COVID-19 Updates & Reminders

Connect Announcement 083120

The beginning of Fall Semester required staff and faculty to employ creative approaches to serving students to help minimize the spread of COVID-19 while continuing to provide high-quality courses and services. As of August 28, enrollment was down 5.9 percent (FYE) in comparison to the same day in the semester last year. In March, Fall Semester enrollment was down 42 percent.

Heidi Aldes, Dean of Enrollment Management, said, "In a world filled with uncertainty and fear, post-secondary education was not at the top of many minds. As we started to adjust to our new reality of COVID-cautious behaviors, people began thinking past the few weeks in front of them and started thinking about their academic next steps.

Moving forward, our enrollment management service departments will continue to provide 100 percent of their services in a virtual format and, during peak times, we will also offer face-to-face enrollment support as we have the last few weeks in the Academic Success Center's computer lab."

As students navigated their new pathways to learning, they were able to access most instruction and student support services remotely.

The activities that cannot occur in a virtual environment  are being provided in a thoughtful and safe manner by:

  • Maintaining a minimum number of faculty and staff physically present on campus.
  • Requiring everyone who enters campus to complete the online COVID-19 Self-Assessment tool before entering.
  • Displaying posters, signage and other reminders to maintain a six-foot distance from others in elevators, classrooms, meeting spaces, hallways, etc.
  • Spacing seating 6 feet apart.
  • Requiring face coverings.
  • Requiring had washing before beginning a class or shift.
  • Regular disinfecting of frequently used areas.

Everyone on campus needs to help reinforce these precautionary measures. And, whether on campus or working remotely, be mindful of the Minnesota Department of Health guidelines that are helping stop the spread of COVID-19.

As the semester progresses, staffing levels will be adjusted as students' needs on campus shift. Previous guidance dictated that all departments planning on opening for services that interface with students or employees face-to-face need to have a plan in place prior to reopening. Departments are required to have their plans in place regardless of whether they have a date for reopening or not.

The information gleaned in this planning process is vital to the College's overall planning process and it has been deemed necessary to gather it more rapidly, whenever possible. Departmental plans outline an area's current operations and identify how it will operate differently when activities return to campus. Supervisors are responsible for developing these plans which will guide future planning for the Back-to-Campus Task Force.

For the most recent information about how the campus is managing its COVID-19 response, please visit Return to Campus webpage. The campus community is encouraged to remain vigilant with taking precautions to prevent the spread of the virus.