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COVID-19 Information for Minnesota State Students, Faculty, and Staff

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Resources

For technical support related to StarID, D2L, Kaltura, Zoom, Office 365, or other inquiries, call 844-456-3876 or visit https://asanewsletter.org/academic-continuity-students/ for instructional guides, how-to videos, and more.

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/.

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:

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FAQs

This information provides general information and direction concerning the application of Minnesota’s Stay Safe Plan guidance and recommendations on operations and practices of Minnesota State’s colleges, universities, and system office. It includes actions as part of the phased reopening announced on May 20, 2020 under Stay Safe MN to safely reopen Minnesota’s economy and ensure safe non-work activities during COVID-19 outlined in Emergency Executive Order (EO) 20-63 Continuing to Safely Reopen Minnesota’s Economy and Ensure Safe Non-Work Activities during the COVID-19 Peacetime Emergency and EO 20-52, Authorizing Students in Critical Sectors to Return to Safe Higher Education Institutions for Completion of Postsecondary Credential.

Last Reviewed and updated: June 2, 2020

Can a college or university conduct in-person classes and activities?
Yes. Effective June 1, 2020, EO 20-63, paragraph 7. h, authorizes colleges and universities 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:
  • Those services cannot be provided through a distance learning model
  • The group size is no larger than 10 (including instructors)*
  • Institutions establish and implement a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan. A general template of the Plan is at: https://mn.gov/deed/newscenter/covid/safework/business/

* EO 20-52 authorized postsecondary students in their final term in critical sectors to participate in in-person classes and activities at postsecondary institutions in order to complete a postsecondary credential.

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

Can the campus wellness or fitness center be open?
No. Under Minnesota’s Stay Safe Plan, campus wellness and fitness centers are considered gyms, fitness and yoga studios, and are to remain closed during Phase II beginning June 1, 2020. 

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

Can our campus health clinic be open?
Yes. The institution or provider should establish and implement a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan that incorporates guidance and recommendations for the setting and services they offer. A general template of the Plan is at: https://mn.gov/deed/newscenter/covid/safework/business/.

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

Can a campus coffee vendor or food court operator be open on campus?
Yes. Under Stay-Safe MN, they would be characterized as a restaurant or bar and may be open now for delivery and take out only. During Phase II beginning June 1, 2020, they may be open for customers for outside dining with limited capacity where a 6 ft. of distance is maintained and masks are required for workers and strongly recommended for customers. The provider should establish and implement a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan. A general template of the Plan is at: https://mn.gov/deed/newscenter/covid/safework/business/.

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

Can we conduct on-campus athletic training to include voluntary workouts associated with athletic teams similar to that announced by the NCAA?
Yes, however there are restrictions. EO 20-63 limits gatherings, including outdoor sporting or athletic events, to no more than 10 (paragraph 6. c.). It continues (paragraph 8. o. and p.) allowing outdoor practices and sports that allow for social distancing, that do not require group gatherings prohibited by paragraph 6. c, and that adhere to the Outdoor Recreation Guidelines and small one-on-one or one-on-two person outdoor fitness training. Traveling to another state to conduct athletic training is generally prohibited under the official business travel suspension. See General Campus Operations FAQ above.

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

We have been notified of a lab-confirmed case of COVID-19 who has been on campus. Are we required to notify the campus community?
YES. The Clery Act and its implementing regulations require institutions to notify the campus community upon the confirmation of a significant emergency or dangerous situation involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or staff occurring on campus. A lab-confirmed case of COVID-19 with recent exposure on campus is interpreted as a threat to the health or safety of students or staff. This may be satisfied with a Star-Alert/Blackboard Connect message. 

Example message text:  
In accordance with Clery Act, we are informing our community that on MONTH DATE we were notified of a lab-confirmed case of COVID-19 on campus on or about MONTH DATE. Specific individual notifications have been/are being made.  Impacted areas have been cleaned and all emergency protocols from our campus COVID-19 Preparedness Plan have need followed. As always, monitor your health and practice good hygiene.  For more information on COVID-19, visit https://www.health.state.mn.us. For campus information visit https://www.minnesota.edu/coronavirus.

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. The individual has not been on campus within the last 14 days. Are we required to notify the campus community?
No. 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/action.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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