A return to optional masking

Anika Besst, Senior Reporter

Hamline has shifted into and out of masking requirements over the past two weeks.

Hamline moved to the Level Two COVID Shift Plan starting Feb. 10 due to seeing a “rapid shift” in COVID-19 cases during the third week of the spring semester. At Level Two masks were required in classroom and lab spaces. 

An email update was sent on Thursday, Feb. 16 about the latest decision to return to Level One at 3:00 p.m. Feb. 17 meaning masking is optional around the Hamline campus. 

“Thank you for your steadfastness over the last week in wearing masks in classrooms and labs to reduce COVID spread. This practice has had the desired effect,” the Feb. 16 Emergency Preparedness. 

Since returning to campus and the beginning of the semester, students have noticed their peers absent from class and activities.  

“I have noticed a lot of absences,” first-year Valentina Hernandez said.  “There have been a lot of people missing.” 

During the spike that occurred, there were just over 50 cases of COVID-19 spanning an eight-day period in the Hamline community. 

“Thank you to the Hamline Community for all of their efforts to keep our campus safe and healthy!” Director of Health Services Jen Vaupel wrote in an email to the Oracle. 

The COVID executive team meets weekly to monitor the COVID-19 landscape on campus. When spikes are identified, they move to meet daily, which was what happened during the third week to address what they were seeing happening on campus. 

The team will continue to monitor as they have done since they were established. 

“I feel like mostly people are open to wearing a mark if we require it,” Admissions Counselor Sophie Taylor said. “I might still wear a mask, especially if I’m feeling a little sick.”

At the time of publication, the response team was unaware of other illnesses. 

  • TEST if you have symptoms
  • WEAR A MASK if you have symptoms or were exposed to someone with COVID
  • FREE rapid antigen take-home COVID tests are available at Anderson Front Desk, Food Resource Center and Counseling and Health Services.  Grab a box!
  • FREE masks are available at Anderson Front Desk.  Please grab ONE!
  • If you are a student and test positive, please REPORT your case and follow protocols, both the form and the protocols are found at www.hamline.edu/covid-19.

Go to the CDC COVID Isolation and Exposure Calculator for information about isolation or if you were exposed to COVID