Institutes of Higher Education (IHE): COVID-19
Minnesota needs a strong higher education sector that supports students and communities in returning to on-campus instruction at colleges and universities. This must be balanced with a need for everyone to take steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and to minimize infecting people at high risk of getting very sick.
Prevent COVID-19 from spreading on campus
Students, faculty, and staff can help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and also protect the unvaccinated, high-risk, and vulnerable populations. These mitigation strategies are especially important to reduce the spread of COVID-19 if vaccination rates on your campus are low or not known.
For information about the virus, including symptoms, how it spreads, and people at increased risk, refer to About COVID-19.
- People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the final dose of vaccine (second dose in a two-dose series or one dose in a one-dose series).
- Refer to About COVID-19 Vaccine for more information.
- If you got vaccinated outside of the country and are wondering if you need another vaccine or you need to get your second dose now, work with your COVID-19 coordinators on campus. More information on what to do can be found at CDC: Interim Clinical Considerations for Use of COVID-19 Vaccines Currently Approved or Authorized in the United States.
- Follow the mask policy on your campus and recommendations for wearing masks.
- Follow the recommendations if you are sick or test positive for COVID-19.
- If you are at work or school, notify your supervisor or appropriate staff and leave immediately.
- Refer to COVID-19 Decision Tree for People in Schools, Youth, and Child Care Programs (PDF) to help determine if you need to leave class, school, or work.
- Wash your hands often, with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol.
- Clean frequently touched objects or surfaces including phones, computers, remote controls, and doorknobs.
- Clean work area surfaces at least once a day, and more frequently if the workspace is shared.
- Good hand hygiene and not touching one's face with unwashed hands is also important to reduce any risk from frequently touched surfaces.
- Guidance for cleaning and disinfecting in higher education can also be found at CDC: Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Facility.
- Follow COVID-19 testing recommendations for when you travel, have COVID-19 symptoms, or are exposed to COVID-19.
- If you test positive:
- Do not go to campus.
- Notify the appropriate COVID-19 contact on campus.
- Seek help from a health care provider, if necessary, and follow your health care provider's guidance.
- Stay away or isolate from others as much as you can within your residence.
- Do not have visitors unless they are caring for you.
- Follow your campus' policy for what to do if you have COVID-19.
- Be aware you may get called by someone from the Minnesota Department of Health or a local public health agency. It's important to answer the call. Refer to Case Investigation and Contact Tracing for more information on this process and how you may be contacted.
Traveling off campus means you may bring COVID-19 with you if you have contact with someone with COVID-19 before you leave or while traveling. It is important to remember the following:
- Follow appropriate face covering recommendations and requirements.
- Stay at least 6 feet away from others as much as possible.
- Wash your hands a lot or use hand sanitizer.
- Lay low before you go!
- Check out your campus-specific policy.
- Refer to Protect Yourself & Others: Traveling.
Follow your return-to-campus policy and the recommendations outlined below.
- If you've left campus for an extended period of time, limit who you see and where you go before heading back to campus.
- Wash your hands often.
- Once you return to campus, self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days, even if you have been vaccinated. Any time you start to have COVID-19 symptoms, get tested right away; stay by yourself and away from others while waiting for results.
- You will need to get tested and maybe even lay low for a bit when you return. For further information around what to do when you get back from travel, refer to:
- Guidance for Mitigating COVID-19 at Higher Education Institutions (PDF)
This guidance document features several topics to aid in planning on-campus learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Recommendations for Different Scenarios of COVID-19 Transmission At Higher Education Institutions (PDF)
- Recommendations for Responding to COVID-19 Cases and Outbreaks in Higher Education (PDF)
- Abbot BinaxNOW™ COVID-19 AG Card Test (PDF)
Description and provider instructions for distribution to institutes of higher education.
- 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
- CDC: Considerations for Institutes of Higher Education
- American College Health Association: COVID-19 Resources