As the University of Minnesota welcomes students, faculty, and staff back to our five system campuses, safety is our top priority. U of M leaders have developed a flexible framework to resume in-person instruction – with options for robust remote learning – and re-open residence halls, dining facilities, and other campus services, in a manner consistent with public health guidelines.
- The Fall 2020 semester includes adjusted capacities and multi-modal instruction in which courses can be delivered in-person, remotely or through other alternative formats.
- Campus academic calendars are adjusted to conclude all in-person instruction by the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Fall term start dates are as follows:
- Crookston: Aug. 25, 2020
- Duluth: Aug. 31, 2020
- Morris: Aug. 19, 2020
- Rochester and Twin Cities: Sept. 8, 2020
- Stop the Spread of COVID-19 is our shared commitment to protect one another with daily individual health monitoring, proper handwashing, physical distancing, and wearing masks.
- Enhanced cleaning and sanitizing practices throughout all University facilities will be implemented.
- The University will be ready to pivot to alternative learning formats if the pandemic and state or local public health guidelines require it.
Campus Safety FAQs
How can I learn more about the safety and cleaning measures in place for in-person learning environments?
- Regular housekeeping practices are being enhanced by University facilities management teams, including frequent cleaning and sanitization of high-touch areas such as door handles, railings, and elevator panels. Find more information about cleaning procedures, hand sanitizer availability and other guidance by visiting Facilities Management’s site.
- This is a shared responsibility. Please do your part to keep your spaces clean and to avoid sharing spaces and/or equipment.
What measures are being taken to ensure physical distancing in classrooms, offices and public spaces?
Each University department is developing plans for welcoming students, staff and faculty into workspaces and classrooms. Plans continue to be submitted and approved by the University, using guidance from University health experts. These plans include signage, reduced classroom density, and spaced furniture placement – all to maintain physical distancing. For specific information on the safety precautions that will be implemented in your learning spaces, please contact your college or department as the beginning of the fall semester draws near.
What can I do to be as safe as possible while on campus?
Continue good health habits:
- Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Keep a supply of hand sanitizer (as possible).
- Cover your cough or sneeze.
- Clean all high touch areas in your home and workplace.
- Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid crowded areas and maintain six feet of distance between yourself and others.
- Wear a face covering (mask) when inside a campus building and when physical distancing is not possible.
- Stay home if you are sick.
What if my professor or someone in my in-person class tests positive for COVID-19?
- The University’s Safe Campus site instructs anyone with symptoms to contact their health care provider. If someone tests positive with COVID-19, the Minnesota Department of Health will contact the patient with additional information.
- University colleges are developing plans in the event that one or more individuals become sick, which will include options like moving their courses to remote learning environments.
I am a medically high-risk or immune-compromised student, what accommodations can be made for in-person class participation?
- Students, faculty, and staff with underlying health conditions, or those who are older, will have options to mitigate their exposure to the virus, as needed, based on individual circumstances. Please work with your supervisor and/or advisor to find the best options for your situation.
- The option to participate in in-person instruction while practicing physical distancing and other health habits, is an individual decision. The University is implementing support and resources to ensure flexibility in the upcoming academic year for remote or in-person instruction.
Will masks be required for everyone on campus? If so, will the University provide those?
- Face coverings are required on the Twin Cities campus in most situations. View the Face Covering Protocol. For more questions, view the Face Covering FAQs.
- Faculty and staff will be provided masks through their college or unit. Student mask distribution details are being developed and will be shared when more is known.
Will places like libraries and recreation centers be open?
We anticipate these places will be open in the fall to students, faculty, staff and visitors in a modified way. Colleges and units are currently developing individualized plans in compliance with Minnesota Department of Health guidelines. To find out about the status of a specific unit at the University, please contact them directly.
I am an international student, where I can find more information on documents, deadlines and updates?
Poster Series: Stop the Spread of COVID-19
Each of us has a responsibility to protect ourself and others. These posters outline our individual commitments to keep our U of M community safer during COVID-19. Download posters for your workspace or wherever appropriate.
The University is working to make two cloth masks available at no cost for each student on any of its five campuses. Please watch this page and your University email for more information. Campuses and units may order masks for faculty and staff from U Market Services (limit two per employee at no cost).