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Spring 2021

Updated 1/13/20

Whether you’re on campus to live, study, teach or work, you’ll see many actions and initiatives in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19 on and around our campus. Together, we can help to keep our campus community safe and healthy.

This site includes information that is helpful for students, faculty, staff, and visitors to campus. We’ve outlined what you can expect on campus and steps to take to help protect yourself and others, what to do if you are showing symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19 as well as our testing and contact tracing protocols. 

In addition to what you’ll find on this website, when you are on campus, you will see abundant and clear signage about our requirements for physical distancing and wearing face coverings, how we’re cleaning and sanitizing, and how you can do your part in our community’s work to push back against this virus.

Prepare for Spring Semester

Core COVID-19 Mitigation Requirements for Students, Faculty, and Staff

UMN Face Coverings Protocol

All University of Minnesota faculty, staff, students, and visitors are required to use a face covering to cover both the nose and mouth at all times when in any enclosed or indoor space on University campuses and properties. Limited exceptions are noted.

Safe Distancing and Other Commitments

We are required to maintain physical distancing of 6' or more from others indoors and outdoors on campus. When physical distancing of 6’ outdoors cannot be maintained, a face covering is required. 

Comply with UMN Morris Campus Event Guidelines

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.  

If you have symptoms or test positive for COVID-19

All University of Minnesota faculty, staff, and students are required to stay home if we are sick. Students: contact Health Service or your medical provider regarding symptoms and follow these steps. Faculty and staff: contact your healthcare provider. Adhere to Health Service, Public Health, and care providers health guidance including quarantine and isolation.

COVID-19 Testing

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 returning to campus and once they arrive.

  • 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. Make an appointment
  • There are community test sites across the state that offer both nasal swab and saliva testing.
  • Students living in other states should visit their respective state health department or county health department websites to determine the best local testing options for them prior to arriving in Morris for the spring semester.

Learn more about MTest, the University’s plans for COVID-19 testing and contact tracing and the role we all play in keeping one another safe and healthy.

What to Do: Possible Exposure or COVID-like Symptoms

If you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19 or are experiencing COVID-19-like symptoms, here’s what to do first: 

Adhere to Health Service, Public Health, and care providers’ health guidance including quarantine and isolation.

Student Reporting Concerns

The health and safety of our students and community at-large is paramount. We want to assure students that neither the Student Behavior Committee or the Office of Residential Life will pursue student conduct code sanctions against a student for violating campus COVID-19 mitigation requirements when that violation is discovered as a result of:

  • The student disclosing to the University or a public health official (as part of a public health case investigation or contact tracing) their COVID-19 positive status or their activities that may have led to exposure to themselves or others; or
  • The student reporting sexual misconduct or participating in a sexual misconduct investigation.


The University of Minnesota is currently preparing a phased approach for access to the vaccine for students, faculty, and staff that follows guidelines developed at the federal and state level. Learn more

Learn More

Additional information for students and employees is available below. Have a question we didn't answer on this site? Contact us, and we’ll provide an answer as we’re able.

The Plan

Maroon and Gold Sunrise Plan 2.0

The University of Minnesota began carefully planning and preparing for the 2020–21 school year in the spring and summer of 2020. In all aspects of our COVID-19 mitigation plan, we are following the latest and best guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Your health and safety will always be our priority. We continue to monitor public health data on a daily basis and regularly review our pandemic response and plans for the future. Flexibility and adaptability have been critical since the first days of this pandemic and we will quickly adapt our operations and procedures based on how the pandemic evolves, globally and here in Minnesota.

Morris Student Information

Academic Instruction

  • Spring semester classes will start 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. 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.
  • Tuition and fees remain the same, regardless of the method of instruction. 
  • The Disability Resource Center remains available to identify reasonable accommodations.
  • The University is implementing support and resources to ensure flexibility for remote or in-person instruction. Those choosing to be here for on-campus instruction need to abide by COVID-19 mitigation practices, including physical distancing and other health habits.
  • If you are unable to participate in your coursework due to illness, contact your instructor immediately via email or phone. If verification is requested, please see the Makeup Work for Legitimate Absences Policy.

Campus Experience

  • Regular housekeeping practices have been enhanced by University facilities management teams, including frequent cleaning and sanitization of high-touch areas such as door handles, handrails, water filling stations, elevators, dining locations, laundry facilities, etc. 
  • Face coverings are required inside University buildings and outdoors where maintaining physical distancing of six feet is difficult. All incoming students received two cloth face masks during Orientation. Returning students received two cloth face masks through their campus post office box.
  • Campus services, such as academic advising, career services, etc., are all available on the Morris campus—for students in person in Morris and those connecting remotely.
  • Student groups are registering and conducting campus events as long as they meet University and physical distancing guidelines. In-person events are being planned to meet University and physical distancing. Event and Activity Guidelines
  • Though some social activities are restricted, there are more opportunities each week to find community while physical distancing and online. Student Activities is a good place to start. Check out their list of resources and the campus events calendar.
  • Spaces on campus are available to you to study and attend remote, online, or blended classes.
  • Resources are available to assist with your technology and internet needs.

Campus Dining

  • Face coverings are required when you are in dining facilities. 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.

On-Campus Housing

  • University housing is available for spring semester.
  • The Office of Residential Life continues to work closely with University leadership and partners across campus and across the system, public health agencies (MDH and CDC)  and in the surrounding community to manage COVID-19 response and preparations.
  • Residential health and safety efforts are rooted in the most current science and based on guidance from federal, state, and local health authorities. Measures include a combination of the use of physical distancing, hand washing hygiene, limited density in indoor spaces, appropriate face coverings when distancing is challenging, and other support resources. 
  • We are cleaning high-traffic points (door handles, handrails, water filling stations, elevators, dining locations, laundry facilities, etc.) even more frequently than usual.
  • Measures that you can take include a combination of the use of physical distancing (staying at least six feet away from individuals with whom you do not share a room or apartment), practicing hand washing hygiene, ensuring limited density in indoor spaces, and wearing appropriate face coverings.
  • Be mindful and use good judgement for your and your neighbors’ benefit. If you have any cold-like or COVID-19 symptoms, do not use the community spaces. Each of us has a responsibility to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. We are all in this together. Be respectful and kind to one another.
  • Effective July 1 and continuing until rescinded, all University of Minnesota students, faculty, staff, and visitors (including contractors, service providers, vendors, and suppliers) are required to use a face covering at all times when in any enclosed or indoor space on University campuses and properties, with the following exceptions that relate to campus housing:
    • When eating or drinking; however, physical distancing must be practiced.
    • In your assigned on-campus apartment or residence hall room.
  • In addition to wearing a mask or other face covering in applicable situations, it is vital that we all continue other basic, but critically important, prevention measures. These include frequently washing our hands with soap and water, minimizing how often we touch our faces, monitoring our health and, above all else, staying home if we feel sick. These simple actions are some of the best tools we have to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on our campus and in our community.
  • If you feel ill or are experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness of any kind, contact Health Service at 320-589-6070. Follow these Student Health Protocols. Staff may follow up with you to be sure you are receiving the support, medical attention, and resources needed.
  • If someone tests positive with COVID-19, public health officials will contact the patient with additional information. We have isolation and quarantine space set aside to support our residents should the need arise.
  • 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. 
  • This is a shared responsibility. Please do your part to keep your spaces clean and to avoid sharing spaces and/or equipment. If you have a specific concern, contact us at

Morris Faculty & Staff Information

Employee Relations

  • The “Stay Safe MN" campaign encourages all Minnesotans to stay home as much as possible, wear cloth face coverings (masks), and adhere to physical distancing and other safety precautions. For the University, only employees who have been approved to return individually under the Sunrise Plan or through a comparable department-level plan will work on campus until further notice. The University is asking all employees who can work from home to continue doing so until June 30, 2021.
  • Employees should take note of the expectations for returning to worksites that include: 
    • Take your temperature in the morning and when you return home from work. Log those results and report any fever to your supervisor.
    • Report any exposure to COVID-19-positive individuals, respiratory symptoms, sore throat, or dry cough to your supervisor.
    • If the employee indicates any of these conditions, the supervisor must require that the employee stay home, and the employee should seek guidance from their healthcare provider.
  • Employees with underlying health conditions, or those who are older, have options to mitigate their exposure to the virus, as needed, based on individual circumstances. Please work with your supervisor and/or advisor to find the best options for your situation.
  • In the event an employee tests positive for COVID-19, state and local public health officials, in coordination with the University, are handling all notifications and contact tracing. This means that employees who had close contact–within six feet for longer than 15 minutes–with the person who tested positive will be contacted by either state, local, or campus public health officials. Employees must follow healthcare provider or public health investigator guidance on when to return to work.
  • Employees are encouraged to visit their personal primary care clinic or community testing site for COVID-19 testing. Mail-in saliva testing also is available to anyone living in Minnesota.
  • Many employee resources are available and accessible from home. Learn about the virtual services for physical health, mental health, financial health, and wellbeing resources. These services are available to faculty, staff, and students.
  • Supervisors and employees should review the toolkit for when there is a confirmed exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace or a positive test.

Travel and Events

  • University of Minnesota travel restrictions and updates can be found at U Travel
    • Vehicle travel, both within the U.S. and Canada, is allowed.
    • Domestic air travel resumed June 15 (travel only if you must). Domestic air travel includes the continental United States, Alaska, and Hawaii. While easing domestic air travel restrictions, the University continues to discourage any travel unless it is absolutely necessary for University business. Many travelers and departments will have credits for unused airline tickets, hotels, etc. Use those credits first for University business travel to minimize the outflow of funds.
    • International air travel: the ban on international air travel has been extended to March 31, 2021, however, faculty, staff, and graduate students may apply for an exception to the restriction. (This restriction does not apply to students traveling to or from our campuses.) When international travel resumes or an exception has been made, any international travel must be registered. Many travelers and departments will have credits for unused airline tickets, hotels, etc. Use those credits first for University business travel to minimize the outflow of funds. While University-related international travel for undergraduates is currently not permitted, the University is monitoring conditions for travel to certain University-approved education abroad programs to determine whether this travel will be permitted prior to March 31, 2021.
  • We strongly encourage all who are considering travel, whether for work, study, or personal reasons, to explore the travel resources from the U.S. Department of State, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and your selected airline.

  • To learn more, please visit COVID-19 | U Travel


COVID-19 Community Testing Availability