Campus safety level increased to ‘yellow’

Maxwell Mayleben ® Editor in Chief |
Photo by Mansoor Ahmad ® Photo Editor

In efforts to keep close tabs on the COVID-19 spread, the University has initiated a color-coded safety level system. 

According to the University website, each color phase was created by the President’s Cabinet under guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health. The system was also advised by local health officials as well. 

The first and least severe level of the system is the green level. At this level, transmission levels are considered to be manageable. At this level, the isolation and quarantine are less than 50 percent full.

As things progress, campus moves into the yellow level. At this level, transmission levels begin to tax on-campus resources. When in yellow, greater than 1% of students on campus have been infected within a 14-day period. 

When on the yellow level, campus events become more and more limited. Classrooms are also limited to partial capacity to keep social distancing practiced. 

The next step up is the orange level. At this point, which is the second most severe rating, transmission levels have begun to deplete university resources. In order to be bumped to this level, greater than 3% of campus students have to be infected within a 14-day period. 

In the event of orange level, more intense measures will be taken by the university to keep down the quell of transmissions. These measures include a campus curfew, increased cleaning and disinfecting of the campus, decreased allowance for visitors to residence halls, and lower contact dining options. 

Finally, the most severe reaction to mitigate transmission levels is color level red. At this time, the levels of transmission will have significantly depleted university resources, and the university will be forced to suspend in-person activities and move to remote-only operations. 

Many students and staff are already nervous due to the university turning to yellow status on Monday, the first day of school.  Student Senate President Andrew Trenne says students should not worry too much about the shift up to yellow status.

“The MDH (Minnesota Department of Health) suggested and highly recommended that each university start at yellow instead of green” says Trenne.

Due to the MDH suggestion, while it doesn’t mean all indicators are met, it does mean that MNSU can enforce higher levels of safety precautions such as required facial coverings and required daily screenings.

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