Housing Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates
Updated July 8, 2020
Community safety for all residents is a top priority and we are working closely with University leadership to manage COVID-19 response. Visit the Safe Campus website for the latest information.
We understand our residents are experiencing significant disruption in their personal and academic lives. Know that your University family cares deeply about you and is here to support you.
Will you be open this fall?
University Housing will be available this fall.
Living on campus is a core part of the University of Minnesota experience and we are committed to fostering a safe, diverse, and inclusive housing experience for students of all ranks this academic year. That said, things will look different this year. We’ll all share in the responsibility to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, from staying home if we don’t feel well to limiting large gatherings and respecting physical distancing guidelines.
While we have planned for multiple scenarios and contingencies, it is our expectation that we will be able to honor all applications for incoming first-year students received by June 1, 2020 as well as existing fall contracts for returning students.
Read more Fall 2020 FAQs
What can I do to be as safe as possible in my building?
All campus health and safety efforts are based on the most current science as well as guidance from federal, state and local health authorities. Visit the Safe Campus website for details on the campus wide measures to be taken and the requirements being put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19.
In addition to COVID-19, there will likely be members of our community with common colds, influenza, or other illnesses over the course of the semester. Remind yourself and others to slow the exponential spread of coronavirus and other illnesses by practicing good health habits.
- Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Keep a supply of hand sanitizer (as possible).
- Cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing.
- Clean all high touch areas in your room or apartment.
- Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid crowded areas and maintain six feet of distance between yourself and others.
- Wear a face covering (mask) when inside a campus building and when physical distancing is not possible.
- Get adequate rest and eat well.
- Stay home if you are sick. Self-isolate and contact Boynton Health or another healthcare provider for guidance.
How are buildings being cleaned?
We are following guidance from the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and will continue to adjust as new information emerges.
Our staff are cleaning high traffic points even more frequently than usual, including door handles, handrails, water filling stations, elevators, dining locations, laundry facilities, etc.
Find more information about University cleaning procedures, hand sanitizer availability and other guidance by visiting Facilities Management’s website.
This is a shared responsibility. Please do your part to keep your spaces clean and to avoid sharing spaces and/or equipment.
I moved out. What do I do with my keys and mail?
If you moved belongings from your room or apartment but did not leave your keys with your building’s Information Desk, please follow the steps below to return your keys:
1. Send your keys to the right place
Mail your keys to your building's information desk, c/o the building operations supervisor. The address for your specific building can be found at the top of the following pages: 17th Avenue, Bailey, Centennial, Comstock, Frontier, Keeler, Middlebrook, Pioneer, Radius, Sanford, Territorial, Wilkins, Yudof.
2. Make sure your keys are secure
It’s always best to attach keys to a piece of cardboard or something similar with masking tape. Unsecured keys can very easily ‘escape’ due to a torn envelope. If you’re sending a fob, consider wrapping it in a small plastic bag and using a padded envelope.
3. Leave us clear contact info
Enclose a note with your name, University ID (x.500), and room number in addition to the keys. This will expedite the key check process.
4. Consider using registered mail
Using registered mail or another postal insurance service allows you to track and ensure your keys get delivered.
Residents should fill out your mail forwarding information online.to ensure they receive their mail at the current address.
How does this situation impact my 2020 U.S. Census form?
If you normally live in a University residence hall or in a University-owned apartment, don't worry. We're already working with the U.S. Census Bureau to count our residents. You don't need to fill out a form or go online.
Note: You should be counted as an on-campus resident even if you are now living off-campus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you would have otherwise been living on campus during the spring semester, you should be counted as an on-campus resident. If you do not normally live with your parents during the school year, they should NOT include you in their census response.
Are masks required in my buidling?
Effective July 1, all University of Minnesota students, faculty, staff, and visitors are required to use a cloth face covering (mask) at all times when in any enclosed or indoor spaces on campus.
While there is an exception when you're inside your assigned on-campus residence hall or apartment, please note that face coverings are required in common spaces (hallways, bathrooms, dining, etc.). Additional campus exceptions:
- When eating or drinking; however, physical distancing must be practiced.
- When you are alone in a room or where a posted and official University notice indicates masks are not needed.
- When you are alone in a motor vehicle.
- If you are unable to wear a face covering while exercising at Rec Well or Athletics facilities.
- In labs or other places that instead require use of a respirator.
- If you require accommodations for health or disability reasons. On the Twin Cities campus, the Disability Resource Center can help identify needed accommodations.
The full face covering protocol (and extensive FAQ) can be found at the Return to Campus website.
The University is working to make two cloth masks available at no cost for each student. Check the Safe Campus website for updated information.
As a reminder, it is common in many cultures, including in the U.S., for individuals to choose to wear masks as a way to minimize direct contact with airborne pathogens. The wearing of a mask should not be interpreted as an indication that the wearer is ill.
What staff will be available in my building?
We recognize this time of social isolation and heightened health fears can take a toll and we want you to know that you are not alone. We have housing staff in the building who are an email, phone call, Google hangout, or Zoom meeting away. If you are feeling stressed or have experienced bias during this time, the University continues to provide bias response and mental health services.
Information desks are open daily from 8am-midnight.
- The desk may occasionally be closed due to staffing shortages.
- Mail and package services will continue. Be patient with any minor delays due to staffing shortages or carriers experiencing delays.
- The following shared items will continue to be available for checkout: cleaning equipment, kitchen items (must be cleaned prior to and after use), and temporary keys.
- Use your building's email account to reach out to staff
We continue to provide Community Advisors, at reduced staffing levels, and Residence Directors for all buildings.
- If you need any level of support, please reach out to the CA on duty or your building’s RD.
- CA hours are 4:30 am - 8 pm on weekdays and 24 hours on weekends.
- The CA on Duty is available for urgent issues like room lockouts. Their phone number is posted in your lobby.
We have requested additional Security Monitors. You may see them in lobbies or walking through the building in the evening and overnight.
How will we socially distance in my building?
To slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus, it is critical that we all do our part to keep physically apart from each other, or “socially distance.” This means staying at least 6 feet away from individuals with whom you do not share a room or apartment.
We know that you may still want to connect with others living in your building, but remember to maintain appropriate social distancing at all times. Be mindful and use good judgement for you and your neighbor’s benefit.
- Guests: We are asking that residents do not have guests in the building. If you want to socialize, we ask that you go outside and maintain the recommended level of social distance or take advantage of phone and virtual environments to connect with friends and family.
- Lounges and other hall spaces: You will see signs posted with maximum capacity recommendations to support social distancing in many community rooms. If you have any cold-like or COVID-19 symptoms, do not use the community spaces.
- Elevators: No more than two people should use an elevator at the same time.
I am not feeling well. What should I do?
The most common treatment recommendation for illness during the COVID-19 outbreak is rest, hydration, and isolation from others. At this time, the State of Minnesota has limited COVID-19 testing available.
- For anyone feeling ill or experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness of any kind — with fever and cough — the Minnesota Department of Health recommends you remain as isolated as possible in your room to prevent spreading it to others.
- When seeking care at your preferred healthcare provider (Boynton Nurse Line or your family doctor, an off-campus clinic, etc.), call ahead for guidance.
- Complete this form so that we may follow up with you to be sure you are receiving the support, medical attention, and resources needed.
- If you are having difficulty breathing or are unable to care for yourself please seek medical attention immediately or call 911.
We recognize this time of social isolation and heightened health fears can take a toll and we want you to know that you are not alone. We have housing staff in the building who are a phone call, Google hangout, or Zoom meeting away. If you are feeling stressed or have experienced bias during this time, the University continues to provide bias response and mental health services.
Will I have access to University Dining Centers?
Residential dining will continue on the from 11am – 6pm daily for residents with meal plans. Reduced dining center hours help minimize the number of trips you need to take to the dining center and ensure staff can focus services.
Service will continue in Middlebrook, Bailey, Pioneer, and 17th Avenue. (Comstock and Yudof residents will have access to Pioneer Hall; Sanford and Wilkins residents will have access to 17th Avenue).
- We recommend taking all meals To Go to support social distancing.
- Late Night Dining in Pioneer has ended.
- All campus retail dining locations are closed.
- During dinner service (4pm – 6pm), remember to take a To-Go breakfast for the next day.
- Email questions about dietary needs to M Dining dietician Jenna Brott at or ask for a manager at your dining center.
What should I do if I experience xenophobia?
We continue to provide Community Advisors, at reduced staffing levels, for all residents. If you need any level of support, please reach out to the CA on duty or your building’s Residence Director.
Disease does not discriminate. Racist behavior or stereotyping is not tolerated. If you experience harassment or discrimination, inform your CA on Duty. You can also report to the Bias Response & Referral Network.
Many University locations are closed at this time, only available to essential staff, or have limited services. Check websites for updates and details, including alternative services being offered.
- Boynton Health care is available. Call ahead for guidance before arriving.
- The Nutritious U Food Pantry is now available Mon-Fri at Coffman Union. Place your pickup order online.
- Programs supporting student mental health needs are available.
- Aurora Center services continue virtually
- University libraries are closed. Online library services are available to support alternative instruction.
- Student Unions have limited hours.
- Recreation and Wellness facilities are closed. See their website for virtual resources.
- University buses will run on a reduced schedule.
Be healthy, safe, and well.
The Taking Charge of Your Health & Wellbeing website offers an extensive set of articles, videos, and online activities (including online wellbeing assessments and goal setting) about ways to enhance your wellbeing.