Return to Campus

Health and Safety Updates

  • Mask up for the COVID-19 Delta Variant: A mask or face covering is once again required for all students, faculty, and staff in University buildings, regardless of vaccination status, due to the increased transmission risk of the Delta variant and the new CDC guidance on masking. The University will continue to follow state guidelines and the advice of our own medical and public health experts to ensure that we support the health and safety of our employees and students. Learn more about University face covering protocol here. And, remember to stay home if you're sick!
  • Getting vaccinated: You can find the information on how to "get the vax" on the Safe Campus website
  • If you are ill with COVID-19 or need to care for others due to COVID-19 who are ill or unable to attend childcare or school, additional information on the University Emergency Paid Leave. For specific questions, consult with your unit human resources staff or reach out to the OHR Contact Center at ohr@umn.edu, 612-624-8647, or 800-756-2363.

Those who are able to work from home are expected to continue to work from home until August 2, 2021. See President Gabel's March 16 message for details. Please talk with your supervisor if you have further questions. Guidance on flexible work approaches for campuses, colleges, and units is available at Work. With Flexibility. 

Go to a helpful resource for return to campus:

Back to top

Workplace-Related Information

Toolkit for Supervisors

Information for Employees

  • University's Emergency Paid Leave.
  • COVID-19 testing:
    • MTest. Employees who have Boynton Health as their primary care provider may be tested for COVID-19 at Boynton Health when clinically recommended or at the health care provider of their choice. Other employees may seek testing at their off-campus primary care provider or these trusted community testing facilitiesTo schedule COVID-19 testing visit boynton.umn.edu/ myboynton. If your symptoms are severe and need to be evaluated by a medical provider please call 612-625-3222.
  • COVID-19 Workplace Safety Training and Resource: from University Health and Safety includes how to report a safety concern, best practices, training resources, safe lab practices, and guidance for healthcare facilities
  • Safer Each Step poster: everyone in the University community has a responsibility to protect one another
  • Using a Cloth Face Mask: tips from University Health and Safety about use and cleaning of cloth face masks

Information for Communications Professionals

Back to top

Information for Working Parents

The University of Minnesota understands that balancing work and personal life is important, especially now. As campuses, colleges, and units plan to return many faculty and staff to on-campus or other University locations, supervisors and managers are asked to be patient and flexible and to remind parents of resources available to support them as they care for their children. 

The University Emergency Paid Leave for COVID-19 is intended only for situations when employees are unable to work or work remotely due to COVID-19-related illness, or when they need to quarantine or isolate as a result of exposure to COVID-19, care for someone who is ill with COVID-19, care for a child whose school or childcare is closed or unavailable, or help with the relocation of a college-age child due to COVID-19. This leave appears in MyU.

Sunrise Plan

The University has developed a "Sunrise Plan" that outlines a gradual reopening of limited functions on our campuses and other University sites. This is an intentional and comprehensive plan that is consistent with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). 

The University has developed this Sunrise Plan (the Plan) to assist University employees who need to return to campus to carry out their work and the Plan established a process to determine if a faculty or staff member qualifies to work on-site, what the steps are to achieve permission, and what requirements must be met if employees are working on campus or another University worksite. 

Sunrise Plan: Faculty and Staff Frequently Asked Questions provides answers to common questions from faculty and staff on employee relations, operational status, internet access, health and wellbeing, travel and events, respect and reporting bias, plus public health preparedness.

Other Resources

  • Employee Assistance Program provides assistance for employees who need support with job concerns, family stress, and other issues. This free program is provided through Sand Creek EAP, an AllOne Health company. All consultations are confidential. You can schedule a phone or video consultation by going to Allonehealth.com/sandcreekeap or calling 888-243-5744.
  • Across the University there are additional resources to support those who are balancing caregiving with work:
  • Support through the Wellbeing Program. You can find resources to help manage stress and enhance resilience through the Wellbeing Program, including phone or in-person coaching to support you.
  • Financial Counseling provides free, confidential help with your personal finances. All University of Minnesota employees are eligible, contact LSS Financial Counseling at www.lssmn.org/financialcounseling/UMN or 800-528-2926.

Back to top

FAQ on Human Resources and Return to Campus

Q: Can we compel someone to get tested and/or vaccinated for COVID-19?

A:  You can only encourage them to get tested and/or vaccinated.

Q: Do vaccinated employees still need to test and/or quarantine?

A: Fully vaccinated employees in healthcare and non-healthcare settings should still get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, and should still self-isolate if they have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 10 days or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Specific guidelines by setting are:

Fully vaccinated employees in non-healthcare settings:

1. Fully vaccinated but experiencing COVID-19 symptoms

2. Fully vaccinated with no COVID-19 like symptoms following an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19

      • Fully vaccinated faculty or staff member does not need to quarantine, be restricted from work, or be tested following an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, as their risk of infection is low.
      • Continue to monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days following an exposure.

Fully vaccinated employees in healthcare settings:

  • Faculty and staff working in healthcare setting should still monitor temperature and absence of symptoms each day before starting work.
  • If faculty and staff working in healthcare setting develop even mild symptoms consistent with COVID-19, they should either not report to work, or stop working and notify their supervisor prior to leaving work, be clinically evaluated for COVID-19, and tested if indicated.
  • If faculty and staff working in healthcare setting is found to be infected with COVID-19, they should be excluded from work until they meet all Return to Work Criteria. Testing results will impact when they may return to work and for which patients they might be permitted to provide care.

Q: What is a definition of “close contact” to a confirmed COVID-19 case in the workplace at which the unit HR or supervisor should notify employees?

A: If a fully vaccinated or unvaccinated employee who tested positive for COVID-19 was within six feet of other employees for greater than a total of 15 minutes within 24 hours (defined as “close contact”), a unit HR person or supervisor should contact those who have potentially been exposed. 

If a public health investigator reaches out to HR or a supervisor, action should be taken in coordination with the investigator. More guidance on COVID-19 in the workplace is available on Safe Campus.  

Q: How long does the University recommend for an employee to quarantine who was exposed to COVID-19?

A: A 14-day quarantine is still the preferred quarantine time period. Based on revised guidelines from MDH a 10-day quarantine is allowed if the exposure is not from a household contact and if the employee is not a healthcare worker. Learn more about quarantine times on the MTest webpage.

Employees have a number of options for taking paid leave due to COVID-19, including University Emergency Paid Leave, and should work with their supervisor and unit HR to create a quarantine plan based on their healthcare provider or public health investigator’s guidance.