Governor Walz signed Emergency Executive Order 20‐74 offer guidelines for continuing to reopen the economy and ensure safe non-work activities. The Executive Order 20-74 allows all programs that cannot be provided through distance learning to resume on-site education and training activities under specified safe conditions. The guidelines provided follow those already in place authorized by Emergency Executive Order 20-63, 20‐56, and 20‐52.
All students. However, all colleges must establish policies and procedures, including health screenings, that prevent sick students or institution staff and instructors from entering the institution for in‐person or on‐site activities.
Before resuming in‐person or on‐site activities, each college must have a COVID‐19 Preparedness Plan in place. The plan must follow the similar guidelines to those guidelines businesses follow in order to be allowed to be open staff on‐site. The guidelines include safe workplace standards set by Minnesota OSHA, and guidelines from the Minnesota Department of Health and the Center for Disease Control for classrooms, labs, or other areas that students and staff may visit. More information can be found at https://mn.gov/deed/newscenter/covid/safework/
In order to offer in-person activities or classes of 25 individuals or less (if those services cannot be provided through a distance learning model) postsecondary institutions must:
Establish and implement a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan (“Plan”). Each Plan must provide for the institution's implementation of Minnesota OSHA Standards and MDH and CDC Guidelines in their workplaces. A template COVID-19 Preparedness Plan, which covers the above requirements, is available as part of the Plan Guidance, available on DEED's website (https://mn.gov/deed/safework/). At a minimum, each Plan must adequately address the following areas:
Require distance learning wherever possible. All Plans must ensure that distance learning continues if possible. When in-person classes or activities are required, they should be limited to 25 individuals (including students, faculty, and staff).
Ensure that sick students and institution staff and instructors stay home. All Plans must establish policies and procedures, including health screenings, that prevent sick students or institution staff and instructors from entering the institution for in-person or on-site activities.
Social distancing. All Plans must establish social distancing policies and procedures set forth by the CDC and MDH. Plans must also include signage in common areas to discourage gathering. Additionally, plans should encourage all faculty, staff, students, and visitors to wear masks or face coverings.
Cleaning and disinfection protocols. All Plans must establish cleaning and disinfection protocols for areas within the institution where students and staff and instructors may visit, and provide an enhanced sanitizing, cleaning, and disinfecting regimen consistent with Minnesota OSHA Standards and MDH and CDC Guidelines for common areas.
Certification and signature Institutional leadership responsible for implementing the Plan must sign and certify the Plan, affirming their commitment to implement and follow the Plan.
Dissemination and posting A higher education institution must provide its Plan to all students and staff and instructors who will be in the building. The Plan must be posted in all classrooms, labs, or other places where students or staff and instructors may visit. Where physical posting is impracticable, the Plan can be posted electronically, provided that the Plan is disseminated to all students and staff and instructors.
Training Higher education institutions must ensure that training is provided to staff and instructors on the contents of their Plan and required procedures, so that all staff and instructors understand and are able to perform the precautions necessary to protect themselves and the students. This training should be easy to understand and available in the appropriate language and literacy level for all staff and instructors. Documentation demonstrating compliance with this training requirement must be maintained and made available to regulatory authorities and public safety officers, including the Office of Higher Education and Department of Health, upon request.