Updated Coronoavirus (COVID-19) Information

Updated information and resources from Lake Superior College/Minnesota State regarding concerns over Coronavirus (COVID-19)

As LSC continues to receive updates from the Minnesota State system office and other government and healthcare partners, we will continue to share updated information with you via email, on this website www.lsc.edu/coronavirus, and through other official communication channels including LSC’s official social media. If you have questions about COVID-19 that are not addressed here, you can reach out via email: info@lsc.edu.

This situation is evolving rapidly and new information is constantly being updated. Please be sure to refer to this site and other forms of official communication from Lake Superior College to ensure information is accurate and updated.  The most up-to-date information can also be found through the Minnesota Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Latest Updates as of March 29, 2020

  • Per Minnesota State system, online classes will still resume on Monday, March 30, at all Minnesota State colleges and universities, including Lake Superior College, but in-person instruction is suspended for at least another two weeks. Please check your email. More info will be provided as soon as details are released from Minnesota State.
  • There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 within the Lake Superior College community. The Minnesota Department of Health is updating its reporting daily via its Situation Update for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
  • Top Priority: Lake Superior College is committed to taking the steps necessary to protect the health and safety of all students and employees, while also enabling students to complete spring semester and progress their educational goals.
  • Lake Superior College is committed to taking the steps necessary to protect the health and safety of all students and employees. LSC has an existing emergency communications team and has formed a COVID-19 Coronavirus Planning and Response Team that is meeting regularly and following guidelines from the Minnesota State system, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization, and Minnesota Department of Health.

Key Points as of March 27, 2020:

  • Lake Superior College, and all 37 schools within the Minnesota State system, have now extended spring break an extra two weeks. Classes will resume Monday, March 30 when classes will use alternative modes of delivery such as online formats for the remainder of spring semester. Specifics will be coming from individual instructors prior to class resuming on March 30. STUDENTS: Please check in with your courses on D2L or look for email notifications for important information from your instructors.
  • While there will be no academic classes during this extended spring break (on campus or online), some parts of campus will remain open. Sections of student support services will remain open, at least on a limited basis, and appropriately staffed during this extended spring break, except those that were already planning on being closed during the original spring break (such as the Tutoring and Learning Center and the Wellness Center). Student Services remain open with at least limited staff/limited hours. We recommend calling or emailing ahead and setting up an appointment when possible. You can now schedule virtual meetings completely online with the following departments:
  • Virtual meetings with an admissions representative are also available. Please schedule a virtual meeting and/or contact Admissions at enroll@lsc.edu if you have any questions about applying to LSC, scheduling a tour, or the admissions process.
  • Hours of operation through the extended spring break (until March 30):
    • The LSC Store will now be closed through the extended spring break.
    • The LSC Café will now be closed through the extended spring break.
    • Online appointments with librarians are available via the Erickson Library home page.
    • The LSC Student Payment office will be open Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    • The LSC Foundation is offering services by appointment. Please contact foundation@lsc.edu.
    • Once classes resume on March 30, hours will be adjusted once again and that information will be shared.
  • Effective immediately, any official school-related gathering must have less than 50 people, as long as social distancing can be adhered to. If possible, please adhere to the President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America by avoiding social gathering in groups of more than 10 people. This is effective until further notice.
  • Spring 2020 commencements at all Minnesota State system colleges and universities, including Lake Superior College, are canceled (per the memo sent by Interim Vice Chancellor Bill Maki on March 17, posted below). This also includes the Nursing Pinning Ceremony and other program-specific programs that would include a gathering of more than 10 people.

Updates about Travel & Returning to Campus

  • As of March 14, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated its Novel Coronavirus Travel Information. Most countries in Europe have now been designated at Level 3 (meaning avoid all unnecessary travel), along with China, Iran, and South Korea. The rest of the world, including the United States, has now been designated at Level 2 (practice enhanced precautions) as a Global Outbreak Notice.
  • All international travelers are being asked to self-isolate before returning to campus. See tips for self-isolating practices. In addition, if you plan on returning to work on campus, you must also email your supervisor to inform them of any recent travels and potentially explore options as appropriate for an alternative work arrangement (i.e., staying home, teleworking or staggering work schedules).

FAQs from Minnesota State system, also available in their website:

  • My extended spring break is going to be done soon and my classes were supposed to start on March 30.  Will that still be happening?

Yes.  The Stay At Home order named Minnesota State and its 37 colleges and universities “essential services.” All instruction, whether online or through an alternative format, will continue. Students should watch their emails for further information from their instructors about their specific classes.

  • If my class is moved from face-to-face to online, will I get a discount or refund?

Minnesota State is implementing alternative modes of delivery that will minimize person-to-person interaction while allowing students to complete Spring semester courses. Although the delivery mode of a course and the way services are being delivered are changing as a result of this unprecedented situation, we have established a path to allow students to complete spring semester 2020. As such, upon completion of the semester, students will receive credit for completing their courses.

  • Will libraries and computer labs be open to those of us staying in campus housing during the Stay At Home order?

Yes. All instruction and student support services will be available while the Stay At Home order is in effect. That includes libraries, computer labs, and student support. (Some of those services could be delivered online and/or on campus, but services should remain available)

  • I’m a student and I am very stressed or anxious about this situation. Where can I get help?

This is a challenging time and many of us are feeling stress or anxiety. United Healthcare is offering a free emotional support help line for all students through Optum, one of their subsidiary companies. Their 24/7 toll-free helpline number, (866) 342-6892, is free of charge and open to any student.

  • I am an employee.  Will I get paid during the Stay At Home?

At this time yes, but how you get paid depends on your individual situation. At this time, Minnesota State intends to provide paid leave to employees who are being directed to stop performing their job duties by a Stay At Home directive. Unless directed to continue working by your supervisor, either as an essential employee or working remotely, employees who report their hours should begin to charge their time to payroll earnings code, CVD – Covid-19 Paid Leave.

Employees who do not regularly report their hours of work, but do report absences from work (faculty and administrators for example), should report this time as CVD – Covid-19 Paid Leave if they are directed to stop working.  Paid COVID-19 Leave is authorized in place of the employee’s normal work schedule until the shelter-in-place order is lifted or you are otherwise notified to return to work.

I’m an employee and I am very stressed or anxious about this situation. Where can I get help?

Employees may seek support through the Employee Assistance Program available at no cost.

When courses resume on March 30, what are the expectations around alternative modes of delivery?
When classes resume, they will not simply go on as before. In determining the appropriate alternative course delivery approach for each course, academic leaders should work with their faculty to explore the options below, listed in priority order:

  1. Migrate the course to an online format within D2LBrightspace.
  2. If option 1 is unviable, migrate the course to an alternative synchronous format such as ZOOM or other conferencing technologies.
  3. If option 2 is unviable, migrate the course to an a-synchronous format, using email correspondence or other forms of non-synchronous technology or communication.
  4. If the full course cannot be delivered in one of the above manners and must retain a face-to-face component, the course must be adapted to reduce contact time, ensure social distancing, and reduce personal interactions and/or contact time.
    1. Strategies for this adaptation include, but are not limited to:
      1. Moving non-applied components of the course to one of the formats enumerated above
      2. Reducing hours in the lab/classroom
      3. Implementing special safety and separation precautions (i.e., minimum of 6 feet buffer zones, etc.)
      4. Splitting of sections into smaller groups
      5. Expansion of lab availability, staggering students across time

Assessment and Final Examinations

  • Course assessments and final examinations must be adapted to the new method of instruction.
  • Face-to-face assessments and final examinations should only be used for those limited courses that cannot be fully delivered in a non-classroom format.

What about students who have no or limited access to technology or broadband?
Equity in access to technology has been a primary concern as we move courses to alternative delivery modes. Minnesota State has asked campuses to remain open to students so that they can campuses resources, including broadband, computer labs, and technology.

What will occur with concurrent enrollment courses?
Academic and Student Affairs staff have been in communication with Minnesota Department of Education, and they are developing guidance on how to proceed. We are also developing guidance and are in communication with NACEP. We will follow up once we have more information.

What if students are unable to complete course and/or program requirements this semester?
Faculty should work with students who have program requirements disrupted because of the suspension of normal in-person classes or the closure of a host organization, such as a business, clinic, hospital, or school where off-campus learning occurs. Minnesota State will be in contact with state licensing agencies to work on behalf of colleges and universities to address these situations, though that does not preclude individual campuses contacting those agencies when needed.

Update from Lake Superior College Human Resources

Updated information regarding new codes for tracking time spent on pandemic planning and paid leave related to Covid-19.  Additional information can be found in the Tracking COVID-19 Activities and Absences Reference Guide.

C19 – COVID-19 Mitigation Planning:  AVAILABLE NOW

  • Who Should Use It:  Employees involved with work activities related to COVID-19 planning and mitigation for Minnesota State or any of its institutions; this would including meetings, phone calls, conferences, development, and activities.
  • When it Should Be Used:  Mitigation Planning Code is available for use effective February 19 and will be available until pandemic planning efforts cease, as determined by system leadership.

CVD – Paid COVID-19 Leave: IN DEVELOPMENT; WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR PPE 3/31

  • Who Should Use It:  Employees using paid leave for reasons related to COVID-19.  Reasons include K-12 School Closures/Child Care Needs, Health Leave for Employees and Dependents, Distance Leave due to required quarantine and institution closure.
  • When it Should Be Used:  Paid COVID-19 Leave is available for use effective March 18 and will be available until the COVID-19 peacetime emergency is terminated.

Here is a link to information that can be shared with employees. If you have questions or concerns, please contact your direct supervisor and/or the administrator in charge of your department. If they’re not able to answer your question, please feel free to contact Judi or LeAnn in the HR department. Thank you.