Winona State University orders two-week campus quarantine after COVID-19 outbreak

Winona State University issued a 14-day campus quarantine in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 as the university's case count continues to grow.

Minnesota Department of Health Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann says the university's amount of coronavirus cases was "pushing over 200," which led to the campus' stay-at-home order.

According to school officials, the quarantine went into effect Tuesday and will last until Sept. 22. During that time non-essential activities on campus will be limited and the campus is closed to the public. In-person classes will be shifted to remote learning. If face-to-face learning is absolutely necessary, there will be increased precautions taken before continuing.

“The university is not currently aware of any serious illness related to COVID-19 within the WSU community,” said WSU President Scott R. Olson in an online update. “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.”

Ehresmann says Concordia College in Moorhead and Minnesota State University - Moorhead "collectively have a large number of cases" and the case amount at Minnesota State University - Mankato had "stabilized," but officials are concerned activities over the Labor Day weekend may impact the days ahead.

"I really think it's going to a situation however where it's really going to be up to the students as to whether or not we're going to continue to see transmission," said Ehresmann.

Ehresmann says health officials are seeing cases are linked more to social gatherings rather than classes.