Support for High-Risk Individuals

Safety Phase Orange - Fall Reopening

During the COVID-19 outbreak, Gustavus Adolphus College is committed to providing pathways for employees to do their jobs and students to learn safely.

Who is Most Vulnerable?

  • At Gustavus, we recognize the ways that systemic racism, sexism, ableism, and inequitable access to resources impact risk categorization.
  • Protecting our most vulnerable populations (those who are medically susceptible, pregnant, undocumented, students of color, uninsured or underinsured, non-traditional, older, DACA, and homeless students, faculty, and staff members) is a moral and ethical obligation.
  • Some vulnerable individuals may need to observe ongoing physical distancing for a more prolonged period.
  • Now more than ever, we must step up as a community, caring for one another, and protecting those who are the most vulnerable among us.

Identified Vulnerable Categories

COVID-19 is a new disease and research is on-going as to who is most at risk. Here is information from the CDC on people who are at increased risk for severe illness.

The following vulnerable populations were identified as part of the Gustavus COVID response planning who may be subjected (directly or indirectly) to negative impacts due to COVID-19:

  • Health/medical (acute & ongoing)
  • Mental health (acute & ongoing)
  • Disabilities/ADA compliance
  • Historically underrepresented groups
  • First-generation college students
  • Financial/housing insecurity (financially vulnerable; underinsured)
  • International students/undocumented students

Bias and Discriminatory Behaviors

  • Gustavus Adolphus College aspires to be a community of persons from diverse backgrounds who respect and affirm the dignity of all people.
  • Respect for each individual is central to how we conduct our work and build relationships within our community.
  • These values are consistent with our core values and civic responsibilities as a residential liberal arts college affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).
  • The current COVID-19 outbreak has provoked cognitive bias and discriminatory behaviors against people of certain ethnic backgrounds as well as people perceived to have been in contact with the virus.
  • We know that the virus does not discriminate based on race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, or physical ability.
  • Therefore, acts of bias, hate, discrimination, or any other behavior that fails to respect the dignity of another individual or group will not be tolerated.
  • For more information, visit the Gustavus Bias Incident and Hate Crime website.

What Should I Do If I Am High Risk?

  • Seek help if you choose to utilize the resources available to you on campus.
  • For Employees: Please work with Nicole Goebel, in Human Resources who will assist you with this individualized process.
  • For Students: The Dean of Students Office has a "Class Dean" for each class who is happy to assist you in finding the right resources for you on campus 507-933-7526 or
  • COVID-19 resources for questions or concerns: 507-933-7520 or email

Other Resources for Students

Mental Health/Wellbeing Support

  • Students may learn about general mental health support available and schedule a telemental health appointment via the Gustavus Counseling Center.
  • Students and employees may schedule a telehealth or in-person appointment through the Health Service.
  • Learn to Live is a free and confidential online mental health service for students and employees experiencing stress, anxiety or depression. Learn to Live Access code: Gustavus (for students) and Blue4 (for employees).
  • For Employees: Reliance Standard offers an employee assistance program free of charge to benefit eligible employees of Gustavus Adolphus College. Learn more about the services offered.

Financial Assistance Related to COVID

  • The College's COVID Student Emergency Fund is available to assist students with COVID-related expenses. Contact the Dean of Students Office if you have any questions.
  • Family Emergency Leave information is available here.
  • Grad Guard is tuition insurance available for purchase. Grad Guard does not cover students who withdraw due to COVID-related illness because it is a pandemic, but does cover mental health reasons. For more information, visit or contact the Office of Financial Aid.
  • If a student decides to defer for a semester or year due to COVID, their current financial aid will still apply when they return.

Other Assistance