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U of M response and preparation

Main page: COVID-19 public health alert
FAQ: About COVID-19 and current travel advisories
FAQ: General information for students, faculty and staff
FAQ: Minnesota's stay at home order

To mitigate the potential risk of exposure to the virus, all five University campuses have moved to alternative instruction methods as of March 18. Faculty and staff have been instructed to work from home, unless instructed otherwise. Please review the latest announcement from President Gabel for more information.

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How does the University prepare for public health concerns, such as the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

The University has a robust public health emergency planning and response system. Public health preparation efforts in the Twin Cities are coordinated by the Health Emergency Response Office (HERO) and Campus Public Health Officer Jakub Tolar, M.D., Ph.D. The Crookston, Duluth, Morris and Rochester campuses are coordinating their responses locally with guidance from HERO.  

President Joan Gabel charged leaders from across the University of Minnesota system to build upon existing plans and procedures and anticipate the needs of students, faculty and staff related to the COVID-19 issue. Many system offices, as well as teams on each of the University's five campuses, are involved in the planning, coordination and implementation of potential COVID-19 preparations and response.

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What is the Health Operations Team?

The University has established a Health Operations Team, led by HERO, for COVID-19. This team is involved in the planning, coordination and implementation of the public health plan in the Twin Cities, and for guidance to the Crookston, Duluth, Morris and Rochester campuses. 

Currently, the Health Operations Team involves eight University units and MDH. Other University units work with HERO on specific issues that require problem-solving consultation beyond guidelines from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and MDH.

The Health Operations Team has several priorities, including:

  • ensuring safety of University students, faculty and staff traveling abroad;
  • ensuring University healthcare professionals and clinics implement CDC guidelines surrounding COVID-19;
  • partnering with MDH on public health surveillance and traveler monitoring activities;
  • providing timely information updates to University communities; and
  • addressing questions and concerns from members of the University community.

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How is Boynton Health assessing persons with exposure concerns?

Following the University’s public health protocols, and in accordance with CDC and MDH recommendations, all patients seeking treatment for fever and respiratory illnesses at Boynton Health are asked about their travel history.

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If you have questions, please email the University of Minnesota at healthresponse@umn.edu. You can expect a response in 1-2 business days.