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Students, employees, and visitors must complete a COVID-19 health assessment prior to entering any Minnesota State campus or the system office

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To help protect the health and safety of our community against COVID-19, Minnesota State is requiring mandatory screening of any student, employee, or visitor entering campus or the system office. Please watch the video above for instructions and click on a health assessment below for the building you wish to access.

For additional information, refer to the Health Assessment Q&A's below or visit a Campus COVID-19 Website for specific instructions or contact information. View the System Office Pandemic Preparedness Plan here.

Minnesota State has developed a dashboard for reporting the COVID-19 case data that is impacting the colleges, universities, and the system office. The dashboard is updated weekly and serves as a tool to inform campus communities about changes in COVID-19 cases and community spread and aid campus leadership decision making. View the Minnesota State COVID-19 Dashboard here.

Thanks for being a resilient bunch!

What is the COVID screening tool and how will it be used?
It’s a web-based tool individuals will use to self-assess COVID-19-related health risks and determine whether they should be allowed to enter Minnesota State facilities in order to mitigate the risk of transmission.

How do I access the tool?
College- and university-specific web links and QR codes are available on each school’s website and on materials available at campus entrances.

Why did Minnesota State develop this tool?
Development of the screening tool represents one of many strategies Minnesota State and its colleges and universities are using to protect the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff as fall semester gets underway.  In addition, Executive Order 20-74 requires Minnesota State to “establish policies and procedures, including health screenings, that prevent sick students or institution staff and instructors from entering the institution for in-person or on-site activities.”

Who is required to use the tool?
Everyone who plans to visit any facility within the Minnesota State system, including all students, employees, visitors, contractors, and vendors, must complete the self-assessment before they arrive each day they will be on campus or at the workplace for longer than 15 minutes. This applies to all 54 Minnesota State campuses and the system office. Students who live on campus are required to complete the assessment every morning.

How does the tool work?
The tool will be available from the website of each college and university and MinnState.edu, and will be accessible from any device capable of interacting with a web page including most handheld devices. Users will be guided through a series of questions to identify COVID-19-related health risks. Individuals who pass the self-assessment will receive an email that reflects approval -- anyone may be asked to show this email upon entering campus or the workplace. The application will inform individuals who do not pass the self-assessment that they should not come to campus or the workplace and will display campus-specific contacts and guidance on steps to take in order to protect health and safety.

What criteria does the assessment use in order to evaluate COVID-19-related health risks?
The assessment screens individuals who indicate they have exhibited symptoms associated with COVID-19 within the past 10 days or have been in contact with anyone with a confirmed case of COVID-19 within the past 14 days. The criteria used by the self-assessment is based on guidelines provided by the Minnesota Department of Health.

What happens when an individual refuses to use the screening tool?
They will not be allowed on campus or into the workplace.

What if an individual doesn’t have access to the tool electronically or doesn’t have a smart phone?
They could use a computer and print out their results, or use a written tool once at campus.

What if an individual has symptoms similar to COVID-19 due to other health issues, such as allergies or sore muscles following a workout?
The tool accommodates symptoms not related to COVID-19.

Do guests of the campus – such as attendees at an athletic event – need to use the tool?
Anyone planning to spend more than 15 minutes on campus needs to use the tool.

Do individuals who are not employees of the college or university, but work for an organization that has work space on the campus need to use the tool?
Anyone planning to spend more than 15 minutes on campus needs to use the tool.

Is there a consequence for when someone comes to class/work after “failing” the screening?
Employees or students who falsify inputs will be addressed through the appropriate discipline process.

Will student employees still have the opportunity to get paid if they “fail” the screening?
If the work is able to be completed and supervised remotely, students should work remotely. If the work is not able to be completed remotely, students cannot be paid work-study wages. (Both state and federal work-study permission to pay work-study wages to students who are not working due to COVID-19 expires at the end of the 2020 summer term).

If visitors to campus hold tickets for an event, and fail the screening tool, will ticket costs be refunded?
Those who cannot attend an event due to a negative screening should be compensated through existing college or university refunding practices.  

Do people who will only be within outdoor facilities on a campus need to use the tool?
Yes.  If they will be on campus they are required to use the tool.  

Do employees or students who are working remotely or otherwise not planning to be on campus or at the workplace on any given day still need to use the tool?
Only people who will be on campus or in the workplace need to complete the tool.

Do individuals who come to campus when buildings are closed (such as faculty working weekends) need to do the self-assessment?
Yes.

Who will have access to the data collected by the assessment?
Minnesota State is committed to protecting the private data submitted through this self-evaluation tool.  The Chancellor and campus leadership have designated a limited number of individuals, at the system office and on each campus, who may access to the results of the self-evaluation tool. Access is restricted to those individuals whose work assignments reasonably requires access to the data. 

What will happen to the data submitted through the tool?
The information submitted through the self-evaluation tool is classified as “highly restricted” by Operating Instruction 5.23.2.1 “Data Security Classification.” The detailed collection, use, and safeguarding of “highly restricted” data is outlined in Operating Instruction 5.23.3.1 “Information Security Controls.” Minnesota State has robust processes in place to maintain the confidentiality of data, as well as to prevent, control, and minimize the impacts of any security incidents. 

How long will the data be kept?
Minnesota State will use the data collected by this tool for the benefit of the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff.  We will maintain the data as long as necessary to safeguard our students, faculty and staff and we will destroy the data when we have determined it is no longer needed.  The tool does not store passwords and cannot email sensitive data.  In addition, no data is stored on the device that is used to access the assessment.

When will the tool be available?
Current plans call for colleges, universities, and the system office to make the tool available to users by Monday, August 10.

Resources

To support Minnesota State faculty and staff with their academic continuity planning, the system office has alternate technologies available at no additional cost (D2L Brightspace, Kaltura MediaSpace, Zoom, Office 365).

For quick start guides, or to schedule drop-in sessions or one-on-one sessions, visit https://asanewsletter.org/academic-continuity/.

"Minnesota State remains committed to creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for all stakeholders throughout the response to COVID-19. We recognize that the diversity of our student body and employees is one of our greatest strengths. While fear, concern, and anxiety are normal reactions to this public health challenge, we cannot let such feelings cloud our judgment, or lead us to target, stigmatize or discriminate against any individual or group. We must be aware that certain employee and student populations, especially those of Asian-descent, may experience xenophobia, racism or be treated differently on our campuses or in the surrounding community because of fears related to the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Stigma, bias and misinformation hurt all of us, create mistrust and shift attention away from the critical effort to prevent and contain COVID-19. There is no excuse for xenophobia or discrimination and it will not be tolerated on our campuses." To read our official statement in its entirety, please click: Minnesota State COVID-19 Statement.

Minnesota State is committed to maintaining an environment that prioritizes dignity and respect free from discrimination and is supportive of all members of our community affected by this global health crisis. Bias, discrimination, and harassment are against our values and violate Minnesota State policies. For more information, please visit the Board Policy.

For more information, please visit the Office of Equity and Inclusion.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, these guidelines and answers to frequently asked questions are being provided to our Minnesota State college and universities, secondary partners, and high school students participating in postsecondary enrollment options (PSEO) and concurrent enrollment programs.

Additional Information

Contact your Minnesota State P20 and College Readiness team with questions or concerns:

Find the information you need for a successful job search. Learn who is hiring now. Search for jobs by location. Connect to employers and jobs with virtual events. Locate support services to help you while you search for a job.  Visit COVID-19 Job Search Resources.

FAQs

Can a college or university conduct in-person classes and activities?
Executive Order 20-85, 20-74 and the Minnesota Department of Health's "Guidance for Mitigating COVID-19 at Higher Education Institutions" authorized postsecondary institutions to conduct in-person classes (credit and non-credit) and activities (ex., testing, student services, advising, internships, clinical rotations, customized training, campus visits, etc.) across all programs to all students, as long as institutions:

  • Develop and implement a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan. 
  • Create policies that adhere to the Governor’s Executive Order 20-81, which states that people in Minnesota will be required to wear a face covering in all public indoor spaces and businesses.
  • Classroom occupancy should be limited to no more than 50 students whenever possible. Classes can exceed 50 students only if following requirements are followed. No class can exceed 250 people:
    • For classes that have fewer than 50 students: 
      • The institution should require that social distancing (meaning 6 feet of physical distance apart) be maintained by students and workers as much as possible.
      • Allowances for shorter distances can be made, such as in classrooms that have fixed seats/tables, or in settings where there needs to be closer collaboration like in labs, and where 6 foot social distancing can’t be maintained. 
        • In these settings use assigned seating/seating charts or assigned partners or groups in order to minimize potential exposure and to expedite follow-up should an exposure occur
        • Remember: If an individual is diagnosed with COVID-19, all persons who were within 6 feet from the positive case for greater than 15 minutes while the person was infectious, would be considered exposed and would likely be advised to quarantine.
    • For classes that have greater than 50 students:
      • In class sizes of 51-100 students, all students and workers must maintain social distancing (meaning, 6 feet of physical distance apart), without exception. Additional monitoring (beyond the instructor) is encouraged to ensure that students follow social distancing measures.
      • If a class must be larger than 100 students, students and workers must maintain social distancing, without exception. Additional monitoring (beyond the instructor) is required to ensure that students follow social distancing requirements. No in-person class may exceed 250 students.
      • Additional monitoring means that the institution must designate students or additional staff or instructors to monitor adherence to social distancing requirements. Initially, these student and staff monitors must be present at the start of every class. As the term progress, institutions may gradually lessen the frequency of monitoring to occasional “spot checks,”assuming students and staff have adhered to social distancing expectations throughout the term.
  • In all other settings, maintain social distancing between people to the extent possible. Social gatherings not associated with a class or structured event/meeting must not exceed 10 indoors or 25 outdoors.

College and university presidents and supervisors will evaluate if, when, and how best to conduct in-person classes and activities. To support current and prospective students, particularly disadvantaged and underserved Minnesotans and others who cannot effectively be served through remote on on-line means, and prepare for and launch the fall term, presidents and supervisors may call employees to campus to deliver programming and services consistent with their institution’s mission and COVID-19 Preparedness Plan and utilizing various mitigation strategies such as workforce staging or staggering of shifts.  

System Office Contact: Nate Hallanger, nathan.hallanger@minnstate.edu, 651-201-1473

Where can I find guidance on non-academic functions and activities like our wellness or fitness center, health clinic, or food court? 

In planning for and operating non-academic campus functions and activities, refer to the StaySafeMN Industry Guidance

System Office Contact: Brian Yolitz, brian.yolitz@minnstate.edu, 651-201-1777 

Are we required to issue a Clery Warning?  
No. A statewide Clery Warning was distributed via the Star Alert system in the spring for the COVID-19.  However, you may wish to communicate with your campus in a spirit of transparency.    

System Office Contact: Tracy Worsley, Tracy.Worsley@minnstate.edu, 651-201-1797 

We have been notified of a lab-confirmed case of COVID-19 in the campus community. Are we required to notify the campus community?
No. Institutional leaders should work with the Minnesota Department of Health, local public health officials and their local campus community leaders to ensure any close contacts with lab-confirmed positive cases and those in need-to-know roles are notified while protecting personal medical information and privacy and guarding individuals from discrimination and being ostracized. Depending on the setting and context, college or university leaders may choose to notify students, employees, or the entire campus community through e-mail or memo. Campus Contacts, Key Communicators, or the system office marketing and communication staff can provide guidance in developing the notification and messaging consistent with Minnesota Department of Health guidance. 

System Office Contact: Noelle Hawton, noelle.hawton@minnstate.edu, 651-201-1801

What do I need to know about the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have provided this Fact Sheet on COVID-19:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/2019-ncov-factsheet.pdf.

What should I do if I am sick and diagnosed with COVID-19 or suspect I am infected with the virus that causes COVID-19?
The CDC has provided this Fact Sheet outlining steps to help prevent the disease from spreading to people:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/sick-with-2019-nCoV-fact-sheet.pdf.

What should individuals or organizations postpone or cancel to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Minnesota?
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) recommends these implementing these mitigation strategies to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Minnesota:
https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/schools/socialdistance.pdf.

What can students, faculty and staff do to protect themselves and each other?
We encourage students, faculty and staff to practice respiratory (coughing and sneezing) etiquette and hand hygiene. Those who feel sick are recommended to stay home until they are free of fever, signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. cough suppressants). Employees should notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick and seek medical attention depending on the severity of their symptoms.

Additional information:

Subject to revision. Check back often for updates.

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