Today, Governor Walz announced an official “stay at home” order for all Minnesota residents. This means that we are to stay home and limit movements outside of our homes to only essential needs.
However, as part of his order, the governor has declared educational activities and services as essential, which means the 37 colleges and universities of Minnesota State are exempt from this order. Campus-based essential services will be staffed by a limited number of employees on campus in order to follow social distancing protocols and all other safety precautions. However, students can still access the campuses for needed services not accessible from home. Instruction will resume, as scheduled, on either March 30 or April 6 as previously announced. All classes will be delivered using alternative modes, and campuses will remain closed to the public, but let me be clear – you can access your campus for services that you are unable to access from home, but campus staffing will be limited.
Our top two priorities remain protecting the health and safety of our faculty, staff, and students, as well as helping our students to successfully finishing the semester. In the coming days, Minnesota State campuses will be moving their students to an online experience or an alternative method of delivery that is consistent with CDC guidelines. My request is that you have patience; faculty, staff, and campus leadership have been tirelessly working to make this possible. As you might imagine, an effort like this is not without challenges.
Please watch your email for information from your instructors regarding delivery of your particular classes.
I know each day brings serious news. The situation we are in is unprecedented for all of us. We will get through this together. We will continue to share additional detailed information in the coming days. For now, the most important thing is to take care of yourself and your families.
As you know, we can all further protect ourselves and others by:
- Washing your hands often with soap and water; covering your cough and sneeze; avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Practicing self-care by eating a healthy diet and taking time to rest
- Frequently cleaning all commonly touched surfaces
- Avoiding large gatherings
- Staying home if you are sick
If you feel you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, The Minnesota Department of Health recommends:
- Stay at home for at least 7 days, and for 3 days with no fever and improvement of respiratory symptoms – whichever is longer. (Your fever should be gone for 3 days without using fever-reducing medicine).
- Use the CDC website on how to Care For Yourself at Home with COVID-19.
- If your household contacts were exposed to you while you had symptoms, they should try to stay home as much as possible for 14 days.
a. They should closely monitor their health, and if symptoms occur, they must isolate themselves. More guidance on this can be found here: MDH COVID-19 Basics
b. Use the CDC website for How to Minimize Spread.
Thank you, stay safe, and stay strong.
Devinder Malhotra Chancellor