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COVID-19 FAQ

Updated 10/4/2021

At UMN Morris, safety is our top priority. University of Minnesota leaders have developed a flexible framework for in-person instruction – with options for robust remote learning – and with residence halls, dining facilities, and other campus services open in a manner consistent with public health guidelines. 

  • The Stop the Spread of COVID-19 initiative is our shared commitment to protect one another with daily individual health monitoring, proper handwashing, and following MDH and CDC guidelines.
  • Enhanced cleaning and sanitizing practices throughout all University facilities has been implemented.
  • The University will be ready to pivot to alternative learning formats if the pandemic and state or local public health guidelines require it.

Vaccination Information

Are COVID-19 vaccinations required for students, faculty, and staff?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. All enrolled University of Minnesota students (whether taking courses in person or online) are now required to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccination or provide documentation for a medical or religious exemption. Students received an email with the link to the UMN Student COVID-19 Vaccination Form in their university email on Friday afternoon, August 27. To meet this requirement, please submit the form electronically by Friday, October 8, 2021.

The form includes students' UMN log in. It will ask for the date(s) of your COVID-19 vaccination along with the type of vaccination received. Documentation for medical or religious exemptions can also be uploaded within the form.

Additional information is available:

    UMN Morris COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement for Students-FAQ.

    Office of Student Affairs, ummvcsa@morris.umn.edu, 320-589-6013

    Health Service—for medical questions, 320-589-6070.

There is still time to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccines are free and highly effective.

Vaccination Information

Locally there are several entities administering COVID vaccinations. Contact SCMC, Prairie Ridge, Horizon Public Health, or Thrifty White for an appointment.

The Minnesota COVID-19 Response Vaccine Connector has information for sites across the state. Use the zip code or city name search below the map.

All COVID-19 vaccines are free. However, health care providers can charge an administration fee to insurance companies for giving the vaccine to someone. Vaccine information from the Minnesota Department of Health is available here.

COVID-19 Health Protocols for Students

What are the expectations, resources, and contact information for students?

Click here for COVID-19 health protocols for Morris students.

Where can I get a thermometer to check my temperature?

If you do not have a thermometer, Health Service does have some available. Please stop by and ask for one.

Fall 2021 Courses

Will classes be in person or remote learning?

Most fall classes at UMN Morris are being offered in person, and we have tried to limit online courses to places where an in person alternative is also available. The four instructional modes from the 2020–21 academic year are still in use:

  1. In-Person Class (in-person): Students and instructors meet in person for class at regularly scheduled days and times.
  2. Online Class (fully online with no set meeting pattern): Instructors provide materials and assignments that students access online at any time or within a given time frame (such as one week), rather than instructors and students meeting together as a class on a regular schedule. Exams are also all online.
  3. Remote-Instruction Class (fully online with set meeting patterns): Students and instructors must be online at the same time, at scheduled days and times. 100% of instruction is online with no in-person meetings. Exams are also all online.
  4. Blended Class (both in person and online or remote): Students can expect a combination of delivery methods: in person, online, or remote.

In-person instruction will conform to or exceed MDH guidance.

How will I know how a specific class will be taught?

The course schedule has been updated to reflect the anticipated fall delivery mode of each class, and Schedule Builder provides the easiest way to see that information, in “view details” or in your weekly schedule view. Please note that one of the headings in Schedule Builder currently refers to “independent study, online/distance learning, and unscheduled classes,” and “unscheduled” here simply means a confirmed class has no assigned meeting time (this is the “Online Class” mode noted above).

The delivery mode information is also in the course registration system in MyU, although the correct information may not be obvious immediately. See the class attributes heading for each class to determine the delivery method of that course.

What should faculty and staff do if a student is sick or has been exposed?

Here are instructions for faculty and staff concerning what to do if a student is sick or has been exposed to COVID-19 in a classroom, advising, or other learning or student life setting.

Health & Safety

Are masks required?

For students, faculty, staff, and visitors, wearing a face covering is required indoors, regardless of your vaccination status.

Find more information by reviewing the University’s Face Covering Protocol. You may find information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on mask fit and material, as well as information from University Health and Safety (UHS). Additionally, UHS has launched a Mask Support Program for faculty, staff, and students. The program assists in selecting a high-quality mask and provides instructions for use.

Is physical distancing required?

Current MN Dept. of Health guidelines for higher education state, "Institutions with lower or unknown levels of vaccine coverage should consider having extra spacing between people when bringing groups or classes together; consider between 3 and 6 feet depending on the space." Until the UMN vaccination requirement goes into effect, most UMN Morris classes are set up to allow for 3 foot distancing (3 feet from nose/mouth to nose/mouth) or more. Although the distancing is not mandated, we encourage people to maintain it as possible and to respect others' desire to maintain it.

How will physical distancing in classes be managed?

Physical spaces will be adjusted to meet current distancing recommendations, including by having furniture reconfigured as necessary or spacing marked.

Testing and Tracing

Will UMN Morris offer COVID-19 virus testing?

UMN Morris is working with Stevens Community Medical Center (SCMC) to provide COVID-19 testing for students who are showing symptoms or have been in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19. Faculty and staff should seek medical resources from their regular healthcare providers.

How is the University handling positive cases?

If a member of the University community tests positive for COVID-19, they will be instructed by public health officials to isolate themselves.

While it may be concerning to learn of confirmed positive COVID-19 cases on campus, it is up to everyone to respect their privacy and HIPAA regulations. Names of those positive or exposed will be not released, per HIPAA and FERPA rules.

What if my professor or someone in my in-person class tests positive for COVID-19?

The University’s Safe Campus site instructs anyone with symptoms to contact their health care provider immediately. Students should contact Health Service with concerns about significant exposure. We have developed plans in the event that one or more individuals become sick, which include options like moving courses to remote learning environments.

How will the university track positive COVID-19 cases and exposure?

Our campus continues to practice health and safety guidelines outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), including working with local health care systems to provide access to COVID-19 testing for our campus community. This testing is part of the state’s response to the pandemic.

A dashboard showing the number of University of Minnesota Morris students utilizing campus quarantine and isolation spaces is available. MDH collects and compiles statewide testing data, which also is available on the dashboard.

Residential Life & Dining

Are residence halls open?

Yes. University Housing is available. Living on campus is a core part of the University of Minnesota Morris experience, and we are committed to fostering a safe, diverse, and inclusive housing experience for all students.

Each of us has a responsibility to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, from staying home if we don’t feel well to limiting large gatherings and respecting physical distancing guidelines.

This continues to be a dynamic, rapidly evolving situation as well as a stressful time for many members of our community. We are all in this together. Be respectful and kind to one another. The Office of Residential Life is working closely with University leadership and partners across campus and across the system and in the surrounding community to manage COVID-19 response and preparations.

Community safety for residents and staff is a top priority. Residential health and safety efforts are rooted in the most current science and based on guidance from federal, state, and local health authorities. Measures will include a combination of the use of physical distancing, hand washing hygiene, limited density in indoor spaces, and other support resources. If you have a specific concern, contact housing2@morris.umn.edu.

What happens if I become ill?

If you feel ill or are experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness of any kind—with fever and cough—contact Health Service at 320-589-6070 for guidance (including on the possible need for testing, quarantine, and isolation). Staff are available to support you in receiving the support, medical attention, and resources needed. Follow instructions found here.

UMN Morris has Cougar Care isolation and quarantine spaces set aside to support our residents should the need arise. UMN Morris will work with you to determine the best housing option for any necessary quarantine or isolation period.

The best solution for students needing to quarantine or isolate from others due to a COVID-19 exposure or diagnosis will depend on many factors. For some students, going to their family residence off campus may be the best and safest location. For other students, Cougar Care housing on campus will provide the best support during their quarantine or isolation period. We will work with students to find the best way to support their care and wellbeing and avoid spreading COVID-19 to others.

What support will be available to students?

We recognize this time of heightened health fears can take a toll. Community Advisors on each floor and other dedicated building staff in each building are just down the hall or an email, phone call, Google hangout, or Zoom meeting away.

Students can contact Student Counseling at 320-589-6060 for additional support.

How is safety handled in the Dining Hall?

Face coverings are required in the Dining Hall at all times other than when eating or drinking.

Tables in the Dining Hall provide for three foot distance between diners. Students can also take food to go in provided reusable containers to dine outside or in other locations. Please, bring the containers back to the Dining Hall for washing and reuse. The Dining Hall will be open when classes are in session.

Will my medical/dietary accommodations be supported?

The University of Minnesota is committed to providing equitable access for all students. The is the campus office that collaborates with students who have disabilities to provide and/or arrange reasonable accommodations.

Housing accommodations: If you have a disability or health condition that requires a specific housing accommodation, such as a certain room type, accessible room, single user bathroom, etc., contact the Disability Resource Centerat 320-589-6178.

Dietary needs: If you are a student living in a residence hall, you are required to have a meal plan. Dining Services will work with you individually in regard to your special dietary needs. Visit for more information on special diets. If you have a condition that requires health-related dietary accommodations, please work with the Disability Resource Center in addition to Dining Services.

If you are a returning student with a housing contract who may need medical accommodations, we will still work with you to accommodate your needs. We may be unable to guarantee your original room, roommate(s) and/or building assignment.

Xenophobia and Bias

Disease does not discriminate, and racist behavior or stereotyping is not tolerated on our campus.

 

If you experience harassment or discrimination, reach out to your Community Advisor or your building’s Residence Director. You can also report to the Bias Response and Referral Network.

 

Our Community Behavioral Standards reflect a respect for the rights and responsibilities needed to foster engaged and inclusive community living experiences. We encourage all students to know their rights and what is expected of them as residents. Learn more about policies, regulations, and more.

Campus Events, Facilities, and Athletics

How will UMN Morris safely host gatherings, clubs and events on campus? Will there still be events?

The University of Minnesota is following MDH guidelines for all gatherings on campus. Where possible, on campus events and activities will also be offered with a remote option. 

In line with the MDH guidance, occupancy capacities for campus performance spaces have been adjusted and attendance limits will be managed.

Will places like the library and Regional Fitness Center be open?

These places will be open to students, faculty, staff, and visitors in a modified way. Units have developed individualized plans in compliance with Minnesota Department of Health guidelines. Services for students who are enrolled but not in residence will be provided to ensure that all students are able to access services. To find out about the status of a specific unit, please check their webpage or contact them directly.

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