Another shift in plans

Hamline responds to state-wide changes regarding COVID-19.

Molly Landaeta, News Editor

Hamline increased the Shift Level Plan to a four, an email sent on Nov. 18 detailed. The following day, this plan was modified in response to Gov. Tim Walz’s Emergency Executive Order 20-99, which brought changes across the state. This level change from Hamline came out less than two weeks after the email announcement for the shift to a level three. 

Minnesota is now in the “Red Zone” for COVID-19 cases, according to the metrics developed by the White House Coronavirus Task Force, which is the most critical level. The spread in Minnesota has been steadily increasing over the last four weeks, indicated by positive test results, and is exceeding the “Red Zone” threshold for the first time since early May, according to the executive order. 

The shift to a four came with all academics going online on Nov. 23, while staff and faculty who need to report to campus for work are still able to. Initially, individual and pod workouts for athletes were to continue, along with use of the new aerobic and weight room options for all students, but this was changed the next day after Walz’s order. 

“Organized Adult Sports organizations and programs must stop all in-person activities — including practices, group workouts, games and tournaments,” Walz said. 

Hamline closed Walker Fieldhouse, Hutton Arena and The Klas Center on Nov. 21 until further notice. 

The academic and athletic changes were the main adjustments. The rest of the email detailed safety procedure reminders. This included requesting those who travel to quarantine for 14 days before returning to campus and that anyone remaining on campus to only leave for work, meals or purchasing groceries and other necessary supplies. Along with that, the email asked for Hamline members to continue wearing masks, social distancing, avoiding high-trafficked areas and, if gathering, to gather in groups of no more than ten. 

“We understand that holidays are for family — however, what we found at Halloween was that large parties dramatically contributed to virus spread,” the email said. 

Outside of the implications on Hamline, the executive order detailed other state requirements: social gatherings are prohibited, masks are required, celebrations and receptions are prohibited, outdoor activities must not include close proximity to those outside of one’s household, unnecessary travel is discouraged, people should work from home whenever possible, indoor dining is prohibited but takeout can continue, fitness centers in all capacities are closed and all venues are closed. Further details about changes and procedures that citizens and businesses should know about can be found in the official Emergency Executive Order 20-99 document on 

To-go dining on campus is still available, and students who typically eat in Anderson should continue to check their email for details on how to-go meals will work, especially during the holidays. Residential students should have received an email regarding housing registration for the coming break. Piper XPress will also remain open. As of Nov. 22, Starbucks and Leo’s Corner will also remain open.