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Winona St. self-quarantines its campus for two weeks

MINNEAPOLIS — Winona State University quarantined itself for two weeks starting Tuesday amid increasing spread of the coronavirus on the southeastern Minnesota campus.

“The university is not currently aware of any serious illness related to COVID-19 within the WSU community,” the school’s president, Scott R. Olson, said in a statement. “However, we are seeing an increase in asymptomatic transmission, and we have a responsibility to our students, our employees, and to our community to respond accordingly. We recognize that the recent increase in cases is not only impacting our campus, but the entire Winona community.”

The school said its self-imposed quarantine will reduce the number of people physically present on campus for the next two weeks. Classes taught face-to-face will either shift entirely online or, if absolutely necessary, continue in-person with increased precautions. Employees who don’t need to be physically present on campus will shift to remote work.

Winona County’s confirmed case count has more than doubled in recent weeks, from 243 on Aug. 1 to 622 on Tuesday. Winona State University’s COVID-19 dashboard listed 148 students or staff in isolation on and off campus due to confirmed or probable infections as of Aug. 30, and 122 people in quarantine due to possible exposures.