MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s quiet on campus at Macalester College in St Paul. Classes are temporarily remote as part of a post-spring break plan.

“Because of COVID it’s about keeping our community safe,” Macalester College director of COVID operations Paul Overvoorde said.

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The college also shortened spring break week by about half, redistributing the days off throughout the year. Students and staff will be tested for COVID-19 next week before returning to in-person learning.

The CDC is advising students and staff to stay home for spring break this year. Health officials don’t want travelers getting sick but also don’t want the virus to spread when they return.

CentraCare COVID physician incident commander Dr. George Morris also said there is the concern about the variants that have emerged and are spreading throughout the country.

“You can say one person goes somewhere, picks it up, and brings it back,” Morris said. “Now that one person goes to three, six, nine, or 12 [people] instead of a small burner spread.”

The University of Minnesota delayed its spring break, pushing it back from March to April and officials also created a guide that provides recommendations of what to do before and after a trip if students or faculty do decide to travel.

“Just with COVID I’m going to wait a little longer until I travel,” University of Minnesota junior Kayla Haas said.

READ MORE: Minnesota Stares Down Another COVID-19 Surge

“I think most of my friends don’t have plans,” sophomore Caroline Colbert said. “They’re planning to stay here.”

“I’m actually going to Colorado with a few people and getting an Airbnb,” senior Kaitlyn Chambers said.

Students that did have plans to leave town told WCCO they had thought about precautions they can take.

“I think we’ll try to self-isolate before and after and get tested if we have symptoms,” Chambers said. “We’re going to a pretty secluded area.”

Colbert hopes to go camping.

“You’re outside, you’re not going to different venues, and it’s the same group of people pretty isolated,” she said.

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The University of St. Thomas has also asked students and faculty to avoid non-essential travel.

Kate Raddatz