Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Preparedness and Response
April 2nd, 2020 Announcement:
Update from Mike Borr with information on the following:
- Use of NDSU Facilities
- Housing and Dining Refund Information
- Parking Refund Information
- Outside Contractors
- Available Resources
Frequently Asked Questions
Below is a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding NDSU’s COVID-19 planning and response. Ongoing updates related to COVID-19 planning and response will be shared with the NDSU community via email and will also be added to this webpage dedicated to information on the novel coronavirus.
Where can I find more information on Residence life and Dining center operations?
Can I still access counseling services?
Due to COVID-19 and NDSU moving to all on-line classes for the rest of the semester, changes are being made to Counseling Center services.
The Center’s professional staff members will begin providing video counseling services for students as of Thursday, March 26th. To schedule an appointment, students should call the Center (231-7671) and we will work to get the person scheduled to talk to a counselor as soon as possible.
If you are concerned about someone else and would like to consult about how best to help this person, call the Center (231-7671) and one of the staff members will discuss your concerns with you.
In an effort to practice healthy social distancing, the Center will not be open for face-to-face operations for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis. We will be providing video support for students and telephone consultation for concerns about others during this time period.
If a student is in crisis, call the Center and we will have someone speak with the person as soon as possible for a crisis appointment via telephone or video. If help is needed outside of normal business hours, call the Center (231-7671) and FirstLink (the FM area 24-hour hotline) will answer the call and help deal with the situation (they can also contact the Center’s on-call counselor as needed). FirstLink can also be contacted by dialing 2-1-1, calling 701-235-7335 or 1-800-273-8255.
Please take care of yourself and others by following the North Dakota Department of Health guide for COVID-19 prevention; this information can be found in the COVID-19 updates section of the NDSU web page. General self-help information related to mental health concerns can also be found on the Counseling Center’s web site: https://www.ndsu.edu/counseling/.
What about registration for Summer and Fall 2020?
Registration for Summer and Fall 2020 semesters will continue as originally scheduled. Students can find the date they may begin to enroll for summer and fall semesters in Campus Connection:https://www.ndsu.edu/onestop/connect/appointments/
Students are still encouraged to connect with their academic advisor prior to registration. Individual advisors or departments have already likely been in contact via email with their plan for already scheduled appointments or remote advising options. Students are encouraged to reach out to their advisor, department, or contact the Career and Advising Center if they have questions about advising or registration (701-231-7111 or email@example.com).
How is COVID-19 impacting research at NDSU?
Questions about Disability Services Operations
Supervisor Questions Regarding Covid-19
Employee Questions Regarding Covid-19
I have accounting related questions on expenses and reimbursements.
Will campus facilities and services remain open?
Campus facilities will remain open as regularly scheduled to the best of their ability. Departments may change hours of operation due staffing availability and to accommodate remote working. Please contact departments directly. See March 21, 2020 update regarding operations.
Where can I find resources for teaching, working and learning remotely?
IT has created websites to assist students, staff and faculty for teaching, working, and learning remotely.
Teaching Remotely: https://www.ndsu.edu/its/lai_homepage/teaching_remotely/
Working Remotely: https://www.ndsu.edu/its/lai_homepage/working_remotely/
Learning Remotely: https://www.ndsu.edu/its/lai_homepage/learning_remotely/
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ACE Tutoring will have online tutoring available for our most popular courses starting Monday, March 23rd. All sessions will be held in a drop-in/group format via Blackboard Collaborate. More information, including the tutoring schedule, can be found on our website.
What about exchange visitor program?
Per instructions from the US State Department, NDSU has restricted upcoming appointments in the Exchange Visitor Program for all new visiting student researchers, visiting postdoctoral scholars, and visiting scholars, until at least June 1, 2020. (More information on instructions from the US State Department here: https://j1visa.state.gov/covid-19/).
We appreciate your understanding and recognize this may affect your research plans. If you have a visitor in the aforementioned group, please contact them and postpone their appointment until at least June 1, 2020 -- recognizing that this date could also change depending on updated guidance from the federal and state authorities.
What about Study Abroad programs?
As of March 11, NDSU cancelled all university-funded and sponsored international travel leaving the United States. All students already abroad were strongly encouraged to return to the U.S. We continue to monitor the situation. The federal government has provided the following guidance:
On March 19, the U.S. Department of State raised all international travel to a Global Level 4 Health Advisory –Do Not Travel.
On March 27, the CDC issued a Global COVID-19 Pandemic Notice.
On March 31, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged all U.S. citizens still abroad to make plans to return to the United States immediately based on increased travel limitations and restrictions regarding international travel options. Full details about the press conference can be found here.
Has NDSU implemented any travel restrictions?
Yes. NDSU community members who have traveled to any area with a Level 3 Travel Notice from the CDC must stay away from campus and self-monitor for 14 days. The situation is changing rapidly and the list of areas is subject to change. If you are returning from personal travel or have personal travel plans, monitor the travel recommendations at travel.state.gov and cdc.gov for updated information.
Prior to returning to campus after travel, we advise you to follow the procedures in place from the North Dakota Department of Health for proper steps regarding any self-monitoring that could be required. They have developed a survey process for additional guidance on monitoring and restrictions.
Note that travel is not recommended at this time.
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is the name for the disease caused by the recent spread of a Novel Coronavirus. Coronaviruses are a member of a large family of viruses. Many of them infect animals, but some coronaviruses from animals can evolve (change) into a new human coronavirus that can spread from person-to-person. This is what happened with the current novel coronavirus which causes the disease known as COVID-19. Diseases from coronaviruses in people typically cause mild to moderate illness, like the common cold. Some, like the SARS or MERS viruses, cause serious infections like pneumonia. The name of this new virus is SARS-CoV-2; the disease caused by this virus is known as COVID-19.
How does the virus spread?
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (spread easily), like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained, spreading continually without stopping.
The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in some affected geographic areas.
How can I protect myself from acquiring the virus?
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Be aware that facemasks are not recommended for healthy individuals.
What is NDSU doing to respond to COVID-19?
- Activating our Crisis Management Response Team, with representation from across campus that are monitoring the situation and preparing to respond to various scenarios.
- Staying in regular communication with state health officials. Regularly monitoring national and state organizations, including the Center for Disease Control (CDC), North Dakota Department of Health and Fargo Cass Public Health.
- Monitoring and reacting to changes in travel recommendations from official government agencies.
- Keeping our community informed by sharing best practices and expert guidance on public health infection control.
- For other questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
How is NDSU reducing the risk of exposure?
We have established a crisis management response team responsible for preparing, monitoring and reacting to the spread of this disease. The team is following the guidance of health officials to help in its efforts of preparation and response. In messages to the campus community, we have provided information about the international COVID-19 outbreak and steps being taken along with recommendations on how to minimize the risk of acquiring infection for this as well as the common cold and influenza. The CDC also provides guidance on this topic at these sites:
- How COVID-19 Spreads
- COVID-19 Symptoms
- Prevention and Treatment
- What to Do If You Are Sick With COVID-19
- Other Frequently Asked Questions About COVID-19
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
- shortness of breath
The CDC believes that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. The illness can be more serious for individuals with a weakened immune system, the elderly, or those with underlying respiratory problems. It could result in bronchitis and pneumonia.
What is the risk to pregnant women?
According to the CDC the risk to pregnant women is unknown. With viruses in the same family as COVID-19 and other respiratory infections, such as influenza, women have had a greater risk of developing serious illness. The CDC recommends women protect themselves from illness by:
- covering your cough
- avoid people who are sick
- washing hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol based hand sanitizer.
More information on this topic can be found on the CDC's website.
What if I am immunocompromised or have another chronic medical condition?
According to the CDC, it is possible that older adults and people with underlying chronic medical conditions such as immunocompromising conditions, chronic lung, heart or kidney disease, may be at risk for more severe outcomes related to COVID-19. It is recommended that if you have any underlying chronic medical condition, you consult with your doctor on ways to protect yourself.
It is currently the flu season in the US, and advice for those with chronic medical conditions is the same as always: Prevention is key! Wash your hands, avoid those who are coughing or sneezing, do not touch your face and clean frequently touched objects and surfaces. A mask is currently not recommended if you are healthy, but you should always check with your doctor about what's best for your specific situation.
What to Do if You Are Sick
Anyone who has returned from an affected region within the past 14 days and is sick with fever and a cough, or difficulty breathing, should seek medical care immediately and call ahead to the doctor’s office to inform them of recent travel and symptoms. Students with symptoms should call Student Health Service at (701) 231-7331. Faculty and staff should contact their primary healthcare provider.
What about stigmatization or bias related to the COVID-19?
Many of us are concerned about what the people in our communities may be experiencing, including possible stigmatization or discrimination based on racial bias or appearances. Please help others understand that the risk of coronavirus is not at all connected with race, ethnicity or nationality. Stigma doesn’t fight the illness and will hurt innocent people, but sharing accurate information during a time of heightened concern is one of the best things we can do to keep rumor and misinformation from spreading. Guidance is available from the CDC regarding this issue.
What other resources are available to learn more about COVID-19?
There are a variety of regularly updated resources available to those who want to learn more about COVID-19:
- US Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
- National Institutes of Health (NIH)
- World Health Organization (WHO)
- North Dakota Department of Health
- US Department of State
- European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)
For questions related to COVID-19, the North Dakota Department of Health have activated a hotline, which can be reached at 866-207-2880 from 7am to 10pm 7 days a week. Individuals who need medical advice should contact their health care provider.