Employee FAQ

Frequently asked questions from employees about the Fall 2020 Return to Learn plan.


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Covid-19 Screening, Testing and Notification

Campus Safety Procedures Including Face Coverings

Campus Services, Facilities and Operations (Including Travel)

Course Delivery and FlexSync


COVID-19 SCREENING, TESTING AND NOTIFICATION:


Do I have to complete a self-screening before coming to work?

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, all students, faculty, and staff are required to complete a daily self-screening on a daily basis. The screening tool is part of a system-wide initiative by the Minnesota State System office.

Will my temperature be taken when I enter campus, classroom, or an office?

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, all students, faculty, and staff are required to complete a daily self-screening on a daily basis. The screening tool is part of a system-wide initiative by the Minnesota State System office.

What if I am experiencing symptoms any of the following symptoms: fever or feverish feeling, chills, a new cough, shortness of breath, a new sore throat, new muscle aches, new headache, new loss of smell or taste?

  • Isolate, seek medical advice, and do not come to campus.
  • If the medical advice is to get tested, the employee should isolate until test results are received.
  • If the test result is positive for COVID-19, then call the Campus Reporting Hotline at (507) 389-2030.
  • If the medical advice is to quarantine due to symptoms or exposure, the employee will quarantine for 14 days according to MDH guidelines.
  • Employees should report their work status to their supervisor as soon as possible and/or prior to the start of their next work shift. Employees that need assistance with any applicable leave policies or benefits should contact Human Resources at hr@mnsu.edu or (507) 389-2015.

How do I report my positive COVID-19 test result?

  • If the test result is positive for COVID-19, then the employee should call the Campus Reporting Hotline at (507) 389-2030.
  • Employees should report their work status to their supervisor as soon as possible and/or prior to the start of their next work shift. Employees that need assistance with any applicable leave policies or benefits should contact Human Resources at hr@mnsu.edu or (507) 389-2015.

When can I return to campus after testing postive to COVID-19?

Employees who seek to return to work after testing positive for COVID-19 must follow directives from their healthcare provider. Employees returning to work must still follow all mask wearing and social distancing guidelines.
 

MDH guidelines state if you have COVID-19, stay home until all three of these things are true:

  • You feel better. Your cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms are better.
    AND
  • It has been 10 days since you first felt sick.
    AND
  • You have had no fever for at least 24 hours, without using medicine that lowers fevers.

What if I have been in contact with someone that has COVID-19?

Current MDH guidelines include quarantining for 14 days following close contact (within six feet for at least 15 minutes, with or without a mask) with a person who tested positive for COVID. 

Employees should report their work status to their supervisor as soon as possible and/or prior to the start of their next work shift. Employees that need assistance with any applicable leave policies or benefits should contact Human Resources at hr@mnsu.edu or (507) 389-2015.

As a supervisor, what should I do if an employee notifies me they had a positive COVID-19 case?

Supervisors must maintain confidentiality and protect the privacy of employee health information. Supervisors should work with their Human Resources Generalist to ensure expectations are followed.

What if a student tells me they are experiencing COVID symptoms?

  • Tell the student to isolate, seek medical advice, and do not come to campus.
    • If the test result is positive for COVID-19, call the Campus Hotline at (507) 389-2030.
    • If the medical advice is to quarantine due to symptoms or exposure, the student will quarantine for 14 days according to MDH guidelines.
    • If the medical advice is to get tested, isolate and wait for the test result.
  • Have the student contact all their professors to inform them he/she is experiencing COVID symptoms, they are isolating, seeking medical advice, and not coming to campus.

Furthermore, offer the following resources for students:

  • For questions about symptoms, testing, or risk of COVID-19, call the Student Health Services COVID Healthcare Hotline at (507) 389-5591.
  • Students living in University housing should contact Residential Life to arrange accommodations for isolation/quarantine at reslife@mnsu.edu or (507) 389-1011.
  • Students that need assistance with services should contact the Student Affairs Office at student-affairs@mnsu.edu or (507) 389-2121.
  • For general questions, contact the Provost’s Office at provost@mnsu.edu or (507) 389-1335.

What if a student tells me they have tested positive to COVID-19?

  • Ask the student to call the COVID Reporting Hotline at (507) 389-2030.
  • Call the COVID Reporting Hotline at (507) 389-2030 to report a positive case.
  • Employees should report their work status to their supervisor as soon as possible and/or prior to the start of their next work shift. Employees that need assistance with any applicable leave policies or benefits should contact Human Resources at hr@mnsu.edu or (507) 389-2015.
  • If an employee has been in close contact with someone with COVID-19 (within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes), the employee must notify their supervisor and stay home and monitor symptoms for 14 days. Employees should telecommute during this time if possible.

Furthermore, offer the following resources for students:

  • For questions about symptoms, testing, or risk of COVID-19, call the Student Health Services COVID Healthcare Hotline at (507) 389-5591.
  • Have the student contact all their professors to inform them they will not be coming to campus
  • Students living in University housing should contact Residential Life to arrange accommodations for isolation/quarantine at reslife@mnsu.edu or (507) 389-1011.
  • Students that need assistance with services should contact the Student Affairs Office at student-affairs@mnsu.edu or (507) 389-2121.
  • For general questions, contact the Provost’s Office at provost@mnsu.edu or (507) 389-1335.

What if a student or co-worker is exhibiting symptoms or is not wearing a mask? What do I do?

In regard to a person exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms:

Employees who wish to report concerns or issues about hygiene and respiratory etiquette may do so by contacting the Provost’s Office at provost@mnsu.edu.

In regard to face-coverings:

Members of the University community are expected to behave responsibly and show respect for the health and safety of others. Any employee, student, or visitor who fails to abide by this directive without an approved accommodation may be asked or directed to leave the campus. Faculty and staff who are so directed but fail to comply may be subject to university discipline. Students who are so directed but fail to comply may be subject to student discipline.

If in classroom, and student will not comply after a conversation with the student, face covering and safety measures are available to give to the student to help educate them. It is up to faculty at what they would like to do if a student refuses to comply – this is a classroom management item. Faculty can choose to end the class, continue class, or other options the faculty feels appropriate.

Do I have to self-quarantine before returning to campus?

You are not required to self-quarantine before returning to campus but are required to complete a daily self-screening on a daily basis. However, we do ask that you follow the latest CDC guidelines upon returning if you have traveled out of the state or have been exposed to COVID-19.

Do we have a testing process in place in case there is a surge?

The University is continually working with Blue Earth County Public Health and the Minnesota Department of Health for guidelines and an approach to testing in case of a surge on campus.  

I am high-risk or have a family member high-risk at home with me – can I work remotely?

If you have concerns (medical or non-medical), please contact your supervisor or Human Resources to explore what options are available.

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CAMPUS SAFETY PROCEDURES INCLUDING FACE COVERINGS


What is the policy on masks, shields, and where are they required on campus?

All faculty, staff, students, and visitors are required to wear a face covering over both the nose and mouth at all times when indoors on campus or in other university facilities.

What are the complimentary masks supplied to students and employees by the University made of?

They are three-ply masks, made with two layers of black cotton with one outer layer of polyester for dye sublimation.

What kind of mask is acceptable to wear on campus or can I just wear a shield?

Appropriate Face Coverings:

  • A cloth or disposable mask that fits snugly but comfortably, covers the mouth and nose and allows for unrestricted breathing.
  • Other face coverings expressly approved by the University.

Masks or cloth coverings can be purchased or handmade. There is not a list of approved vendors. When buying or making a face covering, remember to check that it meets the following requirements:

  • Completely covers the mouth and nose.
  • Is not overly tight or restrictive.
  • The face covering must not be made of mesh or other fabric with holes and must not have a valve designed to facilitate easy exhaling or other openings, holes, visible gaps in the design or material, or vents.

Face Shields:

  • Face coverings are preferred over face shields.
  • Face shields can be used in conjunction with a mask any time the user wishes. Use of both may be necessary for higher risk activities.
  • Face shields may be used by faculty while conducting lecture in a classroom provided 6-foot distancing can be maintained with students.
  • Masks should be worn going to and from the classroom or if the faculty member cannot maintain the 6-foot social distancing.
  • Other uses of a face shield in lieu of masks should be for medical reasons only.

How do I go about a mask accommodation due to a medical condition?

Faculty and staff who believe they should be considered for an exception to this requirement should contact Human Resources at (507) 389-2015, hr@mnsu.edu.

How often will public and individual work spaces be cleaned?

Frequent cleaning and disinfecting will be conducted in high-touch areas, such as phones, keyboards, touch screens, controls, door handles, elevator panels, railings, printers and copy machines, credit card readers, delivery equipment, etc.

Building Services will clean and disinfect campus spaces once per day and restrooms twice per day in accordance with MDH and CDC guidelines. CDC approved quaternary disinfectant will be applied when sanitizing.

Faculty, staff, students and visitors will be responsible for disinfecting personal workspaces such as computer keyboards, phones, desks, tables and other high touch surfaces.

Can we have in-person events on campus?

The COVID-19 pandemic offers new challenges as we consider the safest way to connect with one another on campus. As we prepare for a new academic year, our goal is to innovate and create new ways to build an invigorating living and learning community that puts safety first. Event guidelines are available on this website.

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CAMPUS SERVICES, FACILITIES AND OPERATIONS (INCLUDING TRAVEL)


Why do employees need to return to campus? Why can’t I continue to work remotely?

We need to provide students with the services they may need. The University has done a lot of work over the summer months to plan for our students and employees to return in a safe manner.  If you have concerns (medical or non-medical), please contact your supervisor or Human Resources to explore what options are available.

I am high-risk or have a family member high-risk at home with me – can I work remotely?

If you have concerns (medical or non-medical), please contact your supervisor or Human Resources to explore what options are available.

Can I refuse to attend in-person meetings or events if I am concerned with my health?

Individuals who are invited to departmental or organizational events should not feel obligated to attend if they are uncomfortable or have health concerns. A virtual option for attendees should be considered. Employees who are uncomfortable attending a meeting or event should talk to their supervisor to figure out an appropriate alternative.

I need to stay home with my school-age children, what are my options?

We want you to succeed, at work and at home. As the school year approaches, please have a conversation with your supervisor about how the K-12 school announcement impacts you and your work. Even if you do not have school-aged children, you may wish to discuss how your team is working together and any of your COVID-19 related needs. We value the work you do and are committed to supporting you.

We have policies and resources to help employees in situations related to COVID-19. They include:

  • The option to telework, even with your children present, as long as you can perform your job duties
  • Flexing your hours
  • Reducing your hours with Salary Savings Leave without losing insurance eligibility
  • Paid COVID-19 Leave or Extended FMLA for health, care, and school closure needs related to COVID-19
  • A new Employee Assistance Program that offers free visits with counselors and life coaches that help you and your family navigate through these challenging times

Your supervisor can help you explore options. We know the value you bring to our university, which is why we are committed to working with you to find a suitable arrangement.

What are the new parking guidelines for this academic year?

  • Parking Enforcement begins on the 1st day of classes, Monday, August 24, 2020.
  • No permits will be purchased “over the-counter” and citations must be paid using https://link.mnsu.edu/parkingportal
  • Visitors Paylot (Lot 4), will be operated using the Flowbird Mobile app for payment with a Kiosk Pay Station added this fall where customers can also purchase parking time. The Flowbird app will allow the customer to buy as many hours as they need.  If they need more time but didn’t purchase enough time to start with, the Flowbird app will notify their smart phone to ask if they want to extend their time.  More time can be added without returning to your vehicle.
  • The Visitors Paylot will also be equipped with a fixed camera imaging system that will read the license plates of all users driving into the Visitors Paylot which starts a timer for payment. If payment hasn’t been received within the allotted time from the Flowbird app or if the Pay Station Kiosk was used (added later this fall), Parking Enforcement Officers will be notified that there is a potential violator in Lot 4 who hasn’t paid.  The Parking Enforcement Officer will arrive in the Paylot and issue the violator a citation for failing to pay.
  • Campus parking meter heads have been pulled and replaced with signs advising customers to download the Flowbird app via https://flowbirdapp.com or via the Google Play or Apple Stores. After the initial account set up, paying for time stall parking takes seconds, and you can do it from the comfort of your vehicle – no more climbing over snow drifts to insert a quarter in a meter head.
  • Before Spring Semester, Cardinal TickeTrak imaging devices will be attached to Security vehicles to allow Security to drive thru parking areas where license plate images will be matched up to known permit holders, or compared against Flowbird Kiosk’s or app purchases, to determine if the parking vehicle is legally or illegally parked. Violations will be electronically shared with the Parking Enforcement Officers which will then issue a ticket.
  • Refer to https://mankato.mnsu.edu/about-the-university/maps-and-transportation/parking/ for more details about these plans. 

Are there any travel restrictions?

University related domestic and international travel is still suspended.

What about sabbaticals this year?

Sabbatical applications will move forward. Individuals scheduled to be on sabbatical this year with concerns with their plans should contact Associate Provost and Senior Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, Brian Martensen at brian.martensen@mnsu.edu.

Are we supposed to report to campus after Thanksgiving break?

Faculty:

After the Thanksgiving holiday break, students and faculty previously attending FlexSync courses on-campus and in-person will join remotely via Zoom and required in-person experiences like clinicals, science labs, etc. will be offered remotely or using alternative delivery formats. Transitioning away from in-person meetings is not an early end to the fall semester. Faculty will hold classes virtually the final week of classes and deliver final exams online during finals week.

Staff:

Campus will remain open after Thanksgiving break to provide students with the services they may need. If you have concerns (medical or non-medical), please contact your supervisor or Human Resources to explore what options are available.

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COURSE DELIVERY AND FLEXSYNC


What are the different class delivery options?

In-Person  classes will have required  face-to-face interaction in a classroom, lab or field experience. Some course components may be delivered in alternative formats, but the majority of the course is delivered in-person in a space that has been prepared to accommodate students and faculty safely.

Hybrid  courses will largely be delivered online, but they may include  some  required face-to-face interaction as well.  For example, one week the class may meet in-person; the next week, it may have online-only activities.

Online Only  classes will be offered online, with no in-person interaction. Some online classes are  asynchronous, which means that there are no required video conference meetings; others are  synchronous, which means that you must engage with the instructor at a scheduled time. Online courses have additional fees associated to them, although those fees do not apply to classes that have moved online as a result of the pandemic.

FlexSync is a  synchronous  HyFlex learning experience designed specifically with the pandemic and smaller room capacities in mind. This allows us to be nimble while maintaining face-to-face instruction.  In a FlexSync course you  can  engage with instructors  either  in the classroom  or  via Zoom.  In-person attendance may be adjusted or offered on a rotating basis to meet evolving health and safety guidelines for distancing.  There are no additional fees for FlexSync classes.

Note: Minnesota State system uses HyFlex to describe flexible classes in general—but FlexSync is Minnesota State Mankato’s more  comprehensive learning solution designed to support faculty and students.

Do I need to configure my classroom to abide by safety guidelines?

Physical classrooms will be operating at partial capacity to allow for safe social distancing. Not all students will be able to be in the classroom at once, but these plans will help faculty and students work together to create a schedule that allows students who wish to attend in person to be physically in the classroom as much as possible.

Classroom capacities and diagrams of socially-distanced classroom layouts have been diagramed and planned. Please note that these capacities and layouts are subject to change as health guidelines evolve and/or layout and furniture changes to our spaces are implemented.

What classrooms have FlexSync technology?

Our IT Solutions team has purchased equipment for all general use classrooms and is working to equip them all with video cameras, microphones and large screen TVs in the back of each room. These will function with Zoom, giving students and instructors options of being on or away from campus while still being together as one class.

How do I get a student helper to assist me with my FlexSync courses?

The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) is excited to announce the Student Academic Support (SAS) Program. This program pays students already your course to help connect instructors with both students present physically and virtually. These student workers will help instructors maintain communication with students, continue to utilize active learning strategies in the courses, and manage their FlexSync classrooms.

If you are interested in this program for your FlexSync course or have questions, you can get more information on the SAS Program website. You can also contact Hannah Radcliff-Hoy, SAS Program Coordinator.

Where can I go to get help as I plan my FlexSync courses?

Technical support for enterprise tools (MediaSpace, D2L, Zoom)

1:1 Support from faculty on course design and delivery

Who gets to come to class in FlexSync courses?

Anyone enrolled in a FlexSync course will have the opportunity to attend in-person if they wish.  Based on room capacity and student interest you may need to create a rotation schedule.  It is recommended to reach out to your classes to have an idea how many students will like to participate in-person prior to the first day of class.  A suggested survey was sent out in the CETL announcements on July 31 and the Provost announcements on August 5.

What happens if more students show up to class than capacity is allowed?

In the event there are more students who show up than room capacity allows those who can stay will be determined on a first come, first served basis.  If possible, priority should be given to students who were already on the rotation schedule for that given day.

Can students alternate between in-person and online attendance in FlexSync courses?

Yes, students can alternate between in-person and online attendance for all FlexSync courses. If in-person attendance is above room capacity a rotation schedule will need to be implemented.

How are faculty office hours/advising sessions handled?

Office hours and advising sessions will be held virtually. Instructor office hours should be included in the course syllabus with instructions on how to schedule. For more information on advising sessions please visit the  Academic Advising webpage.

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