Safety Phase Orange - Fall Reopening

Face-to-face learning, small class sizes, and interactions between students and faculty members are hallmarks of the Gustavus liberal arts education. The College is doing a phased start to in-person learning, with the intention this will provide the highest likelihood that that most students will be on campus the longest amount of time over the course of the semester.

The College has taken steps to provide its signature high-quality education while allowing for appropriate physical distancing, increasing safety measures and cleaning frequency, and delivery of courses through a combination of in-person, hybrid, and online learning.

Gus the Lion in a mask at a computer with a book

Learning Spaces

  • Furniture in learning spaces will be arranged or marked to be six (6) feet apart.
  • Face coverings will be worn at all times.
  • Seating charts are strongly recommended in case it is needed for contact tracing.
  • Shared equipment should be sanitized between each use or gloves will be available for each user.
  • Classrooms will be sanitized daily per MDH guidelines. Sanitation kits will be available on each floor if a person desires to additionally sanitize their work space before use.
  • Faculty will take questions from students in an alternate location or mechanism than immediately after the
    class period in the classroom setting. These interactions happen in remotely or in an alternate location that allows for physical distancing.

Class Delivery Methods: In-Person, Hybrid, Online

  • All other students will complete the first three and a half weeks (September 2-September 25) of classes in an online format while living away from campus. During this period, all classes will be online with the exception of First Term Seminars and CUR-100—Transformations, Values, & Identity, which will be taught in their currently planned instructional format.
  • Courses for fall will be a mix of in-person, hybrid, and online delivery to meet needs of students and faculty and still preserve the Gustavus academic experience.
  • All faculty and students should be prepared to move to online teaching and learning at any point during the semester due to the possible need to quarantine/isolate or because of a college-wide decision to go online for health and safety reasons.
  • Faculty will be prepared to deliver remote content to any students who need it, at any point in the semester, regardless of whether their main course format is in person, hybrid, or online.
  • Hybrid courses combine in-classroom and synchronous or asynchronous online meetings within the course's weekly schedule to help accommodate distancing requirements.
  • Faculty and students will adhere to our technology and copyright policies during online teaching and learning.
  • Faculty will remind students of the Gustavus Academic Honesty Policy and explain how it applies to specific kinds of online work involved in their courses. Faculty and students will continue to uphold our Honor Code and the integrity of our institution.
  • For online classes, faculty will be setting up at least one synchronous class session per week in the period of online course instruction.
  • During the first 3.5 weeks of school, faculty will hold office hours by video conference and some will set up virtual rooms that students can virtually drop into.

Gus in a science lab with a mask


  • Laboratory use plans will be made to promote physical distancing.
  • Labs will be designed so equipment and object sharing is minimized or gloves are worn.
  • Clear plastic face shields will be worn when a cloth face covering would introduce a safety hazard. 
  • During the online period, labs will be shifted to virtual simulations to work on key concepts (e.g., molecular modeling in Chemistry) or interactive exercises designed around important skill building that can be done with software (e.g., data analysis for scientific research) , and other activities that work very well online. 

Off-Campus Experiences

  • Experiential learning activities are being reviewed to determine what is possible within safety measures.


  • Student participants should follow rules of the other organization if host guidelines are more strict than Gustavus, otherwise follow Gustavus COVID safety expectations.
  • For more information on internships or to receive career development support, contact the Center for Career Development.

Gus in the library at a computer with a mask


  • Library staff will provide contactless pick-up, scanning services, and promote access to our digital collections.
  • Library furniture and equipment will be arranged to promote six (6) feet distancing.
  • Occupancy of library spaces will be managed to reduce density.
  • Returned materials will be quarantined at least 24 hours before re-shelving. 

Study Away


Learning while in quarantine/isolation

  • Students who have tested positive for COVID-19 will go into isolation until they meet MDH guidelines to come out of isolation.
  • Students who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 will go into quarantine for 14 days.
  • While in quarantine, it is expected that the student will continue with their academic coursework.
  • A student in isolation is not expected to do coursework if they are feeling ill, however students may continue with academic coursework if their COVID-19 symptoms are not severe.
  • Students who do not own a laptop or who are concerned about internet capabilities if they go home during isolation or quarantine should contact Gustavus Technology Services for assistance.
  • The COVID case manager will help students navigate their needs during quarantine/isolation.