Employee FAQ

Frequently asked questions from students about COVID-19 safety measures.


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State of Minnesota Proof of Vaccination and Testing Policy

Covid-19 Screening, Testing and Notification

Campus Safety Procedures Including Face Coverings

Campus Services, Facilities and Operations (Including Travel)

Types of Course Delivery and FlexSync

Handling Various Student Scenarios including Classroom Management


Proof of Vaccination and Testing Policy


Is this a vaccination requirement?

No. This policy requires proof of COVID-19 vaccination status or compliance with a mandatory testing protocol. Individuals who choose not to provide proof of their vaccination status must complete COVID-19 surveillance testing at least weekly.

Who does this policy apply to?

This policy applies to all employees, contractors, vendors, volunteers and interns at all Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system; Minnesota State University, Mankato is part of the Minnesota State system. Student workers and graduate assistants are included as employees of the University and are subject to the policy as well. Guests and visitors are not currently included in this policy.

Does this vaccine policy apply to students?

At the current time, there is not a requirement for all students to provide proof of vaccination to attend Minnesota State University, Mankato. However, student workers and graduate assistants are considered employees and must abide by the Proof of Vaccination and Testing Policy.

The Minnesota State system has announced that certain groups of students, including those who live in on-campus or University-managed housing and those who participate in select campus programs and activities, will be required to show proof of vaccination or undergo weekly surveillance testing beginning Oct. 4.

I’ve been vaccinated. What do I need to do next? 

Vaccinated employees will be required to provide proof of vaccination status to the Office of Human Resources prior to Sept. 8, 2021.

Vaccination and Testing Policy

What does this policy mean for employees who do not show proof of COVID-19 vaccination? 

Employees who do not submit proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 must be tested for COVID-19 each week, starting Sept 8. Employees who did not previously attest to their full COVID-19 vaccination status and who later become fully vaccinated against COVID-19 may be relieved of the testing requirement after completing a new attestation form and presenting proof of full vaccination against COVID-19.

Employee Weekly Testing FAQ

Vaccination and Testing Policy

Can anyone request to see my proof of vaccination?

No. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination information will be collected by Human Resources and shared only with those who have a legal right to access that information. Supervisors, colleagues, and others should not ask to verify anyone else’s proof of vaccination.

I’m concerned about sharing my private health information. Who will have access to it?

Your information regarding proof of full vaccination and/or COVID-19 testing results will be provided to and maintained by Human Resources. The only other individuals who have access to it is our safety administrator, staff with a business need to know, and others who are authorized by law.

I have been approved to work from home. Do I need to provide proof of vaccination or participate in testing?

No, unless you intend to come to the workplace for more than 10 minutes. This policy applies to employees who are assigned to work on campus (either the Mankato campus or one of the University’s other locations), who provide services to others outside of their homes or who wish to be present on campus for more than 10 minutes.

Can I choose to work at home instead of providing proof of vaccination or being tested weekly?

No. Remote work that has not previously been approved by a supervisor will not be approved in order to avoid complying with state policy.

I am not able to be vaccinated. What should I do?

Anyone who is unable to provide proof of vaccination must undergo weekly COVID-19 testing.

Employee Weekly Testing FAQ

Where can I get a weekly campus surveillance test?

The University plans to provide a testing clinic in Carkoski Commons (the old dining hall) adjacent to the Student Health Center on Tuesdays.

Employee Weekly Testing FAQ

Can I take my COVID-19 test during work hours?

Yes. This testing protocol is job-related and as such can occur during work time.

Can vaccinated employees use the weekly campus test?

The University-funded campus surveillance testing site is reserved for employees who choose to not certify that they have been vaccinated and must undergo mandatory COVID-19 testing at least weekly. Testing under this policy cannot be done at the free community testing sites since those sites are dedicated to individuals who have had exposure or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

Vaccinated employees who want to test, should seek guidance from their medical provider. Employees who test through a medical provider that is not listed as a community testing site with the State of MN, may be charged for that service.

Can I be fired for not providing proof of vaccination and/or taking a weekly COVID-19 test?

Employees have the right to refuse to take a COVID-19 test, however, they will be removed from the workplace without pay until the necessary requirements have been met and may be subject to disciplinary action, up-to and including discharge, for refusing a work directive. 

Is there an exemption to the vaccine requirement and/or the testing protocol? 

This policy is not a vaccine mandate, but a vaccine reporting mandate.  An employee can’t seek an exemption for medical or religious purposes to the reporting requirement.  You are either vaccinated or a part of the testing protocol.  

What happens if I test positive?

Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 must notify HR and their supervisor, not come to the workplace and follow current MDH isolation guidelines.

Employee Notification Process

Can vaccinated employees who have had close contact with someone with COVID-19 or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms get a weekly campus test?

Regardless if you have provided proof of vaccination for the State of MN COVID Vaccination and Testing Policy and have had close contact or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, you should follow the Coming in Contact with Person with Confirmed COVID or Quarantine process, utilizing a free community testing site or testing through your medical provider. 

The University-funded campus surveillance testing site is reserved for employees who choose to not certify that they have been vaccinated and must undergo mandatory COVID-19 testing at least weekly.  Testing under this policy cannot be done at the free community testing sites since those sites are dedicated to individuals who have had exposure or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

Where can I get a vaccine? 

The best way to find a vaccine site is to utilize the MN Vaccine Finder website.  Employees are welcome to sign up for the current campus vaccine clinics, or our COVID Healthcare Hotline at (507) 389-5591 to schedule an appointment. 

I still have questions. Where can I get more information? 

The full MMB policy for COVID-19 Proof of Vaccine and Testing goes into greater detail on the specifics of the policy. The latest information and COVID-19 related announcements can always be found on the COVID-19 and Our Campus Community webpage. If you still have further questions, please email provost@mnsu.edu. 

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COVID-19 SCREENING, TESTING AND NOTIFICATION:


Is there testing available on campus for faculty and staff?

Employees have three testing options available at no cost:

  1. COVID Testing at home option
  2. MDH Testing Sites
    • Utilize the MDH testing site located closest to your work location.
    • For employees working in Mankato, the MDH site is:

      Mankato Armory
      100 Martin Luther King Dr.
      Mankato, MN 56001
      Mon.-Thurs. 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
  3. Student Health Services has a limited number of saliva tests to offer.
    • Employees and students can bring their completed saliva tests to Student Health Services and we can assist in couriering them to a lab location.

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?

  • Quarantine, seek medical advice, and do not come to campus.
    • A COVID Healthcare Hotline is available at Student Health Services at (507) 389-5591.
  • If the medical advice is to get tested, the employee should quarantine until test results are received.
  • 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.

Employee Notification Process

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.
 
 

ISOLATE for 10 days then return to work/school when:

  • You feel better and are symptom-free
    AND
  • It has been 10 days since you tested positive for COVID-19
    AND
  • You have been fever-free for 24 hrs without use of any medication.

There is no need/requirement for a negative COVID test to return to work/school.

If I am exposed to someone with COVID but am already vaccinated, do I have to quarantine?

The current guidance from the CDC and MDH is that vaccinated people who are exposed to the virus do not need to quarantine unless they are experiencing symptoms.

If You Have Contact with Covid-19

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

If you are vaccinated, continue to monitor symptoms.

If you are not vaccinated, please call the Campus Reporting Hotline at (507) 389-2030 for the most up-to-date instructions.

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 You Have Contact with Covid-19

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.

Employee Notification Process

If I have traveled internationally, do I have to quarantine or take a COVID-19 test before returning to campus?

If you are traveling internationally and you are fully vaccinated with a U.S. approved vaccination, you are not required to test or quarantine prior to returning to campus.

If you are not fully vaccinated, please complete a covid-19 test 3-5 days upon returning. It is also recommended to quarantine for 10 days after returning to the U.S.

U.S. approved vaccinations are Moderna, Johnson and Johnson and Pzier. If you have been vaccinated with a different vacine, you are not considered fully vaccinated.

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.  

Please call the Student Health Services COVID Healthcare Hotline at (507) 389-5591 for more information and to make an appointment. Tests are by appointment only.

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.

During the semester, what if I cannot teach in person due to illness or other COVID-related factors?

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


Are there social distancing guidelines for Fall 2021 semester?

We are not currently enforcing social distancing guidelines on campus, including in classrooms. If that changes, we will notify the campus community and update this content.

How often will public and individual work spaces be cleaned?

Regular 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 on its regular schedule.

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

Do I have to wear a face covering while lecturing?

Per the MMB policy, unless otherwise instructed, presenters may temporarily remove face coverings in indoor spaces for presentations or lectures, provided that 6 feet social distancing is always maintained. If you would like a face shield, please complete the COVID-19 Supplies Request Form.

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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.

During the semester, what if I cannot teach in person due to illness or other COVID-related factors?

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

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.

Can faculty and staff travel outside of Minnesota for college or university related purposes?

Domestic Travel:

International Travel:
As per the updated guidance document from Chancellor Malhotra (August 6, 2021), the following is in effect until further notice for employee international travel.

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 Interim Associate Vice President of Faculty Affairs & Equity Initiatives, Timothy Berry at timothy.berry@mnsu.edu.

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Types of 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 courses are held in-person by instructors in the classroom with the option of remote attendance of students via Zoom. In-person attendance is strongly encouraged.  Students who need to participate remotely for any reason should contact their instructor by the end of the first week. Instructors may set attendance expectations for those who have not arranged remote attendance. International students attending class remotely from home countries will be granted remote attendance automatically.

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.

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 continue the Student Academic Support (SAS) Program. This program pays students to help connect instructors with students present physically and virtually in all courses. These student workers will help instructors maintain communication with students, continue to utilize active learning strategies in the courses, and manage their FlexSync and Zoom classrooms.

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

Register your courses here to get started.

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

Technical support for faculty (tools, consultations, and online resources)

Training Sessions for Faculty

Who gets to come to class in FlexSync courses?

Undergraduate FlexSync courses are held in-person by instructors in the classroom with the option of remote attendance of students via zoom. In-person attendance is strongly encouraged. Students that need to participate remotely for any reason should contact their instructor by the end of the first week. Instructors may set attendance expectations for those that have not arranged remote attendance. International students attending class remotely from home countries will be granted remote attendance automatically.

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

Undergraduate FlexSync courses are held in-person by instructors in the classroom with the option of remote attendance of students via zoom. In-person attendance is strongly encouraged.  Students that need to participate remotely for any reason should contact their instructor by the end of the first week. Instructors may set attendance expectations for those that have not arranged remote attendance. International students attending class remotely from home countries will be granted remote attendance automatically.

How are faculty office hours/advising sessions handled?

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.

Do I have to wear a face covering while lecturing?

Per the MMB policy, unless otherwise instructed, presenters may temporarily remove face coverings in indoor spaces for presentations or lectures, provided that 6 feet social distancing is always maintained. If you would like a face shield, please complete the COVID-19 Supplies Request Form.

During the semester, what if I cannot teach in person due to illness or other COVID-related factors?

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

I’m worried about COVID; can I change the modality of my class to remote, online or FlexSync?

Students enrolled in their classes based on, among other things, the course delivery.  Delivery method should not change unilaterally during the semester unless the University, Minnesota State System Office, or the Governor mandates a change due to a surge in COVID-19 cases.  If you have any questions or concerns, please consult with your department chair and dean. Deans should consult with the provost on a case-by-case basis. Each instructor, together with their department or program, should develop contingency plans in case an early or temporary pivot becomes necessary.

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