September 18, 2020

Stevens County Times

Your spot for community news in Stevens County, Minnesota

U of M goes online in response to COVID-19

A Message from the Office of the President

Dear students, faculty, and staff,

As the challenges presented by COVID-19 continue to change rapidly, the University of Minnesota’s top priority remains the health, safety, and well-being of our University community. While there are no known cases of COVID-19 reported in our system, as a precautionary measure to mitigate the risk of exposure to our University community, we are implementing the following action steps consistent with many of our peer institutions across the country.

Students and Classes

We are suspending in-person instruction, including field experiences and clinicals, across our five campuses

and are moving to online, or alternative, instruction. Students on the Morris and Crookston campuses will

have in-person classes through this Friday, March 13.

As a result:

  • Spring break will be extended on the Duluth, Rochester, and Twin Cities campuses until Wednesday, March 18. Students will resume classes, through online or alternative instruction, on March 18.
  • Following this break, as well as spring break on the Crookston and Morris campuses, scheduled for next week (March 16-20), all students on all campuses will be taught virtually through at least Wednesday, April 1.
  • As we evaluate these measures on an ongoing basis, we will let you know as soon as possible if we extend the online-only instruction period.

For classes that cannot be taught online, the instructor will contact students with further information. Students are encouraged to stay home and continue classes online. However, we recognize that for some students the safest, most secure place will be on one of our five campuses. At this time, residence halls, dining services, and other student services will continue. Should on-campus student services be reduced as a result of these changes, we will let you know. Those returning to campus should follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Minnesota Department of Health advice on hygiene and prevention.

Due to COVID-19, we find ourselves responding to unique challenges that require innovative solutions. I recognize that our responsive actions, including those I’m announcing today, may raise questions for many of

you. While we do not have all of the answers at this moment, please know that we are working around the clock to find answers and solutions.

You can continue to send questions to healthresponse@umn.edu and check for the most up-to-date information on the Safe Campus website.

Thank you for your continued patience and partnership through this difficult time. We are doing what we can to mitigate the spread of the virus. Remember to take care of yourself and, if needed, we have support

available for staff and students, in-person or remotely.

Be healthy, safe, and well.

With warmest regards,

Joan Gabel