Sunrise Plan for Return to Campus

Personal Travel

If you are traveling out-of-state, please note that some states have issued restrictions and additional guidelines. In Minnesota, the Minnesota Department of Health encourages individuals who are traveling from out-of-state to quarantine for 14 days regardless of their vaccination status. Additional information is available on the Workplace Guidance for COVID-19 page.

Information on Getting Vaccinated

You can find the most current information on COVID-19 vaccine distribution on the Spring 2021 Safe Campus website. Additional information on getting vaccinated and using the Emergency Paid Leave to take time to get vaccinated or recover from side effects are available from the Workplace Guidance for COVID-19 page.

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).

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.

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. 

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, 612-624-8647, or 800-756-2363.

Go to a helpful resource for return to campus:

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Workplace-Related Information

Toolkit for Supervisors

Information for Employees

Information for Communications Professionals

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Information for Working Parents

The University of Minnesota understands that balancing work and personal life is important, especially now. Parents have many questions, given a recent announcement from Gov. Walz on Minnesota K-12 schools. If needed, the Office of Human Resources will work with University senior leaders to develop additional guidance over the next few weeks in response.

In the meantime, 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. Leaves are still available for parents who need to take time away to care for children due to COVID-19, including the closure of daycare centers and K-12 schools.

Leaves That Support Parents

  • 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.

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 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.

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Safe-U Public Health Alerts

  • Safe-U Public Health Alerts: information on the response to COVID-19, plus links to past communications from President Gabel and other leaders

FAQ on Human Resources and the Sunrise Plan

Q: Will units be providing masks and gloves to our staff?

A: Cloth masks will be made available. They can be ordered from U-Market and the University will pay for two per employee. Other PPE will be the responsibility of individual units, depending on the needs of their work.

Q: Will employees who are concerned about coming to work be allowed to use sick time, vacation time or take a leave without pay?

A: Please reach out to your unit HR and supervisor to discuss your concerns and available leaves.

Q: Is there central coordination between all units and whoever is tasked with assuring that all employees receive the same information about returning to work?

A: The information is in the Sunrise Plan. Employees all have received the email with the link to the Plan.

Q: What steps should be taken to ensure that all researchers and staff can go back to work voluntarily, without coercion?

A: Returning to work is voluntary. For additional information, please see the email from July 10 from Provost Croson and Interim Vice President Horstman.

Q: How will additional cleaning be coordinated?

A: FM and UHS will be monitoring the approved requests to understand what buildings/spaces are being reoccupied.

Q: How will we handle employees asked to return to work who are in high-risk categories for complications from COVID-19?

A: Those individuals should go through their campus disability services office, such as the Disability Resource Center, to determine if an accommodation is necessary.

Q: Can we exclude staff that we know are immunocompromised from working with patients?

A: Please direct those that believe they are immunocompromised to go through their campus disability services (such as the Disability Resource Centeroffice to determine if an accommodation is necessary.

Q: Can we ask staff if they are immunocompromised?

A: Direct those that believe they are immunocompromised to go through their campus disability services office (such as the Disability Resource Centerto determine if an accommodation is necessary.

Q: How do we manage staff that can't work because they are immunocompromised and their job is to see patients?

A: Those individuals should go through their campus disability services office (such as the Disability Resource Centerto determine if an accommodation is necessary.

Q: Can we compel someone to get tested for COVID-19?

A:  You can only encourage them to get tested.

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 an 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.