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COVID-19 Round-Up Update

Oct. 22, 2020 

Dear members of the Saint Louis University community,  

We have done something many thought might not be possible by making it to the 10th week of the semester living and learning together in community. This is a testament to the diligence and perseverance of you, our students, staff and faculty. Thank you. 

The end is in sight. November 24 is just five weeks away. 

As more activity moves indoors, it is even more important that we continue our adherence to the public health practices that have done so well for us thus far: wearing face masks, maintaining a safe distance from those around us, and practicing frequent hand hygiene. 

Some of the COVID-19 spread we are seeing among our students has been tied to students taking off their masks while socializing in residences, eating meals with one another, riding in a car together, and studying together. Please don’t let your guard down. We all want to socialize after a shared meal. Do that with your face mask on and sitting 6 feet apart. 

Mask up while studying with your friends. Put your mask on when you are done eating or between sips of a beverage. These safeguards will help to ensure that we continue to live and learn in person. 

As we look toward the last few weeks of the term, we want to share a few important updates with you. 

“Close contact” definition changes 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated the definition of close contact just yesterday, and our Contact Tracing team is adjusting to accommodate.  

You are now deemed a close contact when you are with a COVID-19-positive person closer than six feet from each other and when neither of you are wearing masks for a total of 15 minutes over the course of a 24-hour period.  

This means that rather than using 15 consecutive minutes within six feet, unmasked, the Contact Tracing team will now be using 15 cumulative minutes over 24 hours to determine whether someone was exposed to a COVID-19-positive individual. 

If you have additional questions or concerns about this change, please email

Indoor spaces to eat, study & learn 

We want to remind you of a resource shared previously by Interim VP Lohe about available spaces around our north and south campuses to eat, study and participate in a virtual course. This Google Sheet highlights open spaces and the room capacities based upon social distancing guidelines. 

Please clean up after yourself, be respectful of others’ use of these spaces, and of course, honor the posted room capacities, maintain a safe social distance and wear your mask when you are not eating. 

Off-campus COVID-19 tests (for students) 

Students who obtain COVID-19 testing at off-campus locations are required to notify the Student Health Center with your results –– positive or negative. Please call 314-977-2323. There is a nurse on call 24/7 to whom you can report your test result. You are encouraged to complete a copy of this authorization form that allows SLU health officials to obtain your test results. This data is tremendously helpful to us as we continuously work to understand the spread among our students, staff and faculty. 

A reminder about in-person meetings (for employees) 

Both the Interim University Events and Meetings Policy and the Return to Work Guidance released prior to the fall term about in-person meetings for University employees still stand. If a meeting or training can be done virtually, make it virtual. There are very few reasons why an in-person meeting for employees would be necessary. 

We must continue to be mindful that our colleagues all have different risk and comfort levels. Please email if you have any questions or concerns. 

We continue to feel blessed to be here with each of you. Thank you for your partnership, the grace you have given us, and for being part of OneSLU. 

Stay safe, be well, and wear your mask. 

Fred P. Pestello, Ph.D.

Mike Lewis, Ph.D.
Interim Provost