January 7 MetroSafe Update

Posted Thursday, January 7, 2021 | Announcements to Employees

COVID-19 campus exposure update

For the weeks of Dec. 23–Jan. 5, Metropolitan State has reported 10 COVID-19 cases to the Minnesota State dashboard among individuals associated with our campus. Of these individuals, none were infectious while on campus. The data reported is shown below:

Students—Week of 12/23/2020 - 1/5/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 1/5/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—10 / 261

Negative—0 / 75

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 0

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—10 / 186

Contagious while on campus—0 / 17

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—10 / 169

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—5 / 179

Employees—Week of 12/9/2020 - 1/5/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 1/5/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—1 / 15

Negative—0 / 0

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—1 / 2

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—0 / 12

Contagious while on campus—0 / 0

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—0 / 13

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 14

As a campus with many students and employees studying and working offsite, if a positive case does not trace to an exposure/contact on campus, the campus may not be notified. Data may not be comprehensive or in real-time​ due to testing and reporting delays and are subject to change. Individuals, particularly those that have been at one of our locations, are also encouraged to report any COVID-19 health updates through our reporting form. As part of the Minnesota State system and in conjunction with the Minnesota Department of Health, Metropolitan State posts a link to the Minnesota State COVID-19 dashboard on the website.

Minnesota State reminder on COVIDaware MN

As we look towards our upcoming semester, we are asking you to add your phone to the fight against COVID-19 and to help Metropolitan State use every tool possible to slow the spread of the virus on campus.

Minnesota’s exposure notification system, COVIDaware MN, will help create a safer community at our school. COVIDaware MN will notify you if you’ve been near someone who tested positive for COVID-19. If you test positive, you can use the app to anonymously notify anyone you’ve been near.

Download the app before returning to campus locations so you can be notified of potential COVID-19 exposures. When we understand our exposure risk before returning to campus, we can all make more informed decisions about our health and reduce the risk of spreading the virus to friends, colleagues, and staff.

COVIDaware MN is free and does not collect any personal information or track your location. The app was made available by the State of Minnesota, in partnership with PathCheck Foundation. It uses your phone’s Bluetooth signal and exposure notification technology developed by Apple and Google.

Community testing—no-barrier access continues

Minnesota has worked hard to provide no-barrier access to COVID-19 testing at all Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) community testing sites. Testing is available to anyone who believes they need a COVID-19 test, with or without insurance. Participants will be asked for their health insurance information so the state can bill their insurance company on their behalf. If a person is uninsured or for any reason insurance does not cover some or all of the cost, the state will cover the difference so testing remains available at no cost to everyone.

What does no-barrier access mean?

  • You do not need to show identification.
  • Tests are at no cost to you, and insurance is not required (but please bring your insurance card if you have one).
  • Appointments are recommended, but you may walk in.

Community Testing sites for nasal and saliva testing can be found at the community testing page of the MDH website.

COVID testing for spring semester

If you travelled during the winter break or have been together with other individuals outside your household, we encourage you to get tested for COVID at one of the free testing locations before returning to campus worksites in January.

COVID leave changes

Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) has revised the Paid COVID-19 Leave Policy and the Expanded School Leave (ESL) Policy. Following are important points on the revised policies effective Jan. 1, 2021:

  1. Employees are entitled to a single leave bank of eighty (80) hours of Paid COVID-19 Leave (pro-rated for part-time employees). All paid leave taken under this policy prior to Jan. 1, 2021, counts toward the amount of leave available under this policy on and after Jan. 1, 2021. Employees who have exhausted Paid COVID-19 Leave by Jan. 1, 2021, are not eligible for any additional Paid COVID-19 Leave.
  2. The COVID Paid Leave Policy is largely unchanged, except that the policy will now offer paid leave for employees who are directed by their Employer to remain home because of exposure to a confirmed case of COVID. Starting Jan. 1, 2021, the COVID Paid Leave Policy will be authorized by the Governor’s Executive Authority under the Peacetime Emergency rather than the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and are expected to end when the Peacetime Emergency ends.
  3. Use the new Minnesota State COVID Leave-Expanded School Leave (ESL) Request Form (attached) for ESL leaves.
  4. The former EFMLA Policy will expire and change to the Expanded School Leave (ESL) Policy as of Jan. 1, 2021. The primary difference in the Expanded School Leave Policy is that leave taken under the policy will not be counted against an employee’s FMLA leave balance.
  5. Length of Service Criteria. The new ESL Policy requires employees to have worked 1,044 hours in the previous 12 month period to be eligible. In contrast, the EFMLA Policy required that the employee had been employed by the State for 30 days.
  6. The ESL Policy will provide for 10 weeks of paid leave for employees who are unable to telework and who must stay at home to care for their child due to the child’s school or a childcare provider being closed due to COVID related reasons (and there is no other suitable person to provide childcare). The paid leave is offered at the same rates of pay as were offered under the EFMLA Policy.

If you have any questions about COVID Leave, please contact Victory “Vy” Le at victoria.le@metrostate.edu or 651-793-1281.