General Safety Guidelines

Please see the following list for answers about general safety practices on campus.

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How can I stay safe over winter break?

Review the Winter Break Guide for tips for the holiday season.

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 is developing 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. For specific information on the safety precautions that will be implemented in your learning spaces, please contact your college or department as the beginning of the fall semester draws near.

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 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. If someone tests positive with COVID-19, the Minnesota Department of Health will contact the patient with additional information. University colleges are developing plans in the event that one or more individuals become sick, which will include options like moving their courses to remote learning environments.

I am a medically high-risk or immune-compromised student, what accommodations can be made for in-person class participation?

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 upcoming academic year for remote or in-person instruction.

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 is also working to identify space for on-campus students that may need to be isolated or quarantined away from other residential students.

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

Beginning July 1, 2020, all University of Minnesota faculty, staff, students, and visitors (including contractors, service providers, vendors, and suppliers) will be 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.
Faculty and staff will be provided masks through their college or unit. Students can pick up masks at various locations on campus.

Will UMD offer COVID-19 virus testing?

UMD will offer 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 of 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 will work with the MN Department of Health, who will conduct COVID tracing and necessary investigations related to a positive COVID case.

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,
  • Have COVID-19 because of a protected identity,
  • 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

Will places like libraries and recreation centers be open?

We anticipate these places will be open in the fall to students, faculty, staff and visitors in a modified way. Colleges and units are currently developing individualized plans in compliance with Minnesota Department of Health guidelines. To find out about the status of a specific unit at the University, please contact them directly.