Due to the evolving COVID-19 environment, these questions and answers are subject to change.
There are several things you can do to protect yourself and minimize the transmission of the COVID-19 virus:
Symptoms related to the COVID-19 virus may include cough, fever, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle aches, headache, loss of taste and smell, congestion and/or nausea. All SCSU employees and students are encouraged to heed the guidance of the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and, in particular, stay home when feeling sick, even if they are fully vaccinated.
Even if you are vaccinated, if you know you’ve been exposed to someone with COVID-19 and you are experiencing symptoms common to COVID-19, it is recommended you get tested. There is evidence that fully vaccinated people may be able to transmit the disease. It is recommended you wear a mask for 14 days or until you receive negative test results.
Yes. Per the Minnesota Department of Health, even if you are vaccinated, if you test positive for COVID-19, you need to stay away from others until you feel better, it has been at least 10 days since you felt sick, and you have not had a fever for 24 hours.
There are many sites in Minnesota to get a free COVID-19 test. The State of Minnesota COVID-19 Response website provides a list of testing locations around the state.
The University will continue to use its regular communication channels including the University website; social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram); and e-mail (our official communication medium). We will also host town halls, regularly update the “Bring Huskies Home” web pages that may be accessed directly from the SCSU home page, and use the Star Alert system.
Print Services has the official campus templates for the COVID-19 protocol. Signage may be ordered by campus departments through Print Services.
The Husky Family Hub www.stcloudstate.edu/parents is an information portal to support the success of new and returning students and their parents.
Town Halls will be held weekly when there is new and updated information to share.
Town Halls are recorded and available on the Bring Huskies Home (BHH) website.
There will be sanitizing products in office suites, classrooms, and common areas. If you find the supply is low or unavailable, please put in a work order through the Facilities Management website.
Yes! We are offering the Full Husky Experience this fall. Campus departments are already planning in-person events such as Huskies First Four and Main Street. President Wacker is personally welcoming our campus community during Convocation Week. Athletics is excited to welcome back our fabulous fans to sporting events and celebrate Homecoming 2021 in October.
We are excited for our campus and our St. Cloud communities to come together to celebrate the amazing events and programs we host both on and off campus. We encourage you to be engaged. Masks may be required depending upon the Stearns county transmission rates and associated community transmission levels.
Vaccinations are available to our community, including students and employees, at many locations in Minnesota. The Minnesota Department of Health has a vaccination locator site which may be found at: https://www.health.state.mn.us/people/immunize/basics/vaxfinder.html.
In addition, SCSU has also joined the White House’s COVID-19 College Challenge where we have committed to three key actions:
Getting any type of vaccine is a personal choice. There are many reasons people have chosen to not get the COVID-19 vaccination. As a University community, we look to science and data to inform our decisions. We understand the vaccine can protect us from getting severely sick; it helps reduce transmission of the virus in our communities; although the vaccine development may seem fast, it was tested for safety and efficacy using approved processes; although you may have some side effects from the vaccine, they typically last only a day or two; and finally, even if you’ve had the virus, it is important to get the vaccine for added protection. Because of credible research, data, and evidence, we strongly encourage those who can, to get vaccinated. If you have not yet been vaccinated, please ensure your decision is informed by credible research. Consult reliable and respected health sources such as the CDC, MDH, Mayo Clinic, and Johns Hopkins Medical Center; ask questions of medical experts and professionals; and talk about your unique health situation with your trusted medical provider. To learn about some of the common COVID-19 vaccine myths, consider reading this piece published by the Mayo Clinic.
Per the new state and system policy, effective September 8, 2021, all state agency employees, including employees of Minnesota State who are assigned to work at the workplace or otherwise provide agency services outside their home, are required to either show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or be tested at least weekly. We are awaiting further clarification on policies and procedures for the testing that will be required for those employees who are not fully vaccinated.
“Employees” include the following:
At this time, vaccines are not required for students. To ensure our campus community remains healthy, however, it is strongly recommended that all students practice healthy habits and get the COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccine appointments are available at VaccineConnector.mn.gov or by making an appointment for one at the SCSU Medical Clinic, by calling 320-308-3193.
Currently there are three vaccines approved and authorized in the United States
The World Health Organization has determined the following vaccines, in addition to the three listed above, meet the criteria for safety and efficacy:
All six vaccines meet the State of Minnesota criteria for vaccination.
An original CDC vaccination card provides evidence of vaccination status. The State of Minnesota is still working out the logistics of how to test state employees. We will share more information as soon as it is available.
SCSU is offering incentives for employees and students to get vaccinated. Those who are already vaccinated are also eligible to participate in the drawings.
*There may be tax and reporting implications related to the prize
No. Vaccination status is private information. While voluntary disclosure of this information is acceptable, employees and students should not inquire about another’s vaccination status.
Yes. SCSU has implemented a masking/face covering protocol that is based on COVID-19 virus transmission levels in the community (Stearns County). Most recently, the transmission levels were determined to be substantial (orange level) and high (red level). If the transmission rate is determined to be moderate (yellow level) or low (blue level) for fourteen or more consecutive days while a mask mandate is active, the mask/face covering requirement will be removed. When the masking requirement is in place, everyone on campus, regardless of their vaccination status, will be required to wear a mask/face covering, when indoors, during the designated time period.
Yes. Courses that involve a high level of aerosolization and other droplet-inducing activities, such as choir and band, will require face masks/covering until further notice and are independent of the university masking protocol. Resources that may be helpful:
The transmission levels were defined by the Center for Disease Control and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH).
We know the community transmission changes daily. We want to monitor and be consistent in watching the data to make decisions for our campus based on current data.
The process for determining if masks/face coverings are required is the same for the Plymouth campus as it is for the St. Cloud campus. The actual masking/face covering requirement, however, may not align between the St. Cloud campus and the Plymouth campus because they are located in different communities and those communities may have different virus transmission levels.
The university will use its regular communication channels, including the University website; social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram); and e-mail (our official communication medium), to communicate the masking requirement. We will also announce it at Town Halls, put an update on the “Bring Huskies Home” web pages, and use the Star Alert system . In addition, signs will be posted on campus building entrances so guests/visitors are aware of the masking protocol. If you invite guests to campus, we encourage you to provide guidance to our visitors about the masking protocol, in advance of their visit.
No. The CDC has determined that face shields are not as effective at protecting you or those around you because the gaps in the shield allow respiratory droplets to transmit. The CDC has a Guide to Masks on its website.
When the masking requirement is in place, everyone on our campus (students, employees, and guests) is required to wear a mask/face covering when indoors. If you are in an outdoor setting, you are not required to wear a face covering.
We are all responsible for the health and safety of our campus community. This is a new process and it is different from last year. A friendly and gentle reminder about the mask mandate is certainly appropriate. Masks will be available at centrally-located places on campus.
Yes. When meeting with others in your office/space, you may ask them to wear a mask. It is equally respectful for you to wear a mask in a confined space, if asked. If you wish others to wear a mask/face covering when in your office, it may be helpful to have door signage that indicates a mask/face covering is requested. It is wise to always carry a mask/face covering with you for these types of circumstances.
The University is not requiring students, employees, or guests to disclose their vaccination status except to authorized personnel, in compliance with the state and system office policy on vaccinations. The University, in alignment with the MDH, however, strongly encourages those who are not vaccinated to wear a face covering to protect themselves and others regardless of a campus-wide masking requirement.
The University’s strategy for fall semester 2021 is to reignite and support a vibrant campus with students living in our residence halls, classes offered in-person at a ratio similar to fall semester 2019, students engaged in varied activities, our campus community cheering for our athletic teams, and all services operating at full capacity.
Our strategy incorporates the following principles:
Classrooms are scheduled at their regular capacities. There are no physical distancing requirements in the classroom.
Course modalities are expected to remain as they were when courses were originally available for student registration. If a course was originally offered as in-person it will remain an in-person course; if a course was originally offered as an online course, it will be delivered as an online course. Certainly, there are unforeseen and atypical situations that may necessitate a course modality change, but those circumstances are rare. Should we receive guidance from the CDC, MDH, and/or MinnState to change course modalities, we will implement that guidance.
The health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff is our top priority. This year, compared to last year, we have the COVID-19 vaccination which is proven effective in keeping a vaccinated individual from significant illness from the COVID-19 virus. We are committed to providing our students with a holistic educational experience while keeping them healthy and safe.
While we recognize that some students prefer to take their courses online while others prefer in-person, each dean takes student needs, pedagogical best practices, and the It’s Time strategy into consideration when determining course modalities. We have committed to both prospective and returning students to offer the full Husky experience which is grounded in building in-person relationships and learning partnerships on campus.
Even if you are vaccinated ….
If you have not been vaccinated:
If you have been vaccinated:
Each circumstance and class is unique and requires consultation with your professors. Last year the University was given significant flexibility by our accrediting body, the Higher Learning Commission and MinnState system. That flexibility is no longer available. We recommend you have a conversation with your professor about options. We will do our best to be flexible within the guidelines to which we must adhere.
Just as before the pandemic, we work closely with students who have disabilities recognized by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to ensure equal access to programs and services. Please consult the Student Accessibilities Services website or contact the Student Accessibilities Services office for an individual consultation.
Residence halls have both doubles and singles available. You have the option of requesting a single if you are interested.
If the University has mandated a mask/face-covering, you will need to wear a mask indoors, including in the residence hall. You will not need to wear a mask while you are in your residence hall room although if you are not vaccinated, we do encourage you to wear a mask when in close proximity to others, even in your residence hall room.
Currently, we do not have a vaccination requirement for students. To ensure our campus community remains healthy, it is strongly recommended that all students practice healthy habits and get the COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccine appointments are available at VaccineConnector.mn.gov or by contacting the SCSU Medical Clinic at (320) 308-3193.
Yes. Per the new state and system policy, effective October 4th, 2021, students that are engaged in certain activities at the university are required to either show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or be tested at least weekly. It is important to note that this list will continue to change over the next month and you are encouraged to check periodically for any updates.
SCSU Students included in this policy:
Please note that some SCSU students may be required by their clinical/internship sites to be vaccinated in order to complete their clinical/internship requirements. Please contact your faculty advisor for more information.
Yes! We are excited for our campus and our St. Cloud communities to come together to celebrate the amazing events and programs we host both on and off campus. We encourage you to be engaged. Each event on campus will need to complete the Event/Gathering Safety Plan form prior to holding the event. Masks may be required depending upon the county transmission rates and associated community transmission levels.
Even if you are vaccinated ….
If you have not been vaccinated:
If you have been vaccinated:
Each circumstance is unique and requires consultation with your Dean and Human Resources. Last year the University was given significant flexibility by our accrediting body, the Higher Learning Commission, and the MinnState system. That flexibility is no longer available. We have committed to our students to not change course modalities unless required by MinnState. Common options HR may discuss with you include a leave of absence through the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or other leaves of absence; or an accommodation through the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Just as before the pandemic, Human Resources works closely with all of our employees who have disabilities recognized by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to ensure equal access to programs and services. Please consult with Human Resources to determine if you are eligible for ADA accommodations .
We have committed to our students to not change course modalities unless required by MinnState. Please consult with Human Resources to discuss options including the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and other leaves of absence.
No. Any change in course modality must be approved by the dean and the provost. Often, these changes have significant impacts to students in terms of tuition, financial aid, and/or Visa status. These types of changes can disproportionately negatively impact some of our most vulnerable students.
Using assigned seating in your classroom can be a tool to help you learn students’ names. This is one way to foster an inclusive learning environment. Using students’ names also builds classroom community and often enhances engagement in the classroom. In addition, during COVID-19, a seating chart helps with contact tracing should a student test positive for the virus. Some guidelines to consider should you choose to use a seating chart:
Yes. When meeting with others in your office/space, you may ask them to wear a mask. It is equally respectful for you to wear a mask in a confined space, if asked. If you wish others to wear a mask/face covering when in your office, it may be helpful to have door signage that indicates a mask/face covering is requested.
We strongly recommend you consider having in-person office hours whenever possible. Online office hours, as well as other methods of contact, are certainly acceptable. Please ensure you clearly communicate your office hours and the mode of contact to your students.
Yes. The CDC and MDH have acknowledged it is appropriate for a professor to lecture without a mask as long as the professor maintains six-foot distancing from others.
No. Masks will be available at centrally located information desks on campus.
These types of medically-related circumstances will be treated as they were prior to the pandemic.
Please remember students are not required to share specifics about their medical circumstance with you. Students are asked to contact their professors to understand options that may be available to them. Depending upon the type of course, options may be plentiful or may be few. Please feel free to consult with your dean on individual cases. Students may also seek guidance from the University’s Student Accessibility Services to determine if their medical situation is ADA eligible.
Yes, it is appropriate for you to help ensure students are aware of university guidelines and protocols. Instructors should be especially mindful to avoid discussing a student’s vaccination status. Additionally, you may not penalize or criticize students for their vaccination choice or provide tangible incentives, such as extra credit or a higher grade, to students based on their vaccination choice.
Even if you are vaccinated ….
If you have not been vaccinated:
If you have been vaccinated:
Please contact one of our Benefits Specialists in Human Resources to review options.
Each circumstance is unique and requires consultation with your supervisor and Human Resources. Last year the University was given significant flexibility by our accrediting body, the Higher Learning Commission, the State of Minnesota, and the MinnState system. That flexibility is no longer available. We have committed to our students the full Husky Experience. This means our students have the opportunity to connect, in-person, with our amazing employees from all areas of campus. Common options HR may discuss with you include a leave of absence through the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or other leaves of absence; or an accommodation through the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Just as before the pandemic, we work closely with employees who have disabilities recognized by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to ensure equal access to programs and services. Please consult with Human Resources to determine if you are eligible for ADA accommodations.
While you are not required to be cleared by a doctor, you may consider calling your healthcare provider regarding any questions you may have. Students may call the SCSU Medical Clinic triage line at 320-308-3193 for guidance. If you have traveled to a high risk country, an area within the US with widespread community transmission, or have had contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, you should contact your medical provider for guidance about testing and monitor your health for 14 days – even if you are fully vaccinated. Symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.
People are our most important resource. We have both common procedures and specialized bargaining agreement processes we implement to ensure we recruit and hire outstanding teacher-scholars and talented professionals and staff. The search methods we use will be guided by the position for which we are hiring. We will use both technology and in-person meetings/visits during search processes as we did prior to the pandemic.