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Tracking and reporting

  • Face Coverings

    Effective July 30: Because Ramsey County has substantial transmission of COVID-19 and the delta variant, face coverings are required for everyone in university buildings and common spaces at the Dayton’s Bluff or Midway locations.

    This requirement applies to vaccinated and unvaccinated employees, students, visitors, contractors, and vendors. People in a private office or workspace may remove their mask while they are alone in that space.

  • COVIDaware MN

    A free app from the State of Minnesota to notify you if you have been near someone who tests positive for COVID-19. Available for both Apple and Android smartphones. Because no information that will identify you will ever leave your phone, your privacy is protected.

  • Report an Instance of COVID-19

    Employees are requested to report exposure to, or a diagnosis of, COVID-19 to the university.

  • Student Face Covering Violation

    Report a violation by a student of the university's face covering policy

  • Minnesota State COVID-19 Dashboard

    Data from Minnesota State's member universities and colleges on COVID-19 reported cases and community spread. Updated weekly.

  • Vaccine Connector

    Find a location where you can get vaccinated.

Report an instance of COVID-19

University resources and FAQs

For students

  • COVID-19 Information for Students

    Information for students about academics, university student services and outside resources. Becoming familiar with this page will help both faculty and staff answer students' questions.

  • Student Employment FAQs

    Information about student workers and federal and state work study programs during the extended break.

Messages to Employees from Minnesota State and Metropolitan State University

Posted Tuesday, August 31, 2021 Announcements to Employees

Reporting COVID-19
Employees should report to their supervisor as soon as possible a COVID-19 exposure, symptoms of COVID-19 or a test confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19. Supervisors should report an employee’s COVID-19 exposure or confirmed test diagnosis to HR. We strongly encourage employees to submit this information on the employee form on the university COVID-19 website.
Employees must also report any student COVID-19 cases of which they are aware using the same form.

Vaccination policy

Employees have received emails from Chancellor Malhotra and President Arthur about the State of Minnesota vaccination policy to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Effective Sept. 8, Minnesota State employees working at university locations will be required to either show proof of vaccination or be tested weekly. Minnesota State is preparing a system wide electronic tool for employees to use to show proof of vaccination.

Metropolitan State is working on options for weekly testing for employees with third party providers. This includes offering on site vaccination options for students. More information will be sent out when available.

We are sincerely grateful for your ongoing flexibility, resilience, and commitment to keeping our Metro community safe and healthy during this pandemic.

Face covering policy

Metropolitan State University has implemented face covering protocols on campus keeping consistent with the new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control. New protocols require employees, students, and visitors, including contractors and vendors, to wear a face covering in public indoor settings inside campus buildings or university facilities at all locations, regardless of vaccination status.

Face coverings are available throughout campus for anyone who may need one. Classrooms will also, please maintain at least a 6-foot distance from others at all campus locations. Vaccination remains one of the most important public health measures each of us can adopt to keep everyone safe.

COVID-19 variants

  • Variants are common with a virus like COVID-19. Viruses constantly change through mutation, and new variants of a virus are expected to occur over time.
  • These variants are concerning because they are more contagious. For example, early data shows that some variants spread more easily and can be as much as 50% more contagious than the original virus.
  • Currently, the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant is the most common in Minnesota.

How vaccination helps

  • Vaccination reduces spread of the virus, which makes it harder for it to change and create variants.
  • With the Delta variant, fully vaccinated people may be able to pass the disease to others.
  • However, fully vaccinated people are less likely to get infected, and if a vaccinated person gets infected, the illness will likely be mild. The vaccine also greatly reduces the chance of hospitalization and death. That's why it's so important for all who are eligible to get vaccinated. The best tool we have to protect ourselves and each other is vaccination.
  • If you would like to speak to someone about any questions or concerns you have regarding the Delta variant and/or COVID-19 vaccines, please contact Rachael Mills at Rachael.mills@metrostate.edu.

Vaccinations

As vaccination continues to be our most effective tool in containing the virus, it is imperative to have as many people fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The most up to date vaccination information for Minnesota can be found on the state's COVID-19 Vaccine Data page.

All Minnesotans age 12 and older are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, and we continue to encourage all Minnesota State staff, faculty and students to get vaccinated. Minnesotans can use the online vaccine locator map to find vaccine locations near them and contact those health care providers with questions.
International students are eligible for vaccination through the State of Minnesota by using their Minnesota address.

COVID-19 campus exposure update
For the week of Aug. 18–24, Metropolitan State has reported 2 COVID-19 cases to the Minnesota State dashboard among individuals associated with our campus. One of these individuals was thought to be contagious while on campus. Note that our numbers are reflective of case counts during the current academic year. The data reported is shown below, displayed in a ‘numbers for this week/ total number of reports since 8/17/2021 format:

Students
Week of 8/18/2021 - 8/24/2021 / Total from 08/18/2021 - 8/24/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—2 / 2

Negative—0 / 0

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 0

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—2 / 2

Contagious while on campus—1 / 1

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—1 / 1

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—2 / 2

Employees
Week of 8/18/2021 - 8/24/2021 / Total from 08/18/2021 - 8/24/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—0 / 0

Negative—0 / 0

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 0

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—0 / 0

Contagious while on campus—0 / 0

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—0 / 0

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 0

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.

Posted Tuesday, August 31, 2021 Announcements to Employees

Emails from Chancellor Malhotra and President Arthur indicate that effective Sept. 8, Minnesota State employees working at university locations will be required to either show proof of vaccination or be tested weekly. Administrators are working on the logistics and details for how this will happen at Metro State. Details will be shared as soon as possible before the policy goes into effect. Thank you for your patience as we plan and work to meet these requirements.

We are sincerely grateful for your ongoing flexibility, resilience, and commitment to keeping our Metro community safe and healthy during this pandemic.

Updated guidance on face covering
Metropolitan State University is implementing face covering protocols on campus keeping consistent with the new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control. New protocols require employees, students, and visitors, including contractors and vendors, to wear a face covering in public indoor settings inside campus buildings or university facilities at all locations, regardless of vaccination status.

Face coverings are available throughout campus for anyone who may need one. Also, please maintain at least a 6-foot distance from others at all campus locations. Vaccination remains one of the most important public health measures each of us can adopt to keep everyone safe.

On July 27, the CDC updated their interim public health recommendations for fully vaccinated people in response to increases in COVID-19 cases as a result of the Delta variant, and they continue to recommend face coverings for those not vaccinated. The change in approach for vaccinated people resulted from preliminary evidence suggesting that “fully vaccinated people who do become infected with the Delta variant can spread the virus to others.” That new guidance recommends that fully vaccinated individuals:

  • Wear a mask in public indoor settings if they are in an area of substantial or high transmission. Fully vaccinated people might choose to mask regardless of the level of transmission, particularly if they or someone in their household is immunocompromised or at increased risk for severe disease, or if someone in their household is unvaccinated. People who are at increased risk for severe disease include older adults and those who have certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, overweight or obesity, and heart conditions.
  • Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Get tested 3-5 days following a known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 and wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days after exposure or until a negative test result.
  • Isolate if they have tested positive for COVID-19 in the prior 10 days or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

Delta variant update
The Delta variant is extremely contagious – more so than any other COVID-19 variant. It also may cause more severe illness. The Delta variant is responsible for the majority of cases in Minnesota and the US at this time. Unvaccinated individuals are at a high risk of contracting Delta.

Vaccinated people are still unlikely to get infected, even with Delta, but breakthrough infections do occur. Vaccination still protects from severe illness and hospitalization. That being said, vaccinated people infected by the Delta variant can spread the virus at the same rates as unvaccinated people. This is why mask mandates are returning.

The best tool we have to protect ourselves and each other is vaccination.

If you would like to speak to someone about any questions or concerns you have regarding the Delta variant and/or COVID-19 vaccines, please contact Rachael Mills at Rachael.mills@metrostate.edu. Rachael is the Coordinator of Health and Wellness here at Metro and would be more than happy to speak with you!

Vaccinations

As vaccination continues to be our most effective tool in containing the virus, it is imperative to have as many people fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The most up to date vaccination information for Minnesota can be found on the state's COVID-19 Vaccine Data page.

All Minnesotans age 12 and older are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, and we continue to encourage all Minnesota State staff, faculty and students to get vaccinated. Minnesotans can use the online vaccine locator map to find vaccine locations near them and contact those health care providers with questions.
International students are eligible for vaccination through the State of Minnesota by using their Minnesota address.

COVID-19 campus exposure update
For the week of Aug. 11–17, Metropolitan State has reported 1 COVID-19 case to the Minnesota State dashboard among individuals associated with our campus. The individual was not believed to have been contagious on campus. The data reported is shown below, displayed in a ‘numbers for this week/ total number of reports since 8/24/2020’ format:

Students
Week of 8/11/2021 - 8/17/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 8/17/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—2 / 393

Negative—0 / 91

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 1

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—1 / 301

Contagious while on campus—0 / 23

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—1 / 278

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 300

Employees
Week of 8/11/2021 - 8/17/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 8/17/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—1 / 29

Negative—0 / 0

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 1

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—1 / 22

Contagious while on campus—0 / 3

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—1 / 25

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 25

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.

Posted Tuesday, August 31, 2021 Announcements to Employees

Emails from Chancellor Malhotra and President Arthur indicate that effective Sept. 8, Minnesota State employees working at university locations will be required to either show proof of vaccination or be tested weekly. Administrators are working on the logistics and details for how this will happen at Metro State. Details will be shared as soon as possible before the policy goes into effect. Thank you for your patience as we plan and work to meet these requirements.

We are sincerely grateful for your ongoing flexibility, resilience and commitment to keeping our Metro community safe and healthy during this pandemic.

Updated guidance on face covering
Metropolitan State University is implementing face covering protocols on campus keeping consistent with the new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control. New protocols require employees, students, and visitors, including contractors and vendors, to wear a face covering in public indoor settings inside campus buildings or university facilities at all locations, regardless of vaccination status.

Face coverings are available throughout campus for anyone who may need one. Also, please maintain at least a 6-foot distance from others at all campus locations. Vaccination remains one of the most important public health measures each of us can adopt to keep everyone safe.

On July 27, the CDC updated their interim public health recommendations for fully vaccinated people in response to increases in COVID-19 cases as a result of the Delta variant, and they continue to recommend face coverings for those not vaccinated. The change in approach for vaccinated people resulted from preliminary evidence suggesting that “fully vaccinated people who do become infected with the Delta variant can spread the virus to others.” That new guidance recommends that fully vaccinated individuals:

  • Wear a mask in public indoor settings if they are in an area of substantial or high transmission. Fully vaccinated people might choose to mask regardless of the level of transmission, particularly if they or someone in their household is immunocompromised or at increased risk for severe disease, or if someone in their household is unvaccinated. People who are at increased risk for severe disease include older adults and those who have certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, overweight or obesity, and heart conditions.
  • Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Get tested 3-5 days following a known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 and wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days after exposure or until a negative test result.
  • Isolate if they have tested positive for COVID-19 in the prior 10 days or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

Delta variant update
The Delta variant is extremely contagious – more so than any other COVID-19 variant. It also may cause more severe illness. The Delta variant is responsible for the majority of cases in Minnesota and the US at this time. Unvaccinated individuals are at a high risk of contracting Delta.

Vaccinated people are still unlikely to get infected, even with Delta, but breakthrough infections do occur. Vaccination still protects from severe illness and hospitalization. That being said, vaccinated people infected by the Delta variant can spread the virus at the same rates as unvaccinated people. This is why mask mandates are returning.

The best tool we have to protect ourselves and each other is vaccination.

If you would like to speak to someone about any questions or concerns you have regarding the Delta variant and/or COVID-19 vaccines, please contact Rachael Mills at Rachael.mills@metrostate.edu. Rachael is the Coordinator of Health and Wellness here at Metro and would be more than happy to speak with you!

Vaccinations

All Minnesotans age 12 and older are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. We encourage all Minnesota State staff, faculty and students to get vaccinated. Minnesotans can use the online vaccine locator map to find vaccine locations near them and contact those health care providers with questions.
International students are eligible for vaccination through the State of Minnesota by using their Minnesota address.

COVID-19 campus exposure update
For the week of Aug. 3–10, Metropolitan State has reported 2 COVID-19 cases to the Minnesota State dashboard among individuals associated with our campus. Two of these individuals were thought to have been on campus while contagious. The data reported is shown below, displayed in a ‘numbers for this week/ total number of reports since 8/24/2020’ format:

Students

Week of 8/4/2021 - 8/10/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 8/10/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—2 / 393

Negative—0 / 91

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 01

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—1 / 301

Contagious while on campus—0 / 23

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—1 / 278

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 300

Employees

Week of 8/4/2021 - 8/10/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 8/10/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—0 / 28

Negative—0 / 0

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 1

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—0 / 21

Contagious while on campus—0 / 3

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—0 / 24

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 25

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.

Posted Tuesday, August 31, 2021 Announcements to Employees

Delta variant update
The Delta variant is extremely contagious – more so than any other COVID-19 variant. It also may cause more severe illness. The Delta variant is responsible for the majority of cases in Minnesota and the US at this time. Unvaccinated individuals are at a high risk of contracting Delta.

Vaccinated people are still unlikely to get infected, even with Delta, but breakthrough infections do occur. Vaccination still protects from severe illness and hospitalization. That being said, vaccinated people infected by the Delta variant can spread the virus at the same rates as unvaccinated people. This is why mask mandates are returning.

The best tool we have to protect ourselves and each other is vaccination.

If you would like to speak to someone about any questions or concerns you have regarding the Delta variant and/or COVID-19 vaccines, please contact Rachael Mills at Rachael.mills@metrostate.edu. Rachael is the Coordinator of Health and Wellness here at Metro and would be more than happy to speak with you!

Updated guidance on face covering
Metropolitan State University is implementing face covering protocols on campus keeping consistent with the new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control. New protocols require employees, students, and visitors, including contractors and vendors, to wear a face covering in public indoor settings inside campus buildings or university facilities at all locations, regardless of vaccination status.

On July 27, the CDC updated their interim public health recommendations for fully vaccinated people in response to increases in COVID-19 cases as a result of the Delta variant, and they continue to recommend face coverings for those not vaccinated. The change in approach for vaccinated people resulted from preliminary evidence suggesting that “fully vaccinated people who do become infected with the Delta variant can spread the virus to others.” That new guidance recommends that fully vaccinated individuals:

  • Wear a mask in public indoor settings if they are in an area of substantial or high transmission. Fully vaccinated people might choose to mask regardless of the level of transmission, particularly if they or someone in their household is immunocompromised or at increased risk for severe disease, or if someone in their household is unvaccinated. People who are at increased risk for severe disease include older adults and those who have certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, overweight or obesity, and heart conditions.
  • Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Get tested 3-5 days following a known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 and wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days after exposure or until a negative test result.
  • Isolate if they have tested positive for COVID-19 in the prior 10 days or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

Vaccinations

All Minnesotans age 12 and older are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. We encourage all Minnesota State staff, faculty and students to get vaccinated. Minnesotans can use the online vaccine locator map to find vaccine locations near them and contact those health care providers with questions.
International students are eligible for vaccination through the State of Minnesota by using their Minnesota address.

COVID-19 campus exposure update
For the week of July 28–Aug. 3, Metropolitan State has reported 4 COVID-19 cases to the Minnesota State dashboard among individuals associated with our campus. Two of these individuals were thought to have been on campus while contagious. The data reported is shown below, displayed in a ‘numbers for this week/ total number of reports since 8/24/2020’ format:

Students

Week of 7/28/2021 - 8/3/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 8/3/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—2 / 391

Negative—0 / 91

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 0

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—2 / 300

Contagious while on campus—1 / 23

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—1 / 277

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 297

Employees

Week of 7/28/2021 - 8/3/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 8/3/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—2 / 28

Negative—0 / 0

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 1

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—2 / 21

Contagious while on campus—1 / 3

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—0 / 24

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 25

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.

Posted Friday, July 30, 2021 Announcements to Employees

Free COVID-19 vaccination clinic Monday, Aug. 2, 10:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Metropolitan State University is hosting a free COVID-19 vaccination clinic staffed by the Minnesota Department of Health. Vaccines are available to the Metropolitan State community and general public. Doses will be administered 10:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m., Aug. 2 at the Dayton's Bluff campus. Information and registration link here »

Vaccinations
All Minnesotans age 16 and older are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. We encourage all Minnesota State staff, faculty and students to get vaccinated. Minnesotans can use the online vaccine locator map to find vaccine locations near them and contact those health care providers with questions.
International students are eligible for vaccination through the State of Minnesota by using their Minnesota address.

COVID-19 campus exposure update
For the week of July 21–July 27, Metropolitan State has reported 0 COVID-19 cases to the Minnesota State dashboard among individuals associated with our campus. The data reported is shown below:

Students—Week of 7/21/2021 - 7/27/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 7/27/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—0 / 388

Negative—0 / 91

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 0

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—1 / 297

Contagious while on campus—0 / 22

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—1 / 275

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 293

Employees—Week of 7/21/2021 - 7/27/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 7/27/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—0 / 26

Negative—0 / 0

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 1

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—0 / 19

Contagious while on campus—0 / 2

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—0 / 24

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 25

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.

Campus Access
As the campus health screening tool is no longer being used when you arrive on campus, students and employees will need their ID card to access the Saint Paul Campus buildings. The Fine Art Studio, ICES, and the Grow IT Center will be opened by request only during summer semester. Staff can contact security for access to the ICES building.

Saint Paul Campus office door access
As employees return to work in person in August, please be aware of office door locking/unlocking practices. Employees will be able to access and unlock office suite doors by using your employee ID card. A single tap of the card near the card reader will unlock the door temporarily and relock.

To unlock the office suite door when open for customer support you can double tap your ID card on the card reader. This will unlock the door for the day.

To relock the office suite when leaving double tap you ID card on the card reader. The LED light on the card readers should be red when the door is locked and green when the door is unlocked.

Employee ID cards have office and department specific access setup in the card access database. In the past we have used automatic unlock schedules for some spaces. We would like to maintain security in our office areas as we transition back to campus. Please contact security staff at 651-793-1717 if you have problems with your access card.

Need an ID? Information about acquiring an ID card can be found on the library’s website.

Six-foot distancing floor plan layouts
Floor plan layouts are available on the S-drive for the Saint Paul, Midway, Minneapolis College and LECJEC locations. The floor plan layouts provide a visual reference with six-foot circles to show distancing in specific spaces. The visual diagrams are a reference tool and based on reference drawings. They may not be an exact replication of the space. They were sent to supervisors to use for planning and safety as we transition work back on campus. Floor plans can be found on the S-drive at: S:\Metro\Campus Operations\6 ft Distancing Plans\Social Distance Floor Plans _7.1.21

Hand Hygiene
Metro State is encouraging all employees, students, and visitors to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds using soap and water. Hand washing is preferred whenever possible, and before eating or taking breaks.

We are providing departments and high traffic locations with hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizers will be accessible in each department as common shared supply. Be aware that excessive use of hand sanitizers can cause skin irritation.

Planning internal meetings for fall
If you are planning a department internal meeting, please submit your request as normal through the virtual event management system in the service portal. Events/meetings with 25 or more participants will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. A written safety plan may be required. Please allow two weeks advance notice to review and coordinate larger meetings/events requests. Due to limited capacity, we cannot approve full day reservations for department classroom space requests until final class room reservations are complete.

Return to Campus Planning
Campus Operations staff are installing acrylic barrier screens, floor decals and capacity signs this week as we prepare for fall semester. We should have all acrylic screens installed by next week.

Posted Friday, July 30, 2021 Announcements to Employees

While new and active cases in the state are at the lowest since April 2020, the spread of variants and the slowing pace of vaccinations demands continued caution. More than 3 million Minnesotans 12 and older have now received at least one vaccine dose. 66.65% of residents aged 16+ have received at least one dose of vaccine. This data and overall trends support medical and scientific communities messaging that vaccinations work to control the spread of COVID-19. It’s still important to get vaccinated to protect you from COVID-19. The virus will continue to spread and is an opportunity for a variant to mutate and impact those not vaccinated or vulnerable to the disease.

COVID-19 campus exposure update

For the week of July 7–July 13, Metropolitan State has reported 1 COVID-19 cases to the Minnesota State dashboard among individuals associated with our campus. This individual was not thought to have been contagious while on campus. The data reported is shown below:

Students—Week of 7/7/2021 - 7/13/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 7/13/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—0 / 389

Negative—0 / 91

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 0

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—1 / 298

Contagious while on campus—0 / 22

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—1 / 276

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 297

Employees—Week of 7/7/2021 - 7/13/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 7/13/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—0 / 26

Negative—0 / 0

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 1

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—0 / 19

Contagious while on campus—0 / 2

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—0 / 24

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 25

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.

Find a vaccination and vaccine information
General information regarding vaccinations can be found on the Minnesota Department of Health website. Minnesotans can use the online vaccine locator map to find vaccine locations near them and contact those health care providers with questions.

Reminder of travel requirements
As day-to-day life begins to return to a more normal posture, it is wise to keep abreast of the latest requirements for domestic and international travel. For international travel, it is particularly important to be aware of changing restrictions and requirements; information on this can be found at the U.S. State Department’s international travel page. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have recommendations for both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers.

Similarly, international air passengers coming into the country will be required to enter United States (including U.S. citizens and Legal Permanent Residents) to present a negative COVID-19 test, taken within three calendar days of departure or proof of recovery from the virus within the last 90 days​.

The Minnesota State System Office’s guidance on travel is as follows:

  • Guidance suspending international travel has not changed from the last communication (Feb. 23, 2021). For the 2021 fall semester, campuses can continue to plan for future semester study abroad experiences and short-term study abroad trips. The system office is not restricting campuses from engaging in this type of planning activity, however, institutions need to consider the many decision points in planning for study abroad and study away that allow for opportunities to review the situation and act appropriately. Changes and updates to travel restrictions will be communicated when appropriate.
  • Domestic out-of-state travel guidelines will continue to follow local advisories, and changes will be communicated regularly. All college/university sponsored domestic travel requests by students, faculty, or staff should refer to the Out-of-State Travel Request form, which has been updated to note that approval to travel is applicable at the time of actual travel.

Campus Access
As the campus health screening tool is no longer being used when you arrive on campus, students and employees will need their ID card to access the Saint Paul Campus buildings. The Fine Art Studio, ICES, and the Grow IT Center will be opened by request only during summer semester. Staff can contact security for access to the ICES building. Information about acquiring an ID card can be found on the library’s website.

Events on Campus
Metro State will continue to limit outside group events this summer while we have limited staffing on site. Large group events that would be held in person are being reviewed and approved on a case-by-case basis. A written safety plan may also be required. Please allow adequate advance notice of two weeks when submitting you event reservation in the service portal.

Planning internal meetings for fall
If you are planning a department internal meeting, please submit your request as normal through the virtual event management system in the service portal. We are limiting reservations to specific department events. Please specify time periods for your meeting reservation. Due to limited capacity, we cannot approve full day reservations at this time.

Return to Campus Planning
Campus Operations safety staff are completing individual department meetings with supervisors who completed the safety survey next week. Acrylic barrier screens and floor signage will be installed in the next two weeks.

Posted Friday, July 9, 2021 Announcements to Employees

The university has no new COVID-19 cases reported by students or employees. New and active cases in the state are at the lowest since April 2020. More than 3 million Minnesotans 12 and older have now received at least one vaccine dose. 66.65% of residents aged 16+ have received at least one dose of vaccine. This data and overall trends support medical and scientific communities messaging that vaccinations work to control the spread of COVID-19. It’s still important to get vaccinated to protect you from COVID-19. The virus will continue to spread and is an opportunity for a variant to mutate and impact those not vaccinated or vulnerable to the disease.

COVID-19 campus exposure update

For the week of June 30–July 6, Metropolitan State has reported 0 COVID-19 cases to the Minnesota State dashboard among individuals associated with our campus. The data reported is shown below:

Students—Week of 6/30/2021 - 7/6/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 7/6/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—0 / 385

Negative—0 / 91

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 0

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—0 / 294

Contagious while on campus—0 / 21

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—1 / 273

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 293

Employees—Week of 6/30/2021 - 7/6/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 7/6/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—1 / 26

Negative—0 / 0

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 1

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—1 / 19

Contagious while on campus—0 / 2

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—1 / 24

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 25

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.

On Campus vaccination clinic Monday, July 12
Metropolitan State University's is hosting a free vaccination clinic at the Saint Paul campus, offering the first dose on Monday, July 12, in New Main, Great Hall, from 10:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m., with a second dose clinic on Monday, Aug. 2. The clinic is free and open to the community. We encourage you to register and attend the vaccination clinic for the Pfizer brand vaccination. The Pfizer vaccine is authorized for everyone age 12 and up, and students’ children 12 and up are welcome too.

Walk-ins are welcome as well but registering will ensure adequate quantities of vaccine are ordered. Appointments are now available and can be made using this link. Select “Find Next Available Visit” to open the appointments for the July 12 clinic.

What you need to make a reservation:

  • You will need to confirm you first name, last name, and home address
  • You do NOT need to show an ID
  • You do NOT need to have medical insurance

Note that international students not fully vaccinated with WHO/CDC approved vaccines can get vaccinated in Minnesota with using their campus address.

General information regarding vaccinations can be found on the Minnesota Department of Health website. For more information on Metropolitan State's vaccination clinic, contact Health and Wellness Coordinator Rachael Mills. Those who are unable to come to the clinic are reminded that Minnesotans can use the online vaccine locator map to find vaccine locations near them and contact those health care providers with questions.

Reminder of travel requirements

As day-to-day life begins to return to a more normal posture, it is wise to keep abreast of the latest requirements for domestic and international travel. For international travel, it is particularly important to be aware of changing restrictions and requirements; information on this can be found at the U.S. State Department’s international travel page. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have recommendations for both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers.

Similarly, international air passengers coming into the country will be required to enter United States (including U.S. citizens and Legal Permanent Residents) to present a negative COVID-19 test, taken within three calendar days of departure or proof of recovery from the virus within the last 90 days​.

The Minnesota State System Office’s guidance on travel is as follows:

  • Guidance suspending international travel has not changed from the last communication (Feb. 23, 2021). For the 2021 fall semester, campuses can continue to plan for future semester study abroad experiences and short-term study abroad trips. The system office is not restricting campuses from engaging in this type of planning activity, however, institutions need to consider the many decision points in planning for study abroad and study away that allow for opportunities to review the situation and act appropriately. Changes and updates to travel restrictions will be communicated when appropriate.
  • Domestic out-of-state travel guidelines will continue to follow local advisories, and changes will be communicated regularly. All college/university sponsored domestic travel requests by students, faculty, or staff should refer to the Out-of-State Travel Request Form which has been updated to note that approval to travel is applicable at the time of actual travel.

Campus Access
As the campus health screening tool is no longer being used when you arrive on campus, students and employees will need their ID card to access the Saint Paul Campus buildings. The Fine Art Studio, ICES, and the Grow IT Center will be opened by request only during summer semester. Staff can contact security for access to the ICES building. Information about acquiring an ID card can be found on the library’s website.

Events on Campus

Metro State will continue to limit outside group events this summer while we have limited staffing on site. We are focusing on return to campus planning and preparations for fall semester.

Planning internal meetings for fall

If you are planning a department internal meeting, please submit your request as normal through the virtual event management system in the service portal. We are limiting reservations to specific department events. Please specify time periods for your meeting reservation. Due to limited capacity, we cannot approve full day reservations at this time.

Return to Campus Planning

Campus Operations safety staff are reviewing the department safety surveys that supervisors completed. They will be meeting with individual supervisors in the next two weeks to review department planning and provide any needed equipment and signage as we prepare for staff returning to campus in August.

Posted Friday, July 2, 2021 Announcements to Employees

This week the university again has no new COVID-19 cases reported. New and active cases in the state are at the lowest since April 2020. More than 3 million Minnesotans age 12 and older have now received at least one vaccine dose. Roughly 67% of residents aged 16+ have received at least one dose of vaccine. This data and overall trends support medical and scientific communities messaging that vaccinations work to control the spread of COVID-19. It’s still important to get vaccinated to protect you from COVID-19. The virus will continue to spread and is an opportunity for a variant to mutate and impact those not vaccinated or vulnerable to the disease.

COVID-19 campus exposure update

For the week of June 23–June 29, Metropolitan State has reported 0 COVID-19 cases to the Minnesota State dashboard among individuals associated with our campus. The data reported is shown below:

Students—Week of 6/23/2021 - 6/29/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 6/29/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—0 / 385

Negative—0 / 91

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 0

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—0 / 294

Contagious while on campus—0 / 21

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—1 / 273

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 293

Employees—Week of 6/23/2021 - 6/29/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 6/29/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—1 / 26

Negative—0 / 0

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 1

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—1 / 19

Contagious while on campus—0 / 2

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—1 / 24

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 25

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.

On Campus vaccination clinic Monday, July 12
Metropolitan State University's is hosting a free vaccination clinic at the Saint Paul campus, offering the first dose on Monday, July 12, in New Main, Great Hall, from 10:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m., with a second dose clinic on Monday, Aug. 2. The clinic is open to employees, students, and household members. We encourage you to register and attend the vaccination clinic for the Pfizer brand vaccination. The Pfizer vaccine is authorized for everyone age 12 and up, and students’ children 12 and up are welcome too.

Walk-ins are welcome as well but registering will ensure adequate quantities of vaccine are ordered. Appointments are now available and can be made using this link. Select “Find Next Available Visit” to open the appointments for the July 12 clinic.

What you need to make a reservation:

  • You will need to confirm you first name, last name, and home address
  • You do NOT need to show an ID
  • You do NOT need to have medical insurance

General information regarding vaccinations can be found on the Minnesota Department of Health website. For more information on Metropolitan State's vaccination clinic, contact Health and Wellness Coordinator Rachael Mills.

Mask/Face Covering Update
Per state and municipal guidelines, people are not required to wear a face covering at any of our campus locations. However, people who have not been vaccinated, for whatever reason, are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering. Anyone choosing to wear a face covering for personal reasons are encouraged to continue to do so. In fact, we strongly encourage everyone to continue wearing face coverings especially when in groups of people and/or when physical distancing of 6 feet or more cannot be maintained.

Important reminders:

  • The pandemic is not over
  • Get vaccinated
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Practice physical distancing when possible
  • Stay home if you are feeling ill
  • Get tested if you experience symptoms consistent with the Coronavirus
  • Be supportive and respectful of those who continue to choose to wear a face covering

Minnesota State has provided FAQ’s concerning changes in the face covering requirements on its coronavirus information page, under General Campus Operations.

Campus Access
As the campus health screening tool is no longer being used when you arrive on campus, students and employees will need their ID card to access the Saint Paul Campus buildings. The Fine Art Studio, ICES, and the Grow IT Center will be opened by request only during summer semester. Staff can contact security for access to the ICES building. Information about acquiring an ID card can be found on the library’s website.

Posted Thursday, July 1, 2021 Announcements to Employees

This week the university has no new COVID-19 cases reported. This marks the second week in a row for students, and just one case in two weeks for employees. No colleges/universities have reported over 10 cases in a two-week period. New and active cases in the state are at the lowest since April 2020. More than 3 million Minnesotans age 12 and older have now received at least one vaccine dose. 66.65% of residents aged 16+ have received at least one dose of vaccine. This data and overall trends support medical and scientific communities messaging that vaccinations work to control the spread of COVID-19. It’s still important to get vaccinated to protect you from COVID-19. The virus will continue to spread and is an opportunity for a variant to mutate and impact those not vaccinated or vulnerable to the disease.

COVID-19 campus exposure update

For the week of June 16–June 22, Metropolitan State has reported 0 COVID-19 cases to the Minnesota State dashboard among individuals associated with our campus. The data reported is shown below:

Students—Week of 6/16/2021 - 6/22/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 6/22/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—0 / 385

Negative—0 / 91

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 0

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—0 / 294

Contagious while on campus—0 / 21

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—1 / 273

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 293

Employees—Week of 6/16/2021 - 6/22/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 6/22/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—1 / 26

Negative—0 / 0

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 1

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—1 / 19

Contagious while on campus—0 / 2

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—1 / 24

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 25

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.

Vaccination Clinic
The university will be holding a vaccination clinic on campus in July. The clinic will be open to students, employees, and household members, and will be administered by the Minnesota Department of Health. Dates are being finalized for the second week July. The clinic will have the Pfizer vaccine which is a two-dose vaccine. The first clinic will be in July and a second clinic would be held three weeks later. More information will be emailed out to the campus community next week about the clinic and instructions for making a reservation.

All Minnesotans age 16 and older are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. We encourage all Minnesota State staff, faculty and students to get vaccinated. Minnesotans can use the online vaccine locator map to find vaccine locations near them and contact those health care providers with questions.

Mask/Face Covering Update
Per state and municipal guidelines, people are not required to wear a face covering at any of our campus locations. However, people who have not been vaccinated, for whatever reason, are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering. Anyone choosing to wear a face covering for personal reasons are encouraged to continue to do so. In fact, we strongly encourage everyone to continue wearing face coverings especially when in groups of people and/or when physical distancing of 6 feet or more cannot be maintained.

Important reminders:

  • The pandemic is not over.
  • Get vaccinated.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Practice physical distancing when possible.
  • Stay home if you are feeling ill.
  • Get tested if you experience symptoms consistent with the Coronavirus.
  • Be supportive and respectful of those who continue to choose to wear a face covering.

Minnesota State has provided FAQ’s concerning changes in the face covering requirements on its coronavirus information page, under General Campus Operations.

Campus Access
As the campus health screening tool is no longer being used when you arrive on campus, students and employees will need their ID card to access the Saint Paul Campus buildings. The Fine Art Studio, ICES, and the Grow IT Center will be opened by request only during summer semester. Staff can contact security for access to the ICES building. Information about acquiring an ID card can be found on the library’s website.

Return to Campus Planning
Leadership assembly staff have received an email with a link to a Qualtrics department safety survey. Please complete the short survey by Friday, June 25, to identify equipment, signage or other safety issues as you are planning for fall semester.

Posted Tuesday, June 22, 2021 Announcements to Employees

This week the university has no new COVID-19 cases reported by students. This is the first time since Sept. 23, 2020. New and active cases in the state are at the lowest since April 2020. 66 % of the 16 and older population has at least one vaccine shot and 61.6% are completely vaccinated. More than 3 million Minnesotans age 12 and older have now received at least one vaccine dose. The state positivity rate is at 1.34%. The positivity threshold is less accurate that it once was because far fewer people are getting tested.

These data and overall trends support the medical and scientific communities’ messaging: vaccinations work to control the spread of COVID-19. It’s still important to get vaccinated to protect yourself, your loved ones, and our communities from COVID-19. The virus will continue to spread and there is an opportunity for a variant to mutate and impact those not vaccinated or vulnerable to the disease.

COVID-19 campus exposure update

For the week of June 9–June 15, Metropolitan State has reported 1 COVID-19 case to the Minnesota State dashboard among individuals associated with our campus. This individual was not thought to be infectious while on campus. The data reported is shown below:

Students—Week of 6/9/2021 - 6/15/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 6/15/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—1 / 385

Negative—0 / 91

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 0

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—1 / 294

Contagious while on campus—0 / 21

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—1 / 273

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 293

Employees—Week of 6/9/2021 - 6/15/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 6/15/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—1 / 26

Negative—0 / 0

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 1

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—1 / 19

Contagious while on campus—0 / 2

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—1 / 24

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 25

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.

Mask/Face Covering Update
Per state and municipal guidelines, people are not required to wear a face covering at any of our campus locations. However, people who have not been vaccinated, for whatever reason, are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering. Anyone choosing to wear a face covering for personal reasons are encouraged to continue to do so. In fact, we strongly encourage everyone to continue wearing face coverings especially when in groups of people and/or when physical distancing of 6 feet or more cannot be maintained.

Important reminders:

  • The pandemic is not over.
  • Get vaccinated.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Practice physical distancing when possible.
  • Stay home if you are feeling ill.
  • Get tested if you experience symptoms consistent with the Coronavirus.
  • Be supportive and respectful of those who continue to choose to wear a face covering.

Minnesota State has provided FAQ’s concerning changes in the face covering requirements on its coronavirus information page, under General Campus Operations.

COVID-19 Vaccination Know the Facts
Metropolitan State’s Counseling, Health, and Wellness Center has put together an informative flyer answering frequently-cited concerns about the COVID-19 vaccines with the facts about the vaccines and vaccination.

As a reminder, all Minnesotans age 12 and older are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. We encourage all Minnesota State staff, faculty and students to get vaccinated. Minnesotans can use the online vaccine locator map to find vaccine locations near them and contact those health care providers with questions.

Campus Events for Summer

  • Internal Meetings: If you are planning a department internal meeting, please submit your request as normal through the virtual event management system in the service portal. Space requests will be reviewed by the scheduling team and approved or adjusted for physical distancing.
  • Events on Campus: Metro State will continue to limit outside group events this summer while we have limited staffing on site. We are focusing on return to campus planning and preparations for fall semester.

Campus Access
As the campus health screening tool is no longer being used when you arrive on campus, students and employees will need their ID card to access the Saint Paul Campus buildings. The Fine Art Studio, ICES, and the Grow IT Center will be opened by request only during summer semester. Staff can contact security for access to the ICES building. Information about acquiring an ID card can be found on the library’s website.

Return to Campus Planning

Leadership Assembly staff have received an email with a link to a Qualtrix department safety survey. Please complete the short survey by Tuesday, June 22 to identify equipment, signage or other safety issues as you are planning for fall semester.

As we move forward with a broader return to campus, department supervisors have been tasked with reviewing department responsibilities to determine opportunities for some work to continue to be performed through telework arrangements as well as ensuring a vibrant, welcoming campus environment for our students. Department return to campus plans were due to their vice president by June 15. VPs will review and approve the plans for PEC review in June. Approved return to campus plans will be communicated with staff as soon as possible after the July 4 holiday. Staff will begin transitioning back to campus according to approved plans beginning Aug. 2.

Posted Tuesday, June 22, 2021 Announcements to Employees

As the pandemic evolves, we are beginning to see loosening of restrictions in public spaces. Metropolitan State is committed to maintain a safe environment even as we begin to adapt our operations to new modes and practices. As we have from the beginning of the pandemic, Metropolitan State has aligned campus requirements with guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), Minnesota Governors Executive Orders, the Minnesota Office of Higher Education and the Minnesota State system office. We will continue to use these guidelines as we manage our response to COVID-19.

COVID-19 campus exposure update

For the week of June 2–June 8, Metropolitan State has reported 1 COVID-19 case to the Minnesota State dashboard among individuals associated with our campus. This individual was not thought to be infectious while on campus. The data reported is shown below:

Students—Week of 6/2/2021 - 6/8/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 6/8/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—1 / 385

Negative—0 / 91

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 0

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—1 / 294

Contagious while on campus—0 / 21

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—1 / 273

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 293

Employees—Week of 6/2/2021 - 6/8/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 6/8/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—0 / 25

Negative—0 / 0

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 1

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—0 / 18

Contagious while on campus—0 / 2

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—0 / 22

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 16

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.

Student telehealth vendor feedback due June 14

Metro State is selecting a new telehealth services provider for students! We need your feedback to help us decide which vendor will best meet students' needs. Please review the recorded presentations from Teladoc and Virtual Care Group here: Student Telehealth Finalist Vendor Feedback

All feedback must be submitted by Monday, June 14 to be considered in the final selection decision.

Mask/Face Covering Update
Per state and municipal guidelines, people are not required to wear a face covering at any of our campus locations. However, people who have not been vaccinated, for whatever reason, are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering. Anyone choosing to wear a face covering for personal reasons are encouraged to continue to do so. In fact, we strongly encourage everyone to continue wearing face coverings especially when in groups of people and/or when physical distancing of 6 feet or more cannot be maintained.

Important reminders:

  • The pandemic is not over.
  • Get vaccinated.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Practice physical distancing when possible.
  • Stay home if you are feeling ill.
  • Get tested if you experience symptoms consistent with the Coronavirus.
  • Be supportive and respectful of those who continue to choose to wear a face covering.

Minnesota State has provided FAQ’s concerning changes in the face covering requirements on its coronavirus information page, under General Campus Operations.

COVID-19 Vaccination Know the Facts
Metropolitan State’s Counseling, Health, and Wellness Center has put together an informative flyer answering frequently-cited concerns about the COVID-19 vaccines with the facts about the vaccines and vaccination.

As a reminder, all Minnesotans age 12 and older are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. We encourage all Minnesota State staff, faculty and students to get vaccinated. Minnesotans can use the online vaccine locator map to find vaccine locations near them and contact those health care providers with questions.

Campus Scheduling for Summer

  • Internal Meetings: If you are planning a department internal meeting, please submit your request as normal through the virtual event management system in the service portal. Space requests will be reviewed by the scheduling team and approved or adjusted for physical distancing.
  • Events on Campus: Metro State will continue to limit outside group events this summer while we have limited staffing on site. We are focusing on return to campus planning and preparations for fall semester.

Campus Access
As the campus health screening tool is no longer being used when you arrive on campus, students and employees will need their ID card to access the Saint Paul Campus buildings. The Fine Art Studio, ICES, and the Grow IT Center will be opened by request only during summer semester. Staff can contact security for access to the ICES building. Information about acquiring an ID card can be found on the library’s website.

Posted Tuesday, June 8, 2021 Announcements to Employees

As the pandemic evolves, we are beginning to see loosening of restrictions in public spaces. Metropolitan State University is committed to maintain a safe environment even as we begin to adapt our operations to new modes and practices. Metropolitan State continues to align campus requirements with guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), Minnesota Governors Executive Orders, the Minnesota Office of Higher Education and the Minnesota State system office guidelines as we manage our response to COVID-19.

COVID-19 campus exposure update
For the week of May 26–June 1, Metropolitan State has reported 1 COVID-19 case to the Minnesota State dashboard among individuals associated with our campus. Of these individuals, none were thought to be infectious while on campus. The data reported is shown below:

Students—Week of 5/26/2021 - 6/1/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 6/1/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—1 / 384

Negative—0 / 91

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 0

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—1 / 293

Contagious while on campus—0 / 21

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—1 / 272

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 292

Employees—Week of 5/26/2021 - 6/1/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 6/1/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—0 / 25

Negative—0 / 0

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 1

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—0 / 18

Contagious while on campus—0 / 2

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—0 / 22

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 16

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.

Mask/Face Covering Update
On June 1, 2021, Minneapolis and Saint Paul mayors rescinded the executive orders requiring face coverings, following Minnesota Governor Tim Walz rescinding the statewide mask mandate in most settings as detailed in Executive Order 21-23 on May 14.

Effective June 7, you are not required to wear a face covering at any of our Metropolitan State campus locations. People who have not been vaccinated, for whatever reason, are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering. Anyone choosing to wear a face covering for personal reasons are encouraged to continue to do so. In fact, we strongly encourage everyone to continue wearing face coverings especially when in groups of people and/or when physical distancing of 6 feet or more cannot be maintained.

Important reminders:

  • The pandemic is not over.
  • Get vaccinated.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Practice physical distancing when possible.
  • Stay home if you are feeling ill.
  • Get tested if you experience symptoms consistent with the Coronavirus.
  • Be supportive and respectful of those who continue to choose to wear a face covering.

Minnesota State has provided FAQ’s concerning changes in the face covering requirements on its coronavirus information page, under General Campus Operations. (https://www.minnstate.edu/coronavirus/)

Midway Technology Center Location
The Technology Center building at Midway is no longer requiring face coverings if you are vaccinated in the common areas of the building. Individual tenant spaces may have their own requirements for face coverings.

Hennepin Technical College (LECJEC)
Hennepin Technical Center (LECJEC) is no longer requiring face masks while indoors or outdoors. All people who have not been fully vaccinated are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering in accordance with MDH and CDC recommendations until they are fully vaccinated. Nothing precludes someone from wearing a mask, for any reason, if they so choose.

Minneapolis College
Effective June 7, Minneapolis College will no longer require face coverings. They are encouraging employees and students to wear face coverings and maintain increased physical distance where possible.

Health Screening Tool/Campus Access
The campus health screening tool is no longer being used when you arrive on campus. Students and employees will have access to Saint Paul Campus buildings at exterior doors with card readers by using your ID card. The Fine Art Studio, ICES, and the Grow IT Center will be opened by request only during summer semester. Staff can contact security for access to the ICES building.

A two-week transition period will take place May 24 through June 4at the entrance to Founder’s Hall auditorium door for students or employees who do not have an ID card.

The Student Center has security staffing when it is open and signage will be posted with a contact number for security. After the transition period, signage on exterior doors will include a security phone contact for access to buildings. It remains critically important that individuals who are not feeling well or have COVID-19 symptoms stay home.

Need an ID card
We encourage you to have your ID card with you when visiting campus. Beginning on June 5th access to campus buildings will be by card access for employees and students. If you need an ID card, you can obtain one in person or by mail from the library. Visit the library during open hours 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday

To get an ID card in person (effective May 17): Library and Learning Center- Second floor. You will be asked to show a valid, government-issued photo ID (for example, a driver’s license or passport). We will take your photograph and print your ID in a few minutes.

To get an ID sent in the mail, please send an email to library.circulation@metrostate.edu with:

  • A clear, color photo of yourself
  • A picture or scan of your Minnesota driver’s license or equivalent
  • Your 8-digit student ID number or the last 4 digits of your Social Security number
  • Your mailing address

Your ID will be mailed to the address provided. Please allow 7 to 10 days for processing and mailing. The replacement fee for a lost ID card is currently being waived.

Change in our Return To Campus Timing for Employees
After additional discussion with planning teams and the university steering team, the university administration has decided to adjust the timeline for employees returning to in campus work from July 5 to Aug. 2. Additional work is ongoing with university administration on telework and identifying positions that are able to perform work remotely in a hybrid model. We don’t expect a big increase in the number of students on campus for summer semester with the majority of courses held remotely. An early August time frame for increased employee presence on campus will allow us to get ready for fall semester start when 25% of our classes will resume in person.

Vaccinations
All Minnesotans age 12 and older are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. We encourage all Minnesota State staff, faculty and students to get vaccinated.

Minnesotans can use the online vaccine locator map to find vaccine locations near them and contact those health care providers with questions.

Posted Tuesday, June 8, 2021 Announcements to Employees

As the pandemic evolves, we are beginning to see loosening of restrictions in public spaces. Metropolitan State is committed to maintain a safe environment even as we begin to adapt our operations to new modes and practices. We will continue to implement guidance and recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health Office of Higher Education, the CDC, Minnesota State, OSHA and ASHRAE for fall planning. Please support the use of physical distancing, good hand hygiene, and wearing face masks when you are on campus.

COVID-19 campus exposure update
For the week of May 19–May 25, Metropolitan State has reported 2 COVID-19 cases to the Minnesota State dashboard among individuals associated with our campus. Of these individuals, none were thought to be infectious while on campus. The data reported is shown below:

Students—Week of 5/19/2021 - 5/25/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 5/25/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—2 / 383

Negative—0 / 91

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 0

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—2 / 292

Contagious while on campus—0 / 21

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—2 / 271

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 290

Employees—Week of 5/19/2021 - 5/25/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 5/25/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—0 / 25

Negative—0 / 0

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 1

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—0 / 18

Contagious while on campus—0 / 2

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—0 / 22

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 16

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.

Health Screening Tool/Campus Access
The campus health screening tool is no longer being used when you arrive on campus. Students and employees will have access to Saint Paul Campus buildings at exterior doors with card readers by using your ID card. The Fine Art Studio, ICES, and the Grow IT Center will be opened by request only during summer semester. Staff can contact security for access to the ICES building.

A two-week transition period will take place May 24 through June 4 at the entrance to Founder’s Hall auditorium door for students or employees who do not have an ID card.

The Student Center has security staffing when it is open and signage will be posted with a contact number for security. After the transition period, signage on exterior doors will include a security phone contact for access to buildings.

It remains critically important that individuals who are not feeling well or have COVID-19 symptoms stay home.

Need an ID card?
We encourage you to have your ID card with you when visiting campus. Beginning on June 5, access to campus buildings will be by card access for employees and students. If you need an ID card, you can obtain one in person or by mail from the library. Visit the library during open hours 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Monday–Saturday. To get an ID card in person (effective May 17):

  • Library and Learning Center-Second floor. You will be asked to show a valid, government-issued photo ID (for example, a driver’s license or passport). We will take your photograph and print your ID in a few minutes.

To get an ID sent in the mail – please send an email to library.circulation@metrostate.edu with:

  • A clear, color photo of yourself
  • A picture or scan of your Minnesota driver’s license or equivalent
  • Your 8-digit student ID number or the last 4 digits of your Social Security number
  • Your mailing address

Your ID will be mailed to the address provided. Please allow 7–10 days for processing and mailing. The replacement fee for a lost ID card is currently being waived.

Face Coverings
Governor Walz announced that the state mask mandate ended effective May 13. Local jurisdictions and organizations are allowed to require face coverings. The leadership at Metropolitan State University will continue to monitor the guidance from city, state, and health officials. At this point and until further notice, we will continue to require face coverings when people are on any of our campus locations to promote the health and safety of our campus community.

Change in our return to campus timing for employees
After additional discussion with planning teams and the university steering team, the university administration has decided to adjust the timeline for employees returning to in campus work from July 5 to Aug. 2. Additional work is ongoing with university administration on telework and identifying positions that are able to perform work remotely in a hybrid model. We don’t expect a big increase in the number of students on campus for summer semester with the majority of courses held remotely. An early August time frame for increased employee presence on campus will allow us to get ready for fall semester start when 25% of our classes will resume in person.

Vaccinations
All Minnesotans age 16 and older are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. We encourage all Minnesota State staff, faculty and students to get vaccinated.

Minnesotans can use the online vaccine locator map to find vaccine locations near them and contact those health care providers with questions.

COVID-19 Vaccines: Know the Facts

  • The Vaccine is Safe—According to the CDC, over 285 million people in the United States have gotten a vaccine. All three currently available vaccines have been rigorously tested and meet all of the FDA's safety standards for Emergency Use Authorization. The vaccines continue to be monitored closely to ensure safety.
  • It is Highly Effective—All three of the authorized vaccines in the U.S. are highly effective at preventing COVID-19 infection. Severe cases of COVID-19 are drastically reduced by vaccination. Research studies currently underway indicate that the vaccines are also effective against COVID-19 variants.
  • The Vaccine is Free—The COVID-19 vaccine is available at no cost to everyone ages 12 and over living in the U.S., regardless of immigration status. You cannot be denied the vaccine based on your health insurance coverage. Vaccine providers cannot charge you for any fees related to the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Your DNA is Not Altered—There are two types of COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the United States: messenger RNA (mRNA) and viral vector vaccines. Both work by delivering information that teaches our immune cells to recognize the COVID-19 virus and build protection against it. The vaccines never interact with your DNA.
  • Vaccine Materials—None of the vaccines available in the U.S. contain a live or weakened version of the COVID-19 virus. You cannot get sick with COVID-19 from the vaccine.
  • The vaccines do not contain microchips, fetal tissue, stem cells, mercury, aluminum, or latex. The vaccines are certified gelatin-free and do not contain any pork products.
  • Pregnancy and Fertility—There is no evidence that any of the COVID-19 vaccines impact fertility. All data and research currently shows that the vaccines are safe for pregnant and breastfeeding people. In fact, the protection you receive from vaccination may be passed along to your baby.
  • Side Effects—Many people do not experience any side effects from the vaccines. Common side effects include pain at injection site, fever, headache, tiredness, muscle pain, chills, and nausea. These side effects are thought to occur because your body is building an immune response to the COVID-19 virus. Serious reactions are rare and include anaphylaxis and TTS.
  • Fully Vaccinated People—You are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after your last vaccine dose. Fully vaccinated people can safely resume activities that you did before the pandemic. This includes hugging your loved ones and gathering with friends.

Student telehealth vendor presentations Tuesday, June 1
All Metro State students, staff, and faculty are invited to attend public presentations (via Zoom) from TelaDoc and the Virtual Care Group on Tuesday, June 1. The schedule is as follows:
Registration links*

TelaDoc: 1–2 p.m.

Virtual Care Group: 3–4 p.m.

*Pre-registration is encouraged
Each vendor has been asked to prepare a 40–45-minute presentation, allowing for 15–20 minutes of questions from members of the community at the end. This is an opportunity to learn more about what telehealth services will be offered to Metro State students and ask questions about each of the vendors’ proposals. After the presentation, all attendees will be able to provide feedback to the selection committee to inform the final decision.

If you are unable to attend the presentation(s) live on Zoom, a recording will be available on My.Metro so everyone will have the opportunity to provide feedback and thoughts.

Posted Tuesday, June 8, 2021 Announcements to Employees

As the pandemic evolves, we are beginning to see loosening of restrictions in public spaces. Metropolitan State is committed to maintain a safe environment even as we begin to adapt our operations to new modes and practices. We will continue to implement guidance and recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health Office of Higher Education, the CDC, Minnesota State, OSHA and ASHRAE for fall planning. Please support the use of physical distancing, good hand hygiene, and wearing face masks when you are on campus.

Upcoming Changes to Health Screening Tool/Campus Access
Beginning Monday, May 24, the campus health screening tool will no longer be utilized. Students and employees will have access to Saint Paul Campus buildings at exterior doors with card readers by using your ID card. The Fine Art Studio, ICES, and the Grow IT Center will be opened by request only during summer semester.

A two-week transition period will take place May 24 through June 4 at the entrance to Founder’s Hall auditorium door and the library parking lot entrance for students or employees who do not have an ID card.

The Student Center has security staffing when it is open and signage will be posted with a contact number for security. After the transition period, signage on exterior doors will include a security phone contact for access to buildings.

It remains critically important that individuals who are not feeling well or have COVID-19 symptoms stay home.

COVID-19 campus exposure update
For the week of May 12–May 18, Metropolitan State has reported 3 COVID-19 cases to the Minnesota State dashboard among individuals associated with our campus. Of these individuals, none were thought to be infectious while on campus. The data reported is shown below:

Students—Week of 5/12/2021 - 5/18/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 5/18/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—3 / 381

Negative—0 / 91

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 0

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—3 / 290

Contagious while on campus—0 / 21

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—3 / 269

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 287

Employees—Week of 5/12/2021 - 5/18/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 5/18/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—1 / 25

Negative—0 / 0

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 1

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—0 / 18

Contagious while on campus—0 / 2

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—1 / 22

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 16

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.

Need an ID card?
We encourage you to have your ID card with you when visiting campus. Beginning on June 5 access to campus buildings will be by card access for employees and students. If you need an ID card, you can obtain one in person or by mail from the library. Visit the library during open hours 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Monday–Saturday.

To get an ID card in person (effective May 17):

  • Library and Learning Center- Second floor. You will be asked to show a valid, government-issued photo ID (for example, a driver’s license or passport). We will take your photograph and print your ID in a few minutes.

To get an ID sent in the mail – please send an email to library.circulation@metrostate.edu with:

  • A clear, color photo of yourself
  • A picture or scan of your Minnesota driver’s license or equivalent
  • Your 8-digit student ID number or the last 4 digits of your Social Security number
  • Your mailing address

Your ID will be mailed to the address provided. Please allow 7 to 10 days for processing and mailing. The replacement fee for a lost ID card is currently being waived.

Face Coverings
Governor Walz announced that the state required mask mandate has ended effective May 13, 2021. Local jurisdictions and organizations are allowed to require face coverings. The leadership at Metropolitan State University will continue to monitor the guidance from city, state, and health officials. At this point and until further notice, we will continue to require face coverings when people are on any of our campus locations to promote the health and safety of our campus community.

Return To Campus Planning
Beginning the week of July 5, the university will have some employees begin transitioning to work on campus. Planning work is in progress to identify specific department staffing needs starting in midsummer and into fall semester. This work includes future communication on revised telework policies and changes.

Vaccination update
All Minnesotans age 16 and older are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. We encourage all Minnesota State staff, faculty and students to get vaccinated. Minnesotans can use the online vaccine locator map to find vaccine locations near them and contact those health care providers with questions.

COVID-19 vaccination can help reduce your deductible
Signed up with Virgin Pulse? Get 200 points toward reducing your deductible by getting vaccinated for COVID-19. Those eligible employees earning 300 total points by Oct. 31, 2021 receive a $70 reduction to their deductible. For more information on the state’s well-being program partnership with Virgin Pulse, visit Minnesota Management and Budget’s well-being program page.

Posted Friday, May 14, 2021 Announcements to Employees

As the pandemic evolves, we are beginning to see loosening of restrictions in public spaces. Metropolitan State is committed to maintain a safe environment even as we begin to adapt our operations to new modes and practices. We will continue to implement guidance and recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health Office of Higher Education, the CDC, Minnesota State, OSHA and ASHRAE for fall planning. Please support the use of physical distancing, good hand hygiene, and wearing face masks when you are on campus.

Upcoming Changes to Health Screening Tool

Effective May 23, Minnesota State is making changes to the use of the Health Screening Tool to enter campus buildings. More details will be forthcoming in next week’s MetroSafe email about this change. It is still important for you to stay home if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and get tested.

May 5 Town Hall

More than 50 Metropolitan State community members attended the May Town Hall, receiving the latest updates on the university’s plans for safe return to work, the implications of the state’s reopening plan on Metro State’s campus areas, updated state telework policy, the ongoing student needs for assistance, and an upcoming on-campus outdoor gathering tentatively slated for June 18. Find a more detailed summary of the Town Hall in the President’s Office section of my.metrostate.

COVID-19 campus exposure update

For the week of April 21–April 27, Metropolitan State has reported 6 COVID-19 cases to the Minnesota State dashboard among individuals associated with our campus. Of these individuals, none were thought to be infectious while on campus. The data reported is shown below:

Students—Week of 5/5/2021 - 5/11/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 5/11/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—8 / 378

Negative—2 / 91

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 0

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—6 / 287

Contagious while on campus—0 / 21

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—6 / 266

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—2 / 283

Employees—Week of 5/5/2021 - 5/11/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 5/11/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—1 / 25

Negative—0 / 0

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 1

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—0 / 18

Contagious while on campus—0 / 2

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—1 / 22

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 16

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.

Don’t have an ID card?

We encourage you to have your ID card with you when visiting campus. Access to campus buildings will be by card access for employees and students beginning in June. If you need an ID card, you can obtain one in person or by mail from the library. Visit the library during open hours 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Monday–Saturday

To get an ID card in person (effective May 17):

  • Library and Learning Center- Second floor. You will be asked to show a valid, government-issued photo ID (for example, a driver’s license or passport). We will take your photograph and print your ID in a few minutes.

To get an ID sent in the mail – please send an email to library.circulation@metrostate.edu with:

  • A clear, color photo of yourself
  • A picture or scan of your Minnesota driver’s license or equivalent
  • Your 8-digit student ID number or the last 4 digits of your Social Security number
  • Your mailing address

Your ID will be mailed to the address provided. Please allow 7 to 10 days for processing and mailing. The replacement fee for a lost ID card is currently being waived.

Return To Campus Planning
Beginning the week of July 5, the university will have some employees begin transitioning to work on campus. Planning work is in progress to identify specific department staffing needs starting in midsummer and into fall semester. This work includes future communication on revised telework policies and changes.

Guiding Principles for Returning to Work on Campus

  • Focus on the health and safety of all students, faculty, staff, and visitors
  • Meet the needs of our students to promote success
  • Planning by the campus continues to emphasize virtual learning, teaching, and working remotely, including flexibility and individualized approaches when possible
  • Persistence in providing an accessible, inclusive, and equitable university environment
  • Comply with all Federal, State, System, and University Guidelines
  • Maintain the financial sustainability of the university
  • Ensure all university business is conducted efficiently with a focus on continuous improvement

    Stage 1: Present–July 5, 2021

  • Emphasis on employee, student and guest safety during heightened COVID
    transmission
  • Employees who can work remotely are expected to do so
  • On campus events are limited
  • In-person courses are limited to those that require components of in-person instruction
  • In-person services are limited to critical functions, with most work remaining remote
  • Departments will start to develop a “Return to Campus” plan that identifies in-person scheduling and safety protocols
  • Work on occupancy limit guidelines for campus location workspaces

Vaccination update

All Minnesotans age 16 and older are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. We encourage all Minnesota State staff, faculty, and students to get vaccinated. Minnesotans can use the online vaccine locator map to find vaccine locations near them and contact those health care providers with questions.

Student telehealth provider search—feedback due Sunday, May 16

A reminder that Metro State is selecting a new telehealth services provider for students. Review the recorded presentations and vendor portfolio documents from MDLIVE, Doctor On Demand, and CampusCare here: Student Telehealth Finalist Vendor Feedback

All feedback must be submitted by Sunday, May 16 to be considered in the final selection decision.

Posted Friday, May 7, 2021 Announcements to Employees

New state guidance issued

Today Governor Walz issued new guidance on the state peacetime emergency Executive Order 21-11.

This guidance adjusts limits on certain activities and continues the transition to open up public spaces in the state. While the pandemic is not over, some restrictions for indoor and outdoor public spaces are changing. Unpredictable settings are riskier than others as well as those with prolonged contact.

We still need to follow the science and adhere to public health guidance. Wearing face coverings and maintaining consistent physical distancing can still reduce the transmission risk of COVID-19 by 70-80 percent. New indoor and outdoor public space guidelines for restaurants and bars, personal service businesses, entertainment venues, and adult and youth organized sports are being loosened effective May 27. Visit the Stay Safe MN website for specific details on these changing guidelines.

Vaccination update

All Minnesotans age 16 and older are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. We encourage all Minnesota State staff, faculty and students to get vaccinated. Minnesotans can use the online vaccine locator map to find vaccine locations near them and contact those health care providers with questions.

Vaccine doses administered in Minnesota, statistics as of May 6, 2021:

  • Total Vaccine Doses Administered: 4,457,725
  • People with at least one vaccine dose: 2,614,141 -- 59.3%
  • People with completed vaccine series: 2,035,289 -- 46.1%

COVID-19 campus exposure update

For the week of April 21–April 27, Metropolitan State has reported 6 COVID-19 cases to the Minnesota State dashboard among individuals associated with our campus. Of these individuals, None were thought to be infectious while on campus. The data reported is shown below:

Students—Week of 4/28/2021 - 5/4/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 5/4/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—8 / 370

Negative—2 / 89

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 0

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—6 / 281

Contagious while on campus—0 / 21

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—6 / 260

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—2 / 277

Employees—Week of 4/28/2021 - 5/4/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 5/4/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—0 / 24

Negative—0 / 0

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 1

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—0 / 18

Contagious while on campus—0 / 2

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—0 / 21

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 16

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.

Student telehealth provider search

Metro State is selecting a new telehealth services provider for students! We need your feedback to help us decide which vendor will best meet your needs. Please review the recorded presentations and vendor portfolio documents from MDLIVE, Doctor On Demand, and CampusCare here: Student Telehealth Finalist Vendor Feedback

All feedback must be submitted by Sunday, May 16 to be considered in the final selection decision.

Posted Friday, May 7, 2021 Announcements to Employees

Town Hall with Metro's Recovery Planning Steering Group, May 5, 2–3:30 p.m.

The Recovery Planning Steering Group invites Metropolitan State community members to the May virtual Town Hall. Learn more about the university’s ongoing and evolving plans to begin transitioning more functions and working groups back to campus locations, and hear what steps are being taken to center student and employee safety. Join the meeting on Zoom at:

https://minnstate.zoom.us/j/93583107187?pwd=cEJjYnJxemhhcm1OWFprODhWb1N2QT09
Meeting ID: 935 8310 7187
Passcode: 526458
One tap mobile: +19292056099,,93583107187# US (New York)
+13017158592,,93583107187# US (Washington DC)

COVID-19 campus exposure update

For the week of April 21–April 27, Metropolitan State has reported 6 COVID-19 cases to the Minnesota State dashboard among individuals associated with our campus. Of these individuals, one was thought to be infectious while on campus. The data reported is shown below:

Students—Week of 4/21/2021 - 4/27/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 4/27/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—6 / 362

Negative—0 / 87

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 0

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—6 / 275

Contagious while on campus—1 / 21

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—5 / 254

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—3 / 272

Employees—Week of 4/21/2021 - 4/27/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 4/27/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—0 / 24

Negative—0 / 0

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 1

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—0 / 18

Contagious while on campus—0 / 2

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—0 / 21

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 16

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.

Physical distancing and face covering guidelines for instructors in classrooms

Distancing standards for faculty temporarily unmasking for in-classroom lecture remain to maintain 6-foot distancing from students and others in the classroom. As regards face coverings, Executive Order 20-81 offers circumstances where mandatory face coverings may be temporarily removed on page 6:
c. When testifying, speaking, or performing in an indoor business or public indoor space, in situations or settings such as theaters, news conferences, legal proceedings, governmental meetings subject to the Open Meeting Law (Minnesota Statutes 2019, Chapter 13D), presentations, or lectures, provided that social distancing is always maintained. Face shields should be considered as an alternative in these situations.
(Note: Page 3 Definitions. Includes: “Social distancing” means individuals keeping at least 6 feet of distance from other individuals who are not members of their household.)

Additional guidance on face coverings for higher education starts on page 7 of Guidance for Mitigating COVID-19 at Higher Education Institutions.

Posted Friday, April 23, 2021 Announcements to Employees

Updated isolation protocols and travel guidance

Individuals who are fully vaccinated (14 days past their final dose) and test positive for COVID-19 must follow the regular isolation protocols based on their positive test date and symptoms, which include:

  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19, stay home until all three of these things are true:
    • You feel better. Your cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms are better, and
    • It has been 10 days since you first felt sick, and
    • You have had no fever for at least 24 hours, without using medicine that lowers fevers
  • If you have tested positive for COVID-19 but do not have symptoms, you must still stay home and away from others for 10 day.

For those travelling, note the updated CDC Travel Guidance. Fully vaccinated travelers are less likely to get and spread COVID-19. People who are fully vaccinated with an FDA-authorized vaccine can travel safely within the United States:

  • Fully vaccinated travelers do not need to get tested before or after travel unless their destination requires it
  • Fully vaccinated travelers do not need to self-quarantine
  • Fully vaccinated travelers should still follow CDC’s recommendations for traveling safely including:
    • Wear a mask over your nose and mouth
    • Stay 6 feet from others and avoid crowds
    • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer

COVID-19 campus exposure update

For the week of April 14–April 20, Metropolitan State has reported 11 COVID-19 cases to the Minnesota State dashboard among individuals associated with our campus. Of these individuals, none were thought to be infectious while on campus. The data reported is shown below:

Students—Week of 4/14/2021 - 4/20/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 4/20/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—11 / 356

Negative—1 / 87

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 0

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—10 / 269

Contagious while on campus—0 / 20

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—10 / 249

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—4 / 263

Employees—Week of 4/14/2021 - 4/20/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 4/20/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—1 / 24

Negative—0 / 0

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 1

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—1 / 19

Contagious while on campus—0 / 2

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—1 / 21

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 16

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.

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.

Muslim staff and students

Ramadan begins on April 13 and ends on May 13 and is followed by the Eid al-Fitr celebration.

The COVID-19 vaccine is not considered food or drink, and Muslim scholars agree that it will not invalidate your fast. If someone experiences side effects, they are allowed to break their fast to take care of themselves.

Resources:

Staying Safer during Ramadan 2021

Observe Ramadan Safer

Vaccinations

Every resident over age 16 is now eligible for a vaccine. Sign up with the state Vaccine Connector to be notified of when, where and how to get your COVID-19 vaccine.

Revised CDC guidance on disinfection strategies on indoor surfaces

The CDC has revised disinfection guidance in April concerning cleaning and disinfection on hard surfaces due to the lower risk of surface transmission. When no people with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 are known to have been in a space, cleaning with soap or detergent is usually sufficient to maintain a healthy facility. Surface transmission is not the main route by which COVID-19 is spread. The virus spreads with direct contact, droplet transmission, or airborne transmission.

If there has been a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 in indoor community settings within the last 24 hours then the surfaces should be disinfected with an approved disinfectant.

Posted Friday, April 23, 2021 Announcements to Employees

Vaccination update: A race between shots and surging cases

Minnesota’s fight against the spread of COVID-19, particularly more transmissible variants, has been boosted by a steady increase in vaccinations. Every resident over 16 years of age is now eligible for vaccination, and can sign up on the state Vaccine Connector to find out when, where, and how to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

One major boost to the state’s effort is the state and federal vaccination site to be built at the fairgrounds. This site is preparing to vaccinate as many as 100,000 Minnesotans over the next eight weeks, prioritizing underserved communities hit hardest by the pandemic.

Even with the expansion of vaccination in the state, we want our Metropolitan State community to continue to focus on safe practices both on campus and when in other surroundings. It remains important to wear face coverings when out in public, maintain physical distancing, and practice good hand hygiene.

Remember:

  • Wear a face covering in public places that fits well (state executive order is still in force)
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from other people whenever:
    • In public
    • Visiting with unvaccinated people from multiple households
  • Wash hands
  • Stay home if sick
  • Get tested if you have symptoms of COVID
  • If someone is fully vaccinated and is exposed (in contact, within 6’ for more than 15 minutes over a 24-hour period), they do not need to quarantine if ALL of the following are true:
    • The COVID-19 exposure was at least 14 days after their vaccination series was fully completed
    • They do not currently have any symptoms of COVID-19

Ramadan reminder

Ramadan began on April 13 and will end on May 13, to be followed by the Eid al-Fitr celebration. As a reminder, the COVID-19 vaccine is not considered food or drink, and Muslim scholars agree it will not invalidate your fast. Furthermore, if an individual experiences side effects, they are allowed to break their fast to take care of themselves.

For more information, consult Staying Safer during Ramadan 2021 and Observe Ramadan Safer.

COVID-19 campus exposure update

For the week of April 7–April 13, Metropolitan State has reported 8 COVID-19 cases to the Minnesota State dashboard among individuals associated with our campus. Of these individuals, none were thought to be infectious while on campus. The data reported is shown below:

Students—Week of 4/7/2021 - 4/13/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 4/13/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—8 / 345

Negative—0 / 86

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—1 / 1

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—7 / 258

Contagious while on campus—0 / 20

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—7 / 238

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 254

Employees—Week of 4/7/2021 - 4/13/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 4/13/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—1 / 23

Negative—0 / 0

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 1

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—1 / 18

Contagious while on campus—0 / 2

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—1 / 20

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 16

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.

Posted Friday, April 23, 2021 Announcements to Employees

Continued push for caution as vaccination rates and new cases climb

Active cases are trending now at levels not seen since late December. Hospitalizations and intensive needs are climbing. The state’s seven-day positivity rate is back up to 6%. But the vaccination effort continues apace and the anticipated jump in vaccine shipments has begun.

Wednesday’s Health Department data showed more than 1.2 million Minnesotans fully inoculated while nearly 1.9 million have received at least one dose, including about 83 percent of residents age 65 and older.

The agency reported about 49,000 more vaccinations. Minnesota appears to be on track to have 50 percent of adults vaccinated in a little less than two weeks.

To help win that race, state and federal officials on Monday unveiled plans to vaccinate as many as 100,000 Minnesotans over the next eight weeks at a site to be built at the state fairgrounds. The site will prioritize underserved communities hit hardest by the pandemic.

We want our Metropolitan campus community to continue to focus on safe practices both on campus and when in other surroundings. It’s important to continue to wearing face coverings when out in public, maintain physical distancing and practice good hand hygiene.

COVID-19 campus exposure update

For the week of March 31–April 6, Metropolitan State has reported 8 COVID-19 cases to the Minnesota State dashboard among individuals associated with our campus. Of these individuals, none were thought to be infectious while on campus. The data reported is shown below:

Students—Week of 3/31/2021 - 4/6/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 4/6/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—6 / 337

Negative—0 / 86

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 0

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—6 / 251

Contagious while on campus—0 / 20

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—6 / 231

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 249

Employees—Week of 3/31/2021 - 4/6/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 4/6/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—2 / 22

Negative—0 / 0

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 1

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—2 / 18

Contagious while on campus—0 / 2

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—2 / 19

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 16

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.

COVID-19 vaccination information session April 15, noon–1 p.m.

Join Coordinator of Health and Wellness Rachael Mills (she/her) and Director of Counseling, Health and Wellness Michael Peterson (he/him) to discuss the COVID-19 vaccine implementation process in Minnesota. We invite you to drop-in and bring any questions you may have on topics including, but not limited to:

  • Differences between available vaccines
  • Effectiveness of vaccines
  • Health and safety concerns about vaccines
  • Vaccine eligibility requirements
  • How to schedule an appointment

These sessions will be informal and open to any member of the Metro State community who has questions about COVID-19 vaccination in Minnesota. Advanced registration is required. For questions about these events, or other COVID-19 questions, contact Rachael Mills at rachael.mills@metrostate.edu. Register at COVID-19 Vaccine Q&A.

Vaccination update

Every resident over age 16 is now eligible for a vaccine. Sign up on the state Vaccine Connector to be notified of when, where and how to get your COVID-19 vaccine.

Posted Wednesday, April 7, 2021 Announcements to Employees

Rising positivity rates make case for continued caution

The Minnesota Department of Health weekly COVID report shows a COVID-19 positivity rate for Hennepin and Ramsey County at 6.4% as of March 31. Seventy-two higher education institutions have reported 1-10 cases of COVID-19 for the period March 14–March 27 and 14 institutions have reported 11-30 cases. The positivity rate for higher education institutions is increasing and at levels seen in mid-January. Intensive care units have active cases at the highest levels since January with 2,000 cases.

We want our campus community to continue to focus on safe practices both on campus and when in other surroundings. It’s important to continue to wearing face coverings when out in public and practice good hand hygiene. The weekly report from MDH has more information.

COVID-19 campus exposure update

For the week of March 24–March 30, Metropolitan State has reported 6 COVID-19 cases to the Minnesota State dashboard among individuals associated with our campus. Of these individuals, none were thought to be infectious while on campus. The data reported is shown below:

Students—Week of 3/24/2021 - 3/30/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 3/30/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—7 / 341

Negative—0 / 84

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—2 / 2

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—5 / 245

Contagious while on campus—0 / 20

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—5 / 225

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 243

Employees—Week of 3/24/2021 - 3/30/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 3/30/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—1 / 20

Negative—0 / 0

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 1

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—1 / 16

Contagious while on campus—0 / 2

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—1 / 17

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 16

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.

Vaccination update

Nearly 1.7 million Minnesotans have received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine. The seven-day vaccination trend tops 52,000 shots daily.
Every resident over age 16 is now eligible for a vaccine. Resources for the state Vaccine Connector are below. Sign up to be notified of when, where and how to get your COVID-19 vaccine.

Return to Campus plan

We continue to work on planning for the safe return to campus of students, faculty, staff, and visitors. Please see the Return to Campus plan to review Metropolitan State University’s guiding principles and key dates for returning to campus.

COVID-19 vaccination information sessions

Join Coordinator of Health and Wellness Rachael Mills (she/her) and Director of Counseling, Health and Wellness Michael Peterson (he/him) to discuss the COVID-19 vaccine implementation process in Minnesota. We invite you to drop-in and bring any questions you may have on topics including, but not limited to:

  • Differences between available vaccines
  • Effectiveness of vaccines
  • Health and safety concerns about vaccines
  • Vaccine eligibility requirements
  • How to schedule an appointment

These sessions will be informal and open to any member of the Metro State community who has questions about COVID-19 vaccination in Minnesota. Advanced registration is required. For questions about these events, or other COVID-19 questions, contact Rachael Mills at rachael.mills@metrostate.edu.
The dates for the upcoming sessions are:

Tuesday, April 6, 3–4 p.m. Registration: COVID-19 Vaccine Q&A

Thursday, April 15, noon–1 p.m. Registration: COVID-19 Vaccine Q&A

Mechanical Review of Campus Systems

Please join us on April 8 at 10 a.m. for a virtual discussion and update on the mechanical review and assessment work that was done on campus mechanical systems. Beth Tomlinson, a mechanical engineer from TKDA, will provide information on the work and answer questions on the study. Join the discussion at https://minnstate.zoom.us/j/91844488271.

Posted Wednesday, April 7, 2021 Announcements to Employees

COVID-19 campus exposure update

For the week of March 17–March 23, Metropolitan State has reported 7 COVID-19 cases to the Minnesota State dashboard among individuals associated with our campus. Of these individuals, none were thought to be infectious while on campus. The data reported is shown below:

Students—Week of 3/17/2021 - 3/23/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 3/23/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—7 / 324

Negative—0 / 84

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 0

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—7 / 240

Contagious while on campus—0 / 20

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—7 / 220

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 233

Employees—Week of 3/17/2021 - 3/23/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 3/23/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—2 / 19

Negative—0 / 0

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 1

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—0 / 15

Contagious while on campus—0 / 2

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—2 / 16

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 15

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.

COVID-19 vaccine Q&A session, Friday, March 26, 10–11 a.m.

Join the Coordinator of Health and Wellness, Rachael Mills (she/hers), to discuss the COVID-19 vaccine implementation process in Minnesota. Come ready to ask any questions you may have on topics including, but not limited to:

  • Differences between available vaccines
  • Effectiveness of vaccines
  • Health and safety concerns about vaccines
  • Vaccine eligibility requirements
  • How to schedule an appointment

This session will be informal and open to any member of the Metro State community who has questions about COVID-19 vaccination in Minnesota. Registration required: Metro State COVID-19 Vaccine Q&A Session.

How Right Now?

Taking care of our emotional well-being during COVID-19 can be difficult. How Right Now is a resource that has been designed to promote and strengthen the emotional well-being of individuals and communities affected by COVID-19-related stress, grief, and loss. Howrightnow.org.

March Town Hall summary

Approximately 50 members of the Metropolitan State community attended the remote Town Hall on March 18. Subjects discussed included:

  • Breakdown of COVID relief funding received/expected by Metro State, including the various mandates attached to that funding
  • Student support services continuing to change regularly in response to student needs
    • Laptop loan program success continues
    • Increasing engagement events planned
  • Return to work planning still using the Fourth of July break as a target for transitioning work to campus locations
    • Plan balancing student needs and community safety
  • Campus climate surveys out now—responses strongly encouraged
  • State safety guidelines changing, campus guidelines will remain cautious at present
  • Air handling engineering audit report coming soon
  • Energy Park Place location completely vacated

More detail is available at the Town Hall section on my.metrostate.

Posted Thursday, March 18, 2021 Announcements to Employees

COVID-19 campus exposure update

For the week of March 10–March 16, Metropolitan State has reported 3 COVID-19 cases to the Minnesota State dashboard among individuals associated with our campus. Of these individuals, none were thought to be infectious while on campus. The data reported is shown below:

Students—Week of 3/10/2021 - 3/16/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 3/16/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—3 / 317

Negative—0 / 84

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 1

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—3 / 232

Contagious while on campus—0 / 20

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—3 / 212

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 228

Employees—Week of 3/10/2021 - 3/16/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 3/16/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—0 / 17

Negative—0 / 0

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 1

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—0 / 15

Contagious while on campus—0 / 2

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—0 / 14

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 13

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.

Governor’s COVID restriction changes

This week the governor made changes that modified restrictions due to COVID-19 in place on businesses and public spaces. Some of the changes include now allowing restaurants and bars to operate at 50% capacity. Gyms can operate at 50% capacity and salons and religious services will no longer be limited in capacity. Event venues have increased occupancy and now allow up to 50% capacity both indoors and outdoors. Physical distancing and face coverings are still required.

Other changes include allowing social gatherings of 15 people indoors and 50 people outdoors.

We expect to receive updated guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health Office of Higher Education for campus spaces. We currently have MDH guidelines that are in use for our classrooms and common use spaces (hallway, study and lounge areas, tunnels.)

We are still asking students and employees not to gather in groups larger than 10 people. We need to continue to maintain physical distancing, wear face coverings and practice good hand hygiene to continue to keep community spread of COVID down. Thanks for your work in helping us to stay MetroSafe!

Reporting a COVID-19 Exposure
We ask for your help in continuing to report COVID-19 exposures. Please use the links below to find the online form for reporting:

  • Students are expected to report a COVID-19 exposure, symptoms of COVID-19, or a test confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 as soon as possible, using the form on the website. Additionally, they should notify their instructors of their inability to attend class or required events at Metropolitan State locations.
    Students that need assistance with any applicable attendance policies or services related should email: covid-19@metrostate.edu
  • Employees should report to their supervisor a COVID-19 exposure, symptoms of COVID-19 or a test confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 as soon as possible. Supervisors should report an employee’s COVID-19 exposure or confirmed test diagnosis to HR. We strongly encourage employees to submit this information on the employee form on the university COVID-19 web site.
    Employees needing assistance with use of any applicable leave policies or benefits should contact Human Resources at Human.Resources@metrostate.edu or 651-793-1275.

Posted Thursday, March 18, 2021 Announcements to Employees

Town Hall, March 18, 1:30–3 p.m.

The next university virtual town hall is scheduled for Thursday, March 18, from 1:30–3 p.m. During this live Zoom session, Metro State community members are invited to bring questions, comments, and feedback forward as we continue to evaluate and make plans for this semester and beyond. Join the Town Hall session, meeting ID: 942 1225 2913, passcode: 312710, and bring your questions.

COVID-19 campus exposure update

For the week of March 3–March 9, Metropolitan State has reported 1 COVID-19 case to the Minnesota State dashboard among individuals associated with our campus. This individual case was not thought to be infectious while on campus. The data reported is shown below:

Students—Week of 3/3/2021 - 3/9/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 3/9/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—2 / 314

Negative—0 / 84

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—1 / 1

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—1 / 229

Contagious while on campus—0 / 20

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—1 / 209

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 228

Employees—Week of 3/3/2021 - 3/9/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 3/9/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—0 / 17

Negative—0 / 0

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 1

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—0 / 15

Contagious while on campus—0 / 2

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—0 / 14

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 13

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.

Vaccination updates

This week the state announced that they have reached a goal of 70% of people 65 and older receiving COVID vaccinations. They are expanding eligibility for vaccinations to people with underlying health conditions as well as front line workers risk for on-the-job exposure. This includes food processing, restaurant, and grocery store workers.

This new pool of eligible people will take and estimated four to six weeks to inoculate with a first dose of the vaccine. Those 65 years of age and older, teachers (K-12), and childcare providers still remain the highest priority.

Minnesota’s COVID-19 Vaccine Connector is active and is the best way to learn of eligibility for vaccination. Signing up for the Vaccine Connector is easy, safe, and secure. All Minnesotans should sign up. There will be no cost and no restricted time period for signing up. Health insurance and personal identification forms are not required for signing up. Minnesotans unable to sign up online can have family or friends help them sign up online, or call 833-431-2053 (toll-free) for assistance signing up over the phone. Translation is available by phone in all languages. Sign up at the state’s COVID-19 Vaccine Connector website.

Spring Break travel reminder

As a reminder, last week’s message included the CDC’s recommendations for those with a need to travel during this spring break period. At a minimum, those travelling should be aware of testing requirements of where you are traveling to, and for returning—even if traveling domestically. More information is available from the CDC’s COVID-19 travel recommendations by destination. Testing is recommended about a week before leave, and then within 5–7 days of returning.

If you must travel, be sure to take these steps to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. In addition, keep informed of the CDC’s travel during COVID-19 guidelines. Whatever choices you make, we wish you all a safe and relaxing time over our spring break week.

Posted Thursday, March 18, 2021 Announcements to Employees

COVID-19 campus exposure update

For the week of Feb. 24–March 2, Metropolitan State has reported 2 COVID-19 cases to the Minnesota State dashboard among individuals associated with our campus. Of these individuals, none were thought to be infectious while on campus. The data reported is shown below:

Students—Week of 2/24/2021 - 3/2/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 3/2/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—3 / 312

Negative—1 / 84

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 0

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—2 / 228

Contagious while on campus—0 / 20

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—2 / 208

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 226

Employees—Week of 2/24/2021 - 3/2/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 3/2/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—0 / 17

Negative—0 / 0

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 1

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—0 / 15

Contagious while on campus—0 / 2

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—0 / 14

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 13

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.

March Town Hall scheduled for Thursday, March 18

During this live Zoom session, Metro State employees and students will have an opportunity to bring questions, comments, and feedback forward as we continue to evaluate and make plans for this semester and beyond. More details, including the link to the Town Hall, will be in next week’s MetroSafe email.

Traveling Over Spring Break

Be aware of testing requirements of where you are traveling to, and for returning—even if traveling domestically. Testing is recommended about a week before leave, and then within 5–7 day when you return from travel.

  • If you must travel, take these steps to protect yourself and others from COVID-19:
    • If you are eligible, get fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Wait 2 weeks after getting your second vaccine dose to travel—it takes time for your body to build protection after any vaccination.
    • Get tested with a viral test 1-3 days before you travel. Keep a copy of your test results with you during travel in case you are asked for them. Do NOT travel if you test positive.
    • Check travel restrictions before you go.
    • Wear a mask over your nose and mouth when in public settings. Masks are required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.
    • Avoid crowds and stay at least 6 feet/2 meters (about 2 arm lengths) from anyone who did not travel with you. It’s important to do this everywhere — both indoors and outdoors.
    • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol).
    • Bring extra supplies, such as masks and hand sanitizer.
    • Avoid contact with anyone who is sick.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Do NOT travel if you were exposed to COVID-19, you are sick or you test positive for COVID-19. Learn when it is safe for you to travel. Don’t travel with someone who is sick.
  • Get Tested Before and After Travel
    • If you are traveling, get tested with a viral test 1-3 days before your trip. Make sure you have the results of your negative test before you travel. Keep a copy of your results with you during travel; you might be asked for them.
    • Do not travel if you test positive. Immediately isolate yourself, and follow public health recommendations.
    • Get tested again with a viral test 3-5 days after your trip and stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel, even if your test is negative. If you don’t get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.
    • You may have been exposed to COVID-19 on your travels. Regardless of where you traveled or what you did during your trip, take these actions to protect others from getting COVID-19 after travel:
      • Avoid crowds and stay at least 6 feet/2 meters (about 2 arm lengths) from anyone who did not travel with you. It’s important to do this everywhere — both indoors and outdoors. Wear a mask over your nose and mouth when in public settings. Masks are required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.
      • If there are people in the household who did not travel with you, wear a mask and ask everyone in the household to wear masks in shared spaces inside your home for 14 days after travel.
      • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
      • Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness.
      • Watch your health: Look for symptoms of COVID-19.

Traveling Internationally? All air passengers coming to the United States, including U.S. citizens, are required to have a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before they board a flight to the United States. See the Frequently Asked Questions for more information. Check CDC’s COVID-19 Travel Recommendations by Destination before planning your trip.

Posted Thursday, March 4, 2021 Announcements to Employees

COVID-19 campus exposure update

For the week of Feb. 17–Feb. 23, Metropolitan State has reported 2 COVID-19 cases to the Minnesota State dashboard among individuals associated with our campus. Of these individuals, one was thought to be infectious while on campus. The data reported is shown below:

Students—Week of 2/17/2021 - 2/23/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 2/23/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—2 / 309

Negative—1 / 83

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 0

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—1 / 226

Contagious while on campus—0 / 20

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—1 / 206

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 225

Employees—Week of 2/17/2021 - 2/23/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 2/23/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—1 / 17

Negative—0 / 0

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 1

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—1 / 15

Contagious while on campus—1 / 2

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—0 / 14

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 13

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.

Vaccine Connector

All state employees are encouraged to sign up on the Vaccine Connector site to receive alerts when employees are eligible for a vaccination, learn more on how to schedule an appointment, and about vaccination opportunities in your area.

What this means for Metropolitan State employees

  1. We encourage all Metropolitan State employees to sign up on the Vaccine Connector now. Signing up on the Vaccine Connector now means you will be alerted when you are eligible for a vaccination, connected to resources to schedule an appointment, and provided with vaccination opportunities in your area.
  2. When you sign up, the form asks what industries you work in. While higher education is not specifically listed below, most state employees will just check the “Other/None” category and enter “higher ed” or choose “government” into the box. The question asks: Do you work in any of the following industries (check all that apply):

Correctional setting

Energy

Finance

First responders (such as firefighters, paramedics, police)

Food and agricultural worker

Food retail

Food service

Housing/shelter construction

Information technology/communications

Legal

Manufacturing

Media

Public safety (engineers)

Public transit workers

Transportation and logistics

U.S. Postal Service

Water and wastewater

Other/None (if you check other there is a box to enter your industry) Most employees will fall into other and can enter “state government” in the box.]

  1. Wait to be notified that you are eligible for a vaccination. Vaccinations are being offered to people in phases. At this time, vaccinations are limited to health care workers and assisted-living residents and staff in phase 1a, adults 65 years of age or older, educators, and staff working in licensed and certified childcare programs. We anticipate state agency employees in Phase 1b and 1c categories will be eligible to get the vaccine through a workplace or state-sponsored clinic in the next few months.

How do I sign up?

Signing up for the Vaccine Connector is easy, safe, and secure. All Minnesotans (including Metropolitan State University employees) should sign up. There will be no cost and no restricted time period for signing up. Health insurance and personal identification forms are not required for signing up. Minnesotans unable to sign up online can have family or friends help them sign up online or call 833-431-2053 (toll-free) for assistance signing up over the phone. Translation is available by phone in all languages.

Reminder on the importance of face coverings

  • Masking
    • Wear a mask that fits: No gaps on sides, covers nose, mouth, and chin
    • CDC recommends masks that have two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric
        • Effective Feb. 2, masks are required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations
  • Face Shields
    • May be used in certain limited circumstances (IAW EO 20-81, Requiring Minnesotans to Wear a Face Covering in Certain Settings to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19)

When used, shield should extend below the chin and to the ears, and there should be no exposed gap between the forehead and the shield’s headpiece. Find more on the Minnesota Department of Health's considerations for face shields document.

Home office ergonomics resources

A resource on setting up home offices and using home spaces for work has been posted to Metropolitan State’s website.

Posted Thursday, February 18, 2021 Announcements to Employees

COVID-19 campus exposure update

For the week of Feb. 10–Feb. 16, Metropolitan State has reported 2 COVID-19 cases to the Minnesota State dashboard among individuals associated with our campus. Of these individuals, none were thought to be infectious while on campus. The data reported is shown below:

Students—Week of 2/10/2021 - 2/16/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 2/16/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—2 / 307

Negative—0 / 82

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 0

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—2 / 225

Contagious while on campus—0 / 20

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—2 / 205

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 223

Employees—Week of 2/10/2021 - 2/16/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 2/16/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—0 / 16

Negative—0 / 0

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 1

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—0 / 14

Contagious while on campus—0 / 1

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—0 / 14

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 13

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.

HVAC ventilation work scheduled

A mechanical test and balance contractor on site at the Saint Paul and Midway locations Feb. 24–26 as part of our mechanical systems work to review and access our HVAC ventilation systems. The contractor will be taking sample air flow readings in selected spaces including office and classroom spaces. They will be working in the ceiling space to take measurements at zone control boxes and also adjusting building systems and fans as they validate performance data. The work is being coordinated around in person scheduled courses to minimize impact in those spaces.

Minnesota Department of Health updated guidance on close contacts

What is a close contact? In general, a close contact means being less than 6 feet from someone for 15 minutes or more throughout a 24-hour period. However, even shorter periods of time or longer distances can result in spread of the virus. The longer someone is close to the person who has COVID-19, and the closer they are, the greater the chance the virus can spread.

If you have close contact with someone who has been told by a doctor, clinic or hospital that they have COVID-19:

  • Watch yourself for symptoms for 14 days.
  • Stay home.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Clean surfaces you touch.

Download the free COVIDaware MN app to get notified if you have been near someone who tests positive for COVID-19.

Separate yourself from others. If you had close contact with a person with COVID-19 (an exposure), you need to stay home and away from others (quarantine). COVID-19 can take up to 14 days to make you sick, and some people with COVID-19 never feel sick, so you need to separate yourself from others so you don't spread the virus without knowing it.

  • Get tested for COVID-19 five days or later after the exposure, even if you do not have symptoms. If test results are positive, follow recommendations on Information for Confirmed Cases and Contacts.
  • Stay home. Do not go to work, school, or any other place outside the home except for testing or needed medical care.
  • Stay away from people who may be at high-risk for getting very sick from COVID-19, including older adults, those living in long-term care facilities, and people with health conditions like asthma, diabetes, heart disease, liver disease, severe obesity, or weakened immune systems.
  • If you start to feel sick, separate yourself from other people in your home. If possible, stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home. Use a separate bathroom, if you can.
  • Do not use public transportation, ride sharing (such as Uber or Lyft), or taxis.
  • Wear a facemask if around other people. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then wash hands thoroughly.
  • Avoid sharing personal household items. Do not share food, dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people in your home.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.

Who does not need to quarantine? If you have recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days and have close contact with someone with COVID-19, you do not need to quarantine if ALL of the following are true:

  • Your illness was confirmed with a positive lab test in the past 90 days
  • You have fully recovered
  • You do not currently have any symptoms of COVID-19

If someone has completed COVID-19 vaccination (two doses in a two-dose series or one dose in a one-dose series) and is exposed, they do not need to quarantine if ALL of the following are true:

  • The COVID-19 exposure was at least 14 days after their vaccination series was fully completed
  • The COVID-19 exposure was within 90 days of their final dose of the vaccination series
  • They do not currently have any symptoms of COVID-19

People who live or work in a health care or long-term care facility, have been vaccinated, and have a COVID-19 exposure should refer to guidelines for their situation.

Even after a person has recovered from COVID-19 or is fully vaccinated they should still continue to stay distanced, wear a mask that fits well, wash their hands often, and follow other precautions.

Posted Thursday, February 18, 2021 Announcements to Employees

COVID-19 campus exposure update

For the week of Feb. 4–Feb. 10, Metropolitan State has reported nine COVID-19 cases to the Minnesota State dashboard among individuals associated with our campus. Of these individuals, one was thought to be infectious while on campus. The data reported is shown below:

Students—Week of 2/4/2021 - 2/10/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 2/10/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—8 / 305

Negative—0 / 82

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 0

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—8 / 223

Contagious while on campus—0 / 20

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—8 / 203

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—5 / 220

Employees—Week of 2/4/2021 - 2/10/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 2/10/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—1 / 16

Negative—0 / 0

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 1

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—1 / 14

Contagious while on campus—1 / 1

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—0 / 14

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 13

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.

COVID testing FAQ’s

What is the difference between different types of COVID-19 tests?

  1. There are two main types of tests, diagnostic (also known as viral tests) and antibody tests:
    1. A diagnostic test can show if a patient is currently infected with COVID-19. The rapid antigen and lab test (PCR) are both diagnostic tests.
    2. An antibody test can show if you were infected with COVID-19 in the past. This test will test if you have antibodies to the virus that cause COVID-19. This test does not show if you have a current infection, because it can take 1-3 weeks for your body to make antibodies from a COVID-19 infection.

Are both the nasal swab and saliva test accurate?

  1. Both the nasal swab or sometimes down the throat test and saliva test work by detecting genetic material from coronavirus. Both tests that show a positive test result almost always mean the person is infected with the virus. However, both tests can be negative, even if a person is proved to later be infected (false negative). This is especially true for people who carry the virus but have no symptoms.

Free saliva testing is available to all Minnesotans. A mail order saliva kit or community testing sites in the Metropolitan area for more immediate testing can be found at:

https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/testsites/athome.html

What is the Rapid ID or BIONX Now test?

  1. This is a test that provides immediate results (usually within 15 minutes). These rapid tests are being used in health care and are becoming available for purchase at home. This test is intended for individuals with symptoms within the first seven days. It is an antigen test that uses a nasal swab.

Who should get tested?

  1. Anyone with symptoms.
    • If you have symptoms, get tested immediately.
    • Stay home when you are sick, whether you seek out testing or not. If you leave your home to get a test, wear a mask and stay 6 feet away from other people. The COVID-19 Test at Home program may be your best option for getting tested in the comfort of your own home.
    • Community testing sites are best for people with mild symptoms. If you have moderate to severe symptoms call your doctor or health care provider or go to the hospital.
  2. Anyone who was close to someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
    • It's best to get tested at least 5 days after the last time you were close to the person with COVID-19 (exposed). If you get tested too soon, the test may not be able to detect the virus.
    • The safest option is to stay home for 14 days after your last contact with the person who has COVID-19, whether you have symptoms or not. In certain situations, you may consider being around others after 10 days, or after seven days with a negative COVID-19 test result.
    • The COVID-19 Test at Home program may be your best option for getting tested, particularly if you learn about exposure early in the 14-day window.
    • If you would prefer to visit a Community Testing Site, make an appointment. If the site nearest you has no available appointments, they may have walk in testing without an appointment.
  3. Anyone who has attended a one-time, high-risk activity, such as a large gathering or an indoor event with people you do not live with.
    • If you start to feel sick, get tested right away.
    • If you do not feel sick, get a COVID-19 test at least five days after the event. If the test is negative and you are worried you might have been close to someone with COVID-19 (exposed), get another test 12–14 days after the event, even if you do not feel sick.
  4. Anyone who is actively engaged with people outside of their household or is working at places that remain open during the pandemic. This includes critical infrastructure, first responders, health care, retail, etc.
    • If you do not have symptoms and you have not been told you have been exposed to COVID-19, you are still at risk given how quickly the virus is spreading.
    • Make an appointment at a Community Testing Site. Plan ahead to find an available appointment, even if that includes looking at a testing location a little farther away.

Vaccination Update

Availability of vaccination supplies continue to be a challenge in the state. The state did not open the voluntary vaccination online vaccine registration this week due to the backlog of already registered adults age 65 or older.

The vaccine dashboard provides additional information on weekly vaccinations administered in Minnesota.

Feb. 9 Town Hall summary

More than fifty members of the Metropolitan State community came together over Zoom to hear updates and ask questions. Those in attendance heard updates including:

  • Ongoing progress with the university’s mechanical engineering contractors on verifying university air flow, ventilation, and filtration systems
  • Update on employee return planning
    • Likelier to be fall than earlier
    • Student needs will be the primary driving factor
  • Vaccination timing for state employees remains uncertain
  • Differing summer and fall term registrations to provide extra time for fall course options planning
  • COVID reporting update, including the request to report anecdotal cases when verifiable
  • Student services should be contacted directly by students struggling to access them
  • University-wide communications update, delineating the Metro Monday, MetroSafe, and Metro Moment communications purposes, publication schedule, and intended audiences
  • Provost’s Office to work with student veterans to ensure course coding requirements met for VA housing benefits

For a more detailed summary, visit the Town Hall section of the President’s page on my.metrostate.edu.

Posted Thursday, February 4, 2021 Announcements to Employees

February Town Hall scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 9, 10:30 a.m.–noon

During this live Zoom session, Metro State employees and students will have an opportunity to bring questions, comments, and feedback forward as we continue to evaluate and make plans for this semester and beyond. Can’t make it? We will provide a summary of the Town Hall in the next week’s MetroSafe email.

Join Zoom Meeting
https://minnstate.zoom.us/j/91968031390?pwd=Yk9RUWIzckptbVRJcDc5V1ZVMmY1Zz09
Meeting ID: 919 6803 1390
Passcode: 639596
One tap mobile
+19292056099,,91968031390# US (New York)

Would you like to hear about a specific topic or ask a question in advance? Please email covid-19@metrostate.edu and we’ll address your questions at the Town Hall.

COVID-19 campus exposure update

For the week of Jan. 27–Feb. 2, Metropolitan State has reported six COVID-19 cases to the Minnesota State dashboard among individuals associated with our campus. Of these individuals, one was thought to be infectious while on campus. The data reported is shown below:

Students—Week of 1/27/2020 - 2/2/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 2/2/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—5 / 297

Negative—0 / 80

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—1 / 2

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—4 / 215

Contagious while on campus—1 / 20

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—3 / 195

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—1 / 210

Employees—Week of 1/27/2020 - 2/2/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 2/2/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—1 / 15

Negative—0 / 0

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 1

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—1 / 13

Contagious while on campus—0 / 0

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—1 / 14

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 13

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.

How do we determine the infectious time and quarantine timelines on campus?

Guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health Office of Higher Education considers a person infectious two days before the start of symptoms, if symptoms are present

When we are notified that someone had a positive COVID test, the two days before the test sample is collected is considered the infectious period, if no symptoms are present. A quarantine period of 14 days is used before the individual can return to campus in person.

We also identify if the person had close contact (within 6 feet of each other for 15 minutes or more in a single day) with others on campus or in campus related activities. The close contacts are asked to stay home (isolate) for 14 days from their last close contact. It can take two to 14 days to show symptoms. However, even shorter periods of time and/or longer distances can result in spread of the virus. The longer someone is close to the person who has COVID-19, and the closer they are, the greater the chance the virus can spread.

Wearing of face coverings

As the pandemic continues, we need to reinforce important safety practices for everyone who comes to our campus facilities. All Metropolitan State University faculty, staff, students, and visitors are required to wear a face covering over both the nose and mouth at all times when indoors or in other university facilities. This includes when traveling in common hallways, tunnels and workspaces if you are working within 6 feet of a coworker if physical distancing cannot be maintained. Please help us keep our community safe.

If you have been vaccinated, face coverings and social distancing are still required.

Vaccine

Current status of vaccine distribution in the state can be found at: https://mn.gov/covid19/vaccine/data/index.jsp

Minnesota recently launched a COVID-19 vaccine pilot program and opened community vaccination sites across the state. These sites will initially serve adults age 65 and older as well as educators (pre-kindergarten through grade 12), school staff, and childcare workers. Because of limited vaccine supply, there are only a small number of appointments available. This program will help to vaccinate more people and to prepare for the future when more vaccine is made available from the federal government. For more information, including who can get vaccinated and how to schedule appointments, see Who's Getting Vaccinated.

COVID Testing

Free community testing sites are open and available for saliva testing. https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/testsites/community.html

Posted Thursday, February 4, 2021 Announcements to Employees

COVID-19 campus exposure update

For the week of Jan. 21–Jan. 26, Metropolitan State has reported seven COVID-19 cases to the Minnesota State dashboard among individuals associated with our campus. Of these individuals, two were thought to be infectious while on campus. The data reported is shown below:

Students—Week of 1/20/2020 - 1/26/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 1/26/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—12 / 292

Negative—0 / 76

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—5 / 6

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—7 / 210

Contagious while on campus—0 / 19

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—7 / 191

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—3 / 205

Employees—Week of 1/20/2020 - 1/26/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 1/26/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—0 / 14

Negative—0 / 0

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 1

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 / 13

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.

Community testing

Testing remains 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.

Vaccination update

The state’s pilot programs to target vaccine continue to develop, as the appointment-based vaccination program for adults 65 years of age and older moved into its second week, with a more robust sign-up system. There were a limited number of appointments available for eligible Minnesotans.

According to the state’s Find My Vaccine page, individuals in the following groups are eligible to make appointments for vaccination:

  • Minnesotans aged 65 and over
  • Pre-k through grade 12 educators
  • Child care workers

Educators and child care workers are, however, asked to work with their employers to determine eligibility and registration timing. The Find My Vaccine page has more details on steps for eligible Minnesotans.

For general information on how Minnesota’s vaccination programs are going, visit the state’s COVID-19 vaccine data page, and for specific questions on state agency employees’ vaccination plans, Minnesota Management and Budget’s COVID-19 vaccination information for state agency employees bulletin remains the most up-to-date and reliable source of information regarding access to vaccine for state employees. This information is updated frequently.

Hand Sanitation Protocols for Classrooms

We are asking all employees and students who have in person instruction this semester to use hand sanitizer protocols when entering the classroom and leaving the classroom. Use of hand sanitizer is a safer practice to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Hand sanitizer is available in the sanitation bins in each classroom. Hand sanitizer stands are also located in hallways where classes are scheduled. Signage has also been installed on classroom doors as a reminder.

Posted Thursday, February 4, 2021 Announcements to Employees

COVID-19 campus exposure update

For the week of Jan. 13–Jan. 20, Metropolitan State has reported nine COVID-19 cases to the Minnesota State dashboard among individuals associated with our campus. Of these individuals, two were thought to be infectious while on campus. The data reported is shown below:

Students—Week of 1/13/2020 - 1/20/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 1/20/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—10 / 279

Negative—0 / 75

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—1 / 1

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—9 / 203

Contagious while on campus—2 / 19

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—7 / 184

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—1 / 194

Employees—Week of 1/13/2020 - 1/20/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 1/20/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—0 / 14

Negative—0 / 0

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 1

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 / 13

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.

Quarantine guidelines

As you know, quarantine means keeping people who have been exposed to COVID-19 away from other people. As part of this precaution, people who are identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19 and who do not have symptoms of COVID-19 should stay away from others for 14 days past the last date of the contact. Close contact generally means spending 15 minutes or more over the course of a day within 6 feet of someone with COVID-19 while the person was infectious, or having direct physical contact with someone while infectious.

If you have COVID-19, it is important to stay home during isolation and quarantine and avoid unnecessary visitors. Following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines referenced in CDC: When You Can be Around Others After You Had or Likely Had COVID-19 remains the appropriate response.

In addition, faculty, staff, and students with COVID-19 should stay at home and can further reduce the spread of COVID-19 within their household by following the CDC guidance information If You Are Sick or Caring for Someone.

Other guidelines to keep in mind include:

  • Staying home for 14 days is not required for a close contact who tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 90 days and has already recovered
  • In some circumstances colleges or universities may allow individuals who have been exposed to quarantine for shorter amounts of time
  • Alternate modes of course instruction are available for students with COVID-19

First Town Hall of 2021

More than sixty members of the Metropolitan State community came together over Zoom to hear updates and ask questions. Those in attendance heard updates including:

  • Updated COVID-19 plans and policies at both the university and state level
  • Continuing preparation for fall 2021 planning, and clearly communicating the university’s course coding to students
  • Updates on online support available to students and employees, and reminder to pay attention to MetroSafe communications for event details and general updates
  • Vaccination timing for state employees still uncertain
  • In-person courses will be more stringent in physical distancing
  • Continued vigilance needed even as local COVID infection situation improves
  • Welcome to new Senior Human Resources Officer Lori Kingston
    • IFO focused position to be filled in HR soon
  • Library hours changed to Monday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
  • Addressed steps taken in response to possible unrest surrounding the Presidential inauguration
  • Questions were taken

For a more detailed summary, visit the Town Hall section of the President’s page on my.metrostate.

COVID Preparedness Plan

Our campus COVID Preparedness Plan has been updated for the semester. The plan outlines information for employees and students on campus operating requirements during the pandemic. In it, you can find information on building access points, health screening locations, face coverings requirements, and how to report COVID exposures or positive test results.

Community testing and vaccination

Minnesota has worked hard to provide no-barrier access to COVID-19 testing at all Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) community testing sites. Testing remains 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.

As mentioned last week, while distribution of COVID-19 vaccine has progressed in the state, we are still in the early stages of the process, concentrating the limited vaccine supply on the most critical healthcare workers and the most vulnerable among us. Minnesota Management and Budget’s COVID-19 vaccination information for state agency employees bulletin is the most up-to-date and reliable source of information regarding access to vaccine for state employees. This information is likely to be updated frequently, so consult it as questions arise.

Vaccination Pilot

The state of Minnesota is also piloting an appointment-based vaccination program for adults 65 years of age and older. There are a limited number of appointments available for eligible Minnesotans.

Posted Thursday, January 14, 2021 Announcements to Employees

State agency vaccination update

As many of you are aware, the beginning distribution of COVID-19 vaccine has begun here in Minnesota and elsewhere. With many questions regarding the prioritization of vaccinations, availability to state workers, and whether or not vaccination will be mandated circulating among state workers and others, Minnesota Management and Budget has put together a COVID-19 vaccination information for state agency employees bulletin for reference. This information is likely to be updated frequently, so consult it as questions arise.

COVID-19 campus exposure update

For the week of Jan. 6–Jan. 12, Metropolitan State has reported 8 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 1/6/2020 - 1/12/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 1/12/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—8 / 269

Negative—0 / 75

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 0

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—8 / 194

Contagious while on campus—0 / 17

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—8 / 177

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—6 / 188

Employees—Week of 1/6/2020 - 1/12/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 1/12/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—0 / 14

Negative—0 / 1

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 12

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 / 13

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.

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.

COVID Preparedness Plan

Our campus COVID Preparedness Plan has been updated for the semester. The plan outlines information for employees and students on campus operating requirements during the pandemic. In it, you can find information on building access points, health screening locations, face coverings requirements, and how to report COVID exposures or positive test results.

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.

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.

Posted Friday, December 18, 2020 Announcements to Employees

Buildings closed for winter break

As a reminder, over the winter break all Metropolitan State campus locations will be closed to physical access from Dec. 19–Jan. 3. This includes the Saint Paul Campus, Midway Center, the Management Education Center, and the Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Center. During this time, all student support services will be accessible remotely.

COVID-19 campus exposure update

For the week of Dec. 9–15, Metropolitan State has reported 19 COVID-19 cases to the Minnesota State dashboard among individuals associated with our campus. Of these individuals, 0 were infectious while on campus. The data reported is shown below:

Students

Students—Week of 12/9/2020 - 12/15/2020 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 12/15/2020

Case Number/ Total Reports—17 / 240

Negative—0 / 73

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—1 / 1

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—16 / 166

Contagious while on campus—0 / 17

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—16 / 133

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—8 / 157

Employees—Week of 12/9/2020 - 12/15/2020 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 12/15/2020

Case Number/ Total Reports—1 / 13

Negative—0 / 0

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 1

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—3 / 12

Contagious while on campus—0 / 0

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—3 / 13

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—1 / 2

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.

Community testing—no-barrier access

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.

All community testing sites will be closed:

  • Thursday, Dec. 24 and Friday, Dec. 25
  • Thursday, Dec. 31 and Friday, Jan. 1

If you are seeking a test through a clinic or hospital, please confirm available testing hours directly with the clinic or hospital for the holiday weekends, Dec 24-27 and Dec 30-Jan 4.

Reporting COVID cases during winter break

We ask your help in continuing to report possible employee or any student COVID exposures on the university COVID web form during winter break. The university wants to continue to provide support and assistance for employees and students during the break. The reporting is also helps our continuing work with the Minnesota Department of Health on contract tracing.

COVID testing for spring semester

If you are traveling 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 you return to campus in January.

Travel tips

Consider getting tested at least five days after you arrive, especially if your travel included being around many people (such as at airports, bus rides, larger carpools). It can take up to 14 days to get symptoms.

Wear a facemask and stay at least six feet away from others as much as possible for the first two weeks after you get where you’re are going. Be extra careful with family. Wash your hands often.

In general, avoid visiting older adults or people who have health conditions. If you do visit them, you should wear a mask, stay at least six feet away from them as much as possible, and wash your hands often. It is really important if you visit people who have increased risk for getting very sick from COVID-19 to be extra safe 14 days before your visit and consider getting tested a few days before you visit.

Vaccine Update

The state of Minnesota is expecting to receive 183,000 doses by year’s end (includes Pfizer and expected Moderna doses). That’s only enough doses to vaccinate about one-third of Minnesota health care workers by mid-January.

2,000 Pfizer doses were delivered on Monday this week. State “hubs” are being used to distribute vaccine throughout Minnesota.

The FDA is expected to approve the Moderna vaccine later this week. Minnesota expects to receive more of the Moderna vaccine than the Pfizer version.

Minnesota Department of Health Director Kris Ehresmann asks us to be patient in the midst of our excitement about the vaccine. Vaccine doses for the general population likely won’t be available until spring.

Posted Friday, December 11, 2020 Announcements to Employees

COVID-19 campus exposure update

For the week of Dec. 2–8, Metropolitan State has reported 18 COVID-19 cases to the Minnesota State dashboard among individuals associated with our campus. Of these individuals, 3 were infectious while on campus. The data reported is shown below:

STUDENTS

Students—Week of 12/2/2020 - 12/8/2020 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 12/8/2020

Case Number/ Total Reports—27 / 223

Negative—3 / 69

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—6 / 6

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—18 / 148

Contagious while on campus—3 / 16

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—15 / 132

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—8 / 131

Employees—Week of 12/2/2020 - 12/8/2020 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 12/8/2020

Case Number/ Total Reports—0 / 10

Negative—0 / 0

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 1

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—0 / 9

Contagious while on campus—0 / 0

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—0 / 10

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 1

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.

Last Town Hall of fall semester took place Dec. 2

The last remote Town Hall of the semester took place on December 2, with President Ginny Arthur hosting a sizeable number of Metropolitan State University community members on hand to hear the reports from the Facilities, Safety, and Return to Work; Student Impact; Library; Enrollment Management; and Academic Continuity and Innovation teams. The summary will be posted on My.Metrostate in the Town Hall section.

More Town Halls are planned for the spring, and details on those will be communicated soon.

Reporting COVID cases during winter break

We ask your help in continuing to report possible employee or any student COVID exposures on the university COVID web form during winter break. The university wants to continue to provide support and assistance for employees and students during the break. The reporting also helps our continuing work with the Minnesota Department of Health on contract tracing.

COVID testing for spring semester

If you are traveling 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 you return to campus in January.

Travel tips

Consider getting tested at least five days after you arrive, especially if your travel included being around many people (such as at airports, bus rides, larger car pools). It can take up to 14 days to get symptoms.

Wear a facemask and stay at least six feet away from others as much as possible for the first two weeks after you get where you’re are going. Be extra careful with family. Wash your hands often.

In general, avoid visiting older adults or people who have health conditions. If you do visit them, you should wear a mask, stay at least six feet away from them as much as possible, and wash your hands often. It is really important if you visit people who have increased risk for getting very sick from COVID-19 to be extra safe 14 days before your visit and consider getting tested a few days before you visit.

Posted Friday, December 4, 2020 Announcements to Employees

For the week of Nov. 25–Dec. 1, Metropolitan State has reported 18 COVID-19 cases to the Minnesota State dashboard among individuals associated with our campus. Of these individuals, 0 were infectious while on campus. The data reported is shown below:

Students—Week of 11/25/2020 - 12/1/2020 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 12/1/2020

Case Number/ Total Reports—29 / 196

Negative—4 / 61

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—7 / 7

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—18 / 128

Contagious while on campus—0 / 13

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—18 / 115

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—30 / 121

Employees—Week of 11/25/2020 - 12/1/2020 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 12/1/2020

Case Number/ Total Reports—0 / 10

Negative—0 / 0

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 1

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—0 / 9

Contagious while on campus—0 / 0

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—0 / 10

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 1

One note: in last week’s data, one student case who reported themselves positive was later confirmed by the MDH as negative. The cumulative numbers reflect the removal of that case from the positives. We do report any case in which a student provides a positive test date as well as those MDH confirms as positive. We will continue to correct these if there are changes identified if/when MDH is able to confirm separately.

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.

Community spread

As you all know, Governor Walz announced new restrictions recently in an attempt to slow the accelerating spread of COVID-19 in the state. The Minnesota Department of Health updated its guidance for higher education institutions with instruction to begin operating under Scenario 4: sustained level of high transmission (Deep Orange). View Recommendations for Different Levels of COVID-19 Transmission Among Higher Education Institutions here.

Additional mitigation measures will be implemented on campus to slow the spread of the virus. These measures include reducing and limiting social interaction and moving coursework online as much as possible, limiting or canceling third party events on campus, and using other strategies to reduce opportunity that could lead to further spread of COVID-19. For higher education institutions, libraries and student centers can remain open for student services.

https://mn.gov/governor/news/executiveorders.jsp

https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/schools/ihe.html

COVIDaware MN available now

COVIDaware MN, an app that runs on your smartphone and notifies you if you have been near someone who tests positive for COVID-19, launched on Monday, Nov. 23. The app uses Bluetooth technology and GPS location to identify and communicate proximity to other devices, while not communicating any personal information. People using COVIDaware MN are notified when their device has been in proximity to a device carried by someone who tests positive. For more information about COVIDaware MN, including instructions on downloading the app, visit the COVIDaware MN webpage.

Department of Health expanded COVID testing access still available—New site info

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) remains concerned that Minnesotans, particularly those ages 18–35, are driving the state’s community spread of COVID-19 to record highs, many of them with no symptoms and no way of knowing they are positive. MDH urges all college and university students and those working on site at colleges and universities to get tested prior to the holidays or other opportunities to gather.

All testing is free and available to anyone who wants to be tested whether they have symptoms or not, and it will not require insurance. You can find options for testing at the MDH link, including nasal swab community testing events, saliva community testing sites, home tests, and a map of testing locations throughout the state.

  • You do not to need to show identification.
  • Tests are at no cost to you, and insurance is not required.
  • While appointments are recommended, walk-ins are always welcome.

These saliva tests are more comfortable than nasal swabs and just as accurate, but they may not be a good option for those with low saliva production, such as very young children or people who have suffered a stroke. Results are emailed to you 24-48 hours after taking the test.

If you have questions about saliva testing, please email mn@vaulthealth.com or call 800-800-5698.

Other free MDH testing options available:

Where to get a test

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) announced a new COVID-19 testing site in the Victory Links Golf Course Parking Lot at the National Sports Center in Blaine, part of a collaboration with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Testing at this site will occur Monday, Dec. 7 through Saturday, Dec. 12. The site will be set up as a drive-thru, with participants self-administering a nasal swab test. The site has capacity for 10,000 tests over the course of the six days. Appointments are strongly encouraged, but not required.

Testing Site Location:

National Sports Center

Victory Links Golf Course - parking lot

2010 105th Ave NE

Blaine, MN 55449

Hours of Operation:

Monday, Dec. 7–Friday, Dec. 11

10 a.m.–6 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 12

8 a.m.–2 p.m.

The state is opening up several saliva testing sites across Minnesota. Sites most accessible to our campus include: Inver Grove Heights Armory; Stillwater Armory; Roy Wilkins Auditorium, Saint Paul; the Minneapolis Convention Center; and the Starlite Center in Brooklyn Park.

All sites will be closed Thursday, Dec. 24 and Friday, Dec. 25 for Christmas

Building access changes, winter break hours, and computer/technology support

This coming Saturday, Dec. 5, the Library and Learning Center will be open from 10 a.m.–6 p.m. to allow for extra time to complete finals and associated projects. Other area and service access changes necessitated by the increased restrictions started Dec. 1 include:

  • The first floor is OPEN and available for study and computer use; the second floor is closed to patrons.
  • Study rooms on the first floor which are equipped with computers are also AVAILABLE while those on the second floor are not.
  • Please call 651-793-1624 for assistance with resources, printers, and more. There is a courtesy phone at the desk; dial 1624 to contact staff with at that phone. Library staff will also deliver materials for you to pick up on the first floor. This includes books, interlibrary loan resources, and more.
  • Metro State IDs are now available only through email/mail. See https://libguides.metrostate.edu/covid-19 for instructions.
  • IT Assistance is available through the chat widget on the desktop of every lab computer.
  • Reference Librarians are available to help with research, writing, and more here: https://libguides.metrostate.edu/covid-19/write_at_the_desk

Winter break building schedules

Over the winter break, all Metropolitan State campus locations will be closed to physical access from Dec. 19–Jan. 3. This includes the Saint Paul Campus, Midway Center, the Management Education Center, and the Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Center. During this time, all student support services will be accessible remotely.

Posted Monday, November 30, 2020 Announcements to Employees

COVID-19 campus exposure update

For the week of Nov. 18–Nov. 24, Metropolitan State has reported 29 COVID-19 cases to the Minnesota State dashboard among individuals associated with our campus. Of these individuals, 1 was infectious while on campus. The data reported is shown below:

Students—Week of 11/18/2020 - 11/24/2020 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 11/24/2020

Case Number/ Total Reports—36 / 168

Negative—6 / 54

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—3 / 3

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—27 / 111

Contagious while on campus—1 / 13

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—26 / 98

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—28 / 92

Employees—Week of 11/18/2020 - 11/24/2020 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 11/24/2020

Case Number/ Total Reports—2 / 10

Negative—0 / 0

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 1

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—2 / 9

Contagious while on campus—0 / 0

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—3 / 10

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 1

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.

COVIDaware MN launches

COVIDaware MN, an app that runs on your smartphone and notifies you if you have been near someone who tests positive for COVID-19, launched on Monday, Nov. 23. The app uses Bluetooth technology to communicate proximity to other devices, and does not communicate any personal information. For more information about COVIDaware MN, including instructions on downloading the app, visit the COVIDaware MN webpage.

Community Spread

As you all know, Governor Walz announced new restrictions last Thursday in an attempt to slow the accelerating spread of COVID-19 in the state. The Minnesota Department of Health updated its guidance for higher education institutions with instruction to begin operating under Scenario 4: sustained level of high transmission (Red). View Recommendations for Different Levels of COVID-19 Transmission Among Higher Education Institutions here.

Additional mitigation measures will be implemented on campus to slow the spread of the virus. These measures include reducing and limiting social interaction and moving coursework online as much as possible, limiting or canceling third party events on campus, and using other strategies to reduce opportunity that could lead to further spread of COVID-19.

For higher education institutions, libraries and student centers can remain open for the purpose of students studying.

https://mn.gov/governor/news/executiveorders.jsp

https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/schools/ihe.html

Department of Health expands COVID testing access

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is concerned that Minnesotans, particularly those ages 18–35, are driving the state’s community spread of COVID-19 to record highs, many of them with no symptoms and no way of knowing they are positive. MDH believes the possibility of continued spread of the virus as the holidays approach and friends and families begin to gather poses a serious risk and urges all college and university students and those working on site at colleges and universities to get tested prior to the holidays or other opportunities to gather.

All testing will be free and available to anyone who wants to be tested whether they have symptoms or not, and it will not require insurance. You can find options for testing at the MDH link, including nasal swab community testing events, saliva community testing sites, home tests, and a map of testing locations throughout the state.

  • You do not to need to show identification.
  • Tests are at no cost to you, and insurance is not required.
  • While appointments are recommended, walk-ins are always welcome.

These saliva tests are more comfortable than nasal swabs and just as accurate, but they may not be a good option for those with low saliva production, such as very young children or people who have suffered a stroke. Results are emailed to you 24-48 hours after taking the test.

If you have questions about saliva testing, please email mn@vaulthealth.com or call 800-800-5698.

Other free MDH testing options available:

Where to get a test

The state is opening up several saliva testing sites across Minnesota. Sites most accessible to our campus include: Inver Grove Heights Armory; Stillwater Armory; Roy Wilkins Auditorium, Saint Paul; the Minneapolis Convention Center; and the Starlite Center in Brooklyn Park.

All sites will be closed:

  • Thursday, Nov. 26 and Friday, Nov. 27 for Thanksgiving
  • Thursday, Dec. 24 and Friday, Dec. 25 for Christmas

Posted Monday, November 30, 2020 Announcements to Employees

COVID-19 campus exposure update

For the week of Nov. 11–Nov. 17, Metropolitan State has reported 23 COVID-19 cases to the Minnesota State dashboard among individuals associated with our campus. Of these individuals, 2 were infectious while on campus. One note: in last week’s data, one student case who reported themselves positive while on campus was later confirmed by the MDH as negative. The cumulative numbers reflect the removal of that case from the positives. The data reported is shown in the following tables:

Students—Week of 11/11/2020 - 11/17/2020 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 11/17/2020

Case Number/ Total Reports—34 / 132

Negative—5 / 42

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—9 / 9

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—20 / 81

Contagious while on campus—2 / 12

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—18 / 69

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—12 / 67

Employees—Week of 11/11/2020 - 11/17/2020 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 11/17/2020

Case Number/ Total Reports—3 / 8

Negative—0 / 0

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 1

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—3 / 7

Contagious while on campus—0 / 0

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—3 / 8

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 1

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.

Community Spread

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz issued a new executive order 20-99 on November 18 with a four week pause on social gatherings, new limits on bars and restaurants, celebrations and reception and a slew of other activities in a bid to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus. The news comes as the state revealed on Wednesday a record high number of daily deaths, 67, connected to the virus.

In accordance with the Governors Executive Order 20-99 and the impact on the health care system, the university is moving to a higher-level high-risk transmission scenario for the next four weeks.

Additional mitigation measures will be implemented on campus to slow the spread of the virus. These measures include reducing and limiting social interaction and moving coursework online as much as possible, limiting or canceling third party events on campus, and using other strategies to reduce opportunity that could lead to further spread of COVID-19. For higher education institutions, libraries and student centers can remain open for student services.

https://mn.gov/governor/news/executiveorders.jsp

https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/schools/ihe.html

Department of Health expands COVID testing access

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is concerned that Minnesotans, particularly those ages 18–35, are driving the state’s community spread of COVID-19 to record highs, many of them with no symptoms and no way of knowing they are positive. MDH believes the possibility of continued spread of the virus as the holidays approach and friends and families begin to gather poses a serious risk and urges all college and university students and those working on site at colleges and universities to get tested prior to the holidays or other opportunities to gather.

All testing will be free and available to anyone who wants to be tested whether they have symptoms or not, and it will not require insurance. You can find options for testing at the MDH link, including nasal swab community testing events, saliva community testing sites, home tests, and a map of testing locations throughout the state.

  • You do not to need to show identification.
  • Tests are at no cost to you, and insurance is not required.
  • While appointments are recommended, walk-ins are always welcome.

These saliva tests are more comfortable than nasal swabs and just as accurate, but they may not be a good option for those with low saliva production, such as very young children or people who have suffered a stroke. Results are emailed to you 24-48 hours after taking the test.

If you have questions about saliva testing, please email mn@vaulthealth.com or call 800-800-5698.

Other free MDH testing options available:

Where to get a test

The state is opening up several saliva testing sites across Minnesota. Sites most accessible to our campus include: Inver Grove Heights Armory; Stillwater Armory; Roy Wilkins Auditorium, Saint Paul; the Minneapolis Convention Center; and the Starlite Center in Brooklyn Park.

All sites will be closed:

  • Thursday, Nov. 26 and Friday, Nov. 27 for Thanksgiving
  • Thursday, Dec. 24 and Friday, Dec. 25 for Christmas

How You Make a Difference

We want to thank the staff and faculty who have been working to report covid-19 student cases to the university. Every case is reviewed, contacted, and provided resources. Assigned academic advisor(s) and faculty members are also notified of the cases so we can offer broad classroom support. We wanted to share three recent examples with you of how the students have benefited from these reports and are so grateful to the university for reaching out to support them.

  1. One student was experiencing “moderate” covid-19 symptoms, and their home computer broke. Because of the positive test result and active symptoms, the student could not come to campus to use one of the computer labs. We were able to work together to issue a laptop to a non-impacted family member, through a verification process, and the student was able to successfully continue classes and complete a quiz on-time.
  2. One student employee was experiencing “mild, yet persistent” covid-19 symptoms. Because the student could not report for their scheduled shifts on campus, they were very concerned about how to afford groceries for their four children at home. We were able to provide a food distribution as well as a small gift card to the student. A non-impacted family member was able to successfully pick up groceries and deliver it to the family using the gift card.
  3. One student was struggling to keep up with their work in the four classes they were taking due to “moderate” covid-19 symptoms spanning a three-week period. We were able to work with the faculty members to get extensions on all assignments, some additional support in creating a quiet study space at home, and the student was able to catch up by the end of the fifth week and is back on track and doing well in classes (as reported by the faculty).

Without the help of the staff and/or faculty members who reported these student cases through the coronavirus illness reporting form, we may or may not have ever found out about these cases. We definitely would not have been able to provide the level of support needed to get this done so quickly, and it is unknown if the students could have remained successful in their courses and in meeting basic needs for themselves and their families. Please continue to report all known cases so that we may continue to support our students.

Posted Monday, November 30, 2020 Announcements to Employees

Department of Health expands COVID testing access

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is concerned that Minnesotans, particularly those ages 18-35, are driving the state’s community spread of COVID-19 to record highs, many of them with no symptoms and no way of knowing they are positive. MDH believes the possibility of continued spread of the virus as the holidays approach and friends and families begin to gather poses a serious risk, and urges all college and university students and those working on site at colleges and universities to get tested prior to the holidays or other opportunities to gather.

To make this possible, Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan announced a significant expansion in COVID-19 testing access, with the addition of more than a dozen new testing locations opening across the state over the next two weeks. All testing will be free and available to anyone who wants to be tested whether they have symptoms or not, and it will not require insurance. You can find options for testing at the MDH link, including nasal swab community testing events, saliva community testing sites, home tests, and a map of testing locations throughout the state.

COVID-19 testing is available at no cost at all Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) community testing sites. We are always planning more community testing locations across the state, working together with communities to make sure everyone can get tested.

  • You do not to need to show identification.
  • Tests are at no cost to you, and insurance is not required.
  • While appointments are recommended, walk-ins are always welcome.

These saliva tests are more comfortable than nasal swabs and just as accurate, but they may not be a good option for those with low saliva production, such as very young children or people who have suffered a stroke. Results are emailed to you 24-48 hours after taking the test.

If you have questions about saliva testing, please email mn@vaulthealth.com or call 800-800-5698.

Other free MDH testing options available:

Where to get a test

Duluth

Brooklyn Park

Mankato

Minneapolis

Minneapolis-Saint Paul Airport - opening Nov. 12

Moorhead

St. Cloud

St. Paul

Winona

The state is opening up several saliva testing sites across Minnesota. As new locations open, they will be included here.

All sites will be closed:

  • Thursday, Nov. 26 and Friday, Nov. 27 for Thanksgiving
  • Thursday, Dec. 24 and Friday, Dec. 25 for Christmas

What to expect at the testing site

  • Wear a mask or face covering if you can.
  • The sites are usually busiest when they first open. Come later in the day, if you can, to avoid lines.
  • Walk-ins are welcome, but it’s best to pre-register for an appointment and arrive on time (not earlier).
  • You can show either your confirmation email/text or tell staff your name, birthdate, and address.
  • Bring your insurance card if you have health insurance. The test will be 100% at no cost to you whether or not you have insurance. If you do have insurance, MDH may ask your insurance company to help pay for your test.
  • Each person getting tested will need to have their own email address and a phone number to receive their results.

COVID-19 campus exposure update

For the week of Nov. 4–Nov. 10, Metropolitan State has reported 11 COVID-19 cases to the Minnesota State dashboard among individuals associated with our campus. Of these individuals, 4 were infectious while on campus. One note: in last week’s data, one student case who reported themselves positive while on campus was later confirmed by the MDH as negative. The cumulative numbers reflect the removal of that case from the positives. The data reported is shown in the following tables:

Students—Week of 11/4/2020- 11/10/2020 / Total from 08/24/2020 – 11/10/2020

Case Number/ Total Reports—13 / 98

Negative—2 / 37

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 0

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—11 / 61

Contagious while on campus—4 / 10

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—7 / 51

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—10 / 55

Employees—Week of 11/4/2020- 11/10/2020 / Total from 08/24/2020 – 11/10/2020

Case Number/ Total Reports—0 / 5

Negative—0 / 0

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 1

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—0 / 4

Contagious while on campus—0 / 0

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—0 / 5

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 1

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.

Posted Monday, November 30, 2020 Announcements to Employees

COVID-19 campus exposure update

For the week of Oct. 28–Nov. 3, Metropolitan State has reported 8 COVID-19 cases to the Minnesota State dashboard among individuals associated with our campus. Of these individuals, 2 were infectious while on campus. The data reported is shown below:

STUDENTS—Week of 10/28/2020- 11/3/2020 / Total from 08/24/2020 – 11/3/2020

Case Number/ Total Reports—11 / 85

Negative—2 / 33

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—1 / 1

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—8 / 51

Contagious while on campus—2 / 7

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—6 / 44

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—5 / 45

Employees—Week of 10/28/2020- 11/3/2020 / Total from 08/24/2020 – 11/3/2020

Case Number/ Total Reports—0 / 5

Negative—0 / 0

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 1

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—0 / 4

Contagious while on campus—0 / 0

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—0 / 5

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 1

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.

Flu vaccina​tions

One of the most important things to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19, according to the CDC, Minnesota Department of Health, and the System Office, is to be vaccinated for this year's seasonal flu. This not only protects you from the flu itself but reduces the likelihood that hospital ICUs will be overfilled this flu season, reserving capacity for pandemic hospitalizations. Flu shot vaccines are available at physician offices and local pharmacies. Learn more about the benefits of influenza vaccinations during this pandemic at the CDC's website.

Upcoming free nasal swab COVID community testing events

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is providing free community COVID testing sites in a number of locations in the Twin Cities and across Minnesota. Check the MDH community testing events page for locations and times. This page is updated regularly.

  • Testing is free, and you do not need insurance or identification.
  • You can get tested even if you don't have symptoms of COVID-19. For example, if you think you have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19 or if you got a call from the health department telling you that you may have been exposed.
  • Community testing is designed to serve the local community. If you live farther away, we encourage you to get tested at your local clinic. For help finding a nearby location, see Find Testing Locations.

Equipment/Technology for Remote Work

As our remote work environment continues this winter and for spring semester, we’ve had some questions about equipment that is allowed to be brought home for remote work. If you have equipment needs to work successfully at home, please work with your supervisor to address your technology or equipment needs and they can allow you to bring it home or suggest an alternative. Your supervisor can make new technology requests in the Technology Service Portal if needed. Supervisors should submit approved requests for chairs that will be used for remote work to the Building Services email box.

Current Approved Technology

  • laptop
  • monitor(s)
  • docking station
  • keyboard
  • mouse
  • headphones
  • cameras
  • cables and accessories (wrist/mouse pads, risers, etc.)

Current Approved Furniture

  • Office chair – with supervisor approval. Additional chairs are not being purchased to provide a second chair for home use only
  • Standing workstations (Lift Desk/Stations)-Employees with an ADA accommodation can be provided a table top lift desk

Note on office furniture—Desks are not being disassembled or removed from campus.

Posted Monday, November 30, 2020 Announcements to Employees

COVID-19 campus exposure update

For the week of Oct. 21–28, Metropolitan State has reported 6 COVID-19 cases to the Minnesota State dashboard among individuals associated with our campus. Of these individuals, 0 were infectious while on campus. The data reported is shown in the following tables:

STUDENTS—Week of 10/21/2020 - 10/27/2020 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 10/27/2020

Case Number/ Total Reports—8 / 74

Negative—1 / 28

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—1 / 3

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—6 / 43

Contagious while on campus—0 / 5

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—6 / 38

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—10 / 40

Employees—Week of 10/21/2020 - 10/27/2020 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 10/20/2020

Case Number/ Total Reports—0 / 5

Negative—0 / 0

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 1

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—0 / 4

Contagious while on campus—0 / 0

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—0 / 5

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 1

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.

Flu vaccinations

One of the most important things to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19, according to the CDC, Minnesota Department of Health, and the System Office, is to be vaccinated for this year's seasonal flu. This not only protects you from the flu itself but reduces the likelihood that hospital ICUs will be overfilled this flu season, reserving capacity for pandemic hospitalizations. Flu shot vaccines are available at physician offices and local pharmacies. Learn more about the benefits of influenza vaccinations during this pandemic at the CDC's website.

COVID-19 saliva tests (employees only)

In efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID, Minnesota State is launching a COVID-19 saliva testing program. Under this program, a saliva test for COVID-19 will be provided free of charge to all employees currently working in the colleges and universities of Minnesota State. While many Minnesotans can access testing through their primary care provider or community testing sites, this program allows Minnesota State employees to request a saliva test that they can use at home when they feel it is necessary. This initial program is scheduled to end Dec. 31, 2020.

To order a kit:

  1. login to Employee Home using your Star ID and password.
  2. After logging in, you will see a message on the dashboard titled “Free COVID Test Kit Available Through December 31!” The dashboard message will be generated on a weekly basis for any newly eligible employees.
  3. Click the mail icon on the right of the banner and then the displayed window message will have information regarding the pilot test program as well as a personalized URL hyperlink that will redirect you to Vault Health’s website to request a test kit. You will need contact information, identification, and insurance information. Employees will not be charged if their insurance does not cover the cost of the kit.

The test is conducted by collecting a saliva sample during a Zoom-enabled, HIPAA-compliant, supervised visit with a Vault Health professional. The visit is necessary to ensure enough of a sample is produced from the appropriate individual. After a sample is collected, it is sent to a Vault Health laboratory for testing.

Upcoming town hall meetings

The series of university community Town Hall meetings continues through the fall semester. If you haven't had the opportunity to attend one of these meetings to hear the latest on the university's plans for safe navigation of the pandemic and the eventual return to campus, here are the next planned sessions:

Town Hall schedule

Monday, Nov. 2, 10–11:30 a.m., Town Hall

Join Zoom Meeting https://minnstate.zoom.us/j/92693680882?pwd=NzdmbHBEM2ZJemd4dEgrMWo0MHpuZz09

Meeting ID: 926 9368 0882

Passcode: 376854

One tap mobile +19292056099,,92693680882# US (New York) +13017158592,,92693680882# US (Germantown)

Thursday, Nov. 19, 4–5:30 p.m., Student-Only Town Hall

Join Zoom Meeting https://minnstate.zoom.us/j/96835802387?pwd=N0xoRUo1bEpWSW1SMkJ2cWI0bmd3QT09

Meeting ID: 968 3580 2387

Passcode: 376854

One tap mobile +13126266799,,96835802387# US (Chicago) +19292056099,,96835802387# US (New York)

Wednesday, Dec. 2, 3–4:30 p.m., Town Hall

Join Zoom Meeting https://minnstate.zoom.us/j/96217502889?pwd=Wi9lVkFMaUhxbkNkb0lmbFJPMjJYUT09

Meeting ID: 962 1750 2889

Passcode: 376854

One tap mobile +13017158592,,96217502889# US (Germantown) +13126266799,,96217502889# US (Chicago)

Posted Monday, November 30, 2020 Announcements to Employees

COVID-19 campus exposure update

For the week of Oct. 14–20, Metropolitan State has reported 10 COVID-19 cases to the Minnesota State dashboard among individuals associated with our campus. Of these individuals, 3 were infectious while on campus. The data reported is shown in the following tables:

EMPLOYEES—Week of 10/14/2020 - 10/20/2020

Case Number/ Total Reports—0

Negative—0

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—0

Contagious while on campus—0

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—0

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0

STUDENTS—10/14/2020 - 10/20/2020

Case Number/ Total Reports—10

Negative—0

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—2

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—8

Contagious while on campus—3

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—5

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—7

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.

Physical Distancing Guidance

We've all heard that we should practice physical distancing as part of our efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. But how many of us have wondered, why practice Physical distancing? The following information is from CDC guidelines:

COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact (within about 6 feet) for a prolonged period. Spread happens when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks, and droplets from their mouth or nose are launched into the air and land in the mouths or noses of people nearby. The droplets can also be inhaled into the lungs. Recent studies indicate that people who are infected but do not have symptoms likely also play a role in the spread of COVID-19. Since people can spread the virus before they know they are sick, it is important to stay at least 6 feet away from others when possible, even if you—or they—do not have any symptoms. Physical distancing is especially important for people who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Mitigate these risks and protect the community by:

  • Limiting contact when running errands: Only visit stores selling household essentials in person when you absolutely need to and stay at least 6 feet away from others who are not from your household while shopping and in lines. If possible, use drive-thru, curbside pick-up, or delivery services to limit face-to-face contact with others. Maintain physical distance between yourself and delivery service providers during exchanges and wear a mask.
  • Choosing safe social activities: It is possible to stay socially connected with friends and family who don’t live in your home by calling, using video chat, or staying connected through social media. If meeting others in person (e.g., at small outdoor gatherings, yard or driveway gathering with a small group of friends or family members), stay at least 6 feet from others who are not from your household.
  • Keeping distance at events and gatherings: It is safest to avoid crowded places and gatherings where it may be difficult to stay at least 6 feet away from others who are not from your household. If you are in a crowded space, try to keep 6 feet of space between yourself and others at all times, and wear a mask.
  • Wearing appropriate masks/face coverings: Masks are especially important in times when physical distancing is difficult.
  • Noting and following physical guides when posted: Pay attention to any posted physical guides, such as tape markings on floors or signs on walls, directing attendees to remain at least 6 feet apart from each other in lines or at other times. Allow other people 6 feet of space when you pass by them in both indoor and outdoor settings.
  • Limiting close contact duration: Keep the time spent in close contact (within 6 feet) to 15 minutes or less from others who are not from your household.

Posted Monday, November 30, 2020 Announcements to Employees

COVID-19 campus exposure update

For the week of Oct. 7–Oct. 14, Metropolitan State has reported 9 COVID-19 cases among individuals associated with our campus. Of these individuals, 1were infectious while on campus. The data reported to the Minnesota State dashboard is shown in the following tables:

EMPLOYEES—Week of 10/07/2020 - 10/13/2020

Case Number/ Total Reports—1

Negative—0

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—1

Contagious while on campus—0

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—1

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0

STUDENTS—Week of 10/07/2020 - 10/13/2020

Case Number/ Total Reports—11

Negative—1

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—2

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—8

Contagious while on campus—1

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—7

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—2

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.

State of Minnesota free COVID saliva testing sites

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is offering Minnesotans more and different options for COVID-19 testing by offering saliva testing in a growing number of locations across the state. The test is more comfortable than a nasal swab, and available at no cost to anyone who believes they need a COVID-19 test.

  • Saliva testing is free and available to all Minnesotans who believe they need to be tested, with or without symptoms.
  • Identification is not required. You do need to have an email address and phone number to receive your results.
  • Insurance is not required. If you do have insurance, you will need to show your card. The test is completely free whether or not you have insurance, and you will not receive a bill.
  • Saliva testing may not be right for those with low saliva production, such as children under age 4 or someone who has suffered a stroke.

More information on the Minnesota saliva testing sites can be found online.

Brooklyn Park site—opening Oct. 20

Starlite Center, former Office Max building

8085 Brooklyn Blvd.

Brooklyn Park, MN 55428

Hours of operation will be:

Monday–Friday: noon–7 p.m.

Saturday–Sunday: 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

Scheduling for Brooklyn Park site is not yet available

Town Hall summary

Metropolitan State held the second of several online Town Hall meetings with President Ginny Arthur on Thursday, Oct. 8, reviewing and discussing the work of the university’s Recovery Planning Steering Committee and its working sub-groups. You can find a summary of the Town Hall online in my.metrostate.edu.

Other Town Halls are scheduled for:

Monday, Nov. 2, 10–11:30 a.m.

Join Zoom Meeting https://minnstate.zoom.us/j/92693680882?pwd=NzdmbHBEM2ZJemd4dEgrMWo0MHpuZz09

Meeting ID: 926 9368 0882

Passcode: 376854

One tap mobile +19292056099,,92693680882# US (New York) +13017158592,,92693680882# US (Germantown)

Thursday, Nov. 19, 4–5:30 p.m., Student-Only

Join Zoom Meeting https://minnstate.zoom.us/j/96835802387?pwd=N0xoRUo1bEpWSW1SMkJ2cWI0bmd3QT09

Meeting ID: 968 3580 2387

Passcode: 376854

One tap mobile +13126266799,,96835802387# US (Chicago) +19292056099,,96835802387# US (New York)

Wednesday, Dec. 2, 3–4:30 p.m.

Join Zoom Meeting https://minnstate.zoom.us/j/96217502889?pwd=Wi9lVkFMaUhxbkNkb0lmbFJPMjJYUT09

Meeting ID: 962 1750 2889

Passcode: 376854

One tap mobile +13017158592,,96217502889# US (Germantown) +13126266799,,96217502889# US (Chicago)

Posted Friday, October 9, 2020 Announcements to Employees

Dear Colleagues,

COVID-19 campus exposure update

For the week of Sept. 30–Oct. 6, Metropolitan State has reported four COVID-19 cases among individuals associated with our campus. Of these individuals, zero were infectious while on campus. The data reported to the Minnesota State dashboard is shown below:

STUDENTS

Number Case/ Total Reports: 10

Negative: 4

Unknown/ Unconfirmed: 2

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard): 4

Contagious while on campus: 0

Not Contagious or Not on Campus: 4

Recovered (Isolation has ended): 2

EMPLOYEES

Number Case/ Total Reports: 0

Negative: 0

Unknown/ Unconfirmed: 0

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard): 0

Contagious while on campus: 0

Not Contagious or Not on Campus: 0

Recovered (Isolation has ended): 0

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.

Telework agreement update

Telework agreements are being updated with employees. Please refer to President Arthur’s email from Sept. 30 for detailed information on updating the telework agreements. Supervisors will be working with their teleworking employees to renew or complete a new Telework Schedule and Acknowledgement Form. The deadline for completing updated telework agreements is Oct. 30.

We encourage you to continue safe practices as we move through the fall semester. If you are encountering challenges and need support we have resources available to help. Don’t hesitate to reach out.

Posted Thursday, October 1, 2020 Announcements to Employees

MetroSafe pledge reminder

As a reminder, face coverings are mandatory inside all Metropolitan State interior locations, and in exterior locations where physical distancing is not possible. Concern for one another is one of the hallmarks of our Metropolitan State community; show yours by following posted safety protocols and keeping our community healthy and safe to complete the fall semester.

You can signal your alignment with our MetroSafe safety steps by completing the #MetroSafe pledge, you will receive a magnetic pin that you can proudly wear during your zoom meetings or in class. Take the pledge today!

COVID-19 campus exposure update

For the week of Sept. 24–30, Metropolitan State has reported three COVID-19 cases among individuals associated with our campus. Of these individuals, zero were infectious while on campus.

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.

Fall Commencement set to be virtual, scheduled for Dec. 12

Metropolitan State University’s 107th Commencement ceremony celebrating the academic accomplishments of its students will be Dec. 12, 2020. While a virtual ceremony may not hold the same excitement as an in-person celebration, there is much we can do to make this a satisfying marker for our students, families, and our community. Stay tuned, you will receive more detailed information via email by the end of October from the Commencement Coordinator.

Drinking Fountains and Hand Dryers

You may wonder whether drinking fountains or hand dryers are okay to use during COVID-19.

Guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health Office of Higher Education indicates that water drinking fountains are okay to stay on; buttons and push bars are cleaned as high touch surfaces. You can use your elbow to activate the push bar, or just avoid the fountain if you have concerns. No touch water filling bottle filling stations are safe. Water fountain surfaces, buttons and levers are cleaned as high touch surfaces.

Hand Dryers are okay to use. Dryers that have push buttons to activate are also considered high touch surfaces.

Town Hall summary

Metropolitan State held the first of several online Town Hall meetings with President Ginny Arthur on Wednesday, Sept. 23, with 90 people present to hear about the work of the university’s Recovery Planning Steering Committee and its working sub-groups. You can find a summary of the first Town Hall online in my.metrostate.edu.

Other Town Halls are scheduled for:

Thursday, Oct. 8, 1–2:30 p.m.

Join Zoom Meeting https://minnstate.zoom.us/j/91268227647?pwd=QVJHc2pJdndXOWZWM1ZDUi9ULy9rUT09

Meeting ID: 912 6822 7647

Passcode: 376854

One tap mobile +13017158592,,91268227647# US (Germantown) +13126266799,,91268227647# US (Chicago)

Wednesday, Oct. 14, 4:30–6 p.m., Student-Only

Join Zoom Meeting https://minnstate.zoom.us/j/96958150957?pwd=aGdUdmMyOTUvR21mTHRmN09EakdNUT09

Meeting ID: 969 5815 0957

Passcode: 376854

One tap mobile +19292056099,,96958150957# US (New York) +13017158592,,96958150957# US (Germantown)

Monday, Nov. 2, 10–11:30 a.m.

Join Zoom Meeting https://minnstate.zoom.us/j/92693680882?pwd=NzdmbHBEM2ZJemd4dEgrMWo0MHpuZz09

Meeting ID: 926 9368 0882

Passcode: 376854

One tap mobile +19292056099,,92693680882# US (New York) +13017158592,,92693680882# US (Germantown)

Thursday, Nov. 19, 4–5:30 p.m., Student-Only

Join Zoom Meeting https://minnstate.zoom.us/j/96835802387?pwd=N0xoRUo1bEpWSW1SMkJ2cWI0bmd3QT09

Meeting ID: 968 3580 2387

Passcode: 376854

One tap mobile +13126266799,,96835802387# US (Chicago) +19292056099,,96835802387# US (New York)

Wednesday, Dec. 2, 3–4:30 p.m.

Join Zoom Meeting https://minnstate.zoom.us/j/96217502889?pwd=Wi9lVkFMaUhxbkNkb0lmbFJPMjJYUT09

Meeting ID: 962 1750 2889

Passcode: 376854

One tap mobile +13017158592,,96217502889# US (Germantown) +13126266799,,96217502889# US (Chicago)

We encourage you to continue safe practices as we move through the fall semester, and thank you for the work you do to keep yourselves, the campus and the community safe and healthy.

Posted Wednesday, September 23, 2020 Announcements to Employees

COVID-19 campus exposure update

For the week of Sept. 16–22, Metropolitan State had no confirmed cases in any individuals who were physically present at any campus locations.

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.

COVID-19 Response page

Our COVID information on the website has a new look. We also have a link to the Minnesota State dashboard where you can find our updated information on the number of active cases at all Minnesota State colleges and universities.

We are tracking weekly the number of self-reported and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) confirmed COVID cases as part of an aggregate total, as well as cases where an individual was infectious while on campus. Check out the dashboard to see the weekly data.

Metropolitan State Zoom backgrounds

Looking for a clean, professional looking Zoom background for your video conferences? Metropolitan State has you covered. Two different Metropolitan State background options are attached to this email, ready to be set up. For instructions on how to install a background for your Zoom meetings, go to Zoom’s virtual background page, and follow the instructions there. Metropolitan State also has branded profile picture files for when you aren’t on camera. Follow Zoom’s customizing your profile instructions to change your picture.

We encourage you to continue safe practices as we move through the fall semester. If you are encountering challenges and need support we have resources available to help. Don’t hesitate to reach out.

Posted Wednesday, September 16, 2020 Announcements to Employees

COVID-19 campus exposure update

For the week of Sept. 10–16, Metropolitan State had one confirmed positive test for COVID-19. The individual, an employee, was last at a campus location on Aug. 31 at the Dental Clinic. The location has been cleaned and sanitized in accordance with Metropolitan State COVID-19 procedures.

As an institution 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.

Health screening assessment reminder

As we continue through the fall semester, we remind everyone that access to campus locations requires showing a green screen result following the completion of the daily self-screening and emailing the self-screening result to your supervisor. In addition to allowing access to work or classroom areas, the completion of your self-screening will be used for email notifications following possible COVID-19 exposures on campus. Please use your Star ID when using the self-screening to ensure you receive email notices.

MetroSafe pledge

Please join President Arthur and our university community in staying well and protecting each other on campus and in our community to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Following recommended safety steps will help keep students and staff safe to successfully complete the semester. Will you take the pledge to be responsible for your own health, the protection of others, and to keep the Metro State community safe from the spread of COVID-19?

When you complete the #MetroSafe pledge, you will receive a magnetic pin that you can proudly wear during your zoom meetings or in class. Take the pledge today!

Face covering tips

The CDC recommends the following tips for proper wearing of face coverings:

  • Wash your hands before putting on your face covering
  • Put the face covering over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin
  • Try to fit the face covering snugly against the side of your face
  • Make sure you can breathe easily
  • CDC does not recommend the use of face coverings for source control if the face covering has an exhalation valve or vent

Ventilation in campus buildings

The following steps have been implemented to improve ventilation in our campus buildings with industry-recommend practices for infectious aerosols:

  • Increased fresh air is being brought into buildings, air recirculation is being limited, and ventilation systems are being properly used and maintained.
  • Facilities staff meet monthly with a controls consultant to review air handling and controls functions. Ventilation controls to allow increased amounts of fresh air into buildings. The control changes increased fresh air minimums on zones by 10% and when outside temperatures allow adjust up to 100% outside air.
  • We have extended HVAC run times before and after building operating hours to flush spaces with fresh air each day.
  • A review of filtration standards was completed in all buildings, a majority of buildings are utilizing a pre and post level filtration, with a MERV 7 and MERV 13 filtration on air handling equipment.
  • Specific filtration ratings for campus buildings can be found in the COVID-19 resources on the website.

Posted Wednesday, September 16, 2020 Announcements to Employees

Building filtration ratings by building

  • Founders Hall—2” Pre-filter MERV 7 rating, 12” Pocket filter MERV 13 rating
  • St John’s Hall Main Building—2” Pre-filter MERV 7 rating, 12” Pocket filter MERV 13 rating
  • St John’s Smart Classroom—2” filter MERV 7 rating
  • New Main—2” Pre-filter MERV 7 rating, 12” Pocket filter MERV 13 rating
  • Library—2” Pre-filter MERV 7 rating, 12 Pocket filter MERV 13 rating
  • Student Center—2” Pre-filter MERV 7 rating, 12” Pocket filter MERV 13 rating
  • Jason R. Carter Science Education Center—
    • Air Handling Unit #1—2” Filter MERV 7 rating, 4” Post filter MERV 13 rating
    • HRU Labs—2” Filter MERV 7 rating, 4” Post filter MERV 13 rating
  • Parking Ramp—4” Filter MERV 13 rating
  • Art Studio—Rooftop Unit 2” Filter MERV 7 rating

Note—Minimum efficiency reporting values (MERVs) report a filter's ability to capture larger particles between 0.3 and 10 microns (µm).

Posted Wednesday, September 9, 2020 Announcements to Employees

Dear Colleagues,

COVID-19 campus exposure update

For the week of Sept. 2–9, Metropolitan State had no confirmed cases of COVID-19 that were active or exposed on campus. As an institution 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 will be posting a weekly case count update on the website; we will provide details on that information and its location soon.

Health screening assessment reminder

As we continue through the fall semester, we remind everyone that access to campus locations requires showing a green screen result following the completion of the daily self-screening and emailing the self-screening result to your supervisor. In addition to allowing access to work or classroom areas, the completion of your self-screening will be used for email notifications following possible COVID-19 exposures on campus. Please use your Star ID when using the self-screening to ensure you receive email notices.

Events/Meetings

In person face to face meetings on campus are limited this semester to ten people or less. Staff are encouraged to hold meetings virtually, if possible, as part of COVID safety.

Requests for larger events or meetings of more than ten people needs to be submitted to Campus Operations for review and then submitted for approval by President Arthur in advance. A COVID safety plan is required and should be approved by the divisional VP or dean. If you are planning a larger event or meeting contact Campus Operations Events Coordinator Sara Anderson for information and a template for the safety plan. 

COVID supply replenishment

Need additional disinfectant cleaner or a refill of hand sanitizer in your department? Please submit a COVID supplies request on the Building Services service portal, under General Work Requests.

Guidelines reminder

Following these guidelines is key to keeping the community #MetroSafe, and we can all further protect ourselves and others by:

  • Continuing to wear face coverings when in close proximity to others and while inside buildings
  • Washing your hands often with soap and water; covering your cough and sneeze; avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Observing and complying with all posted physical distancing signage, and keeping furniture groupings in their appropriate, marked locations
  • Using hand sanitizer if you are unable to wash your hands with soap and water
  • Frequently cleaning all commonly touched surfaces and following posted cleaning protocols
  • Practicing self-care by eating a healthy diet and taking time to rest
  • Staying home if you are sick

Posted Wednesday, September 2, 2020 Announcements to Employees

Dear Colleagues,

Health screening assessment

As we continue through the fall semester, we remind everyone that access to campus locations requires showing a green screen result following the completion of the daily self-screening and emailing the self-screening result to your supervisor. In addition to allowing access to work or classroom areas, the completion of your self-screening will be used for email notifications following possible COVID-19 exposures on campus. Please use your Star ID when using the self-screening to ensure you receive email notices.

COVID-19 campus exposure update

As many of you may be aware, a Metropolitan State student that had been on campus has self-reported a case of COVID-19 last week. The case was confirmed to the university on Aug. 29, and the locations affected were the lower level common area of the Midway ETC building and the Library and Learning Center, first floor student study area near the fireplace. All affected spaces have been sanitized and are currently open. The Metropolitan State community is grateful for this individual’s self-awareness in reporting their condition to the university and reminds everyone that we all have a collective responsibility to take preventative precautions and monitor our own health.

It is important to note that, as an institution 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. Therefore, if an individual with a tested positive case has not been on campus and has not had close contact with a member of the campus, we will not be including them in the reported case number. 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 will be posting a weekly case count update on the website; we will provide details on that information and its location soon.

Gathering Spaces – To facilitate appropriate physical distancing in our campus locations, we have worked on adjusting furniture groupings, and in many cases have marked the proper locations for those furniture groupings. We ask you to help us maintain a safe environment by not moving chairs or seating in common areas.

Following these guidelines is key to keeping the community #MetroSafe, and we can all further protect ourselves and others by:

  • Continuing to wear face coverings when in close proximity to others and while inside buildings
  • Washing your hands often with soap and water; covering your cough and sneeze; avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Using hand sanitizer if you are unable to wash your hands with soap and water
  • Frequently cleaning all commonly touched surfaces and following posted cleaning protocols
  • Practicing self-care by eating a healthy diet and taking time to rest
  • Staying home if you are sick

This is a challenging time, and I know some of you may be feeling stress or anxiety. Please take care of yourself and, if needed, seek support through the Employee Assistance Program available to you at no cost. We will get through this together as a community and will be stronger when we emerge. Thank you for all that you are doing to ensure our students end the semester successfully.

Posted Wednesday, August 26, 2020 Announcements to Employees

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome back to campus for fall semester! We know this summer has been busy and challenging as we all adapt to the changes and impact of COVID-19. The university administration and staff have been working hard this summer to prepare campus and our facilities to provide a safe and clean environment. We are excited to welcome you back, whether in a remote environment or in person. Please continue to monitor our website for the latest information on COVID-19.

Face coverings

We are all doing the best we can to work and learn during this pandemic, and we understand that wearing face coverings is new to most people. Each of us is dealing with the discomfort they cause. As a reminder:

  • Face coverings are required on campus, in classrooms, hallways and common spaces, and anywhere physical distancing cannot be maintained. Exemptions are for very young children under the age of five years and individuals who have a medical condition that prevents wearing one.
  • Face coverings are an effective way to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • Face coverings prevent your germs from infecting others—Wearing is Caring.
  • Cloth face coverings should be laundered frequently.
  • Face coverings need to cover your mouth and nose when worn properly.

Visitors and contractors will also need to comply with wearing face coverings while doing work on campus. University information and procedures regarding face coverings, self-assessment, and physical distancing should be managed through the visitor’s or vendor’s contacts at the university. Face coverings are required in all buildings and confined spaces or when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

Physical Distancing

Please observe physical distancing when on campus, in offices, classrooms and common spaces such as the library and student center. Floor decals are being used around campus to remind us to space six feet apart from others.

Furniture Spacing

Furniture has been adjusted in classrooms, the library, student center and other common spaces on campus to promote safety and provide distancing. Please leave furniture in place and help us keep everyone safe.

Health Screening

A health assessment screening is required to be completed by all students, employees and visitors each day they plan to visit a Metropolitan State University campus or location. This includes the Saint Paul Campus, Midway Center, Minneapolis (MEC), Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Education Center (LECJEC), and the Dental Clinic in Maplewood. The self-screening assessment is required at all university sponsored events held at other venues.

The self-screening assessment should be completed prior to your arrival at campus. This will assist in quicker entry into campus. The assessment can be accessed at the Metropolitan State website and completed on a mobile device or computer. All students, faculty, staff, visitors, contractors, and vendors should complete the self-screening assessment before they arrive each day on campus. If you are clear to come to a Metropolitan State campus or location that day, you will receive an email message with a green screen. Individuals completing the health screening at home on a computer should print out their results and bring that verification to a campus access point. You will be required to show either the green email on your mobile device or the printed verification.

Campus Access Points

Saint Paul Campus

The following access locations will be used at the Saint Paul Campus: Founders Hall (center courtyard entrance near the auditorium), Library and Learning Center (Seventh Street entrance only), and the Student Center. Note: effective Monday, Aug. 31, the library access point will be changed from the Seventh Street entrance to the parking lot entrance.

Check the COVID-19 website for building hours as they vary at the access points. All individuals entering the campus access points will be asked to show verification of clearance to enter campus from the health screening tool to Metropolitan State staff or contracted security personnel.

Midway, 1450 Energy Park Drive

Employees should use the East Entrance at the 1450 Energy Park Drive location. A health screening site is located near the Security Desk. Students at the Midway location will have health screening verification checked either by security or the classroom by Metropolitan State staff.

Minneapolis (MEC)

The health screening verification for employees and students will occur at the Security desk inside the first-floor entryway.

Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Education Center (LECJEC)

The health screening verification for employees and students at LECJEC will be completed at the front entrance.

Dental Clinic

The health screening verification for students at the Dental Clinic will be checked by staff or faculty on site. Employees need to email their supervisor before coming into work the message showing a successful health screening was completed for the dental clinic.

Posted Thursday, August 20, 2020 Announcements to Employees

To the Metropolitan State University community:

As the fall semester start approaches, I want to provide an update on building hours, and entry procedures. Remaining aware of these details and following all of our campus entry protocols, in accordance with Center for Disease Control and Minnesota Department of Health guidelines, is the best way to keep yourself and the university community #MetroSafe.   

When will the campus be open? 

Metropolitan State University has greatly reduced the number of face-to-face class sessions taking place at our locations this fall. However, some of our classes and programs require a limited amount of on campus sessions. To accommodate those courses, as well as to deliver student services to the members of our community that need them and the staff members needed to keep our university operating, we are maintaining building access at our locations according to the schedule below. Note that these scheduled hours are subject to change; the latest information on building hours can be found at our building hours and parking information page. Staff should be aware that on-campus working hours are going to be limited to posted building hours. As a reminder, those who do not have in-person classes, do not require services that need to be met face-to-face, and/or are not required to be on campus to perform work should continue to work from home to minimize possible exposure to the university community. In order to promote a clean and healthy environment, it is important that everyone do their part to help keep our campus safely open. 

Hours for our locations this fall are:

Founders Hall*, New Main, St. John’s Hall and Jason R. Carter Science Education Center

Monday–Friday 7 a.m.–10 p.m.

Saturday 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

Sunday Closed

Holidays Closed

Student Center*

Monday–Friday 9 a.m.–1 p.m.

Saturday Closed

Sunday Closed

Holidays Closed

Library and Learning Center*

Monday–Thursday noon–8 p.m.

Friday–Saturday 10 a.m.–2 p.m.

Sunday Closed

Holidays Closed

University Bookstore-On Campus hours

Monday–Thursday 1–5 p.m.

Friday 10 a.m.–2 p.m.

Metro State students can purchase books online at Metrostateshop.com and have materials shipped to their home address or pickup during in person store hours.

Parking Ramp

Monday–Friday 7 a.m.–11 p.m.

Saturday 7 a.m.–5 p.m.

Sunday Closed

Holidays Closed

Midway Center – Separate Campus

Midway Technology Center (1450 Energy Park Drive, Saint Paul)

Monday and Friday 7 a.m.–6 p.m.

Tuesday–Thursday 7 a.m.–10 p.m.

Saturday Closed, except Sept. 19 and Oct. 31 (8:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m.)

Sunday Closed

Holidays Closed

Minneapolis College – Separate Campus

Management Education Center (1300 Harmon Place, Minneapolis)

Monday–Friday 6:30 a.m.–10 p.m.

Saturday 7 a.m.–5 p.m.

Sunday Closed

Holidays Closed

Hours may vary depending on decisions from Minneapolis College. Please check their building hours.

Hennepin Technical College (LECJEC) – Separate Campus

Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Education Center (9000 Brooklyn Boulevard, Brooklyn Park)

Monday–Friday 7 a.m.–10 p.m.

Saturday 7:30 a.m.–5 p.m.

Sunday Closed

Holidays Closed

Dental Clinic – Separate Location

Metropolitan State Dental Clinic (1670 Beam Avenue, Suite 203, Maplewood)

Monday–Thursday 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

Friday–Sunday Closed

Holidays Closed

*Denotes Health Screening Access Point

How can I access the buildings? 

Access points to all Metropolitan State University campuses and buildings varies by location:

  • Saint Paul Campus
    • Founders Hall door nearest the auditorium
    • Student Center
    • Library (Seventh Street entrance, not the entrance near the parking lot)
  • Midway Center
    • East entrance Security Desk
  • Management Education Center (MEC), Minneapolis
    • Security Desk
  • Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Education Center (LECJEC), Brooklyn Park
    • Security Desk
  • Dental Clinic, Maplewood
    • Ring bell at entrance, screening will be conducted on site

Implementation of a new Minnesota State COVID-19 screening tool went into effect Thursday, August 13. The tool requires all faculty, staff, students, and guests to self-screen every day before coming onto campus. Taking the self-screening tool survey in advance will reduce time spent at access points upon arrival. Supervisory approval is required for working on campus. Discuss your work on campus schedule with your supervisor in advance, and on each day that you are approved for coming to campus for work, forward the email you receive after completing the COVID-19 screening tool to your supervisor, so they know if it is safe for you to come to campus. If your supervisor is unavailable, please forward it to your supervisor’s supervisor. Face coverings are required while in the buildings. More details on Metropolitan State’s face covering mandate can be found on the website.

Minnesota State COVID Training information

Human Resources has several courses available to support your health and well-being wherever you are working.

Online Training

  • Minnesota State COVID-19 Return to Campus/Work Preparedness Plan (30 min.)— Details on returning to campus safely, with links to individual campus plans.
  • Navigating the Post-Pandemic Workplace (8 min.) (SkillSoft)—Tips for safely returning to work in person, including social distancing in the workplace, sustaining relationships with coworkers, and practicing self-care.
  • Tips for Navigating Work During COVID-19 (20 min.) (Minnesota State)—Tips and resources for working from home or collaborating with team members who are working from home during the pandemic.
  • Managing Performance During COVID-19 (30 min.) (Minnesota State)—Resources to effectively support and manage staff members during telework and return to campus.
  • Pandemics (approx. 1 hour) (SkillSoft)—Detailed information about pandemics, including COVID-19, and how to control its spread.

Accessing the Training

All courses are available through Employee Self Service/ELM.

  1. Log in to the State of Minnesota Self Service site using your eight digit State ID Number and password. (The one you use for paycheck and insurance information.)
  2. Click on the ELM tile.
  3. Choose Find Learning under Quick Links and then search for the course title.

Choose the “Enroll” button and then use the blue “Launch” link to start the course.

More information

Remember to look for the latest updates on our COVID-19 response on the website.

You can boost Metropolitan State’s Wearing is Caring, #MetroSafe messages in your social media—add a ‘Wearing is Caring’ profile frame on Facebook.

Metropolitan State has also created an employee signature image to boost awareness. Simply follow the signature creation guide in the Service Portal, and copy and paste the signature image from this email into the signature box below your name and contact info.

Posted Tuesday, August 18, 2020 Announcements to Employees

Dear Colleagues,

Metropolitan State University is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for our students, faculty, staff, and members of our campus community. To ensure that, we have developed a Back-to-Campus Preparedness Plan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic utilizing guidance offered in Emergency Executive Order 20-40, Allowing Workers in Certain Non-Critical Sectors to Return to Safe Workplaces, April 23, 2020. We are all responsible for implementing this plan.

Back-to-Campus Preparedness Plan

Our goal is to mitigate the potential for transmission of COVID-19 in our campus(es) and that requires full cooperation among students, faculty, staff and members of our campus community. Only through a cooperative effort, can we establish and maintain the safety and health of our campuses. Campus leaders, supervisors, employees, and students are responsible for implementing and complying with all aspects of this plan. Metropolitan State University leaders and supervisors have our full support in enforcing the provisions of this policy. We are serious about safety and health and keeping our student and employees safe. The full plan can be found online here.

Screening Tool

One major portion of the plan is the safe, limited use of campus facilities this fall. In aid of that, implementation of a new Minnesota State COVID-19 screening tool went into effect Thursday, August 13. The tool requires all faculty, staff, and students to self-screen every day before coming onto campus. Taking the self-screening tool survey in advance will reduce time spent at access points upon arrival. Face coverings are required while in the buildings. More details on Metropolitan State’s face covering mandate can be found on the website.

As the fall semester start approaches, remember: remaining aware of these details and following all of our campus entry protocols, in accordance with Center for Disease Control and Minnesota Department of Health guidelines, is the best way to keep yourself and the university community #MetroSafe.

Deb Gehrke, Chief Human Resources Officer, and Nancy Tindall, Campus Operations Director
Co-Chairs, Facility, Safety, and Employee Return to Campus Planning Team

Posted Tuesday, August 18, 2020 Announcements to Employees

Dear colleagues,

As always, our top priorities at Metropolitan State University are protecting the health and safety of our faculty, our staff and our students and supporting our students as they continue their progress towards their educational goals. We have been actively reviewing processes and spaces on campus to provide a safe campus environment for fall semester.

Important information: Before you come to campus

  • Implementation of a new Minnesota State COVID-19 screening tool begins Thursday, August 13. The tool requires all faculty, staff, and students to self-screen every day before coming onto campus
  • Supervisory approval is required for working on campus. Please discuss your work on campus schedule with your supervisor in advance
    • On each day that you are approved for coming to campus for work, forward the email you receive after completing the COVID-19 screening tool to your supervisor, so they know if is safe for you to come to campus
    • If your supervisor is unavailable, please forward it to your supervisor’s supervisor

When you arrive on campus you will be required to display the green-colored response/email you receive upon completion and approval of your screening questions when entering one of the designated campus access points. This may require you to have a smartphone or other electronic device that can display your email or response. If you do not have a device, please print a copy of the approval email to present to staff at a campus access point.

If your answers to the screening questions result in a denial to access campus, no email will be sent and you will instead receive a screen/digital message with a red heading, with guidance on the next steps you should take.

  • Report those results to your supervisor immediately
  • Someone from HR will contact you to ascertain whether the conditions you are experiencing are likely COVID-19 related, and therefore potentially require safety protocols to be implemented.

Further information about the screening tool can be found at www.metrostate.edu/notices/covid-19/screening.

Entry into campus buildings or outdoor events will be at the following access points:

  • Saint Paul Campus
    • Founders Hall door nearest the auditorium, Student Center, and Library (Seventh Street entrance)
  • Midway Center
    • East entrance Security Desk
  • Management Education Center (MEC), Minneapolis
    • Security Desk
  • Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Education Center (LECJEC), Brooklyn Park
    • Security Desk

The university continues to adjust operations to ensure a safe return to campus. Measures include:

  • Substantial use of alternate delivery modes, including online, hybrid, and high-flex for many of our fall semester courses
  • Requiring face coverings for everyone entering any of our facilities, unless a limited, documented exception applies
  • Flexible scheduling of locations for courses and labs to encourage safe movement through campus and limit density
  • Adjustments to classrooms, offices, and public areas to accommodate physical distancing
  • Enhanced cleaning and sanitation protocols recommended by the Minnesota Department of Health, the CDC, and our state leaders

We look forward to working together to ensure success for our students and the safety of our campus community.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to one of us,

Deb Gehrke, Chief Human Resources Officer, and Nancy Tindall, Campus Operations Director
Co-Chairs, Facility, Safety, and Employee Return to Campus Planning Team

Posted Wednesday, August 5, 2020 Announcements to Employees

Metropolitan State's continuing work to provide safe working and learning environments for the fall is progressing. The planning team is sharing some updates below with the campus community. This communication is part of a weekly update with information related to COVID-19 that our team will preparing for you this fall to keep us all #MetroSafe.

  • Face coverings are required to be worn on campus and in classrooms. We will continue to emphasize this point, as we follow both state and municipal guidelines in the interests of the health and well-being of our community. Wearing is Caring.
  • A survey is coming from Human Resources for all employees regarding individual concerns as we move into fall, particularly those with children impacted by state and local school district decisions.
  • All access to Saint Paul Campus facilities will be through staffed access locations, where final screening prior to admittance will take place. The list of designated entrance points to campus buildings on the Saint Paul Campus is as follows:
    • Founders Hall main entrance
    • Student Center entrance toward the parking ramp
    • Library and Learning Center main entrance
  • An online health screening tool app created by Minnesota State is in testing and integration on all Minnesota State institutions, and is scheduled for release next week. This self-assessment health screening tool will be used to check your health before coming onto campus. All students, faculty, staff, and visitors will need to self-assess each day you visit campus. More details will be available next week.
  • The Saint Paul Campus parking ramp will reopen on Aug. 17. Parking enforcement will be effective Monday, Sept. 7. At that time all employees will need to display a hang tag if parking in the Seventh Street lot at St. John's Hall and the library rear lot parking at the Saint Paul campus, as well as lots at Midway, Hennepin Technical College (LECJEC), and the Maplewood Dental Clinic. MEC staff paying through Minneapolis will receive a hang tag from Minneapolis College.
  • Following physical distancing practices and frequent hand washing or use of hand sanitizer remain the best practices you can follow to keep safe.
  • Some people are at higher risk if they are exposed to the COVID-19 virus. Older adults and people with underlying health conditions have been identified as part of the group that are at a higher risk The Center for Disease Control has more information on these conditions and taking extra precautions.
  • Continue checking the website for ongoing updates and information on the campus COVID-19 plans.

Posted Wednesday, July 29, 2020 Announcements to Employees Announcements to Students

Metropolitan State Fall Semester COVID Updates

Metropolitan State has been engaged in planning and preparation work this summer to provide a safe and healthy fall semester for students, faculty, and staff. The facility, safety, and employee return to campus planning team is sharing some updates below with the campus community. This communication is part of a weekly update with information related to COVID-19 that our team will preparing for you this fall.

  • Employees will continue to telework based on their work responsibilities and the needs of the university. Supervisors will engage employees in conversation about any changes to remote work plans.
  • Student needs are being evaluated as part of the fall semester planning. A list of student services with in-person and online hours of operation for fall will be available next week.
  • The library on the Saint Paul campus, and computer labs at Midway, MEC, and LECJEC locations will be open. Please check the website for specific hours of operation for the library and computer labs.
  • Most buildings are expected to be open. However, there will be a select number of designated entrance points when arriving on campus. More information on access point locations on the Saint Paul and other campus locations will be forthcoming.
  • An online health screening tool will be implemented in August for all Minnesota State schools. This health screening tool will be used to check your health before coming onto campus. All students, faculty, staff and visitors will need to take the health screen protocol each day you visit campus. Additional information on the health screening tool and protection of data will be shared with you soon.
  • Face coverings are required to be worn on campus and in classrooms. The campus website has additional information on face coverings guidelines.
  • High touchpoint cleaning and a disinfection cleaning process has been established for our campus classrooms, labs, and office spaces.
  • Approximately 100 courses for fall will be in blended hybrid format that have some face-to-face instruction.
  • Follow physical distancing practices and frequent hand washing or use of hand sanitizer are some of the best practices you can follow to keep safe.
  • Continue checking the website for ongoing updates and information on the campus COVID-19 plans.

Thank You,

Campus Operations

building.services@metrostate.edu

(O) 651-793-1700

(F) 651-793-1718

Campus operations will no longer be monitoring this email for maintenance or service requests.

If you need to request a service or maintenance, please click on the link below to fill out a request:

https://services.metrostate.edu/TDClient/Home/Default.aspx

If you have any questions please feel free to let us know.

Posted Wednesday, March 25, 2020 Announcements to Employees

Dear faculty and staff,

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 needed to support our students will be staffed by a limited number of employees on campus. Instruction and services will resume, as scheduled, on either March 30 or April 6 as previously announced. All the hard work you have been doing over the past two weeks will come to fruition. It was indeed a herculean task for all of you to get ready to resume instruction in alternative modes. Your passion, commitment, and energy has been both humbling and inspiring to me as you’ve positioned yourselves to take our students across the finish line. All classes will be delivered using alternative modes, and campuses will remain closed to the public but students can access the campus, if needed, for services not accessible from home.

It will be important at this time that we provide maximum flexibility for faculty and staff to do their work within a safe environment. If you need to be on campus please follow strictly all the social distancing protocols and other safety precautions. 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.

I know each day brings serious news. The situation we are in is unprecedented for all of us. We will get through this together, as we are a resilient bunch! 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:

  1. 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).
  2. Use the CDC website on how to Care For Yourself at Home with COVID-19.
  3. 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.

Thank you, stay safe, and stay strong.

Devinder Malhotra
Chancellor

Posted Wednesday, March 18, 2020 Announcements to Employees

Executive Order 20-07, Paid COVID-19 Leave

The COVID-19 pandemic is presenting an unprecedented challenge to Minnesota. We must continue our important work providing vital services to Minnesotans, but we must also take care of our health and take the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Yesterday, Governor Walz signed Executive Order 20-07, providing paid leave for state employees who are not able to work for reasons related to COVID-19 and suspended the waiting period for insurance coverage for new employees. He also provided more flexibility for the Commissioner of Management and Budget to respond to the evolving COVID-19 situation.

New paid COVID-19 leave policy

Under the new policy, effective March 18, 2020, employees can use paid COVID-19 leave if they must be absent from work for reasons related to COVID-19 and cannot or are not allowed to telework. Certain employees who are assigned to provide critical services may require additional authorization before taking this leave, and should work with their supervisors.

Covered reasons include:

School or Day Care Closures if you cannot reasonably perform telework while also providing care for children 12 and under, or children over 12 with an ADA-covered disability

Health Purposes if you contract COVID-19 and are too ill to work, or a health care provider determines that your presence in the workplace will jeopardize your health or the health of others, or you have been exposed to a person with a confirmed COVID-19 case and you are exhibiting the symptoms of COVID-19

Family Caregiving if you must care for a family member with COVID-19

Isolation or Quarantine if you or someone you must care for is under legal isolation or legal quarantine or your employer directs you not to report to work for COVID-19 related reasons

Agency Closure if your workplace is closed for COVID-19-related health and safety reasons, and you are excused from your work duties and cannot be reassigned.

Contact your supervisor to discuss a telework plan or coordinate your use of COVID-19 leave. Approved use of this leave should be coded on timesheets to a new payroll earnings code: CVD.

Employee Redeployment Center

Employees may be redeployed to areas of greater need under this emergency. A project team is working quickly to build and test a process to redeploy employees as necessary to protect health and safety, perform or facilitate emergency response and recovery efforts, and minimize the impact of the peacetime emergency on government operations. The process will help:

• Identify the areas of greatest demand for staffing, particularly in our critical service areas

• Identify able and available employees who can help meet those needs

• Redeploy people to the needed service areas (and track those deployments over time)

FOR ACTION: Update your info in Self Service

Please update the following My Personal Information components in Self Service as soon as possible.

  1. Add or update your personal information summary so we can reach you during an emergency. This includes your address, phone numbers, and email. Indicate your preferred mode of contact.
  2. Complete or update the pandemic availability question to indicate if you are able or unable to work during a pandemic event based on specific criteria.
  3. Complete or update your skills profile with your license and certificate information. Identify any license or certificate information you have, even if not associated or required for your current position. We may use this information if needed to quickly find employees with the necessary skills to assist in maintaining critical services to Minnesotans.

For help, go to the My Personal Information section of Self Service and select Instructions. Pertinent help is on pages 15-17.

Questions?

Contact your supervisor or human resources office. Continue to check mn.gov/bereadymn and the Minnesota Department of Health Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) website often for the latest information.

Thank you for your attention to these matters. As always, stay home if you are sick, cover your cough, and wash your hands regularly.

Posted Wednesday, March 18, 2020 Announcements to Employees

Dear Faculty and Staff,

Yesterday afternoon Chancellor Malhotra asked all Minnesota State College & University presidents to create alternatives to our current service delivery. Campuses were asked to allow for alternative work schedules for employees, including remote work where it is feasible. Employees, for instance, who have underlying conditions will be accommodated, and we may staff that functionality in an alternative manner. The Chancellor has also asked all campuses to keep libraries and essential services operational. Plans are underway to provide all student support services in a remote manner for the rest of the semester.

This situation is changing daily, so please continue to read emails thoroughly. The Metro Pandemic Planning and Response Team met this morning and we would like to clarify the Chancellor’s memo and what this means for Metropolitan State University employees:

  • Metropolitan State University’s goal is to have as many employees work remotely as possible. There will need to be some individuals on campus. We will distribute the on-campus work so it will not fall to a small group of individuals.
  • We are working to solidify open building hours so faculty and staff can access offices. You will receive a message about building hours and services at our locations soon.
  • Work with your supervisor to schedule needed hours on campus.
  • If you have concerns about not having enough work to do at home for 40 hours a week, please contact your supervisor. Human Resources and the President’s Executive Cabinet is working on a list of projects from other departments that can be done remotely.
  • Employee work schedules and assigned duties will continue to change over the next few weeks.
  • Governor Waltz signed a new Executive Order (PDF) that suspends, for the duration of the peacetime emergency, provisions of public employees’ collective bargaining agreements regarding work schedules, work locations, assignments, and reassignments.

Remote working:

  • Yesterday, the Metro Pandemic Planning and Response Team, completed the review of all requests for laptops and software needs to enable employees to work remotely. We are able to fulfill all the requests we received. ITS is re-imaging the devices now and installing needed software. Individuals who have been approved for laptop distribution will be notified when a laptop is ready for them directly by ITS. Please do not call ITS with inquiries. We expect all laptops to be distributed by the end of the day on Friday, March 20.
  • In some cases, employees working from home will have to use their own equipment. This allows us to stretch our available resources further and support more remote working arrangements. Please do not take office desktops or monitors home.
  • Remote working or working from home, usually requires a telework agreement. Given the urgency of allowing as many people as possible to work from home, we are not requiring a written telework agreement. However, supervisors will be in contact with each employee who is working remotely over the next week, to review the requirements of work from home and will need an email acknowledgment from each employee that the supervisor has reviewed the requirements with them and that they understand their obligations. Please note that telework does not apply to instructional faculty (IFO).

Additional notes:

  • In-person meetings of fewer than ten individuals are permitted through March 31 unless otherwise noted. However, I encourage the use of Zoom for all meetings.
  • The Fitness Center will be closed starting March 19 until further notice.

Our priorities are the following:

  • To safeguard the health, safety and welfare of our faculty, staff and students
  • To enable students to complete the spring semester and progress toward their educational goals

Thank you for your continued dedication and commitment to our students and university. We are strong and we will succeed!

Please take care of yourself and your loved ones....

Ginny

Posted Sunday, March 15, 2020 Announcements to Employees

Colleagues,

These unprecedented times require us to think differently about the work that we do and the services that we offer. Many aspects of this issue continue to evolve and create a fluid and challenging situation. Know that the feedback we are hearing from you, students, and the campus leadership are being taken into consideration as we identify the work ahead and make the necessary adjustments.

Regardless of the changing circumstances, our priorities will always remain the same:

  • To safeguard the health, safety, and welfare of our faculty, staff, and students
  • To enable students to complete the spring semester and progress toward their educational goals

To that end, it is critical that during this time of great uncertainty that we enhance all communication channels and work together on the above mentioned priorities. I also ask for your patience during this time. The information set is changing at a pace that we have not experienced before. Just this afternoon, CDC issued the recommendation that for the next 8 weeks, organizers cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the United States.

I wanted to share with you steps we are taking to adjust to this rapidly changing environment.

Academic Continuity of Operations
The portfolio of academic offerings our 37 colleges and universities provide is diverse not only in their focus but also in the instructional methodologies used. In light of the concerns that we have heard from campuses, we will extend the preparation time for faculty and staff by one additional week. Instruction will resume on March 30. For the five colleges currently on spring break this week, they will also receive additional time and will resume instruction for students on April 6.

Staffing Continuity of Operations
As we continue our work towards helping our students finish the semester, we must stay focused on their health and safety and that of our faculty and staff. It is important that maximum flexibility is required of both employees and supervisors. We must look at how we can do our work differently and provide services for students while also supporting our colleagues and partners. Be cognizant of the following parameters as you work with your teams to accomplish the needed work:

  • For the duration of this outbreak, all campuses are expected to be mindful of faculty and staff health and safety needs, and make accommodations for those individuals with underlying medical conditions that may make them more vulnerable to COVID-19, as well as those who may live with and/or care for such individuals, or those with children home from school. Similarly, there will likely be some faculty and staff without these conditions who are for other reasons anxious about returning to the workplace and interacting with others, particularly those who may have recently traveled. Campuses are expected to make every effort to accommodate employees and allow them to work from home whenever feasible.
  • For employees whose job responsibilities do not lend themselves to telework, options include adjusting work schedules or staggering shifts, where appropriate, to increase social distancing.
  • Where possible, phone or video conferencing should be used to limit the size of meetings and to continue to engage those faculty or staff who may have alternative work options in place to remain engaged.
  • We can predict increased employee absences due to an individual illness, to care for family members, or respond to the temporary closure of K-12 schools. We need to plan ahead, cross-train to cover essential tasks and work through your continuity of operations plan.

The State provides confidential counseling resources to employees who are struggling with life matters that impact their personal well-being. Employees who are experiencing significant stress related to this matter may choose to utilize these resources. More information is available here: https://mn.gov/mmb/segip/health-and-wellbeing/eap/eap-work-life.jsp

Additional resources and guidance for state employees for travel and the necessary precautions after returning from travel out of the state or the country can be found on the Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) BeReadyMN website here: https://mn.gov/mmb/be-ready-mn/infectious-diseases/covid-19.jsp

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.

I deeply appreciate what you all do to support our students and colleges and universities each and every day. It is your creativity, passion, commitment, and energy which will enable us to overcome these challenges and provide the needed resiliency to successfully navigate our campuses through these difficult times.

Best,
Devinder

Devinder Malhotra
Chancellor

Posted Sunday, March 15, 2020 Announcements to Employees

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
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:

EMPLOYEES:

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

STUDENTS:

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 covid-19@metrostate.edu 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.

Ginny

Posted Saturday, March 14, 2020 Announcements to Employees

Dear Resident Faculty Colleagues,

I’ve received a number of questions about my message indicating that faculty to should report to their primary campus location on Monday, March 16. Please allow me to provide some additional context and clarify the expectation.

In the context of making concrete plans for moving all our courses to some sort of remote instruction (with the exceptions outlined in my email "Pandemic Planning for Faculty" sent on Friday, 3/13/20 at 3:05 p.m.), it is imperative that we work together, as departments, to make shared decisions about the curriculum and methods of remote instruction for the remainder of the semester. Resident faculty engagement will be critical the success of those plans and for engaging community faculty. I also know that many faculty members have ideas and expertise that will support their whole department in this important work ensuring that our students have a quality learning experience when all instruction is delivered remotely. The involvement of all faculty members is important and expected.

Meeting and making shared decisions on Monday 3/16/20 allows for coherent movement forward. Of course, "reporting to work" can be done remotely! Several people contacted me individually about reporting to work remotely based on underlying health concerns and/or belonging to a particularly high-risk group. Faculty with these concerns should follow up with their dean and department chair. Faculty members who are not feeling well should not come to campus and find a way to participate remotely. Finally, I ask that anyone who has recently travel to a high-risk area of the country or to any international location self-quarantine for two weeks and not come to campus during that time frame.

For those who are able to meet in person, we are encouraging everyone across campuses to increase social distancing at work. Any meetings that take place in person should occur in a room large enough to allow significant spacing. Let me reassure you that our campus cleaning personnel, at all locations, are diligently cleaning surfaces frequently and our administrative staff is working hard to help all of us in working out a feasible plan for our students to complete this semester. You should also find sanitizing wipes in the classrooms.

The university is following guidelines from the system and the MN Department of Health, which do not suggest that we close our campuses. Until we are told otherwise, faculty, staff, administrator, and some students will be onsite at our campus locations. We are looking for ways to support students who have computer and internet needs at each location.

Though we are still on spring break today (Saturday, 3/14/20), I understand that some deans and department chairs have already reached out with plans for meetings times and remote (Zoom) participation for those who choose that venue. Please watch for more information from your dean and/or your department chairs.

Best regards,
Amy

Posted Friday, March 13, 2020 Announcements to Employees

The COVID-19 pandemic is having widespread impacts. MN State Colleges and Universities leadership has been in close communication with the MN Department of Health and state leaders in responding to the evolving situation. The Chancellor has made a number of decisions at the system level that are designed to minimize or slow the spread of the virus with the goal of supporting the health and well-being of our faculty, staff, and students. Of course, there is a great deal of uncertainty about how the illness will unfold in our community and it is very stressful time for all of us. Please know that the Pandemic Planning Team is carefully monitoring the recommendations of health professionals, and the decisions made by the system. We will be providing regular updates by email and on the website.

It is critically important that you take care of your health and do not come to campus if you are ill. We are monitoring the health of our community and would appreciate it if you would report any COVID-19 exposure, symptoms, or diagnosis using this web form (https://www.metrostate.edu/COVID). Reporting via the form is voluntary. However, if you are ill please notify your dean.

This is going to be a long email with a number of details that are important for you. I’ve organized the information under headings to make it easier to navigate. Please read to the end to ensure that you have full information.

Suspension of Course Instruction through Saturday, March 21 and Resumption of Instruction

Chancellor Malhotra has suspended all classes at Metropolitan State University through Saturday, March 21. This suspension includes all face-to-face, hybrid, online, and independent study courses offerings. During this time, you cannot meet with or provide remote instruction to students. This does mean that our spring semester will have one less week of instruction, and it is important that all students have the same experience.

The suspension does not cover internships, practica, student teaching, or clinicals at external sites. Students can report to those sites next week as long as the external site allows them to do so.

When instruction resumes on Monday, March 23 we will be providing all instruction in a modified way that emphasizes remote instruction. All instruction will continue in this modified, remote mode for the rest of the spring semester. We understand that remote instruction may not be the best pedagogy for your courses and may not be your preferred way to engage students. However, this is an extraordinary situation that calls for us to do our best while supporting the health and well-being of students, faculty, staff, and the broader community.

Modified and Remote Instruction

Starting Monday, March 23 all courses will be offered using instruction methods that will allow course completion remotely or, in very limited situations, with modified class sessions that allow social distancing. The following are options for providing remote instruction:

  • Correspondence education via email;
  • Synchronous Zoom class meetings;
  • Lecture recordings using VoiceThread;
  • Online learning via Brightspace D2L; or
  • Some combination of the three.

In very limited situations, like for labs and studio learning experiences that depend on particular equipment for learning, I will consider approving modified course sessions that will support social distancing in those specialized spaces. In those cases, faculty can request approval to convene groups of 10 students or less at one time.

Faculty teaching face-to-face or hybrid courses that have 10 or fewer students enrolled, but do not required specialized space and/or equipment, are expected to use remote instruction methods for the rest of the semester.

Campus locations will remain open, for now, even though we are moving to remote instruction.

Faculty Planning and Preparations for Remote Instruction

All Resident Faculty are to report to their primary campus location starting Monday, March 16. Faculty will be engaged in course planning in their department and training activities related to remote instruction.

Departments are expected to meet to plan remote instruction for their courses, engaging both Resident and Community Faculty members in that planning. Department should plan at least one Zoom meeting that will allow Community Faculty members to participate in the planning. By the end of Wednesday, each department will send a plan for remote instruction to their dean. I understand that planning for remote instruction will be an on-going effort that will likely evolve over the remainder of the semester. Deans will work with faculty to support planning over the course of the next week. However, we do need to understand the plans by the end of Friday, March 20 to facilitate communication with students.

Departments are also asked to discuss approaches to increase flexibility for students who report being ill so there is a shared understanding of the approaches faculty members will take. It will be important to support students who become ill by being as flexible as possible with deadlines without negatively impacting the learning outcomes of the course.

Modifying Course Content and Activities

This spring term will have 14 weeks of instruction, compared to the normal 15 weeks. Faculty are asked to review the learning outcomes for the course and make modifications to the course content to accommodate this change. Faculty may also need to modify planned activities to adapt to remote instruction. We will not extend the spring semester beyond Monday, May 4.

Training Support for Faculty Members

I will send a separate Email with the training opportunities for faculty members that will support remote instruction. The Center for Online Learning, Center for Faculty Development, IT Services, and the MN State System all have developed training materials that will be very helpful.

External Learning Sites

Students will be allowed to continue their internships, practica, student teaching, clinical hours, and other experiential learning at external sites as long as the external sites allow them to attend. We know that many programs have minimum hours and/or competency- based assessments for these experiences. MN State and Metropolitan State University administrators are working to gather information from licensing boards and accreditation organizations to understand the impacts on students. If the external site does not allow internship students to attend, I ask that the faculty work with students to develop alternative, applied learning experiences that could take the place of the missing hours.

Supporting Students

Student support services will be offered either in-person or via remote formats. We are developing plans for the library and computer labs at Midway, MEC, and LECJEC to remain open to support students who may have limited computer and/or internet access. More details will be available next week.

Communication

Metropolitan State University is coordinating all communication through the Pandemic Planning Team to ensure that information that is communicated is accurate and consistent. This does mean that all communication is reviewed by a group of people which slows the process. Please monitor your email and the website for updated information.

We will send a message to students today clarifying that we will be using remote instruction starting Monday, March 23 and they will hear from their faculty members about their plans for remote instruction by the end of Friday, March 20.

Please feel free to email me with questions. I may not answer each individual email but will update all faculty with answers to the questions so you are all well-informed.

Best regards,
Amy

Posted Thursday, March 12, 2020 Announcements to Employees

As a follow-up to today’s message from the Chancellor, I’d like to reiterate that the University’s Spring Break will be extended one week and all classes, including those which are already offered fully online or in a hybrid format, are suspended. This is to keep all academic activity on the same schedule. While classes are suspended, all university locations remain open.

WEEK OF MARCH 16:

Beginning Monday, March 16, our top priority will be to work with faculty and staff to find the best alternatives to face-to-face instruction. Administrators, faculty and staff are expected to report to work. During this week, we will focus on helping teaching faculty prepare to deliver their courses in alternative formats, including online and other means of delivery. The provost is working with the Center for Online Learning staff, deans and others on campus to determine how to organize and deliver these supportive activities. More information about this work will be forthcoming by Monday morning, at the latest.

TRAVEL:

In addition to the suspension of classes and extension of spring break for our students, the Chancellor has suspended all out-of-state travel, beginning on or after Monday, March 16. If you have university funded travel planned on Friday, March 13 or over the weekend, please carefully weigh the risks and benefits of such travel and make a prudent decision that maintains your safety. Please check the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-in-us.html#reporting-cases to determine the incidence of COVID-19 cases in the locale to which you will be traveling. CFO Tracy Hatch is working on documenting a process to assist you with cancellation of your travel and for requesting exceptions to the no-travel rule. Provost Gort is developing a process so that PDG funds that are unused this spring can be carried forward to the next fiscal year for the awardees. Both will communicate the details of these processes early next week.

GATHERINGS AND EVENTS:

Minnesota State has cancelled all gatherings and events that are likely to have more than 100 attendees. We are currently developing a report of all events to estimate their size and determine if they must be cancelled. Currently we know the Open House scheduled for March 31 will be cancelled.

This spring’s commencement ceremonies are scheduled for April 26. We are asking the Chancellor’s office to consider allowing us to defer cancellation of this important event for our students, their families and the university until we have more information or are able to plan to move it beyond the May 1 date. More information will be provided next week.

ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS:

This afternoon, college and university presidents are required to submit questions concerning their specific campuses, which will be answered during a conference call tomorrow morning with the Chancellor and Vice Chancellors. Our questions include the status of practicum, clinical and community engagement activities, graduation, and various HR related issues. I will report on those questions and answers in a message to faculty and staff tomorrow. I expect that over the next week or two there will likely be daily update messages.

We will continue to share information on our website, as well, at https://www.metrostate.edu/notices/covid-19. Be sure to encourage students to bookmark this page and to check it often for updates. We have developed a plan to communicate with students in multiple ways including emails, phone messaging, text messaging, the website, and D2L.

We are also asking System Office IT to set up a special email account for this situation so all can submit their questions to a single source that will be continually monitored. This will be shared as soon as possible.

I know this is a lot of information to take in and there is still much uncertainty. Please be assured that we are working diligently to respond in ways that protect our students and employees. We will be communicating frequently and the website https://www.metrostate.edu/notices/covid-19, will be continually updated.

Thank you and be well!