Minnesota’s COVID-19 case counts have been climbing since June. On Oct. 29, the State of Minnesota reported 2,900 new COVID-19 cases – a daily record in the pandemic. The state is now averaging more than 2,000 new COVID-19 cases a day. Over 300 new COVID-19 cases are being reported at colleges and universities weekly. Thankfully, the number of weekly positive COVID-19 cases at colleges and universities has decreased since mid-September 2020. Per the Minnesota Department of Public Health, the rampant spread in Minnesota is being driven now by the “thousands of seemingly small decisions” Minnesotans make daily to meet and gather with others without wearing masks, socially distancing or taking other steps to stem the spread.
Our expectation is that students, staff, and faculty not put themselves in situations where there is crowding or a lack of social distancing.
It is everyone’s responsibility to help reverse the trend we are seeing. So, we are once again asking you to adhere to the following:
- When getting together in a social setting, whether indoors or outdoors:
- Keep group sizes small (10 or fewer people) – the smaller the better!
- Ensure at last 6-foot social distancing between you and your friends.
- Limit the number of people in small or common spaces.
- Keep your friend group or pod contacts very low.
Our actions now directly impact the level of COVID-19 we have in our state, as well as the level of risk to our university community. We continue to be very proud of our efforts so far. Do the right thing, slow down, wear a mask, and spread out.
Also, Just a gentle reminder to all employees that they should stay at home if they are experiencing ANY symptoms associated with COVID-19. Those symptoms are as follows:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
As we move indoors and as COVID-19 surges in Minnesota and across the nation, we need to be particularly mindful of the need to stay home when feeling ill.
In addition, if an employee is experiencing any symptoms associated with COVID-19 and takes a COVID-19 test, the employee must quarantine at home until the results of the COVID-19 test are received.
Protocols for employees who test positive, test negative, are awaiting test results, and are close contacts of someone with a positive COVID-19 test can be found on the HR page in Blackboard.