To our campus community—faculty, staff and students:
The COVID-19 pandemic situation continues to evolve rapidly. Over the last two days new information and actions by the State and Federal government have emerged. Thus, I am updating information previously provided regarding actions to be taken if you have traveled at all over Spring Break.
Yesterday, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated their Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Travel Information to designate most countries in Europe, along with China, Iran, and South Korea at Level 3 (Warning, Avoid Nonessential Travel). Given that President Trump has now also issued an order restricting travel from the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, beginning at 11:59 pm on Monday, March 16, we expect that the UK and Ireland will be added to the Level 3 list by Tuesday.
Every other part of the world, including the United States, has now been designated at Level 2 (Practice Enhanced Precautions) as a Global Outbreak Notice.
These designations have implications for actions to be taken to maintain health and safety for you and others during this pandemic.
Travel Guidance Effective immediately
Faculty, Staff, and Students Returning from a Level 3 Country – Self Quarantine
All travelers who are returning from a Level 3 country must stay home in a self-quarantine for 14 days after returning from travel, monitor their health, and practice social distancing. Social distancing means staying out of crowded places, avoiding group gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible. The full guidance from the CDC is located athttps://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/warning/coronavirus-europe
FACULTY AND STAFF
If you are faculty or a staff member who needs to self-quarantine or stay home to monitor your health after traveling to a Level 3 country, please notify your dean or supervisor. Your supervisor will ask you to fill out the reporting form developed by the University, which can be found at: https://www.metrostate.edu/COVID.
With your supervisor, establish the date you will be able to report to work if you do not become symptomatic after travel. If you do become symptomatic during the 14 day self-quarantine, please let your supervisor know. You will not be able to return to work until symptoms subside.
If you are not symptomatic and are able to work during your period of self-quarantine, work with your supervisor to develop work tasks that you can complete from home and a working schedule. Let your supervisor know if you will need your laptop to complete your work and arrangements will be made to get it to you. Please note that Comcast, Spectrum and other internet service providers have opened their networks so that all may have access to the internet.
Faculty members who must self-quarantine, should be working with their deans and department chairs to participate remotely in meetings and trainings focusing on preparing for delivery of instruction of your courses in an alternate delivery. (On the website, under messages, March 13, 2020 Email to Faculty from Provost Gort).
Students who will be in self-quarantine based on their travel in or through a Level 3 country are expected to report their status by filling out the web form report located at: https://www.metrostate.edu/COVID.
Faculty, Staff, and Students who Traveled to Other Locations—Monitor Health
Travelers returning from other countries or from domestic travel need to monitor their health and limit interactions with others for 14 days after returning from travel. You may come to work or be out in the community, but should practice good hygiene and maintain social distancing. The full guidance from the CDC is located at https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/alert/coronavirus-global
If you have questions regarding exposure as a result of travel, Minnesota Department of Health asks you to call 651-201-5414 or 877-676-5414 for guidance.
Faculty and Staff who have been Exposed to or Diagnosed with COVID-19, or are Ill:
Faculty and Staff who have been exposed to COVID-19, diagnosed with COVID-19, and/or are ill, notify your dean or supervisor. We are also asking employees to report their exposure, diagnosis, or illness using the web form (https://www.metrostate.edu/COVID). Your supervisor will ask you to fill out the form if you have not already done so.
Students who have been Exposed to or Diagnosed with COVID-19, or are Ill:
Students who have been exposed to COVID-19, diagnosed with COVID-19, and/or are ill should report their exposure, diagnosis, or illness using the web form (https://www.metrostate.edu/COVID).Using the form will result in the notification of your academic advisor and the faculty instructors for the courses in which you are currently enrolled.
Suspended Instruction and Resumption of Classes:
You will receive updated information from your faculty members regarding how to resume instruction in an online or other alternative format by the end of the day on Friday March 20. Please continue to monitor your email and the website: https://www.metrostate.edu/notices/covid-19.
Taking care of yourself:
Events like a pandemic are stressful and create anxiety, to some degree, for everyone. If these anxieties are interfering with your ability to work and carry out other life activities, please remember that the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a free, confidential counseling service available to you. Please see more details of EAP at: https://mn.gov/mmb/segip/health-and-wellbeing/eap/eap-work-life.jsp
MetroCares is a 24/7 phone support offered by Counseling Services. 651-793-1568
When you call the support line:
- a licensed counselor will answer your call 24 hours a day, 7 days, a week, 365 days a year
- you will be offered confidential support, information, resources, and practical solutions for coping
- all services are free and confidential
- Crisis Text Line is the free, 24/7, confidential text message service for people in crisis. Text HOME to 741741 in the United States to communicate with a trained Crisis Counselor
- Managing Anxiety and Stress from CDC. This includes information for yourself, others, parents, responders, and those released from quarantine.
- Taking Care of Your Behavioral Health: Tips for Social Distancing, Quarantine, and Isolation During an Infectious Disease Outbreak
Please remember that this virus does not discriminate on the basis of identity and neither should we. Any actions or language against anyone based on race, ethnicity, national origin, or religion in connection with the origins of COVID-19 are unacceptable. Such actions will be addressed within appropriate university procedures.
Finally, please remember to check your email and the university website frequently, as information is constantly being updated. Please also share questions and concerns through the firstname.lastname@example.org address at any time. This email is continuously monitored throughout working hours. If your situation is an emergency, then please call 9-1-1.
The health and safety students and employees continue to be of the highest priority to the University. We are doing all we can to make sure you are well-informed about the COVID-19 situation and that students can continue their coursework and that employees’ needs are being met.
Thank you for your attention.