Be well. Be prepared.
This year has been unlike any other, but students, staff, and faculty alike stepped up to take vital prevention measures seriously and slow the spread of COVID-19. We welcome new and returning residents to join our continued commitment to the health and safety of everyone on campus. Follow health and safety precautions and remember to lies low, get tested, and isolate.
We are all in this together. Remember that this dynamic situation continues to be a stressful time for many members of our community. Be respectful and kind to one another. Check back regularly for the most current information, email specific questions to [email protected], and visit the Safe Campus website for more University information.
Campus Mask Guidelines
As of May 14, masks are no longer required indoors on campus if you are fully vaccinated (at least two weeks after a second Pfizer/Moderna dose or a single Johnson & Johnson dose). This policy applies to all Housing & Residential Life communities.
According to CDC guidance, continue wearing masks/face coverings if you are not fully vaccinated.
Keeping our campus safe continues to be a community effort. If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, find a vaccine. People who are fully vaccinated may choose to continue wearing a mask, and we remind all residents to be respectful.
Symptoms or Concerns?
Remember, those who contract COVID-19 are infectious beginning 48 hours before they develop symptoms—and some people never develop symptoms. DO NOT wait until you receive a positive test result to inform the University of your symptoms or exposure to an individual with the virus. Remain as isolated as possible in your assigned room to avoid spreading illness until you receive your test results and further direction from health professionals.
Quickly moving into isolation or quarantine housing is essential for reducing the spread of COVID-19 in our campus community, and University staff are here to support you. Current residents who are feeling ill or experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness of any kind—with fever and cough—should:
- remain as isolated as possible in your room to avoid spreading illness to others
- complete the Boynton Health screening form
- visit MyBoynton to schedule covid testing (or contact a personal health care provider)
Health and Safety
All campus health and safety efforts will be 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 spread of coronavirus and other illnesses by practicing good health habits and wearing masks.
- 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.
If you can, plan to bring a personal thermometer, so you can monitor your health. Everyone’s “normal” temperature is different but if you notice significant changes this may indicate the start of illness. Generally, anything over 100.4F/38C would indicate a fever.
This is a dangerous phase of this pandemic, and testing for COVID-19 is a key part of controlling the spread. Many people are spreading the virus before they know they have it, and even small groups have risks. Get tested and keep doing your part to slow the spread and protect your campus and home communities.
Any student currently living in on-campus housing who is feeling ill or experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness of any kind—with fever and cough—should:
- remain as isolated as possible in your assigned room to avoid spreading illness to others,
- complete the Boynton Health screening form
- visit boynton.umn.edu/myboynton to schedule covid testing (or contact your personal health care provider)
Protect yourself and others by washing hands, masking, and staying six feet apart.
Remember that community spread is most likely to happen in gatherings of all sizes, and COVID-19 testing only provides a snapshot of a moment in time. An individual infected with COVID-19 can still have a negative test result due to the timing of the testing process.
Review the On-Campus Student Flowchart to see the full process and key terms.
We encourage all residents to get a COVID-19 test to know their COVID status and prevent the spread of the virus. Remember, those who contract COVID-19 are infectious beginning 48 hours before they develop symptoms—and some people never develop symptoms.
Testing occurs Monday-Friday in a secured area at the Recreation and Wellness Center.
Find free commuity testing locations across the state.
Housing & Residential Life works in close partnership with Boynton Health to address cases of COVID-19 that arise in our residential communities. Boynton staff work with HRL if a student receives a positive test result or is confirmed to have been in close contact with someone with a positive COVID case. On-campus residents have access to isolation and quarantine spaces, which HRL manages following guidance from the CDC, MN Department of Health, and Boynton Health.
- If you have a roommate and your roommate tests positive, you must quarantine for 14 days.
- If you are exposed to a positive case outside of your household (i.e., an individual with whom you do not live with), this is the safest option for reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
As Housing & Residential Life can quickly isolate and quarantine roommates, this option will be considered only when a student:
- takes a COVID-19 test 7 to 10 days after exposure and receives a negative test result;
- has no symptoms; and
- complies with Boynton Health Quarantine and Isolation Support Team instructions.
As it may be difficult to stay away from others, and due to how students live and interact inside residence halls, Boynton Health and Housing & Residential Life will not be providing a 7-day quarantine option in accordance with Minnesota Department of Health guidelines.
On-campus housing residents who have tested positive will receive guidance from Boynton Health and Housing & Residential Life on isolation housing.
Students will be released from isolation by medical professionals when they have recovered and are no longer displaying symptoms.
We are following guidance from the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and will continue to adjust as new information emerges. Staff are cleaning high traffic points even more frequently than usual, including door handles, handrails, water filling stations, elevators, dining locations, laundry facilities, etc.
Community bathrooms are cleaned by building custodians on a routine basis with increased frequency. As an additional preventive measure, some sinks will be deactivated to support distancing in community bathrooms.
We will provide disinfectant cleaner in laundry rooms, community kitchens and computer labs for resident use between professional cleaning and sanitation. Hand sanitizer will also be provided in high traffic areas such as building lobbies as well as in or near single-user restrooms.
This is a shared responsibility. Please do your part to keep your spaces clean and to avoid sharing spaces and/or equipment. Note: Surfaces within private living areas and private bathrooms are cleaned by the residents of those units.
Find more information about University cleaning procedures, hand sanitizer availability and other guidance by visiting Facilities Management’s site.
Face Coverings (Masks)
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, face coverings are required in all common spaces (hallways, bathrooms, dining, etc.). Face coverings are also required inside assigned rooms if any guests are in the space (following the guest policy) and if building staff need to enter to fulfill maintenance or other requests.
The University's full face covering protocol can be found on the Safe Campus website.
What if I only leave my room briefly?
Yes, you need to wear a face covering any time you leave your room, regardless of how long you are out of your room or if anyone else is present (e.g., quickly walking across the hall or going to the water fountain).
The University’s face covering protocol requires use of face coverings at all times when in any enclosed or indoor space on University campuses and properties. While the protocol includes an exception for roommates inside their assigned room, face coverings are required for everyone in the room when guests are present to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Additionally, maximum occupancy rules should always be followed. Look for signage in common spaces like lounges, study rooms, and elevators.
What if I am in my room (alone or with a roommate) with the door open?
You do not need to wear a face covering as long as you are not closer than 6ft from the open door. If someone comes to your doorway to speak with you, you should put on a face covering.
If you are alone in a community room with a closed door (e.g. small study room) you do not need to wear a face covering. You should have a face covering with you to wear if someone comes to the door.
You should wear a face covering if you are in a lounge with no door or an open door where anyone could walk into at any point to protect yourself and others.
Eating in community spaces
You may remove your face covering to eat or drink. The face covering should be removed only for the amount of time it takes to take a bite of food or drink of beverage and then immediately put back on again.
You should wear a face covering while in a community bathroom unless you are actively showering, brushing your teeth, or washing your face.
Time without a face covering should be minimized as much as possible and physical distancing should be followed whenever possible.
We are proud to offer our residents a safe and stable environment to live while pursuing their academic goals. However, it is critical that we all do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19 by staying at least 6 feet away from others. This means the opportunity to make connections with other students may take more time than it would in a typical year.
That said, limiting in-person contact does not mean you need to be emotionally isolated. We encourage students to set up lots of calls and virtual hangouts with friends and family to stay connected to your support network. Additionally, HRL building teams and campus resources remain available to provide individual student support for mental health and wellbeing.
In your building
Your Community Advisor and other Housing staff are an email, phone call, Google hangout, or Zoom meeting away. All activities provided by Housing & Residential Life will be virtual. This spring, residents will be able to use our Groups program to create small activities and meet other residents with similar interests.
Residents also have access to use community spaces in their assigned building (e.g. lounges, tech labs, laundry, etc.) at any time, respecting posted occupancy and other requirements. 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, respectful, and use good judgement for you and your neighbor’s benefit.
Visit the following websites for additional U of M resources and to find opportunities to get involved with the Golden Gopher community:
Each of our buildings has a dedicated team of people to support you.
- Each floor has a Community Advisor, an upper division student motivated to help you shape a healthy and unique college experience.
- Fellow U of M students staff Information Desks and Tech Lounges
- On-site staff includes a Business Operations Supervisor, a Residence Director and Assistant Residence Director (who both live in the building), and a facilities team.
We recognize this time of social isolation and heightened health fears can take a toll. We have staff in each building who are an email, phone call, Google hangout, or Zoom meeting away. Students can also call the U of M Crisis Line at 612-301-4673 anytime or text "UMN" to 61222 on evenings and weekends.
Additional campus resources
Our Community Behavioral Standards reflect a respect for the rights and responsibilities needed to foster engaged and inclusive community living experiences. Our staff partners with residents to create a culture where students can communicate with each other about concerns regarding noise and other personal behaviors. This includes respecting the University's face covering requirements and physical distancing guidelines.
Residents who violate these standards, go through the Housing Student Conduct process and may be sanctioned. This process is designed to be educational rather than punitive and emphasizes the importance of personal responsibility, the value of fairness, and the crucial role of honesty for all members of the University community.
We encourage all students to know their rights and what is expected of them as residents.
Contracts and Dining
2021-2022 contract terms and provisions will be reviewed and approved by the University Board of Regents by June.
Can I cancel my contract?
Review contract release information. We are happy to discuss your options to cancel your housing and dining contract, if you are no longer interested in living on campus.
Students must use the OpenTable reservation system whether dining in or taking their meal to go. This system improves physical distancing, manages room occupancy, and decreases wait times. If needed, allergen-friendly meals may be ordered online through GrubHub.
Visiting the Dining Hall
- Use OpenTable and arrive within 10 minutes of your scheduled time.
- Do not wait for seating. If no seats are available, you will need to exit the dining hall with your meal.
- Wear a face covering and maintain at least six feet of distance from others.
- Use clean to-go containers when visiting food stations. Dirty containers may be exchanged at the dining entrance.
- Follow all signage and decals noting where you may sit. Do not move tables and chairs.
- Only assigned roommates are allowed to dine together. Note: booths are limited to two people.
- Only remove your face covering to eat or drink. Be sure to put your face covering on as soon as you are done eating and as you exit the area.
- Limit your dining time 30 minutes. Exit as soon as you are done with your meal to free up a table for other diners.
- Sit at a table with a green “clean” disk and flip the disk to “dirty” as you are leaving to signal to staff that the table is ready for to be sanitized.
Expectations and Consequences
We expect students to follow the Maroon and Gold Sunrise Plan as the best way to keep themselves and others safe and healthy. Students will receive a Maroon and Gold Sunrise Plan violation if they fail to comply with the dining requirements, which are processed by Housing & Residential Life.
Building occupancy was changed in order to support community safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. Both single and double rooms will be available in residence halls with no more than two people occupying rooms.
We’ve taken steps to help roommates share living spaces successfully while mitigating risks associated with COVID-19. All adjustments are based on guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH).
- Rooms were measured to ensure there is enough space to maintain the recommended 6 feet of physical distance while occupying your room at the same time as your roommate.
- Beds are placed so you’ll be able to sleep with your head at least 6 feet away from your roommate.
- Do your part to keep personal spaces clean by keeping a supply of hand sanitizer and other cleaning supplies in your room.
- Enhanced cleaning and signage in common areas will help remind community members about safety outside your room
Xenophobia and Bias
Disease does not discriminate and racist behavior or stereotyping is not tolerated.
If you experience harassment or discrimination, reach out to your Community Advisor or your building’s Residence Director. You can also report to the Bias Response and Referral Network.
Our Community Behavioral Standards reflect a respect for the rights and responsibilities needed to foster engaged and inclusive community living experiences.