COVID-19 Resources

 

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!

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/.

Due to continued disruptions in course placement testing due to the ongoing pandemic, Minnesota State has issued guidance on course placement practices that will be in place for the 2020-2021 academic year for students enrolling in courses requiring placement in fall 2020, spring 2021, and summer 2021. 

This guidance applies to all students who do not currently have a valid course placement on record. Students who already have a valid course placement on record and wish to have that placement re-evaluated should follow the guidance provided in the guidance document. 

This guidance is effective immediately, supersedes any previous guidance, and will remain in effect until indicated or until withdrawn by the Chancellor.

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.

Also, if your employment has been impacted by the pandemic, explore our short-term training options that can help you make a career change. Visit MinnState.edu/SkillUp.

 

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.