November 6, 2020
Update for faculty, staff, students
As you know, the Oct. 27 mass testing event resulted in an increase in identified positive COVID-19 cases among Mayville State students and employees. Requesting students to stay-in-place, moving to online course delivery, and having employees work remotely this past week has given some time to allow for the contact tracing process to be completed, for those with COVID-19 to complete their isolation period, and most of those quarantining to complete the 14-day requirement. By the end of the day, the Wellness Center will be vacated, and the facility will be deep cleaned and sanitized.
For reasons beyond our control, we were unable to schedule a repeat COVID-19 testing event to occur earlier this week so that results could be available before Monday, Nov. 9. The event was scheduled for the first available date, which is today, Nov. 6. To allow for the results of this testing event to become available before resuming full on-campus operations, some changes are being made.
- Stay-in-place request. Effective Sunday, Nov. 8, the stay-in-place request of students is lifted.
Athletic teams whose students who have recently received negative COVID-19 tests, are without symptoms, are not identified as close contacts, and who are not currently identified as having active COVID-19 cases will resume practice and competition beginning Sunday, Nov. 8. As required by the NAIA and NSAA, all participants are screened for symptoms prior to every practice.
- Extended Online course delivery. Course delivery for on-campus courses will be online only Monday, Nov. 9 and Tuesday, Nov. 10. Wednesday, Nov. 11 is Veterans Day and the university will be closed. We will return to face-to-face on-campus course delivery on Thursday, Nov. 12, assuming Nov. 6 test results have been processed. We will continue practices focused on health and safety for our campus community including social distancing, 6’ foot distancing in classrooms, readily available hand sanitizer dispensers, and mandatory mask use indoors.
- Remote work arrangements. Faculty and non-essential staff will continue with remote work arrangements Monday, Nov. 9 and Tuesday, Nov. 10. Essential staff will continue with on-campus work arrangements. The university will be closed Wednesday, Nov. 11 for Veterans Day. We will return to full campus operations with all faculty and staff working on campus Thursday, Nov. 12, assuming test results have been processed.
These protocols will provide additional time for the release of results of the Nov. 6 testing event, associated contact tracing processes, and an opportunity to evaluate prior to returning to full on-campus operations.
Given the severity of the COVID-19 outbreak across the country, MSU students are being encouraged not to return home for Thanksgiving break. While it may be hard to be apart from family at this time, traveling and attending family gatherings greatly increase the risk of spreading the virus, particularly to older and more vulnerable individuals. In addition, we do not want students contracting the virus over the break and returning to campus with it. Please consider how your actions may affect others and act accordingly.
Our residential students have made it known that they desire face-to-face course delivery and on-campus experiences. Administrators and COVID-19 task force members are constantly monitoring the situation and have the health and safety of students and employees and their families, as well as the needs of the university, as the top considerations. The members of Mayville State’s custodial staff are working unbelievably hard to assure proper cleaning and sanitization, and with the rest of us doing our part by wearing masks, social distancing, washing hands, testing, and monitoring for symptoms, we will all help to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.
Be kind to one another. Be safe and healthy.
Brian Van Horn, President
Mayville State University