Institutions of Higher Education (IHE): COVID-19
The following recommendations can help reduce COVID-19 transmission on college and university campuses, sustain in-person learning, and protect those who are most vulnerable to severe disease.
COVID-19 Response Toolkit for Institutions of Higher Education (PDF)
COVID-19 response information specific to IHEs. It includes information on isolation, quarantine, reporting, response and management of case clusters and outbreaks, testing, and scenario-based prevention strategies.
It is up to all of us to protect ourselves and others by following recommendations to prevent the spread of COVID-19. For more detailed information on prevention, visit Protect Yourself & Others: COVID-19.
- Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccination. Vaccination is the most important precaution you can take. For vaccine information, visit COVID-19 Vaccine.
- Check the CDC’s COVID-19 Community Levels to find the community level of the county in which your institution is located and follow the recommended prevention measures, including when to mask and how to protect yourself and others at high risk of severe disease.
- Wear a well-fitting mask when recommended or required. Visit Masks: COVID-19 for more information. You can always choose to wear a mask if it makes you feel safer, regardless of your individual risk or the CDC COVID-19 community level.
- When the community level is high, everyone should wear a mask in indoor public settings.
- People who are immunocompromised or at higher risk of severe illness and those who are around them should consider wearing a mask even when the community level is medium or low.
- Be aware of medical conditions that place people at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Visit CDC: People with Certain Medical Conditions for more information.
- Talk to your doctor if you are at high risk and make plans for what to do if you test positive. You may be recommended to get COVID-19 treatment. Visit COVID-19 Medications for more information about risk factors and treatment options. Treatment should be started as soon as possible (within five to seven days depending on the medication) from the start of symptoms, even if symptoms are mild.
- Test immediately if you develop COVID-19 symptoms. For Minnesota testing information, visit COVID-19 Testing.
- Consider testing with a rapid COVID-19 test:
- Before returning to campus at the beginning of an academic term, and after long breaks.
- On the day of and 5 days after attending a high-risk event, such as a large indoor event where people are not masked, not vaccinated, or cannot physically distance. For detailed recommendations on attending events, visit Recommendations for Attendees and Organizers of Events: COVID-19.
- Before spending time with those who are at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19. For more information on who is at high risk, visit CDC: People with Certain Medical Conditions.
- To order free at-home tests from the federal government, visit COVID.gov/tests.
- If you are sick or test positive, do not attend classes or activities and follow the isolation guidance at If You Are Sick or Test Positive: COVID-19.
- If you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, visit Close Contacts and Quarantine: COVID-19 to learn about who should stay home and how long to wear a mask.
- If you live in a residential hall or with roommates in other settings, follow campus policy and ensure that you plan for how you or your roommate(s) will isolate if one of you is sick with or tests positive for COVID-19.
- American College Health Association: COVID-19 Resources
- OSHA: Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace
- Minnesota Office of Higher Education: Coronavirus Updates
- University of Minnesota: COVID-19 Updates
- Minnesota State: COVID-19 Information
- Minnesota Private College Council: COVID-19 updates