacts who are unvaccinated).
The CDC defines a close contact as someone who has been within 6 feet of someone with COVID-19 for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more during a 24 hour period. Passing in the hall or a single brief interaction is not considered close contact. Please use this link to learn more about CDC guidelines on close contacts, quarantine and isolation: CDC guidelines.
What precautions should I take during the pandemic?
- Please follow all signage pertaining to pandemic safety. Signage will change with changing regulations.
- Keep your window opened (slightly) and your door open when possible. This increases air circulation in your work space keeping you safer from COVID-19. During the summer months AC units and fans are available from Maintenance@luthersem.edu.
- Yellow caution straps are available on most doorways. Please use these while you are in your office as a reminder to others for social distancing.
- Masks are recommended but not required in common areas; don’t stay in indoor common areas beyond 15 minutes to protect yourself and others.
- Wash your hands often. Also available at entries and in classroom areas are hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes.
- If you are sick, please stay home until you are no longer contagious.
Situation Update from the Minnesota Department of Health
The Minnesota Department of Health posts data, update daily, on cases that were tested and returned data. If you are interested, you can find their updates on their COVID-19 Situation Update page.
For a less detailed look at current risk levels in Minnesota, visit the Public Health Risk Measures page on Minnesota’s COVID-19 Response page.