August 5, 2020
To the extent reasonably possible, provide guidance for Minnesota State colleges, universities, and system office on balancing the risks for all students, employees and other visitors regarding entering campus-enclosed facilities, including classrooms, offices and other building areas during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic presents an unprecedented challenge to the State of Minnesota in general and Minnesota State. The virus is highly contagious and potentially deadly. To safeguard the learning environment and the workplace, to the extent reasonably possible, students and employees are required to self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19, and stay home if sick or experiencing symptoms. Employees are required to report to their supervisor if they are sick. Students who are unable to attend class because they are sick or experiencing symptoms should contact the designated campus individual.
In addition, screening all Minnesota State employees, students and visitors for potential exposure to COVID-19 and symptoms of COVID-19 is a critical tool for minimizing potential exposure in the campus environment COVID-19. Accordingly, all colleges, universities and the system office are required to establish health screening procedures consistent with this operating instruction.
Colleges, universities and the system office will communicate and post the following advisory in a manner designed to reach all current students and employees, as well as visitors to the campus and system office facilities (please see communication plan guidelines for suggestions):
To protect the health and safety of students and employees from the direct threat resulting from the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace to the extent reasonably possible, Lake Superior College is requiring mandatory screening of all employees, students, contractors, and visitors prior to entering campus buildings for potential exposure to COVID-19 and symptoms of COVID-19.
Employees who refuse to complete the screening will not be admitted to the workplace, will be considered absent from work without approved leave during their regular assigned work time and may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including discharge. Employees who are absent from work without approved leave in these circumstances will be placed in no-pay status.
Students will not be permitted to enter campus buildings if they do not complete and pass the screening. Students who refuse to complete the screening and persist in entering campus buildings may be subject to the Lake Superior College student code of conduct and may be removed from campus.
Consistent with the Governor’s Executive Order 20-81, all employees, students, and visitors are required to wear face covering in all buildings as well as other designated spaces, except in locations or circumstances exempted under EO 20-81.
These operating instructions are subject to change.
These operating instructions apply to all employees, students and other visitors to campus, including vendors and contractors, who wish to enter campus buildings and other designated confined spaces on campus.
Health Screening Protocol and Requirements for Employees and Students
Every employee, student, and visitor to campus or the system office must complete the electronic health screening instrument adopted by Minnesota State each day prior to the initial entry to any college or university building or other designated confined campus space, including the system office. In the event that the electronic instrument is not available, a hard copy version of the electronic health screening instrument may be employed. Employees and students are required to answer the screening questions truthfully and correctly to the best of their knowledge.
Students who complete but do not pass the health screening are not authorized to enter campus buildings, and must contact the office designated by the college or university to discuss academic and student service options available to the student. Students who complete but do not pass the health screening and who reside in college or university residential facilities may be required to contact additional offices or individuals as directed by the college or university.
Employees who complete but do not pass the health screening are not authorized to enter the workplace, and must report to their supervisor using their regular call-in procedure. In addition, if the employee is not able to telework:
- The employee is expected to take affirmative steps to obtain a medical diagnosis as to whether they have, or still have, COVID-19.
- If Paid COVID-19 Leave is available and the employee is otherwise eligible, the employee may use Paid COVID-19 Health Leave as provided in the Paid COVID-19 Leave policy, while they are taking affirmative steps to obtain a medical diagnosis.
- If the employee is advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine based on the provider’s belief that the employee has COVID-19 or may have COVID-19, if Paid COVID-19 Leave is available and the employee is otherwise eligible, the employee may use Paid COVID-19 Health Leave as provided in the Paid COVID-19 Leave policy.
- If Paid COVID-19 Leave is unavailable or the employee is not otherwise eligible, the employee may use their accrued sick leave or unpaid medical leave while the employee is taking affirmative steps to obtain a medical diagnosis or while the employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine.
- If the employee obtains a medical diagnosis that they do not have COVID-19 (i.e., they tested negative for COVID-19 or a medical doctor or certified nurse practitioner determined that the employee does not have COVID-19 and may return to work), they are expected to provide evidence to Human Resources of the negative diagnosis, and return to work.
- If the employee obtains a medical diagnosis that they have COVID-19, they are expected to return to work under the following guidance (or as directed using current MDH or CDC guidelines):
If the employee had symptoms, they are expected to return to work after:
- Their cough, shortness of breath, and other symptoms are better, and
- It has been 10 days since they first became ill, and
- They have not had a fever for the last 3 days, without using fever-reducing medications.
Employees who refuse to complete the screening are not authorized to enter the workplace. Employees who refuse to complete the screening and who are assigned to work on campus will be considered absent from work without approved leave and may be deemed as refusing a work directive. Such employees:
- Must report to their supervisor using their regular call-in procedure or an alternative procedure established by the college or university and explain the circumstances of the employee’s refusal to complete the health screening.
- May be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including discharge.
- If the employee is not assigned by their supervisor to telework, the employee will be deemed absent from work without approved leave and may be placed in no-pay status until the employee returns to work after completing a health screening as required by this operating instruction or their job responsibilities no longer require screening under this operating instruction.
- Upon the first instance of refusing to complete the health screening, an employee may request a meeting with Lake Superior College for an explanation of the health screening requirement and to present the employee’s side of the story and/or explain the employee’s reasons for refusing to comply. Employees will be placed in pay status for the period of the meeting. The employee may have union representation at the meeting.
Students, Faculty, or Staff in Clinical Settings
Students and employees who participate in or facilitate i) the delivery of an education program that involves working with COVID patients in a clinical setting or ii) the delivery of college or university sponsored medical services to such patients, are required to complete the screening tool, but are allowed to come to campus, provided that i) these individuals wear appropriate personal protective equipment during all such contacts with COVID patients, ii) these individuals have not been in close contact with a positive or pending COVID case outside the clinical setting, and iii) they are not exhibiting symptoms. In these cases, individuals can answer “no” to the screening question related to being in close contact with COVID case.
Each college, university and system office is required to provide each individual completing the screening instrument with the following Tennessen Notice or its functional equivalent:
Lake Superior College using the using a health screening instrument as a conditions of entering campus buildings:
The data collected about you in this screening process is classified as private under the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act.
We will use this data to screen individuals before they enter campus buildings for potential COVID-19 related health risks to try to avoid the potential of spreading COVID-19. The data helps us to determine whether risk factors are present and whether you will be denied admission to campus buildings for the protection of Lake Superior College employees, students and/or other members of the public.
This is not a COVID-19 test and is not a determination of whether or not an individual is infected with, or has been exposed to, COVID-19.
This data will be gathered to determine whether to permit you to enter campus buildings. You are not legally required to provide this data. However, if you refuse to provide the data, you will not be admitted to the any campus buildings. If you are an employee, your refusal to provide the data may also result in employment consequences, as determined by the Lake Superior College and as set forth in the Lake Superior College Health Screening Policy. If you are a student, your refusal to provide the data may result in academic or student conduct consequences, as determined by the Lake Superior College. The data collected from you may be shared with the Lake Superior College HR staff, safety administrator, and supervisors and managers, authorized individuals at Minnesota State and other persons or entities authorized by law.
Confidentiality of Private Data
All health-related information gathered from the health screening will be treated as private, will be stored securely, and will not be stored or maintained in an employee’s individual personnel file, or in a student’s official academic records. Health-related information gathered from the health screening will be maintained for at least one year.
Colleges, universities and the system office are required to ensure compliance with the health screening criteria established in this operating instruction. Possible deployment strategies are listed below. The following are required expectations:
- The specific strategies and plan to deploy the screening tool must be added to the
Lake Superior College COVID-19 Pandemic Preparedness Plan and posted publicly as outlined in Executive Order 20-74. Consultation with local bargaining units and student associations must be completed prior to finalization. As plans and strategies evolve, the COVID-19 Pandemic Preparedness Plan should continue to be updated.
- Each college, university, and system office will publish a contact number for employees and students to report incidents of non-compliance. Each college and university will ensure that reports of non-compliance that provide credible evidence will be reviewed and initial action taken within two business days of the report.
Possible Deployment Strategies
- Colleges and universities that are able to effectively limit the number of access points to campus buildings could establish check-desks at such access points during regular business hours to check for compliance with the screening requirement before being allowed to enter.
- Additional screening points or check-desks could be established at various campus locations.
- Discuss with faculty, student affairs staff, student senate on strategies to communicate the importance of completing the tool with students through a variety of communication channels.
- Identify communications (electronic or written) where a screening tool notice should be added to make visitors aware of the expectation.