Emergency Preparedness: COVID-19

COVID-19/Coronavirus

To ensure the safety of our students, St. Cloud State University is extending Spring Break and will suspend classes through March 29. Classes will resume on March 30 through alternative delivery formats. 

COVID-19 Questions/Help: 320-308-1588 or by email.

  • Resources for remote learning are available for Faculty and Students.
  • We recommend you monitor your emails and class announcements on a daily basis to receive their updates.
  • Campus services are available with most services being delivered remotely. Please visit the service’s website for details about how best to access services.

St. Cloud State University, in coordination with state and local health departments, is closely monitoring the spread of COVID-19, a new respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus that is affecting people in countries around the world, including the United States.

The University is taking the necessary steps to protect the health and safety of the St. Cloud State campus community and will continue to update campus on this informational webpage and campus emails as necessary.

This page is intended to provide information about COVID-19 as it relates directly to St. Cloud State University. This is a rapidly evolving situation. For the most up-to-date information, check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Minnesota Department of Health.

 

Update Star Alert information

 

 

Returning from Travel: Update

Information for faculty, staff and students regarding new travel information

HEALTH AND SAFETY

The COVID-19 outbreak represents a host of challenges. St. Cloud State will continue to focus on the health and well-being of our students, faculty and staff.  We want to welcome and be supportive to all as we enter into the remainder of this academic term and ‘new normal’ conditions.

For all faculty staff and students who are considering travel or returning from travel the guidelines are updated daily at: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Travel Information

Messaging for all students, faculty and staff who have traveled during the past 14 days should:

  • Self-report your recent travel
  • Stay home for 14 days from the time you return from travel, monitor your health and practice social distancing. Avoid contact with others.
  • Take your temperature with a thermometer two times a day and monitor for fever. Also watch for cough or trouble breathing. If you get sick with fever (100.4°F/38°C or higher), cough, or have trouble breathing, seek medical advice.
  • Keep your distance from others (about 6 feet or 2 meters).
  • Call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room.
  • Tell your doctor about your recent travel and your symptoms.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.

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.

STUDENTS

Students living at home who have traveled, remain at home for the 14-day period and contact Student Life and Development at sld@stcloudstate.edu. Someone from the Student Life and Development Staff will notify faculty of your absence.

*If you have a job, you are still responsible for contacting them if you are unable to work. This includes both on-campus and off-campus positions.  

Students considered living on campus who have traveled, should contact Student Life and Development at sld@stcloudstate.edu. If you are able to return home during the self-quarantine period, you should do so.  If returning home represents a hardship, please indicate this in your email to us.  We will work with you on an individual basis to develop a plan for you moving forward.  Someone from the Student Life and Development will notify faculty of your absence.

*If you have a job, you are still responsible for contacting them if you are unable to work. This includes both on-campus and off-campus positions. 

Students living off campus who have traveled, should contact Student Life and Development at sld@stcloudstate.edu.  You should try to find a place to remain for a 14-day period. If you are unable to find a place to remain for a 14-day period or doing so represents a hardship, please indicate this in your email to us.  We will work with you on an individual basis to develop a plan for you moving forward.  Someone from the Student Life and Development will notify faculty of your absence.

*If you have a job, you are still responsible for contacting them if you are unable to work. This includes both on-campus and off-campus positions.

Instructions for returning from travel

Review the information and guidelines from the CDC for persons returning from travel.

Campus Updates about COVID-19

Minnesota State system updates

For messages from Minnesota State Chancellor Devinder Malhotra, visit the Minnesota State Coronavirus/COVID-19 information site.

Minnesota State messages

March 25: SCSU Alert: COVID-19: Stay at home order in effect midnight Friday

Dear Huskies,

The Governor of Minnesota has announced an enhanced stay-at-home order for the entire state effective midnight Friday through April 10.

We understand that higher education will be exempt from the order. Course instruction will resume under the stay-at-home order, using alternative modes of delivery, as scheduled on March 30.

Please be on the lookout for an email from the Chancellor shortly.

Join us tomorrow for an online Zoom Town Hall meeting at 9 a.m. CST Thursday for more information.

A link to the town hall meeting recording will be added here once it is available. 

March 23: Next COVID-19 Online Town Hall - Wednesday, March 25

After reflecting on the information I have received today from my Cabinet members, the Minnesota State system office and the Governor’s press conference, we do not have anything new to share with you tomorrow. So we are canceling the Zoom Online Town Hall meeting on March 24.

We will keep the Wednesday, March 25 Online Town Hall meeting as scheduled at 9 a.m. as I believe we will have more information to pass along Wednesday morning.

Have a good evening and I am looking forward to connecting with you all again soon.

MARCH 25 Town Hall

Take care and let’s take care of each other. 

Sincerely,

Robbyn R. Wacker
President

March 20: It's been an unbelievable week

Good evening Husky Nation!

It goes without saying that this has been an unbelievable week. I just wanted to send a quick note to all of you that did not include institutional changes. I thought a great way to end the week was to just send a general message. So here it goes.

To our students, we will continue serve you to our best ability. You are the lifeblood of our institution and we will not forget that. To our unwavering faculty and staff, I again commend your efforts and dedication during these times. To the entire SCSU community, please remember that “all of us is better than one of us!” We will persevere together.

Let’s continue to surprise one another as we move forward. Have the best weekend possible and I will be in touch.

Go Huskies!

 

Robbyn R. Wacker
President

March 19: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

UPDATE


Dear students,

I am writing to provide the latest update on St. Cloud State University’s response to the current Coronavirus/COVID-19 health crisis. Late yesterday we received a new communication from Minnesota State Chancellor Devinder Malhotra to all system institutions. According to this communication, by Friday we will be implementing telework for all employees unless their work responsibilities require them to be onsite.

You should expect an update on the orderly deployment of this new directive shortly.

We are currently working out the details on how we may keep our services operational in ways that allow us to deliver on our priority to enable students to complete the spring semester.

We also have been instructed by the Chancellor to cancel any in-person commencement ceremonies scheduled for this spring. We will, however, be identifying an alternative option that will enable students to celebrate this significant milestone in a way that follows current protocols aimed at preserving the health and safety of all in our campus community. Please bear with us as we work out alternative ways to honor the achievements of our students.

To say we all are in this together is no exaggeration. It is critical to all of us to take care of ourselves and to consider the health and well-being of our families, our neighbors and our communities and follow the advice and guidelines offered by the medical community and local, state and national leaders who have our best interests at heart.

Sincerely,

Robbyn R. Wacker
President

March 18: Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

Good evening,

The COVID-19 virus has us working in unprecedented times. I want to continue to reiterate that the safety of all students, faculty and staff are my top priority. I understand that we all have family and friends that occupy our minds, let alone our own personal safety. We need to take care of each other.

As stated in my previous communication, the Minnesota State system is now moving to a remote working environment for staff at all colleges and universities as we continue to serve our students and conduct university operations. Throughout the day cabinet members and their teams have been developing a work plan to guide how staff will work remotely and identifying staff that may need to report to campus. Work plan implementation will be completed by close of business on Friday, March 20.

As we all transition to this new working model, I want to thank you in advanced for your continued good work in serving our students as they endeavor to complete their academic year. I’ve mentioned to the Cabinet that our goal during this difficult time is to “do the unexpected” as we support our students and each other. It is business as unusual as we will be challenged to find creative ways to go above and beyond in how we serve our students. We will continue to show our students that we are committed to giving them the best education and experience possible, regardless of our current circumstances.

Finally, with information changing so rapidly, I plan to hold Town Hall Zoom meetings every morning. The first meeting will be tomorrow, March 19 at 11 a.m. This will allow me to provide you with the most up to date information and answer your questions. Zoom meetings will continue until further notice each business day (Monday-Friday) at 9 a.m.

March 19 Town Hall Video

 

Go Huskies!

 

Robbyn R. Wacker
President

Parent message: Update about commencement

Thank you for joining me for the Zoom online President’s Town Hall yesterday. As referenced during the call, here’s an update on commencement.

We have been instructed by Minnesota State Chancellor Devinder Malhotra to cancel any in-person commencement ceremonies scheduled for this spring. We will, however, be identifying an alternative option that will enable students to celebrate this significant milestone in a way that follows current protocols aimed at preserving the health and safety of all in our campus community. Please bear with us as we work out alternative ways to honor the achievements of our students.

March 17 Zoom Town Hall for Parents and Students

 Sincerely,

Robbyn R. Wacker
President

March 18: Telework implementation strategy

To the Campus Community, 

I am writing to provide the latest update on St. Cloud State University’s response to the current Coronavirus/COVID-19 health crisis. Late yesterday we received a new communication from Minnesota State Chancellor Devinder Malhotra to all system institutions. According to this communication, by Friday we will be implementing telework for all employees unless their work responsibilities require them to be onsite.

We will get back to you shortly on an orderly deployment of this new directive.

I met this morning with our administrative Cabinet, who will be contacting supervisors to work out the details on how we may keep our services operational in ways that allow us to deliver on our priority to enable students to complete the spring semester. Those conversations will begin today with the goal of implementing this strategy by close of business Friday, March 20.

We also have been instructed by the Chancellor to cancel any in-person commencement ceremonies scheduled for this spring. We will, however, be identifying an alternative option that will enable students to celebrate this significant milestone in a way that follows current protocols aimed at preserving the health and safety of all in our campus community. Please bear with us as we work out alternative ways to honor the achievements of our students.

To say we all are in this together is no exaggeration. It is critical to all of us to take care of ourselves and to consider the health and well-being of our families, our neighbors and our communities and follow the advice and guidelines offered by the medical community and local, state and national leaders who have our best interests at heart.

I will be back in touch later today with more details about the process we will use to help you transition to a telework and other updates.

Sincerely,

Robbyn R. Wacker
President

March 15: Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

Good Afternoon Huskies,  

As information continues to change by the hour, I wanted to provide you with the latest updates regarding COVID-19. The primary change is that the number of Level 3 countries has increased significantly. Therefore, the Minnesota State system is requesting that we ask students, faculty and staff to self-report their travel. Please click here for more details. 

Sincerely,

Robbyn R. Wacker
President

March 13: Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

Good morning St. Cloud State, 

This email is a follow up to the message you should have received yesterday from the MinnState System Chancellor, Devinder Malhotra. His message has been included on the COVID-19/Coronavirus information page. 

This message will provide more details relating to our operations. It’s lengthy, but we have a lot of information to send in this first update!

Stay Connected - Look for Updates

Due to how the COVID-19 situation is rapidly evolving, we will be providing frequent updates when we have more information to share.  These updates will come in the form of an email (our official communication channel), Star Alert, posts to Facebook and Twitter and the website.  

Health and Safety

The health and safety of our community is our top priority. We continue to be in daily contact with Stearns County public health officials (our county) and Minnesota State Department of Health.  Any action we undertake to change our operations will be in consultation with these experts and our MN State leadership.  

We continue to encourage everyone to obtain information about the novel COVID-19 virus from reliable sources, including the above health departments and the CDC. You’ve likely heard that Stearns County has one presumptive case of COVID-19; however this person is not a student or employee of SCSU and has self-quarantined.  There are a lot of rumors and misinformation being circulated on social media and Listservs, so please check the resources mentioned above for accurate information about COVID-19. 

Students

Yes, it is true, classes will be suspended from March 16-22 and your face-to-face classes will resume in an alternative delivery format beginning Monday, March 23. Our goal is to make sure you continue to receive a high quality education and your professors are finalizing the method each class will be delivered. Expect to hear from your professors no later than Thursday, March 19 with instructions for how to access your course. Online courses also will not meet during the suspended time and will resume on March 23. For those of you in clinical, practicums or internships, your faculty will be in touch with you on how to proceed.
 
Our campus offices, student support services, residence halls and dining services will remain open regular business hours.  You have the option of returning to your resident hall this next week.  Our facilities and Resident Hall staff have worked to ensure that our residence halls have been cleaned per health and safety guidelines.  

Finally, if you are student workers, we’d love to have you back on campus working.  Please contact your supervisor to discuss your situation with him or her.  

Faculty

If you have questions regarding benefits or pay, please contact your business partner or call the Human Resources office at 320-308-3203.  

Staff

Campus operations will continue as usual.  The campus, including offices, will continue to provide services for our constituents.  If you have questions regarding your work duties, please contact the supervisor of your area.  If you have questions regarding benefits or pay, please contact your business partner or call the Human Resources office at 320-308-3203.  

All

Our COVID-19 webpage will have updated information about event cancellations as well as FAQs about resources and contact information.

We will continue to make decisions about our operations based on guidance from public health officials and Minnesota State leadership. 

Remember, if you feel sick, stay at home or in your residence hall. Be hyper vigilant about washing your hands and not touching your face.  The Minnesota Department of Health has asked that we practice social distancing if possible.  

We will be back in touch!

Sincerely,

Robbyn R. Wacker
President

March 11: Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

Dear faculty, staff and students,

St. Cloud State University and the Minnesota State system office are closely following developments related to the international spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). This situation is receiving the highest level of attention on our campus and within the Minnesota State system leadership.

I am having regular, ongoing conversations with SCSU’s Emergency Operations Committee and others to ensure we are doing everything we can to plan and prepare to limit exposure and lower risk. Both the Minnesota State system leadership and our local team are engaging experts inside and outside the university, including the Minnesota Department of Public Health and Environment, Stearns County and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to get the latest information and recommendations.

The Minnesota Department of Health is not recommending discontinuing in-person classes and events at this time. 

Provost Dan Gregory in coordination with Faculty Association President Kayona Frances communicated plans with faculty this morning for how we will continue to offer courses should we need to cancel in-person classes if the spread of the virus continues to worsen and impact our community. There are presumptive cases of COVID-19 reported in the state by the Minnesota Department of Health; none in Stearns County. In-person classes have been canceled at the University of Minnesota, and we are not alone in preparing should the need arise in St. Cloud.

It is extremely important that campus remains engaged. Expect campus emails regularly and check the website for updates. 

In coordination with Medical Director Brent Nielsen, these important updates below will summarize some of the actions we want campus to be aware of. 

Returning Travelers

As students, faculty and staff return from Spring Break, CDC recommends that travelers returning from regions with widespread and ongoing community spread (Level 3 Travel Health Notice countries) should stay home for a period of 14 days from the date they left that country. 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.

What to do if you are sick

The two key messages here are stay home when sick and call ahead for guidance on where to get appropriate care. This applies to students, as well as faculty and staff. 

For on Campus Students: St. Cloud State Medical Clinic will move to a phone triage system for sick persons in the coming week. When students have illness symptoms, we do not want them to walk right into the clinic, call 320-308-3199 first for guidance. 

For faculty, staff and students: CentraCare also has a community resource for faculty, staff or students to speak with a nurse 24/7 at 320-200-3200. This will help to prevent the spread of illness and allow medical professionals to prepare and give proper guidance on where will be the appropriate place for care. 

Recovering at home will be the main message for healthy persons with mild symptoms. For those with underlying health conditions and/or more than mild symptoms, guidance will be provided for those who may need more evaluation or testing as part of the triage call. 

Absenteeism

As stated above, it is important that both sick persons, or those with possible exposure to stay home. We encourage flexible attendance and sick leave support for students and staff who need to stay home or are asked by public health officials to stay home for 14 days

Update your Star Alert information

Should the University need to close or cancel in-person classes, Star Alert is our emergency communications platform. In addition to sending an email to your St. Cloud State email, Star Alert also sends messages to additional supplemental email accounts and text messages to your cell phone. Please log in and make sure your information is up-to-date

While we are addressing the issue at hand, we are also taking the long view and planning for dealing with it in the weeks and months ahead. We are prepared for a fast-moving and ever-evolving situation.

St. Cloud State is a large and interconnected community with robust international activities. I am proud of how our SCSU team has responded and continues to prepare to ensure our faculty, staff and students are safe. We will keep you apprised of developments.

Sincerely,

Robbyn R. Wacker
President

March 3: COVID-19 update and travel restrictions

The coronavirus (COVID-19) situation continues to evolve and change. While at this time the risk of COVID-19 is low, St. Cloud State University is closely monitoring the developing situation and is taking the necessary steps to protect the health and safety of the St. Cloud State campus community.

A core team has been assembled to continually monitor the situation, advise leadership and communicate with campus consistent with the guidance from the Minnesota State system office and the Centers for Disease Control.

Due to the uncertainty of the trajectory and spread of the COVID-19 virus across the globe, Minnesota State Chancellor Devinder Malhotra has made the decision to suspend all Minnesota State-related international travel effective immediately. This includes March education abroad programs, and any other international travel involving faculty, staff and students. Impacted faculty, staff and students have been informed of the cancellation of travel and we are working with these individuals to find solutions to the problems this action may create.

The St. Cloud State Center for International Studies (CIS) continues to monitor and be in touch with all students currently abroad. As of today we are not asking students who are in State Department Level 1 and 2 countries to return home.

Since this is a situation that is changing daily, the following online resources are available to help keep you updated:

With spring break and summer travel planning upon us, please carefully weigh the risks and benefits of any international travel, and review the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention information on COVID-19 to learn more.

Whether or not you are planning to travel, please practice behaviors that help prevent the spread of disease, such as washing your hands, covering your cough or sneeze (in your elbow as opposed to your hands) and staying home if you are sick. While socially awkward, many may also refrain from shaking hands to reduce the risk of spreading infection.

The University will continue to update campus on the coronavirus information webpage and campus emails as necessary. Please also make sure your Star Alert cell phone and supplemental email address information is up to date in the case of emergency communications that may be necessary. 

Thank you for your cooperation

Sincerely,

Robbyn R. Wacker
President

Feb. 27: Coronavirus planning

Dear Husky Community:

We continue to monitor daily the information related to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) from the Minnesota Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control. The University has been preparing and making decisions related to Coronavirus for the past month. We are aware of the need for planning on a larger scale and have initiated that process.

For the latest updates and facts on the Coronavirus, please visit the Centers for Disease Control website.

We encourage everyone to continue to take the standard, recommended precautions to prevent the spread of viral illness, which are recommended to prevent the transmission of the coronavirus:

  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
  • Frequently clean touch surfaces, including cell phones, laptops, and keyboards;
  • Avoid sharing food utensils, containers, and other personal items;
  • Cover your cough;
  • Come to the Health Clinic if you have a fever of more than 100.4 F; and
  • Consider getting a flu vaccine (is not too late).

Finally, some of our students have family and friends in countries that have been significantly impacted by the coronavirus. Our students from China, South Korea, and Iran in particular as well as other countries. We extend our compassion and concern for their situations and the impact this may be having on their families and communities back home. Huskies, thank you reaching out and supporting these students.

Sincerely, 

Robbyn R. Wacker
President
St. Cloud State University