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Spring 2021 Guide

Updated 1/8/20

Ahead of the spring semester, which begins on January 19, all students should follow these guidelines to prevent exposing others on campus to COVID-19 upon their return and reengagement with the UMN Morris community:

  • “Lay low before you go” once again.
    • This means eliminating the potential of becoming infected by avoiding contact with persons outside of your immediate household for 10 days before returning to campus.
    • Also, take great care with your transportation plans to avoid exposure as you return.
  • Get tested.
    • Students with concerns about possible exposure should determine the appropriate date for testing. Testing too early may result in a negative result that is inaccurate. Schedule your test for no earlier than 5-7 days following your last possibility for exposure.
    • In the meantime, and while you wait for test results, avoid close contact with others.
    • Students who have not consistently avoided exposure situations are encouraged to test one or more times depending on their situation including: 
      • (1) before arriving on campus;
      • (2) during the move-in process; and
      • (3) one week after move-in.
  • Isolate.
    • Students with a positive test result prior to their scheduled move-in should isolate at home for the recommended time period of 10 days after your symptoms are gone if you have symptoms, or 10 days after a positive test result if you have no symptoms. 

For those students living on campus, contact ORL to make arrangements for a delayed move-in if necessary. Students with a positive test result after arriving on campus will be moved to isolation housing and will receive support to manage their time in isolation. 

Testing Options

COVID-19 testing resources in Minnesota, and in many other states, have increased significantly in recent weeks. There are a variety of options for students to test before and after returning to campus.

Before returning to campus

  • Mail-in saliva testing is available to anyone living in Minnesota free of charge.
  • Morris students may take advantage of the MTest clinic on the Twin Cities campus. Make an appointment.
  • There are community test sites across the state that offer free COVID-19 testing.
  • Students living in other states should visit their respective state or county health department websites to determine the best local testing options prior to arriving in Morris for the spring semester.

Move-in testing

MDH will host testing clinics at the Morris Armory. Sign up for a time slot in advance, within two weeks of your desired test date:

  • Wednesday - Friday, January 13-15, 2021
  • Wednesday - Friday, January 20-22, 2021

One week after move-in testing

MDH will host additional testing clinics at the Morris Armory. Sign up for a time slot in advance, within two weeks of your desired test date: 

  • Wednesday - Friday, January 20-22, 2021
  • Wednesday - Saturday, January 27-30, 2021

Testing during the semester

Testing will continue to be available at the Morris Armory through at least February.

  • Students who believe that they have been exposed and/or are exhibiting symptoms should consult with Health Service on campus for potential referral to Stevens Community Medical Center for testing.
  • Mail-in saliva testing is available to anyone living in Minnesota.
  • Morris students may take advantage of the MTest clinic on the Twin Cities campus by calling 612-625-8400 to make an appointment. 

Residence Hall Move-In

To minimize traffic and help support physical distancing, residence hall move-in will be staggered over several days: January 15–18. There will be multiple move-in slots for each hall/area over these dates, and each student should sign up for one move-in time.

To sign up for a move-in time, please click on the link for your hall/area below. Please contact with questions or concerns.

Students will be sent a survey ahead of move-in to ascertain exposure/symptoms. Students are encouraged to test prior to return and upon returning to campus (see above).

Area-Specific Spring Updates

Dining Hall

Seating in the dining hall will remain at 6 feet-separation between individuals and a total 25% capacity. Students will continue to have the opportunity to take food to go in provided reusable containers, bringing back the containers for washing and reuse. Dining Hall hours will be similar to those last fall, with breaks in service each morning and afternoon for cleaning.

Residence Halls

Students are required to wear masks in areas outside of their rooms. The campus will not require a curfew of resident students but will continue to ask all of you to do your part to keep our community healthy. Campus officials will continue to respond to reports of issues where students may not be following appropriate health and safety measures. 

Quarantine and Isolation Spaces

Spaces in the residence halls will be reserved for those exposed and positive cases on campus in the same manner and quantity as fall semester. Provision of services to those in quarantine/isolation likewise will proceed as in the fall semester. Health Service will continue to be the primary contact coordinating services for students who show symptoms or believe that they have been exposed. 

Academic Calendar and Instruction

Spring semester classes will begin on Tuesday, January 19, as originally planned. Spring break days will be dispersed across the semester to avoid a large exodus and reentry of students to campus. After consultation with students, faculty, and staff governance groups, break days, with no classes, are scheduled for February 18, March 19, March 30, April 14 (Undergraduate Research Symposium), and May 6 (reserved for optional capstone presentations). Final exams are scheduled for May 10-14, with May 7-9 reserved as study days. 

Faculty have been able to choose their mode of instruction for spring classes, and students have registered for the spring semester understanding the modality of each particular class.

Facilities and Protocols

Campus will continue to follow distancing guidelines, masking requirements, and cleaning plans.


Given the extension of work from home orders by Governor Walz, student-facing offices will continue to be open for normal hours in the spring semester, staffed on rotating schedules. Offices that do not interact directly with students will continue largely to be staffed remotely. Learn more


The Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) continues to have discussions around parameters for safe competition beginning in January. Practices will be scheduled and athletes will be monitored per approved plans in alignment with MDH and NCAA guidance. Practice schedules will be adjusted if positive cases occur on teams or among those closely connected to teams. As of now, student athletes are expected to return to campus on January 13. Testing and follow-up protocols for student athletes in competition will be managed by Athletics.

Events and Gatherings

UMN Morris will continue to promote virtual events and gatherings, but will allow in-person events if they can be done safely and in congruence with MDH and CDC guidelines, and the Governor's Executive Orders, if any. Learn more