Concordia College has adopted scenario levels to inform the college community about the impact of COVID-19 on the campus community. These scenario levels are tied closely to the recommendations of the Minnesota Department of Health which were updated on September 8. We have updated our guidance in alignment with its recommendations. (MDH; effective 9.8.21). Scenario levels will continue to be updated in accordance with any changes in MDH recommendations or if local jurisdiction makes mitigation recommendations based on COVID levels resulting in extensive community-wide spread. 

Key indicators include:   

  • COVID-19 cases on campus (total number of cases for on-campus students and employees)
  • Changes in number of cases over time (rising/falling over two weeks)
  • Capacity of isolation/quarantine spaces
  • Impact on business practices, e.g., faculty and staff absences that affect teaching and college services

Decisions on movement from one level to another will be based upon review of these key indicators and the judgment of campus leaders. The College will be monitoring COVID-19 cases in our local community and county transmission and be in regular communication with Clay County public health. Spread of COVID-19 in the Fargo-Moorhead community will also be considered in decision making. Mitigation efforts for any scenario may be influed by community transission rates, local requirements, or vaccination status on campus. 

The COVID response page will be updated weekly with active COVID case numbers beginning the week of August 23, 2021. 

NOTE: Vaccination levels may influence mitigation decisions on campus. For all scenarios noted below, the College assumes vaccinations for students and employees will exceed 85% for each population. If this vaccination goal is not met, additional key indicators may be incorporated into decision making. Student and employee vaccination rates will be periodically shared in email updates through Cobweb Express. 

Masking in public indoor settings is recommended by CDC and MDH when the surrounding county has substantial or high community transmission levels; during these times of substantial or high transmission levels in a community, MDH further recommends masking in crowded outdoor settings.

COVID-19 Scenario Levels

Level adjustments are made if multiple indicators are met.

GREEN: Indicators for low risk level

  • Cases of COVID-19 on the campus are manageable by the institution

  • Isolation and quarantine rooms are less than 50% full

  • The surrounding county is at a low community transmission level

YELLOW: Indicators for low to medium risk level

  • Cases reported among those students who are routinely on campus comprise more than 1% of students over a 14-day period

  • Cases are confined to a specific group and able to be contained 

  • 50-75% of campus isolation and quarantine beds are full

  • Impact on business practices, e.g., faculty and staff absences that affect teaching and college services

  • The surrounding county has reached a moderate community transmission level

ORANGE: Indicators for medium to high risk level

  • Number of infections continue to increase for the two weeks

  • Clusters of cases are not defined to one specific group; cases are increasing across the total campus population

  • Cases reported among students who are routinely on campus comprise more than 3% of students over a 14-day period

  • More than 75% of isolation and quarantine beds are full

  • Continued negative impact on business practices
  • The surrounding county has reached a moderate community transmission level

RED: Sustained high risk indicators

  • Transmission levels have seriously depleted or exhausted institutional resources.

Contingencies

Institutional contingencies will be considered in response to movement between scenario levels, after weighing various COVID risk factors. Actions taken will be dependent upon risks to campus, vaccination rates, and business continuity plans for each office/area of campus. Contingencies may include actions such as restricting visitors on campus, suspending co-curricular activities, limiting campus events, and moving to blended or online learning for a period of time.

The College will also monitor closely recommendations from MDH and CDC related to COVID mitigation and may change its COVID mitigation practices in alignment with emerging public health guidance. 

Data

External data is gathered from Minnesota and North Dakota state and county public sources. Internal data is gathered by analysis of student/staff COVID-19 test results, compliance-focused data surveys, and assessment of quarantine and isolation capacity. Minnesota Governor’s Orders and continued guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health will also be important factors in college decisions. Data are evaluated on Mondays and each time the COVID response group meets.