COVID-19 Updates

Updates regarding the coronavirus COVID-19 for SCTCC, from President Annesa Cheek, and from the Minnesota State system office will be posted here. All past updates will be available to view.

SCTCC Updates

Grading and withdrawal options are now available for students taking spring 2020 courses. Please check out this page to learn more about what is the best option for you.

This evening, March 29, we received a directive from the Executive Branch that holding in-person instruction, even as we had planned with social distancing and CDC cleaning standards, should be delayed for at least two weeks.  This is a change in their guidance from earlier this week.

About 90% of instruction and student services throughout the Minnesota State system have been moved online, thanks to a lot of creativity and hard work by faculty and staff. These classes will continue as planned. However, given tonight’s change in guidance, any face-to-face classes that were scheduled to being March 30 have been suspended.

Students, as always, please monitor your SCTCC email for further information!

We are cancelling advising day next Tuesday, March 24, and postponing the opening of registration for returning students from March 25 to April 8.  We are doing this for a couple reasons.  First, we are “on pause” while your instructors work to modify their courses so that instruction can resume on March 30.  Next, we know that you, as well as your instructors, will be busy learning new methods the first week of classes.   

Things will work differently in our virtual environment.  There will be no specific day set aside for advising before registration begins.  We will send you more details in the near future, but please know that we will be reaching out to each student individually to help you with your registration planning for fall semester.   

Advising Day, March 24this Canceled—How will registration work? 

Advisors will reach out to each student individually to assist you with planning for summer and fall classes. More details to come. Keep watching your SCTCC e-mail. 

Summer Registration is Still Open 

More information about how COVID-19 will affect summer classes will be available in the coming weeks. At this time, summer registration is still open, but course delivery might change. 

Fall Registration is Delayed 

  • April 8thregistration opens for continuing SCTCC students based on credits earned 

  • April 15thregistration open for new SCTCC students (by appointment) 

  • April 20th: registration open for visiting SCTCC students 

For the schedule of current student priority registration visit: https://www.sctcc.edu/when-to-register  

For those who like to plan ahead, for assistance with viewing your Degree Audit Report, how to register, and more visit: https://www.sctcc.edu/advising-videos.  You will be receiving updated information before registration begins.  

If you have specific questions, please reach out to your program advisor, or the advising center at 320-308-5741 or advising@sctcc.edu.

The Minnesota State System Office has directed that all classes, including online classes, will remain canceled through March 27th. Classes will resume in their alternate delivery modes on Monday, March 30th. This extension is being provided to permit faculty and staff additional time to transition classes and services to alternative methods of delivery. It also aligns with the K-12 closures announced by Governor Walz earlier today. At this time, there are no plans to extend the Spring Semester beyond May 20.

The health and safety of all employees and students are paramount. We also recognize that the temporary closure of K-12 schools affects many members of our campus community. We will continue to evaluate departmental plans for continuity in our operations.

Travel from CDC-designated Level-3 Countries 

All individuals traveling from Level-3 Countries including most of Europe, China, Iran, and South Korea should:

  • Stay home for 14 days after returning 
  • Monitor their health 
  • Practice social distancing by avoiding large gatherings and maintaining six feet of separation from other individuals 

 Travel from Other Countries or Inside the United States 

If you have returned from travel, on or after Friday, March 13th, from other countries (non-Level-3) or domestically:  

  • Do not report to work Monday, March 16 and contact your supervisor for a work-at-home assignment; we expect to receive additional guidance shortly and will coordinate with travelers at that time 
  • Monitor your health 
  • Practice social distancing by avoiding large gatherings and maintaining six feet of separation from other individuals 

 Guidance for anyone who is sick 

If you are experiencing illness including fever, cough, or difficulty breathing you should: 

  • Self-quarantine for 14 days 
  • Stay home and call ahead before seeking medical care 
  • Notify your supervisor 

Guidance for employees who need to self-quarantine or stay home

  • Notify their supervisor via their regular call-in procedure 
  • Notify HR at PandemicStaff@sctcc.edu (e-mail will be active starting 3/16/20)

Guidance for students who need to self-quarantine or stay home

  • Notify all of your instructors by e-mail  
  • Notify Safety and Security at PandemicStudents@sctcc.edu (e-mail will be active starting 3/16/20) 

Guidance from the CDC

If you have questions regarding exposure as a result of travel, Minnesota Department of Health asks you to call 651-201-5414 or 877-676-5414 for guidance.

Updated March 12, 2020

Minnesota State and our colleges and universities are closely monitoring the developing situation related to COVID-19 and are committed to taking steps necessary to protect the health and safety of our faculty, our staff, and our students.

Minnesota State has announced several actions regarding COVID-19 including:

  • The 32 Minnesota State colleges and universities who are currently on Spring Break are suspending classes March 16 - March 22, with classes resuming March 23. 
  • While there will be no classes during each campuses' extra week, all administrators, faculty, and staff shall report to duty so we can work through the needed logistics to teach classes using alternative modes of delivery.
  • Students will be contacted by their individual institutions and instructors for specific details on their course delivery methods before classes resume.
  • Academic leaders and faculty will review and determine the most viable means for course delivery to fulfil course obligations/expectations.
  • Institutions will explore alternative/expanded means to deliver student services.
  • All campuses, including residence halls, dining facilities, and student support services and offices will remain open and appropriately staffed. Employees who are well should report to work.
  • Minnesota State has canceled all gatherings and events totaling more than 100 attendees until May 1. This approach will be reviewed and adjusted as new information emerges.
  • We are working closely with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and are conveying their information and guidance related to COVID-19 to our colleges and universities. MDH and Minnesota State are working to develop regular communication channels to proactively address school-related topics with regard to COVID.
  • Information that MDH is making available for schools, colleges and universities is available at https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/schools.html.
  • The latest information on the Minnesota State response to the COVID-19 outbreak is available at https://minnstate.edu/coronavirus/. Information specific to each of the 30 colleges and seven universities of Minnesota State is also being published on their websites.
  • To date, there have been no positive cases of COVID-19 reported at any Minnesota State college or university or at the system office.
  • We are encouraging students and employees to practice respiratory (coughing and sneezing) etiquette and hand hygiene, and to stay at home when sick. We are also encouraging supervisors and faculty to be flexible with employees and students who are sick, expressing symptoms of respiratory issues, or caring for family members to the maximum extent possible.

St. Cloud Technical & Community College is closely monitoring the COVID-19 novel coronavirus outbreak. The health and safety of our community is a top priority.

There are no suspected cases of COVID-19 in the SCTCC community. For the most up to date information on the COVID-19 situation in the state of Minnesota, visit the MN Department of Health's Currrent Situation page.  

We will continue to monitor guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Minnesota Department of Health and discuss contingency plans.

The CDC coronavirus website is regularly updated with the most up-to-date information.

St. Cloud Technical & Community College is closely monitoring the COVID-19 novel coronavirus outbreak. The health and safety of our community is a top priority.

There are no suspected cases of COVID-19 in the SCTCC community and there are no confirmed cases in Minnesota. 

We will continue to monitor guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Minnesota Department of Health and discuss contingency plans. 

The CDC coronavirus website is regularly updated with the most up-to-date information.

In the past two weeks, we have begun to hear about the Novel Coronavirus. As is usual in such situations, SCTCC follows the guidance of the Minnesota Department of Health along with the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

The short advice is this: 

  • Wash your Hands. 
  • Stay home when you are sick. 
  • Cover your cough. 

At this time there are no recommendations to cancel events or gatherings.  If you have any questions related to your specific health situation, please contact your doctor or health care provider. The Minnesota Department of Health website offers additional advice.

SCTCC President Updates

My apologies for this late notice.

This evening we received a directive from the Executive Branch for the State of Minnesota that holding in-person instruction, even as we had planned with social distancing and CDC cleaning standards, should be delayed for at least two weeks.  This is a change in their guidance from earlier this week.

About 90% of instruction and student services throughout the Minnesota State system have been moved online, thanks to a lot of creativity and hard work by faculty and staff. These classes will continue as planned. However, given tonight’s change in guidance, face-to-face classes have been suspended. Additional information and guidance will be forthcoming.

I ask that faculty reach out to students as soon as possible to communicate directly regarding specific classes and if course plans have changed for the week. We are sharing this information across multiple media platforms (e.g. D2L, SCTCC website, STAR alert, SCTCC app, etc.).

I sincerely apologize for the late timing of this message and the inconvenience it causes, and I thank everyone for your patience as we navigate through this ever-changing situation. Please keep checking your email for updates. Thank you.

The Minnesota State System Office has instructed all campuses to cancel traditional, in-person graduation ceremonies for this spring semester. Our graduation ceremony was scheduled for May 20, 2020.  

I wish I had a more positive update to share. I acknowledge the disappointment that all of you might be feeling after hearing this news. This is an event that employees look forward to sharing with students every single year. This is a celebratory occasion that your families look forward to attending to share in your success. Most of all, this may be one of the more memorable life moments for you, our students. The ceremony is a day that symbolizes all the learning, growth, trials, challenges, laughter, tears, missteps, course corrections, accomplishments, high-fives, surprises, aha moments, and “I never thought I could do that, but I just did!” self-talk moments.

I want to offer this to you— neither an event, an occasion, nor a moment, could ever truly define or reflect the magnitude of your journey. It is ALL about your journey. Once you meet all your degree requirements, your task will be to reflect on how far you have come, smile, and then set your sights on what comes next!

My leadership team is scheduled to meet with representatives from Student Senate and SCTCC Clubs later this week, where we will discuss options for celebrating your accomplishments in another format. Be assured that even if there is no in-person ceremony, as long as you meet all degree requirements, you are still a college graduate.

Thank you for your patience during these ever-changing times. It’s important to watch your SCTCC email for communication from your instructors to know how your courses are moving forward. Your success remains our top priority and we are working hard to make sure you achieve your goals. Thank you for trusting SCTCC. Cyclones up!

The Minnesota State System Office, under the direction of Chancellor Malhotra, has extended Spring Break through March 27th. This means that all classes, including online classes, are canceled through March 27th and will resume Monday, March 30th. The extra time is provided to all your instructors and college staff to transition your classes and the support services we provide to alternative delivery methods (that reflect the guidance provided by the CDC related to social distancing).  

We recognize that students are eager to continue classes and we are all frustrated and disappointed these changes (while unavoidable) are creating challenges for you. These steps are meant to ensure our community’s safety, health and wellbeing. SCTCC is working hard to minimize any disruption to your academic progress. Currently, there are no plans to extend the Spring semester beyond the original end date of May 20th. 

Transition to Alternative Course Delivery 

The suspension of all classes beginning today, Monday, March 16, through Friday, March 27, includes online classes.  

  • During that time, your instructors will work to create plans for alternative delivery methods for instruction. 
  • Courses will resume on Monday, March 30th in the new format and continue in that format at least until the end of the Spring term.  
  • Beginning March 30th, courses might be modified in several ways including, but not limited to: 
    • The course moves entirely online without requiring students to be online at specific times (asynchronous online) 
    • The course moves online, but requires students to be online at a specific time using a platform such as Zoom (synchronous online) 
    • If none of the above are possible, the course will be modified to achieve social distancing. For example, you may spend less time on campus and/or your class sizes may be reduced.  

 As your instructors finalize their plans, they will communicate with you about all class changes. Please continue to monitor your SCTCC e-mail. 

Clinical Experiences 

Students will be allowed to continue their clinical hours at off-campus sites as long as those sites allow them to attend. We know that many programs have minimum hours and/or competency-based assessments for these experiences. Instructors are working to gather information from licensing boards and accreditation organizations to understand the impacts on students. Instructors will communicate directly with students about these experiences. 

Student Communication from Instructors 

During the week of March 16th, students can expect instructors in each of their classes to contact them to ensure communication functions are working and intended messages are being received. By Wednesday, March 18th, students can expect to receive communication from their instructors letting them know what the alternative delivery method will be for each class.   

Campus Offices, Library, and the Commons 

For the remainder of the semester, all campus offices and operations will remain open, with the exception of the Library, which is closed through March 27th.  We will continue to communicate how these services might be modified to protect the health and safety of the entire SCTCC community. The Commons cafeteria and Common Grounds coffee shop are currently closed. We do not have a date for when they are scheduled to reopen, but students should expect them to be closed for the remainder of the Spring semester. 

Remote Instruction Support for Students 

We will send a separate e-mail with resources to support your learning in alternate delivery formats. In particular, we will provide information for accessing Brightspace D2L, Zoom, and other online learning tools as well as share information for accessing computers and the internet. 

Graduation 

A final decision about COVID-19's impact on graduation has not been made. We are monitoring the situation and will notify students as soon as we have more information. 

Communications 

We will continue to communicate with the entire SCTCC community. Efforts are being coordinated through the College Pandemic Response Team. Please do the following:

We will continue to communicate new information as we receive it. Know that both your safety and your academic success are our highest priorities.

Dear SCTCC Community,

As you might already be aware, Chancellor Malhotra recently announced the extension of Spring Break for our campus. I am writing to provide you with more information about how this impacts SCTCC specifically. We learned just a few hours ago that a COVID-19 case has been confirmed in Stearns County. We are taking the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic seriously. The College has a Pandemic Response Team in place and we are in contact with the Minnesota State System Office and the Minnesota Department of Health to coordinate appropriate responses to this rapidly evolving situation. The safety and wellbeing of all members of the SCTCC community and the greater Saint Cloud region are of utmost importance. At the same time, we are exploring ways to minimize any disruption to the lives and goals of everyone we serve.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW RIGHT NOW

  • All classes, including online classes, are canceled March 16 – March 20th.
  • All administrators, faculty, staff, and student workers who are scheduled to work will report to work the week of March 16th. We will be focused on exploring alternative modes of delivery and adjusting campus learning spaces to ensure the safety of our community. Supervisors will provide direction to all employees.
  • Classes are expected to resume March 23rd. SCTCC will communicate any changes as soon as possible.
  • All out-of-state and international travel are suspended until further notice.
  • In-state travel should be reduced to essential travel that poses minimal risk to you, your family and friends, and the SCTCC community. Consult with your supervisor for questions regarding upcoming college-sponsored student events.
  • All large gatherings of 100 people or more are canceled through May 1st when the situation will be reevaluated.

WHAT OTHER STEPS IS SCTCC TAKING?

Administrators, faculty, and staff are exploring ways to deliver instruction and services while heeding the advice of health experts. This is a college-wide effort. As our plans develop, we will communicate with all stakeholders.

Our maintenance staff is taking extra precautions related to cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces and common spaces in college buildings. Increased signage in campus restrooms and common spaces has been posted to remind our community about safe handwashing practices and the “Cover your Cough” technique.

WHAT SHOULD I DO?

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AND QUESTIONS

Students: SCTCC will begin to provide you with updates as our plans take shape. If you have questions, please direct them to your instructors or college staff. Additionally, you may wish to speak with the college’s Student Support Manager, Melanie Matthews, for assistance: melanie.matthews@sctcc.edu.

Employees: Please direct questions to your supervisor who will share the information with a Vice President. Employees may also wish to speak with a representative from the state’s Employee Assistance Program at https://mn.gov/mmb/segip/health-and-wellbeing/eap/ for additional support. Participation in the program is voluntary and confidential within the boundaries of the provider’s professional obligations.

Updates and information can also be found on SCTCC’s COVID-19 information page at https://www.sctcc.edu/2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19.

In closing, I acknowledge and understand this might be stressful time for some members of our campus community. Employees and students alike will need support during this process. Let’s all do our best to continue to be patient and kind to one another. This is not an issue that impacts just one or a few of us, it is an issue that impacts all of us—we must work together. The more we can communicate and share information, the better we will be at coordinating our efforts and implementing solutions that help our students stay on the path that will bring them closer to achieving their career and academic goals.

Please continue to check your email regularly for additional updates. Thank you.

ac

Annesa Cheek, Ed.D. | President

Minnesota State Updates

Today, Governor Walz announced an official “stay at home” order for all Minnesota residents. This means that we are to stay home and limit movements outside of our homes to only essential needs.

However, as part of his order, the governor has declared educational activities and services as essential, which means the 37 colleges and universities of Minnesota State are exempt from this order. Campus-based essential services will be staffed by a limited number of employees on campus in order to follow social distancing protocols and all other safety precautions. However, students can still access the campuses for needed services not accessible from home. Instruction will resume, as scheduled, on either March 30 or April 6 as previously announced.

All classes will be delivered using alternative modes, and campuses will remain closed to the public, but let me be clear – you can access your campus for services that you are unable to access from home, but campus staffing will be limited.

Our top two priorities remain protecting the health and safety of our faculty, staff, and students, as well as helping our students to successfully finishing the semester. In the coming days, Minnesota State campuses will be moving their students to an online experience or an alternative method of delivery that is consistent with CDC guidelines. My request is that you have patience; faculty, staff, and campus leadership have been tirelessly working to make this possible. As you might imagine, an effort like this is not without challenges.

Students, please watch your email for information from your instructors regarding delivery of your particular classes.

I know each day brings serious news. The situation we are in is unprecedented for all of us. We will get through this together. We will continue to share additional detailed information in the coming days. For now, the most important thing is to take care of yourself and your families.

As you know, we can all further protect ourselves and others by:

  • Washing your hands often with soap and water; covering your cough and sneeze; avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Practicing self-care by eating a healthy diet and taking time to rest
  • Frequently cleaning all commonly touched surfaces
  • Avoiding large gatherings
  • Staying home if you are sick

If you feel you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, The Minnesota Department of Health recommends:

  1. Stay at home for at least 7 days, and for 3 days with no fever and improvement of respiratory symptoms – whichever is longer. (Your fever should be gone for 3 days without using fever-reducing medicine).
  2. Use the CDC website on how toCare For Yourself at Home with COVID-19.
  3. If your household contacts were exposed to you while you had symptoms, they should try to stay home as much as possible for 14 days.

Thank you, stay safe, and stay strong.

Devinder Malhotra Chancellor

Refund Policies

  • SCTCC is implementing alternative modes of delivery that will minimize person-to-person interaction while allowing students to complete Spring semester courses.
  • Although the delivery mode of a course and the way services are being delivered are changing as a result of this unprecedented situation, SCTCChas established a path to allow students to complete spring semester 2020. As such, upon completion of the semester, students will receive credit for completing their courses.
  • Specific tuition and fees subject to this policy include tuition (including differential course and program tuition), required fees, statewide student association fees, and campus discretionary fees.
  • Unless otherwise directed by the Governor or other authority, campus facilities and services will remain available for students, as well as faculty and staff, through the end of the 2020 spring academic term. Service availability may be altered and/or offered in different formats.
  • Minnesota State and our colleges and universities are closely monitoring the developing situation related to COVID-19 and are committed to taking steps necessary to protect the health and safety of our faculty, our staff, and our students.
  • Minnesota State has announced several actions regarding COVID-19 including:
    • For 32 of our colleges and universities, instruction will resume March 30. The five Minnesota State colleges that have Spring Break scheduled the week of March 16-20 will resume instruction on April 6. See the list below.
    • While there will be no classes during the time instruction has been suspended, administrators, faculty, and staff should report to work so we can work through the needed logistics to teach classes using alternative modes of delivery.
      • Academic leaders and faculty will review and determine the most viable means for course delivery to fulfil course obligations/expectations.
      • Our primary reliance will be online, but administrators, faculty, and staff will explore all alternative modes of delivery that may include use of online courses, web conferencing, correspondence courses, or other instructional technologies. To the extent those are not feasible, classroom instruction may be employed, but will be adapted to use social distancing and other measures to ensure minimal risk. We will also adjust campus learning spaces to ensure the safety of our communities.
      • Students will be contacted by their individual institutions and instructors for specific details on their course delivery methods before classes resume.
      • Institutions will also explore alternative/expanded means to deliver student services.
    • All campuses, including residence halls, dining facilities, student support services, and offices will remain open and appropriately staffed. Employees who are well should report to work.
    • Minnesota State has canceled all gatherings and events totaling more than 100 attendees until May 1.This approach will be reviewed and adjusted as new information emerges.
    • Minnesota State has suspended all out-of-state business-related travel for students, faculty and staff, effective Monday, March 16. Any needed exemptions will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
    • All international travel related to Minnesota State including study abroad programs and any other activities involving faculty, staff, and students has also been suspended. Campus leaders have been directed to mitigate the cost attributed to the suspension of international travel and work to ease the impact of this decision on our students.
  • We are working closely with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and are conveying their information and guidance related to COVID-19 to our colleges and universities. MDH and Minnesota State are working to develop regular communication channels to proactively address school-related topics with regard to COVID.
  • Information that MDH is making available for schools, colleges and universities is available at https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/schools.html.
  • The latest information on the Minnesota State response to the COVID-19 outbreak is available at https://minnstate.edu/coronavirus/. Information specific to each of the 30 colleges and seven universities of Minnesota State is also being published on their websites.
  • To date, there have been no positive cases of COVID-19 reported at any Minnesota State college or university or at the system office.
  • We are encouraging students and employees to practice respiratory (coughing and sneezing) etiquette and hand hygiene, and to stay at home when sick. We are also encouraging supervisors and faculty to be flexible with employees and students who are sick, expressing symptoms of respiratory issues, or caring for family members to the maximum extent possible.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated their Novel Coronavirus Travel Information where most countries in Europe have now been designated along with China, Iran, and South Korea at Level 3 (Warning, Avoid Nonessential Travel) and the rest of the world, including the United States, has now been designated at Level 2 (Practice Enhanced Precautions) as a Global Outbreak Notice.

Effective immediately:

All travelers that are returning from a Level 3 country must stay home for 14 days after returning from travel, monitor their health, and practice social distancing.  The full guidance from the CDC is located at https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/warning/coronavirus-europe

Travelers returning from other countries or from domestic travel need to monitor their health and limit interactions with others for 14 days after returning from travel.  Travelers that are sick with fever, cough, or have trouble breathing should stay home and call ahead before seeking medical care.  The full guidance from the CDC is located at

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/alert/coronavirus-global

If you are faculty or staff member that needs to self-quarantined or stay home to monitor your health after traveling, please notify Deb Holstad at 320-308-3227.

If you are a student that needs to needs to self-quarantined, stay home to monitor your health, or needs accommodations to self-quarantine, please notify Chris Loos at 320-308-6158.

If you have questions regarding exposure as a result of travel, Minnesota Department of Health asks you to call 651-201-5414 or 877-676-5414 for guidance.

Minnesota State is continuously reviewing a range of strategies to limit the spread of COVID-19 and its impact on our campuses and the communities in which we live and serve.  I am committed to taking all steps necessary to protect the health and safety of our students, our faculty, and our staff.

All faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to heed the guidance of the Minnesota Department of Health, and in particular, staying home when sick, covering your cough, and practicing good hand hygiene.

Today, I am announcing that the 32 Minnesota State colleges and universities that are currently on Spring Break will suspend classes March 16-22, with classes resuming March 23. 

The five Minnesota State colleges that have Spring Break scheduled the week of March 16-20 will suspend classes March 23-29, with classes resuming March 30.

While there will be no classes during each campuses’ extra week, administrators, faculty, and staff will spend that week exploring alternative modes of delivery and adjust campus learning spaces to ensure the safety of our communities.  All campuses, including residence halls, dining facilities, and student support services will remain open and appropriately staffed, including student workers.

Minnesota State-Related Travel

Minnesota State suspended all school and business-related international travel effective February 28.

In addition, we are now suspending all out-of-state business travel for students, faculty, and staff, effective March 16. For in-state travel or other events, please carefully assess, along with supervisors, the conditions of destination communities to carefully consider the potential risks to yourself, participants, fellow students, families, and friends.  Event hosts and coordinators should also be engaged in this assessment. If you choose to travel, ensure you have essential items you might need if you are not able to return immediately, such as medications, laptops, or other items needed to continue your studies.

Campus Cleanliness

The cleanliness of our campuses is a key element in keeping our faculty, staff, and students healthy. The facilities and maintenance teams at all the campuses are adhering to updated guidance from the CDC to ensure comfortable and safe campuses within which to learn.

Large Events

All events or other gatherings totaling more than 100 attendees are cancelled until May 1, and the situation will be re-evaluated.

Minnesota Department of Health

Should a case of COVID-19 occur on a campus, the Minnesota Department of Health will confirm the case and lead efforts to identify all those who were in contact with the ill person and give further instructions. If you are concerned that you have been exposed, please self-quarantine and contact your doctor, your campus’s student services to alert them, as well as your faculty to ensure you are able to keep up with class assignments.

The diversity of our student body and employees is one of our greatest strengths. As such, we are committed to ensuring welcoming and supportive campus environments for all of our students, faculty, and staff. It is vitally important we work together, follow the practices recommended by public health officials, and proceed with preparedness, calm, and understanding.

I recognize that these are stressful times and want to reassure you that the faculty and staff at your college/university are available to assist you through this time.

For more information, continue to visit: https://minnstate.edu/coronavirus/index.html and your college/university website

Devinder Malhotra
Chancellor Minnesota State

LATEST UPDATES:

02-28-2020: Chancellor Malhotra suspended all international travel related to Minnesota State including study abroad programs and any other activities involving faculty, staff, and students.

03-05-2020: Minnesota Statte established its COVID-19 web presence and provided guidance to institutions for individual pages.

03-11-2020: Language added regarding planning for disruptions to campus operations, domestic travel, and mitigation of bias.

KEY MESSAGES:

  • At this time, all operations at Minnesota State colleges and universities are continuing. We are closely monitoring the developing situation related to COVID-19  and are committed to taking steps necessary to protect the health and safety of our faculty, our staff, and our students.
  • We are working closely with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and are conveying their information and guidance related to COVID-19 to our colleges and universities. MDH and Minnesota State are working to develop regular communication channels to proactively address school-related topics with regard to COVID.
  • Information that MDH is making available for schools, colleges and universities is available at https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/schools.html.
  • The latest information on the Minnesota State response to the COVID-19 outbreak is available at https://minnstate.edu/coronavirus/. Information specific to each of the 30 colleges and seven universities of Minnesota State is also being published on their websites.
  • To date, there have been no positive cases of COVID-19 reported at any Minnesota State college or university or at the system office.
  • Although we currently have no plans to cancel classes or close campuses, we are working with faculty to develop options should circumstances warrant this action. For example, some classes or programs may be moved to alternate means so that teaching may continue through a COVID-19-related interruption. Our goal will be to accommodate students and help them continue their education despite interruptions caused by COVID-19.
  • We are encouraging students and employees to practice respiratory (coughing and sneezing) etiquette and hand hygiene, and to stay at home when sick. We are also encouraging supervisors and faculty to be flexible with employees and students who are sick, expressing symptoms of respiratory issues, or caring for family members to the maximum extent possible.
  • Chancellor Malhotra has suspended all international travel related to Minnesota State including study abroad programs and any other activities involving faculty, staff, and students. Campus leaders have been directed to mitigate the cost attributed to the suspension of international travel and work to ease the impact of this decision on our students.
  • Students, faculty, and staff who have domestic travel plans for Minnesota State-related business or studies should carefully assess, along with supervisors, the conditions of destination communities and travel hubs to carefully consider the potential risks to themselves, participants, co-workers, families, and friends.  Event hosts and coordinators should also be engaged in this assessment. If you choose to travel, ensure you have essential items you might need if you are not able to return immediately such as medications, laptops, or other items related to your coursework or job duties.
  • Students and employees have been cautioned to avoid actions and language directed against anyone based on race, ethnicity, or religion based on the origins of COVID-19. As higher education leaders, we do not tolerate xenophobia, racism, or other bias, including bias related to the COVID-19 virus. We strongly encourage reporting of these incidents using established procedures under System Procedure 1B.1.
  • Employees may wish to consider taking advantage of the state’s Employee Assistance Program at https://mn.gov/mmb/segip/health-and-wellbeing/eap/. Participation in the program is voluntary and confidential within the boundaries of the provider’s professional obligations.