Winona State implements quarantine

Winona State implements quarantine

Alek LaShomb, News Reporter

Winona State University confirmed 209 cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday, Sept. 9. Due to the 121-case spike last week, the university has imposed a two-week quarantine. “As of now, COVID-19 transmission seems to be within the student population and hasn’t spread outwards,” City Manager Stephen Sarvi said.

Regarding the university’s decision to bring students back to Winona State, Sarvi said that they had conversations about it, but had no power over the outcome. “Before the start of the semester, the biggest issue we saw was the amount of off-campus parties,” Sarvi said. Sarvi added that off-campus parties largely decreased as the weeks went on.

Olson said that the university is trying to take an “educational approach” with students before moving onto disciplinary action for disregarding pandemic safety guidelines. He also said that the fall semester’s classes could shift between hybrid and online delivery methods depending on COVID-19 case numbers, but costs for classes will remain the same. Olson said that this is due to “the cost of delivery methods. “The cases would’ve been lower if we didn’t have hybrid learning and students in dorms, but we were asked for an on-campus experience,” Olson said.

Kathryn Frie, Winona State nursing professor said that regardless of where the increase in positive cases comes from, they impact the local businesses and all community members. “The issue we’re seeing is the continuation of small pockets of events happening, with people not taking it as serious as others,” Frie said.

Winona State also announced that its campus will be under a 14-day quarantine through an email sent to students on Sept. 8. The quarantine began that same day. “This two-week quarantine is a good time to reflect because our hospitals only have a certain level of capacity for COVID-19 patients,” Frie said. Frie said that her message to the community would be to “think bigger and more than yourself.”

Free COVID testing will be available for the community of Winona at the Integrated Wellness Complex’s parking lot on Sept. 15 and 16 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Students and other members of the community wanting a test can walk or drive through the testing area to receive service.