Coronavirus (COVID-19) information

Page last updated on November 25, 2020 3:38 pm

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz is committed to protecting the health, safety and well-being of Minnesotans during the COVID-19 pandemic. In an order to curb the spread of COVID-19, support our health care providers and facilities, and mitigate the impact on Minnesota families during this holiday break, Gov. Walz issued Executive Order 20-99.

The executive order went into effect at midnight on Friday November 20 and remains in effect through December 18. In response to the order, the college will be implementing the following changes related to operations:

Academics:

Fall in-person

  • Additional courses that have been on campus during the semester will be moving to an online format after the Thanksgiving break. Your instructor will notify you if your class is moving online.

Campus Information

  • Face-to-face studying can occur only between you and one other student (two students only).
    • Group studying must be done virtually.
  • Support services, including internet access, will remain available on campus.

Student Support:

  • Services are available virtually to support all students with their academic and student support needs. Please visit minnesota.edu and wait for the chat prompt or call 1.877.450.3322 for assistance.

Travel:

  • If you travel out of state other than to Minnesota border cities, it is strongly recommended that you quarantine for 14 days upon your return.
     

Testing:

  • If you develop symptoms and wish to be tested for COVID-19, please contact your local healthcare provider or utilize one of the free testing sites within Minnesota.  
     

We understand that these changes are impacting you and your college experience, and we wish things could be different. During this international pandemic, though, we believe we all need to take responsibility to ensure that we protect ourselves, our neighbors and our friends. We must all take the necessary precautions to slow the spread.

NOTICE: The information below is amended frequently. Please check this page daily for updates about M State's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Student COVID-19 Testing

Click here for answers to many of the commonly asked question about COVID-19 testing for students.

Cares Act Emergency Grants

FAQs about the Cares Act Emergency Grants available to qualified M State students are included in the Student FAQ section of this web page.

Masks and screening required

A face covering or mask must be worn in all public spaces on campus. The face covering must cover your nose and mouth completely. Acceptable types of coverings include a paper/disposable face mask, cloth face mask, scarf, bandana, neck gaiter or religious face covering. If you need a mask, please visit the reception desk. Students who cannot wear a face mask or covering due to medical or other reasons should contact Accessibility Resources for possible accommodation measures prior to coming to campus.

All campus visitors must complete the COVID symptom screening before entering or upon arrival on campus. The screening includes questions related to COVID-19 symptoms and exposure and must be completed once each day that you come to campus.

Quarantine and testing guidelines for students 

M State is following the guidance of the Minnesota Department of Health related to the handing of positive COVID-19 test results and quarantine expectations for students.

The current MDH requirements are:

If you as a student have a lab-confirmed positive test result, you must isolate from others until all three of the following indicators have been met:

  • You isolated for 10 days since you first became ill or were notified of a positive test
  • Your COVID symptoms have disappeared
  • You have not had a fever for the last 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications

If you as a student have been notified by either the MDH or your local county health department that you are a close contact of a positive case, you must:

  • Quarantine for 14 days from the likely date of exposure
  • Quarantine for the full 14 days even if you took a COVID test and it came back negative during your quarantine period

*MDH and the Center for Disease Control define a close contact or exposed contact as someone who has been within 6 feet of a positive case for 15 consecutive minutes.

If you have a positive test or have been contacted as a "close contact," you should contact your instructors to notify them that you will not be allowed to come to the campus for face-to-face courses. The college will then be in contact with you to determine what steps can be taken for you to continue your coursework while you are in isolation or quarantine, where possible.

If you are a student who was in close contact with a positive case in a medical facility while in clinical and you were wearing the proper PPE required by the medical facility, you are NOT required to quarantine but should monitor yourself for symptoms.

If you are notified by the college that you are not identified as "close contact" of a positive case but were within the same classroom or laboratory, you will not need to quarantine but should continue to monitor yourself for symptoms. If COVID symptoms develop, you should immediately quarantine and contact your medical provider for further guidance.

If you receive the red screen when completing M State’s daily self-screening tool, please follow the directions on the screen. You should not come to campus. If you live in the Fergus Falls campus residence halls, contact the housing director at 218.770.4275 for further instruction.

M State will be doing all we can to ensure our students are informed of all COVID-related situations that may affect you. It is important for you to communicate with the college if you have COVID-related issues so that we can assist you in finishing the term.

March 16 message from M State President Carrie Brimhall 

March 16 message from Minnesota State system Chancellor Devinder Malhotra

Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates

Latest updates

  • July 15: M State publishes its updated Return to Campus Plan
  • June 12: M State published its Return to Campus Plan outlining how on-campus services and activities will resume and be conducted in the weeks ahead.
  • June 5: The required CARES Act Grant Report has been published.
  • June 3: M State plans to offer Fall 2020 on-campus and online courses, taking into account safety protocols and social distancing guidelines.  Further details on the plan for returning to campus will be shared online by June 5th.  Please check the Fall 2020 course schedule for additional information on specific offerings.
  • April 1: The last day students can withdraw from full-term spring semester courses with a grade of W has been extended from April 15 to Monday, April 27.
  • March 30: A number of offices and departments have collaborated to provide technology support for students as they transition from in-person to online courses.
  • March 30: Nearly all of M State courses resume today with online instruction. The few courses that had planned to resume with face-to-face instruction have been delayed for at least two weeks at the direction of the Minnesota State system office. Impacted students will be notified by their faculty and campus once alternate plans are known.
  • March 27: M State will open its registration window for Fall 2020 courses on Monday, April 6 (revised from the original date of March 30).
  • March 24: In an email to students, Drs. Carrie Brimhall and John Maduko addressed changes to Spring 2020 commencement ceremony plans.
  • March 19: In-person spring commencement has been suspended at all Minnesota State colleges and universities. We're working on alternate ways to recognize our graduating students and celebrate their achievements!
  • March 18: M State will open its registration window for Fall 2020 courses on Monday, March 30. [NOTE: updated on March 27th to April 6th]
  • March 17: You can find a list of M State event cancellations here.
  • March 16: M State's spring break has been extended to March 27, with classes scheduled to resume March 30.
  • March 13: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Minnesota State Chancellor Malhotra has directed M State and all Minnesota State institutions to cancel all events between now and May 1 that have a projected attendance of 100 people or more. Events expected to have fewer than 100 people in attendance that may involve at-risk populations are also being canceled at the discretion of the college. Event organizers are being contacted by M State.
  • March 12: M State’s spring break is extended (including for online classes) for the week of March 16-20 as part of the Minnesota State strategy to limit the spread of COVID-19. Classes will resume March 23. All campuses and support services will be open during the week of March 16-20. Contact our Support Center at 877.450.3322 to learn more about our campus hours.
  • Feb. 28: Minnesota State Chancellor Devinder Malhotra has suspended all Minnesota State-related international travel effective immediately. This includes study abroad programs and any other activities involving faculty, staff and students.

We will continue to monitor reports, guidance and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. State Department and review this action on a recurring basis.

Resources and information that you may find helpful

Minnesota State is cooperating with the Minnesota Department of Health and conveying its information and guidance related to COVID-19 to our colleges and universities. MDH and Minnesota State are maintaining regular communication channels to proactively address school-related topics with regard to COVID.

  • Minnesota State system is constantly updating their COVID-19 information available at https://www.minnstate.edu/coronavirus/index.html.
  • Information that MDH is making available for schools, colleges and universities is available at https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/schools.html.
  • For questions about COVID-19, call the MDH COVID-19 hotline at 1.651.201.3920. 
  • To date, there have been no positive cases of COVID-19 reported at any Minnesota State college or university or at the system office.
  • Encourage students and employees to:
    • Practice respiratory (coughing and sneezing) etiquette and hand hygiene.
      • Stay at home when sick.
    • Encourage supervisors and faculty to offer flexibly to employees and students who are sick, expressing symptoms of respiratory issues or caring for family members to the maximum extent possible.
    • Be aware that anyone in the U.S. who has not traveled to China or been in contact with someone confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19 in the last 14 days is at low risk of becoming sick with the virus.
    • Caution all on actions and language against anyone based on race, ethnicity or religion based on the origins of COVID-19.
    • Carefully assess domestic travel plans for Minnesota State-related business or studies. Assess 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.

Other informational resources

There are many sources of information on COVID-19 including state, national and international organizations. Primary sources for Minnesota State monitoring, planning and response are:

Minnesota Department of Health (MDH):

COVID-19 Home: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/index.html

For schools:  https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/schools.html

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

COVID-19 Home:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Travel: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html

State Department (DOS):

Travel Information: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/before-you-go/travelers-with-special-considerations.html

If you have any further questions or concerns regarding M State’s response plan for the COVID-19 virus, please do not hesitate to email M State's associate dean of marketing and outreach, Karen Reilly, or call her office at 218.736.1502.