COVID-19 Stay Safe Guidance

Inver Hills Community College (Inver Hills) is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for all members of our campus community. Effective June 30, 2021, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities no longer require a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan; however, we will continue to manage this COVID-19 Stay Safe Guidance plan. We will also continue to monitor recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), federal COVID-19 OSHA standards, and any Executive Orders from MN Governor Tim Walz.

Face Mask or Face Covering Guidance

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System Office issued new COVID guidance, based on updated CDC metrics. Per these new metrics, we will not require masks on the Inver Hills campus effective March 3, 2022. We will continue to honor and respect the choices that any individual makes to continue to wear a mask.

Campus clinical settings, such as student health centers, dental clinics, etc., will remain subject to indoor masking requirements until that guidance changes.

We will continue to monitor rates and adjust our approach should transmission rates change.

COVID-19 Proof of Vaccination & Testing Management Requirements for Employees

Report vaccination or test status

For the time being, Inver Hills will continue to require Proof of Vaccination and Testing for employees, contractors, and vendors per the MMB HR/LR policy #1446, COVID-19 Proof of Vaccination and Testing. MMB has indicated that they will be reviewing and updating this policy in the coming weeks and we will update our campus community should this requirement change.

This means that all state agency employees, including employees of Minnesota State, are required to either show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or be tested weekly. Under this policy:

  • Agency staff who are assigned to work at the workplace (rather than at-home telework), and who wish to access the workplace for more than 10 minutes, or otherwise provide agency services outside of their home must provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccination status.
  • All agency staff who are assigned to work at the workplace (rather than at-home telework) or who otherwise provide agency services outside of their home and do not submit proof of full COVID-19 vaccination must undergo mandatory COVID-19 testing at least weekly.
  • This policy is subject to change at Minnesota Management and Budget’s (MMB) discretion, including based on public health guidance. Staff members may be subject to additional attestation, vaccination, or testing requirements under agency policy or state or federal law.
  • This policy applies to all employees, contractors, vendors, volunteers, interns, and student workers of Minnesota State.
  • Additional information regarding proof of vaccination status standards and expectations can be found in the MMB COVID-19 Proof of Vaccination and Testing Policy.
  • Access the COVID-19 vaccination proof/testing proof form here.

The single most effective strategy for reducing the spread of COVID-19 is to get vaccinated. If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, find a vaccine.

COVID-19 Proof of Vaccination & Testing Management Requirements for Students

Effective Monday, March 14, there will no longer be a proof of vaccination or testing requirement for students in activities designated by the college or university such as student sports or clubs.

  • Students need to continue to report a positive COVID case to Interim Vice President of S tudent Affairs, Kari Rusch-Curl at 651-450-3887 or at krusch-curl@inverhills.edu.

The single most effective strategy for reducing the spread of COVID-19 is to get vaccinated. If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, find a vaccine.

Social Distancing

Guidance for In-Person Instruction

In line with guidance from the CDC, MDH and Minnesota Office of Higher Education (OHE), programs are permitted to continue instruction during the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak:

  • Faculty may consider the need for social distancing in the classroom. This may be dependent on levels of circulating case counts on campus and in Dakota County and high rates of vaccination.
  • All programs should maintain plans for returning to hybrid approaches or going online if there is an increase of cases on campus that lead to transmission in the classroom.

Faculty Expectations

  • Academic Deans will be the primary COVID-19 contact for programs/departments to answer questions and make determinations about any symptoms that may prevent a student from attending in-person.
  • Faculty will continue to check in with their dean as they monitor the safety of their classroom or lab environment.
  • Deans should communicate clearly to students and faculty about the necessity of following the identified protocols to ensure individual and class health and safety.

Confirmed Case of COVID-19

We will continue to require weekly student and employee case reporting through the existing reporting process at least through the remainder of the spring 2022 semester.

  • Employees need to continue to report a positive COVID case to Laina Carlson, Director of Human Resources or at 651-450-3305. They should also report their situation to their supervisor.
  • If a student has tested positive for the virus, they should report their situation to the Interim Vice President of Student Affairs, Kari Rusch-Curl at 651-450-3887 or at krusch-curl@inverhills.edu. Students should also contact their faculty members to inform them that you will not be attending class.

When a case has been confirmed, MDH is notified, and they may follow up to see who else might have been exposed and to conduct any necessary contact tracing. The college may need to do their own contact tracing to assess quickly whether an individual in class or in an activity had any close contact with others or when there is a need to quickly assess wrap- around services.

Any employee, student, or guest who is on campus, and reports that they are sick or experiencing symptoms while they are on campus, will be isolated in a dedicated workplace area (e.g., nurse's office) until they can return home.

  • Facilities will provide an additional cycle of targeted disinfection to public areas where the person may have visited including community areas, such as point of entry, restrooms, break areas/cafeterias, etc.
  • Supervisors or college employees will sanitize the immediate workstation or area of the employee, student, or guest who was sent home. If the supervisor or college employee responsible for cleaning is in a high-risk category, facilities will assist.

Quarantine & Isolation Guidelines

For the most up-to-date quarantine and isolation guidelines, as well as other COVID resources, please see the MDH website.

For questions on when it is safe for you to return to campus after quarantine, isolation or exposure:

Capacity Limitations

Limits on size and capacity restrictions for indoor and outdoor events are currently lifted; however, capacity limit restrictions may be implemented as a COVID-19 mitigation effort should COVID-19 cases on campus or in the community continue to be at the high or substantial level.

COVID-19 Infection Prevention Protocols

Inver Hills expects all employees, guests, and students to do their part to help combat the spread of COVID-19 by following basic protocols.

  • Every person that enters the campus is instructed to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water frequently throughout the day, but especially at the beginning and end of their time on campus, prior to any mealtimes, and after using the toilet.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, the use of hand sanitizer will be expected of each person after interactions with other people or objects.
  • Employees, students, and guests should cover their mouth and nose with their sleeve or a tissue when coughing or sneezing and avoid touching their face, in particular their mouth, nose and eyes, with their hands. They should dispose of tissues in the trash and wash or sanitize their hands immediately afterward.

Facilities Management Cleaning & Disinfecting Protocols

Facilities management will ensure that necessary handwashing and/or sanitizer supplies are available and maintained according to CDC and MDH policies.

  • Requests for cleaning and disinfecting supplies should be directed through supervisors who will work with the campus Facilities Department.
  • Facilities will follow a rigorous and consistent protocol for cleaning the campus. The daily cleaning routine includes all common areas, conference rooms, and used labs and classrooms at the end of each business day.
  • When possible, Facilities will sanitize between classes. Where classes are back to back, they will come in after classes to sanitize the classroom.
  • Controlled air handlers have been set to bring in more outside air while also maintaining comfort. Air Handlers have had ionizers installed. The ionizers kill bacteria, mold, and viruses.

Shared Cleaning & Disinfecting Responsibility for Classrooms, Labs & Work Areas

Facilities management has cleaning and disinfecting supplies available should faculty want to clean classroom areas, including labs or their own work areas, following an on-campus class. This cleaning would be in addition to the cleaning protocols already being followed by facilities.

Guidance for Campus Space Rental

Organizations wishing to rent space on campus will need to follow the same guidelines and protocols outlined in this Stay Safe Guidance plan. In addition to general campus guest expectations, event organizers (including CECT) will be expected to perform the following:

  • The employee responsible for arranging the space rental will have responsibility for ensuring event organizers understand and follow outlined protocols.
  • Employees will work through their supervisor to ensure cleaning and sanitation supplies from Facilities are provided on site.

COVID-19 Level Alert Dashboard

Per guidance from Minnesota State, we no longer need to reflect the COVID status level alert on campus; however, this could change given an increase in variants and COVID case levels on campus or in the community.

COVID-19 Self-Assessment Health Screening Tool

Effective May 24, 2021, students, employees or visitors no longer need to complete the COVID Health Screening Questionnaire Tool ("green screen"). However, please continue to self-monitor for COVID symptoms and stay home if you are not feeling well and seek medical advice as needed.

Communications

As the COVID-19 situation evolves, campus administration will continue to communicate expectations to students, faculty, staff, vendors and guests.

  • Check your college-issued email regularly for email communications.
  • Blackboard StarAlert may be used to communicate emergency-related updates or status changes that happen quickly. This may include phone calls, text messages or email messages. Please ensure that your Blackboard StarAlert information is updated by setting or editing your contact preferences.
  • Ongoing updates will also be made to the Inver Hills COVID-19 website.
  • Campus signs will be posted college entrances regarding social distancing guidelines, required hygiene practices, and any face masks requirements.
  • Campus signs will also advise employees, students and guests not to enter the workplace if they are experiencing symptoms or have contracted COVID-19.
  • For additional information on Campus Emergency and Operation Plans, please see the Safety and Security Emergency Management Plan.

Stay Safe Guidance Revision History

This section will track updates to the Inver Hills Stay Safe Guidance plan.

August 20, 2021 | Stay Safe Guidance published

March 3, 2022 | Updates to Stay Safe Guidance (masking, social distancing, etc.)

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