Fall and winter bring an uptick in seasonal illnesses as the University community returns to campus and temperatures get cooler. The information below can help you and your community stay healthy during times of increased and seasonal strep, RSV, flu and COVID activity.
Practice Good Respiratory Hygiene
- Wash your hands.
- Stay home if you’re sick.
- Contact your professors and Health Service. For information on academic support with illness, please see the University’s Makeup Work for Legitimate Absences policy.
- Cover your cough. Cough into your elbow or use a tissue or mask to prevent the spread of respiratory droplets from coughs and sneezes.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Stay hydrated. Drink lots of water, and/or low-sugar, non caffeinated, non alcoholic beverages.
High quality masks are available free of charge for students to pick up at Health Service. Faculty and staff may order masks from U Market Services through their departments. The University is continuing the Mask Support Program for anyone with special healthcare concerns and may benefit from specialized consultation.
You may find information on mask fit and material from Health and Safety and Risk Management (HSRM).
If you think you might have COVID-19
We strongly encourage you to get tested for COVID-19 either through Health Service or a home test kit to confirm whether you have COVID-19. Rapid test kits are available through Health Service, the Office of Residential Life and hall/apartment staff for students who live on campus. All Minnesotans can also order free at home COVID test from the Minnesota Department of Health.
Minimize interactions with people until you can be tested. Please wear an N95-type mask for a total of 10 days from the start of your exposure or start of symptoms. N95 masks are available through Health Service, the Office of Residential Life and hall/apartment staff for students who live on campus.
If you test positive for COVID-19
You should isolate and follow public health guidance.
Take the following steps.
- Inform your roommates or other people you have had really close contact with.
- Decide whether you will isolate on campus or off campus.
- If you do not share a bedroom, you can isolate in your own space. You should only leave your bedroom to use the bathroom, obtain or prepare food, or seek medical attention. You must wear an N95-type mask whenever you leave your bedroom and keep as much distance as possible from others when outside of your bedroom. Health Service and Residential Life have N95-type masks available if you do not have a supply.
- If you share a bedroom with someone else, and they are currently positive or have had COVID in the last 30 days, you may stay in your room.
- If you share a bedroom with someone who does not test positive, you and your roommate should discuss if one of you has another place to stay for a few days (for example, a friend or family member who lives nearby). If neither of you has an alternative space available, the person needing isolation should contact hall staff or the staff person on duty to see if an emergency space on campus is available.
- Contact your healthcare provider or Health Service for any medical questions related to isolation.
If you have had close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19
Close contact is defined as being within six feet of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more while they were infectious. You may be informed by the person directly.
Take the following actions.
- Contact your healthcare provider or Health Service for any medical questions.
- Wear a high-quality mask for 10 days and get tested on day 6.
On-Campus Residents: Dining and Meals during Isolation
If you live on campus and have a meal plan and need to isolate, but would like to order a meal from the Dining Hall, look at the daily menu for the Dining Hall.
- Review the menu and choose your options for each meal.
- Email your requests to both Tony Nemmers and Gena Wohlers.
- For lunch, email your order to Tony and Gena by 9 a.m. Include the items you want and an expected pick up time.
- For dinner, email your order to Tony and Gena by 3 p.m. Include the items you want and an expected pick up time.
- For breakfast, email your order in the night before. Include the items you want and an expected pick up time.
The meals will be prepared and packed by the Sodexo staff and will be placed in a cubby marked for pick up at the Dining Hall entrance. A student can mask and go over to pick their food up or can send a friend to pick it up.