COVID FAQs

Return to Campus FAQs

As our campus community works through a phased, careful, and safe return to campus the below FAQs are intended to help answer common questions.  

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Health and Safety: Information about health and safety measures across campus

How can I learn more about the safety and cleaning measures in place for in-person learning environments?

Regular housekeeping practices are being enhanced by University facilities management teams, including frequent cleaning and sanitization of high-touch areas such as door handles, railings, and elevator panels. Find more information about cleaning procedures, hand sanitizer availability and other guidance by visiting Facilities Management’s site. This is a shared responsibility. Please do your part to keep your spaces clean and to avoid sharing spaces and/or equipment.

What measures are being taken to ensure safety and physical distancing in classrooms, offices and public spaces?

Each University department has developed plans for welcoming students, staff and faculty into workspaces and classrooms. These plans were submitted and approved by the University, using guidance from University health experts. These plans include signage, reduced classroom density, and spaced furniture placement – all to maintain physical distancing.

What precautions is the university taking to protect students in on-campus housing spaces?

UMD Housing & Residence Life is closely monitoring guidance and recommendations provided by the Centers for Disease Control and the Minnesota Department of Health around housing density, cleaning protocols & frequencies, and other measures that may help prevent the spread of the virus. Housing & Residence Life has also identified space for on-campus students that may need to be isolated or quarantined away from other residential students

What can I do to be as safe as possible while on campus?

Continue good health habits:

  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Keep a supply of hand sanitizer (as possible).
  • Cover your cough or sneeze.
  • Clean all high touch areas in your home and workplace.
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid crowded areas and maintain six feet of distance between yourself and others.
  • Wear a face covering (mask) when inside a campus building and when physical distancing is not possible.
  • Stay home if you are sick.

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

Please review and follow these exposure guidelines and processes. If someone tests positive with COVID-19, they may be contacted by a public health official as part of a case investigation. This public health official may provide additional information, conduct contact tracing, and contact any other individual who may have been exposed.  Anyone with symptoms should contact their health care provider. 

I am a medically high-risk or immune-compromised individual, what accommodations can be made?

Students, faculty, and staff with underlying health conditions, or those who are older, will 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.

The option to participate in in-person instruction while practicing physical distancing and other health habits, is an individual decision. The University is implementing support and resources to ensure flexibility in the current academic year for remote or in-person instruction.

Are masks required for everyone on campus? If so, will the University provide those?

All University of Minnesota faculty, staff, students, and visitors (including contractors, service providers, vendors, and suppliers) 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 (including leased facilities) with a few exceptions. See below Q&A for more information. Masks have been distributed to faculty and staff through the mail. Students can get their free masks at locations around campus.

Will UMD offer COVID-19 virus testing?

UMD health services is offering COVID testing for students who are showing symptoms or have been in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID (close contact is defined as being less than six feet apart for greater than a cumulative 15 minutes in 24 hours. Faculty and Staff should seek medical resources from their normal healthcare provider.

Will UMD offer antibody testing?

UMD will not be offering antibody testing.

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

The University is working with the MN Department of Health, who conducts COVID tracing and necessary investigations related to a positive COVID case. The UMD COVID Dashboard is updated each Friday.

What precautions is the university taking to protect student's health privacy?

All health privacy regulations will be maintained to ensure privacy of student's health information.

What should I do if I have experienced or observed harassment or discrimination?

The University is committed to creating an inclusive climate for all of our community members. The CDC offers guidance on countering stigma related to this virus. We understand that the COVID-19 pandemic has, in some cases, resulted in hostile, offensive or intimidating acts directed against individuals because of their perceived race, national origin, age, disability-status, or other protected identity*. These behaviors could constitute prohibited discrimination or harassment under University policy.

We encourage you to contact the appropriate resource listed below if you believe that you have experienced mistreatment because you are perceived to:

  • Be associated with COVID-19 because of your national origin, race, or other protected identity,
  • Are perceived to have COVID-19 because of a protected identity,
  • Are perceived to be vulnerable to COVID-19 because of a protected identity, have COVID-19, or have been exposed to COVID-19.

In addition, we recognize that University members must learn and work differently given the current remote learning and working environment. If you believe that you have been denied reasonable accommodations for a disability in the remote working and learning environment, please also contact the appropriate resource listed below:

  • Discrimination, harassment, nepotism, related retaliation by a student -- Katie Jackson, [email protected], 218-726-8969
  • Discrimination, harassment, nepotism, related retaliation by an employee, volunteer, vendor, or visitor -- Annalisa Peterson, [email protected], 218-726-8809

Academics: Class format, class changes, and other instructional info

How might my fall class schedule change?

COVID-19 has presented unique challenges and the required adjustments may impact some of your classes. One of the most significant impacts is physical distancing in classroom spaces. UMD follows Minnesota Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control guidelines and enforces six-feet physical distancing.  The instructional format of some classes have been modified.

Academic departments have reviewed how their classes are delivered – referred to as instructional modality – considering issues including learning outcomes, pedagogy, and safety. All fall semester courses will fall into one of the four instructional modalities:
In-Person Class (in-person): Students and instructors meet in person, face-to-face, for class at regularly scheduled days and times.
Blended Class (both in person and online): Students can expect a combination of delivery methods: in person, blended, online (explained below), or remote instruction (explained below). Students can expect one of three variations of “blended” based upon how faculty believe the class is best conducted.

  • Instruction is in-person at UMD and online. The online requirements do not have set class times. Online materials and assignments are accessible at any time. Instructors will provide in person, verbal and/or written communication for class requirements and expectations. Exams may be both in person at UMD and online. Exams are the same for both groups, progression of material is the same for both, etc.
  • Some students attend face-to-face while other students receive instruction online with a set meeting pattern. Instruction is in-person at UMD, online, and face-to-face (F2F). Online classes will use remote instruction technology at set class times. Instructors will provide in person, verbal, and/or written communication for class requirements and expectations. Exams may be both in person at UMD and online.
  • “Rolling attendance.” In this mode students will be divided into groups of the correct size to conform with the physical distancing requirements for the classroom. One group of students might attend face-to-face on a Monday, for example while the other groups receive the instruction virtually. A different group would attend face-to-face on Wednesday, with the other groups receiving instruction virtually. So, the students who attend face-to-face may vary from class period to class period or week to week. This assures all students of receiving some face-to-face instruction. Exams may be both in-person at UMD and online.

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. You may have seen this referred to as “synchronous” delivery. Exams are also all online

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. You may have seen this referred to as “asynchronous” delivery. Exams are also all online.

Students are able to view updates to their fall classes via the MyU portal and to process schedule changes using the regular cancel/add process. The Class Format Guide provides assistance in understanding the instructional modes of each class. Instructional formats are determined by the faculty, based upon their best judgments for how the class can be conducted most effectively.

Why do instructors get to make the decision about the delivery format of their course?

Instructors are best positioned to understand the learning objectives of their courses and whether and how they might be best achieved via different modalities. This approach is consistent with the faculty's express authority over the curriculum

How do I get my textbooks and other course materials I need for my classes?

You can order online at umdstores.com and have them shipped to you or you can arrange for pick up. A limited selection of course texts are available through the library and can be accessed via your course Canvas page.

You may also call 218-726-7286 and select textbooks from the menu options or send an email to [email protected] UMD Stores will continue to allow students to pick up as scheduled during store hours, including curbside.

Will classes be offered on campus for Spring 2021?

We are continuing to monitor the situation and are hopeful to have on-campus activities for Spring 2021 as well as likely some alternative or hybrid classes. We will remain flexible and adjust our practices and plans as needed in accordance with public health and safety guidance.

What campus study spaces will be available this fall?

Campus spaces have been identified that are available for student use when not in class. One of these spaces may be the perfect place for you to plug in your headphones and participate in a remote class. Physical distancing guidelines will be adhered to within these spaces. In addition, the KAM Library has expanded the amount of reservable study spaces available to include carrels and tables as well as small group study rooms

How do I get help either remotely or in person for technology issues?

Student Life: Student activities, Kirby Student Center, and making connections

How will I be able to make friends/form connections?

Even with COVID-19 precautions, there are many ways to meet people, make friends, and form connections with the UMD Bulldog community. You can access the full list of student organizations to explore more than 250 club and group options. There are additional ways to connect through recreational sports, outdoor programs, and other campus activities.

Can my student organization or campus department table in Kirby Commons?

Tabling in Kirby Commons has been suspended for the Fall 2020 semester in the interest of health and safety of students, staff, and faculty. The Kirby Commons is being temporarily added to the list of approved posting spaces. Student groups and campus departments are encouraged to reserve one of Kirby Student Center's banner spaces as an additional option for promoting events. Student groups may also reserve the Kirby Garage for promotion of their events. Reservation requests for banner spaces (student groups and campus departments) and the Kirby Garage (student groups only) can be submitted online..

Will places like libraries and recreation centers be open?

Many of these places are open to students, faculty, staff and visitors in a modified way. To find out about the status of a specific unit at the University, please contact them directly.

How do I get my U Card or a replacement?

The U Card office remains open Monday-Friday 8-4 and available via phone 218-726-8814. New students may pick up their card in the U Card office.

Housing: Answers about housing fees, access, and visitors

What’s expected of me during each of the four steps of the Maroon and Gold Sunrise plan?

We encourage you to read Chancellor Black's Sept. 1 email to the Duluth campus community and the Maroon and Gold Sunrise Plan for full details. Below is a general overview of each step in the plan for students living on campus. Watch the Safe Campus homepage for the current status.

Step 1: Students in residence halls will be expected to stay in their assigned housing until at least September 20, with some exceptions (e.g., attend classes, go to work, use campus dining or health/wellness facilities, outdoors with physical distancing).

Step 2: Increased access to campus and surrounding off-campus communities, with 10 p.m. required return to residence halls each night, for approximately two weeks.

Step 3: Full access to campus and the surrounding community, with a midnight required return to residence halls, for approximately two weeks.

Step 4: “COVID Normal” operations, during which you will continue having full access to campus and the surrounding community, but no longer have any limits on when you must return to your residence hall each day.

Please note that University and campus leaders may extend any of these steps or revert back to previous steps, if needed. Those decisions will be made based on available public health data, such as case demographics, availability of rapid testing capacity, available isolation/quarantine space, review of changing federal and state guidelines, and other campus and community response factors.

For students living off campus, please limit your on-campus interactions if possible. We encourage you to continue to be safe, wear a mask, maintain physical distancing from those not in your household, and get tested if you have COVID-19 symptoms or are instructed to seek testing by a public health or medical official. The MTest program is available to all students regardless of where you live, so please utilize it should you feel sick.

Parking and Transit: Parking, permit, and DTA information

Will I be charged for my parking permit if face-to-face classes are shortened or canceled?

Yes, at this time, a purchased parking permit will be charged in full unless the permit is physically returned for a pro-rated refund. There is no cost or penalty for returning the permit this year and a full pro-rated refund will be given. The permit must be returned to receive the pro-rated refund.. When a permit is returned, the next student on the waiting list is offered the option to purchase it. The prices of permits are prorated throughout the year.

Can I return my parking permit for a refund?

Yes, purchased parking permits may be physically returned to the Transportation & Parking Services office for a pro-rated refund. There is no cost or penalty for returning the permit this year and a full pro-rated refund will be given. The permit must be returned to receive the pro-rated refund. The permit is non-transferrable and may not be given or sold to another individual. Details are available on the Transportation & Parking Services website.

Will the DTA UPass program be in place for students?

Yes, the DTA UPass program will be in operation and available for students to use. The UPass program allows fee-paying students to use their UCard to board any DTA bus without paying an additional fare. The final route schedules are still being developed and details can be found on the DTA website.

Dining: Information about campus dining services during COVID

Is Dining Services open to students at this time?

Due to rising Covid-19 cases in and around the Duluth area, UMD is taking proactive steps to better protect our students, as well as their families, before many of them head home for Thanksgiving. In order to greatly reduce the amount of interaction among students and dining staff, we are making the following adjustments to Dining Services on campus:

  • Plaza Food Court will be closed effective immediately
  • Superior Dining will shift to a take-out only effective Sunday, November 15
  • Superior Dining’s hours will adjust to 7am-7pm effective Monday, November 16
  • Students should be prepared to request their Green take-out box if they don’t have one already
  • Students will continue to use their meal plan swipes and Dining Dollars

 

If you have any questions please contact Dining at [email protected]

 

What is the plan to operate dining centers and other food service?

Dining Services has implemented operational processes based on Minnesota Department of Health guidelines that include physical distancing, increased cleaning, employee wellness, reduced seating capacity, a modified service model, and any other requirements needed for a safe dining experience.

What safety measures is Dining putting into place?

All employees will be keeping a wellness log before and after their shifts. We will be maintaining stringent sanitation standards, including face coverings, single-use gloves, and frequent hand washing. Plexiglass is in place at all locations. We are also working on launching mobile ordering to allow for better physical distancing.

Are meal plans changing this semester?

The fall semester meal plan will run from Move-In until Thanksgiving break for those who will not be returning to campus after. There is a small meal plan for the time between Thanksgiving break and Winter break for those staying on campus.

Events & Conferences: Current responses to questions related to events and conferences on campus

Can my student organization or campus department reserve meeting space in Kirby Student Center?

All meetings and events in Kirby Student Center must adhere to University and state guidelines, including physical distancing and significantly reduced room capacities. Campus departments are able to reserve meeting space. Under the Maroon & Gold Plan, student organization reservations will open up in Step 2 which is expected 9/21/20 provided we are able to progress to that step. We encourage student groups and campus departments to consult with us; email [email protected] Reservation requests for the fall 2020 semester can be made online.

Will participants of a student organization event in Kirby Student Center be required to wear a mask?

All University of Minnesota faculty, staff, students, and visitors (including contractors, service providers, vendors, and suppliers) 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 (including leased facilities) with some exceptions. Find more information about the complete face covering protocol and an FAQ.

Masks have been distributed to faculty and staff through the mail. Students can get their free masks at locations around campus.

Will my student organization or campus department need to keep track of attendees at our events?

Yes, for purposes of tracing, we expect hosts to keep track of attendees at events. Kirby Student Center will work closely with event organizers to assist in this process, as well as communicate other event host responsibilities.

Will Kirby Student Center Lounge and the Multicultural Center be open and, if so, what hours?

Both the Kirby Student Lounge and Multicultural Center are open weekdays from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. through 9/8/20 (closed Labor Day).  Beginning 9/9/20, hours will be extended to 7:30 a.m. - 10 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. on the weekend.

Finances and Tuition

Will I still be eligible for a merit scholarship if I take a semester off?

In the event that a student needs to take one or more semesters of leave from UMD due to COVID-19 related circumstances, the merit scholarship (UMD Scholarship, BOC, etc.) requirement for consecutive semesters of UMD enrollment will be waived. These individual requests are facilitated through the Scholarship Appeal process. Students may contact One Stop ([email protected]) for additional guidance (MK)

When is the last day I can cancel my housing contract without being charged?

In the event that a student needs to take one or more semesters of leave from UMD due to COVID-19 related circumstances, the merit scholarship (UMD Scholarship, BOC, etc.) requirement for consecutive semesters of UMD enrollment will be waived. These individual requests are facilitated through the Scholarship Appeal process. Students may contact One Stop ([email protected]) for additional guidance (MK)

Will my housing deposit be refunded if I decide not to live on campus due to remote/online classes, or cancel my enrollment?

You can cancel your housing contract up to the point you check in for housing.

Will housing/dining be discounted?

If courses are offered only online for Fall 2020, students will be offered the opportunity to roll their housing application and associated installment payment to Spring 2021 or to be offered a credit equivalent to the full amount of their installment payment.

Why should I pay the Athletic Facilities fee if I'm not on campus this fall? (Taking all classes online)

Regardless of in person instruction, the Athletics Facility Fee significantly supports Amsoil Arena that is still being utilized and the fee helps fund online web streaming of games, many of which (excluding hockey) are available at no additional cost.  In addition, while UMD athletics has unfortunately had to pause much of the competitive schedule due to COVID, our athletic programs will continue to work with student athletes. As well, we are hopeful that with efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19, we will be able to resume competition yet this semester.  As of Sept. 1, both the men's and women's hockey seasons are scheduled to start on time. 

What does my collegiate fee go toward?

  • All CIS resources & services continue to be delivered online/virtually/phone through remote work to support undergraduate students, graduate students, and alumni. These services include: virtual drop-in/on-call hours (M-F/1:00 - 4:30 PM), resume review, virtual/phone one-on-one appointments (M-F/8:00 AM - 4:30 PM*), career assessments & interpretations, class/club/organization presentations*, virtual workshops*, career tips on social media, graduate follow up report data, and website resources. *Due to remote work we are available to offer times outside normal business hours to accommodate schedules.
  • This Fall semester, we continue to engage employers & students through providing 3 UMD only & 6 all UMN system wide** virtual job & internship fairs plus various virtual employer events (info sessions, webinars, job postings, interviews, etc.), as well as plan for our Spring 2021 fairs & events. **Due to virtual fairs we are available to offer more tailored options & greater collaboration between system campuses. The Library Collegiate Fee is dedicated to acquiring electronic resources (e-books, e-journals, and databases) accessible to all UMD students anywhere, anytime.
  • The Collegiate Fee also supports the UCard, and the UCard Office remains open to serve students in person or over the phone.

Face Coverings - General: Information about the face covering protocol

What is the University’s stance on face coverings?   

Scientific understanding of the transmission of COVID-19 has evolved, and we now know that wearing a simple face covering provides valuable, albeit imperfect, protection against the spread of COVID-19. As a result, face coverings are now required in most situations indoors.

How are face coverings part of a larger effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19? 

Face coverings are a visual reminder that we must all take precautions to protect our own health and that of those around us. This is particularly true as individuals can carry COVID-19 with no apparent symptoms and face coverings reduce the chance that such asymptomatic carriers unknowingly infect others.

Why are you mandating face coverings when scientists and experts disagree on their effectiveness in many settings? 

As scientists continue to learn about COVID-19, their research evolves. We now know that safety measures such as washing hands, using hand sanitizers, daily disinfecting of spaces, and wearing a simple face covering provides valuable, albeit imperfect, protection against the spread of COVID-19, and it is a visual reminder that we must all take precautions to protect our own health and the health of those around us. The CDC has more information available regarding the research

To whom does the face covering protocol apply?

All University of Minnesota System faculty, staff, students and visitors, including contractors, service providers, vendors, and suppliers. This protocol does not apply to children under the age of 2 years, anyone unable to remove a face covering without assistance, and anyone who cannot wear a face covering because of health, disability, or religious reasons. Individuals who cannot wear face coverings because of health or disability reasons should contact Disability Resources (students, visitors) or the Disability Resources Center/U Return (faculty, staff) to engage in the interactive process and explore reasonable accommodations.

What type of face covering is acceptable?  

In accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recommended face coverings can include simple cloth coverings, scarves or bandanas. Disposable paper masks are also acceptable. All face coverings must extend from the bridge of the nose to below the chin. N95 or surgical masks are not required nor should they be bought or worn by people outside of health care or other specialized settings, according to the Minnesota Department of Health.

The CDC recommends face coverings that:

  • Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face,
  • Are secured with ties or ear loops,
  • That include multiple layers of fabric,
  • That allow for breathing without restriction, and
  • That can be laundered and machine-dried without damaging them or changing their shape.

Is a face shield an appropriate alternative to a cloth face covering or mask?

Yes. In some cases face shields may be an appropriate alternative, as advised by the Minnesota Department of Health. If you have a disability or medical condition, please contact Disability Resources (students, visitors) or the Disability Resources Center/U Return (faculty, staff). 

Will the University be supplying face coverings to students, faculty, and staff? 

Yes. Faculty and staff will be provided face coverings through their college or unit. Students can obtain face coverings at locations around campus.

Do I have to wear a University-provided face covering to comply with this requirement? 

No, you may also wear an appropriate cloth covering (see above), such as a scarf or bandana, or a face shield that covers your nose and mouth. 

What recommendations do you have for properly utilizing face coverings? 

University Health and Safety has guidelines for properly wearing cloth face coverings. All face coverings must extend from the bridge of the nose to below the chin. The CDC also has information about face masks available online.

Does wearing a mask reduce the need for physical distancing?

No. Physical distancing guidelines, as provided in the Sunrise Plan, are to be used in tandem with face coverings and other COVID-19 prevention practices. Guidelines include maintaining six feet of distance between you and others, avoiding group gatherings and confined areas, and avoiding use of other people’s equipment and workstations.

Face Coverings - Indoors: Requirements specific to indoor spaces

Are there exceptions when face coverings would not be required indoors? 

Face coverings are not required under the following circumstances:

  • A room when only one individual is present. 
  • Indoor spaces where separate official guidance is posted.
  • When eating or drinking, but face coverings should be replaced as soon as possible afterward.
  • In your own residence hall or apartment room. Please note: they are still required in any common spaces (hallways, lounges, shared areas within bathrooms, etc.)
  • When unable to wear a face covering while exercising at the Sports and Health Center, as long as all other facility policies, rules, and guidelines are followed.
  • When alone in a motor vehicle.
  • An individual has a disability or medical condition that makes wearing a face covering difficult or impossible. Please contact Disability Resources (students and guests) or the Disability Resources Center/U Return (faculty and staff) to engage in the interactive process and explore reasonable accommodations.
  • An individual with a religious accommodation through Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action.

If I’m expecting a visitor to my work space or campus residence (residence halls, apartments), what is the requirement for them? 

All visitors to the campus are required to wear a face covering when indoors unless they have a disability or medical condition that prevents them from doing so. Disability Resources is available to explore alternative accommodations for guests visiting University facilities. 

Face Coverings - Outdoors: Requirements specific to outdoor spaces

Are face coverings required outdoors?


It depends. Face coverings are required in outdoor settings on campus if safe physical distancing and limits on the size of gatherings are not being observed. Where safe physical distancing and small groups are in place, face coverings are strongly encouraged but not required.

Are there any outdoor settings where face coverings will be required? 

In situations where effective physical distancing cannot be achieved, and large groups of individuals will be gathering in close contact for extended periods, face coverings are required. Close contact is defined as being less than six feet apart for greater than a cumulative of 15 minutes in 24 hours.

Face Coverings - Housing/Dining: Information about mask wearing when you live and eat on campus

Am I required to wear a face covering in my on-campus residence hall? 

No, you are not expected to wear a face covering while in your room or apartment. However, face coverings are required in common areas such as hallways, study spaces, lobbies, bathrooms, or dining facilities.

Do I need to wear a face covering outdoors or walking to/from class or other on-campus locations?

It depends. Face coverings are required indoors. They are also required for outdoor settings on campus or other grounds if safe physical distancing and limited gathering requirements are not being observed. Where safe physical distancing and gathering practices are being observed, face coverings are strongly encouraged but not required.

If my roommates or neighbors refuse to wear a face covering and/or follow other public health recommendations, what should I do?

The first step is always to talk to them about wearing a face covering from a caring, social enforcement approach. For example, you could say something like, “Hey, I know you aren’t wearing a mask, but remember we all agree to wear these to protect ourselves and each other. I’m feeling stress related to this. Would you be willing to wear a mask so that we can all be safe together?”

  1. If the person refuses to comply after you have asked them to wear a face covering, please seek a resident advisor or other UMD staff member to assist you with next steps.
  2. Please remember that some individuals may be unable to wear a face covering because of health, disability, or religious reasons.

What is required in dining facilities? Will exceptions be made while eating/drinking?

Face coverings are required when you are in dining facilities except while eating and drinking. Regardless, physical distancing must be observed.

Face Coverings - Faculty: Information specific to teaching and conducting research at the University

Should my syllabus state that face coverings are required?


Now that face coverings are required indoors, you do not need to explicitly state that they are required in your syllabus. However, you may want to reiterate that you expect students to comply with all University public health policies, including the wearing of face coverings. 

A student in my class is not wearing a face covering, or a student has a face covering that is not sufficient. What should I do?

The Office of Student Conduct and Conflict resolution is available to consult with faculty. 

Class enforcement process: 

  1. Talk with the student to apprise them of their available options to comply with the face covering directive, pursue a disability-related accommodation or pursue a religiously-affiliated accommodation.
    1. If the student wishes to pursue a disability-related accommodation, ask them to leave class and direct them to Disability Resources, who will engage the student in the interactive process and identify reasonable accommodations. 
    2. If the student wishes to pursue a religious accommodation, ask them to leave class and direct them to Annalisa Peterson, UMD’s Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Associate.
    3. If the student does not want to pursue the options in (a) or (b) above, ask the student to put on a face covering for class as part of upholding Teaching and Learning: Instructor and Student Responsibilities policy for a safe classroom environment: 
      1. Sample language: "We are a community within close proximity of each other, working together to keep each other safe. Can you put your face covering on please? If you don't have one, here is one, but please remember for next class, ok?"
    4. If the student refuses, the professor will ask the student to leave for the class session. 
    5. Following the class session, the instructor will follow up with an email to the student reiterating expectations (including a reminder of the University face covering-wearing expectations, the Teaching and Learning: Instructor and Student Responsibilities, and the Student
      Conduct Code
      ). The instructor will reiterate that in order for them to participate in class they need to wear a face covering unless they have worked with Disability Resources on accommodations. The instructor will also let the student know that if this happens again, the student will be asked to leave class and the instructor will submit a report to the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution
    6. There may be instances in which a student forgets to wear their face covering more than one time. It is up to the instructor’s discretion to determine if the student is unwilling to comply or simply forgot and needs a subsequent reminder. At any point the instructor is encouraged to have an educational conversation if the student repeatedly forgets but willfully complies when reminded.
      1. If a second offense occurs, the instructor will ask the student to leave class and the instructor may submit a report to the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution (OSCCR).  
      2. If subsequent offenses occur, the faculty member will report the behavior to the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution. If the information in the report suggests a possible violation of the Student Conduct Code, OSCCR will follow the procedures outlined on their website..

A student not wearing a face covering says that they have a religious reason, disability, or medical condition that precludes wearing any sort of face covering. What should I do to accommodate them?

Provide the contact information for Disability Resources or EOAA, who will engage in an interactive process to discuss individualized accommodations, which may include issuance of a face shield. 

Someone in my class has shown up with a face covering that contains a message or symbol that is offensive or threatening. What can I do?

You have a few options.  One is to engage your student -- ask them about the message and let them know that you find it offensive.  If you feel uncomfortable having a conversation yourself, you can get help by filing a campus climate complaint here. Your complaint will be reviewed for any relevant policy violations and if there are none, the person you reported will still be notified of your concern and invited to discuss it. 

Can I set the policy in my lab or research space for face coverings? 

Yes, but it must be consistent with the guidelines outlined here, i.e., indoor face covering usage is required unless the space is clearly occupied by only a single individual.

Are face coverings required when I’m working in my office/lab/workspace alone? 

No, as long as you are confident that the space will not be occupied by others while you are there or very shortly after your departure.

Face Coverings - CoCurricular, Service Providers, and Related Professional Staff: Information relevant to co-curricular educational experiences and other professional services offices

A student who comes to a co-curricular educational program/event or to my offices is not wearing a face covering or a student has a face covering that is not sufficient. What should I do?

  1. Talk with the student to inform them of their available options to comply with the face covering directive, pursue a disability-related accommodation or pursue a religious exception.Sample language: "We are a community within close proximity of each other, working together to keep each other safe. Can you put your face covering on please? If you don't have one, here is one, but please remember for the next time?"
    1. If the student wishes to pursue a disability-related accommodation, ask them to leave the area and direct them to Disability Resources, who will engage the student in the interactive process and identify reasonable accommodations.
    2. If the student wishes to pursue a religious exception, ask them to leave the area and direct them to Annalisa Peterson, UMD’s Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Associate.
    3. If the student does not want to pursue the options in (a) or (b) above, ask the student to put on a face covering for a safe campus environment in support of the Face Coverings protocol for the University of Minnesota.
  2. If the student refuses, you can ask the student to leave the program, the event, or your office. Following the incident, you should follow up with an email to the student reiterating the face coverings requirement and that compliance is expected in the future. You should also let the student know that if this happens again, the student will be asked to leave and you will submit a report to Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution for review as a possible violation of the Student Conduct Code.
  3. There may be instances in which a student forgets to wear their face covering more than one time. It is up to your professional discretion to determine if the student is unwilling to comply or simply forgot and needs a subsequent reminder. At any point, you are encouraged to have an educational conversation if the student repeatedly forgets but willfully complies when reminded.
    1. If a second offense occurs, you may ask the student to leave the program, event, or your area and then submit a report to Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution.
    2. If subsequent offenses occur, report the behavior to the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution. If the information in the report suggests a possible violation of the Student Conduct Code, OSCCR will follow the procedures outlined 

Someone in my program/event/office has shown up with a face covering that contains a message or symbol that is offensive or threatening. What can I do?

You have a few options. One is to engage your student -- ask them about the message and let them know that you find it offensive. If you feel uncomfortable having a conversation yourself, you can get help by filing a campus climate complaint here. Your complaint will be reviewed for any relevant policy violations and if there are none, the person you reported will still be notified of your concern and invited to discuss it.

A student not wearing a face covering says that they have a disability or medical condition that precludes from wearing a face covering. What should I do to accommodate them?

Provide them the contact information for Disability Resources, who will engage the student in the interactive process and explore alternative accommodations. Disability Resources may verify with you that a student does not have to wear a facial covering, but they will not disclose the reason.

Face Coverings - Workspaces: Information for those working at the University

Will faculty or staff be allowed to enter the workplace without a face covering?

No. All faculty and staff are required to wear a face covering as directed when on campus whether working in a campus facility, or outside where physical distancing and gathering size limitations are not being observed.

Are face coverings required when I’m working in my office/lab/workspace alone?

No. Face coverings are not required when alone in a room or where permitted by an official University notice posted in the space. You should receive clear instruction from your supervisor if this may be allowed in your area before deciding to not wear a face covering.

A faculty or staff member that I supervise is not wearing a mask or other face covering. What should I do?

Meet with the individual one-on-one and have a private, respectful conversation in which you explain the face covering requirement. If the person has a religious exemption, medical condition, or disability that prevents them from wearing a face covering or they otherwise wish to seek accommodations, they should consult with their UMD human resources representative, Disability Resource Center/UReturn, or EOAA to explore potential alternatives. If there is no medical condition or disability, provide them with a mask and request that they start to wear it immediately.

My colleague or supervisor is not wearing a face
covering. What should I do?

Politely ask that your coworker or supervisor wear a face covering. If they are not following the University’s direction, this can be immediately reported to your next-level supervisor, senior leader, or UMD Human Resources.

What are the consequences of not wearing a face covering?

If a faculty or staff member refuses to wear a face covering, their supervisor should first support the individual’s ability to cooperate with face covering guidelines through education/coaching and problem solving, such as explaining the benefits of face coverings, and providing a mask to an employee who has forgotten a face covering or was unable to purchase one. If staff or faculty continue to refuse, supervisors must deal with this as a safety or conduct issue. 

Face Coverings- Accommodations: Information for those who may need an accommodation to the mask requirement


Who can advise me if I need an accommodation or if I’m a supervisor needing guidance about potential accommodations?

Employees or supervisors should contact their college or unit human resources representative about seeking accommodations. HR representatives will contact the Disability Resource Center to explore potential accommodations.

Who can help if I cannot wear a face covering due to a disability or medical condition?

Disability Resources is available to explore alternative accommodations for students and guests. The Disability Resource Center is available to help employees explore alternative accommodations.

I have experienced discrimination based on my need for accommodations. What should I do?

We understand that a directive to wear a face covering may exacerbate implicit biases and existing stereotypes. All members of the University community should avoid stigmatizing others because they are wearing or not wearing face coverings. If you are experiencing such discrimination or criticism, please contact Annalisa Peterson, UMD’s EOAA Associate. 

Are there religious or other reasons that alternative accommodations may be needed?

Yes, it is possible. Please discuss the need for alternative accommodations with a human resources representative or contact Annalisa Peterson, UMD’s EOAA Associate. 

Face Coverings - Compliance: Information about how this requirement will be implemented

What should I do if I observe others not complying with this requirement?

The University expects the University community to behave responsibly with respect for the health and safety of others. We are a community. We can help keep each other safe and we all need to be part of the solution. Staff and students should not attempt to directly enforce this directive but instead should share any concerns of suspected violations with their immediate supervisor or appropriate school official (for example Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution). 

Is it appropriate for me to remind someone in an indoor space with me of the face covering requirement? To politely ask them to put a face covering on?

In some instances, it may be appropriate to politely ask others to observe the face covering protocol. However, be careful to avoid stigmatizing other members of the community. Recognize that some members of our community may be exempt from the face coverings requirement or may be utilizing accommodations. Above all, be patient and kind with others as we work together to keep our campus community safe and healthy.

Where can I find the full face covering protocol?

It is posted on the Return to Campus website.

Will people be disciplined for not wearing a face covering?

Compliance with the face covering protocol is expected. Our first preference is to handle this with conversation and a social enforcement approach, but University community members who repeatedly disregard this expectation will be referred to human resources or to offices that engage in student conduct to follow-up.  As with other university regulations, failure to comply may result in disciplinary action through the appropriate supervisor (for employees) and the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution (for students).

Where can I find assistance in resolving disputes? 

Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution offers resources for those who need assistance dealing with conflicts involving students on campus. Community members may request to pursue these resources in lieu of filing a formal student conduct complaint relevant to not following rules around wearing a face covering indoors, in the classroom. 

UMD Human Resources offers assistance for those who need assistance dealing with conflicts involving employees.