Fall Semester 2020

A: As Minot State monitors the situation with your safety in mind, we are planning to be open and operational for fall 2020 with a mix of on-campus and online courses available! For students who return for on-campus classes, we are developing appropriate safety measures for our campus community for academic and other activities. We are currently working on incorporating a number of health and safety measures on campus to ensure the safety of our community. Precautions may include hybrid classes, limiting the number of students gathered in person, technologies embedded into courses at the start of the term, and changes in residence halls, dining services, and other social areas across campus to ensure safe interactions.

Throughout this pandemic, a COVID response team has been meeting and planning weekly as the situation has unfolded. Several precautionary measures have already been installed across campus, from additional hand sanitizing stations to protective barriers at the cashiers windows. Masks have been ordered for the campus and will be available if needed. We will continue to update the campus as safety precautions are initiated.

As we make a transition back to campus, we are working to support you with advising, registration, financial aid, student health, housing and dining questions. We will continue to be available virtually, now and in the future, to support you as you work to achieve your educational goals. We know we will need to alter our operations as we return to campus, for the well-being of our community, but in true Minot State spirit, working together will allow us to remain committed to your academic success. We are anxiously awaiting your safe return in the fall.

A: Plans for reopening:

  1. Beginning Wednesday, June 10, most of the MSU campus buildings and offices will be moving back to our normal summer work environment. The expectation will be for all areas across campus to reopen and resume operations in the on-campus environment. The exception will be NDCPD where many employees will continue working at-a-distance throughout June. Several areas have already reopened on campus (and many never really closed physically), including the Business Office, Financial Aid, Enrollment Services, Registrar's Office, Facilities, Safety & Security, the Wellness Center, the Testing Center, Housing, Athletics, Student Health Clinic, Mail Room, Printing Services, the President’s and each of the Vice-President’s Offices, etc.
  2. Within a number of departments we have been making (and will continue making) physical modifications to the office areas, especially those that potentially have more contact from the outside public, to minimize the risk or potential of infection and/or the spread of COVID-19. This has included such elements as new signage, marking/lining on the floor, plexiglass installation, and additional sanitizing protocols. If you have concerns/thoughts/suggestions about your individual workspace area, please visit with your supervisor who will work with the appropriate VP to develop solutions further ensuring a safer workplace for all of us.
  3. Please review the COVID-19 poster carefully and encourage any visitors to do so as well; it will be posted on the door of every campus entry.
  4. Wherever possible, you certainly have the option to work with external visitors to conduct business by phone, email, or online, and also utilize a strict appointment routine to minimize the number of visitors in your area at any time.
  5. It is absolutely paramount that every one of us respect the rights, privacy, and expectations of our fellow employees, and a key way of doing this is ensuring we adhere to the 6-foot physical distancing guideline. If you are working near another employee(s) and cannot maintain this distance, all parties involved must wear a mask. More information about masks is available here, and MSU will provide a mask for you if needed: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover.html We have plenty of room and space on our campus (especially during the summer months), and there are lots of spaces where small group meetings can be held with plenty of space to spread out (including outdoors!). Our President’s Staff meetings, for example, have been held for a number of weeks in the Fisher Room….we have plenty of space for the six of us to spread out and still hold a perfectly functional face-to-face meeting. Physical distancing is repeatedly mentioned by all health experts to be the single most important factor we can use in combating the spread of the virus, and we must mandate its expectation on campus as we re-open.
  6. Our plans will remain fluid and flexible as necessary, depending on environmental changes and/or if guidelines shift.
  7. Any employee who is at a higher risk for severe illness such as COVID-19 should inform their supervisor and/or HR so accommodations can be considered. More information here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-at-higher-risk.html
  8. Disposable wipes will be provided so you can regularly wipe down commonly touched surfaces such as door handles, keyboards, telephones, and other items in your workspace. Gloves and masks will also be provided as necessary.
  9. These are the hallmarks we all must maintain as we reopen the campus:
    1. Practice physical distancing of at least 6 feet
    2. Wear a mask if that distancing is not possible
    3. Stay home if you are sick (and remind others to do the same if necessary)
    4. Practice good handwashing for at least 20 seconds with soap and water (especially after coughing or sneezing) and sanitize surfaces regularly
    5. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands

The ND Smart Restart protocols remain a great source of further information: https://ndresponse.gov/covid-19-resources/covid-19-business-and-employer-resources/nd-smart-restart/nd-smart-restart-protocols