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Faculty/Staff information for Coronavirus (COVID-19)



Are online care benefits available for employees who do not want to go to a Medical Clinic for care?


Online Care clinics provide access to a health care provider via the internet, regardless of your location or access to a certain care system.

  • The benefit is designed to function like the in-network Convenience Care Benefit without the confines of office walls.
  • The Online Care Benefit is provided without referrals, is not subject to the annual deductible, and is provided at a $0.00 copay, regardless of your cost level.
  • If you are a member of BlueCross or HealthPartners you have access to Doctor on Demand and/or virtuwell.
  • If you are a member of PreferredOne you have access to virtuwell and/or MDLive.

Advantage BlueCross BlueShield of MN (800-262-0819)  Advantage HealthPartners (888-343-4404)   Advantage PreferredOne (800-997-1750)

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Can employees telework?


By the end of the day Friday, March 20, 2020, all employees whose positions lend themselves to teleworking, are required to begin teleworking from offsite locations. Only those employees whose positions are not capable of being completed through teleworking will continue to report to campus. . Flexibility will be giving to changing schedules or hours of work, working some from home and some from campus (if needed to be here), etc. Please work with your supervisors

Faculty should work with their Deans to work out a plan. The Dean will then need to work with HR.

ASF and classified staff should work with their supervisors on an alternative work plan. The supervisor should then work with HR.

A detailed email will be sent to supervisor March 18, 2020.

Because of the rapid developments of responses to COVID-19, every department should be making plans on how to provide the needed services to students through virtual delivery.

For positions that do not lend themselves to telework, discussions should take place with your supervisor about options for your work hours and schedules.

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If I traveled, should I self-quarantine?

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International Travel Information


Given the risks associated with COVID-19, Minnesota State Chancellor Devinder Malhotra has made a decision to suspend all Minnesota State-related international travel effective immediately. This includes study abroad programs, and any other SMSU-sanctioned activities involving faculty, staff, and students.

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Is there a suspension on domestic travel?


Out-of-State travel is suspended as of March 16, 2020.

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Housekeeping Items

  • This spreadsheet should be used to track any expenses related to COVID 19 that your office/program budget has incurred. We do have a separate cost center to which we will move approved expenses. For example the costs associated with travel that could not be refunded.
  • If you have student workers or graduate assistants that have worked on pandemic planning or COVID19 items, please track their hours worked on those activities on this spreadsheet also. For example, this the TRC workers helping to get laptops ready or he public safety students who have placed signage on doorways, etc.
  • For employees (faculty and staff), the system has created new codes to use in the ISRS e-timesheet system to record time spent on pandemic planning and/or administrative leave related to COVID-19. The COVID-19 leave rule changes are in effect as of March 18, so no changes should be made retroactively prior to March 18. Please refer to the Tracking COVID-19 Related Activities PDF.
  • For payments that need to be made to vendors, the approval of an invoice can be done through email while we are teleworking.
    • The email should include the following information
      PO # _________________ Final Payment? Yes or No
      Amount Approved ___________________________
      Date Items Received:__________________________
      Date Approved ______________________________
      and the PO# is P0xxxxx.
    • If you are able to scan and attach the invoice and email approval, please follow the usual Marketplace process. Otherwise, email the invoice with your approval to
  • If you will be on campus, please have your SMSU ID with you. Students, staff and faculty are welcome on campus as needed but we want to eliminate the general public as much as possible for the health and safety of our students, staff, and faculty. Therefore, our Public Safety personnel, may ask you to identify who you are so as to understand if you should be on campus or not.
  • If you want to transfer or forward your office phone to your home phone or cell phone, there are various options available. Please contact the Technical Resource Center (TRC) at 6111 to discuss the various options that best fits your situation.
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Virtual Learning regarding remote work

Virtual Learning: Essential strategies and skills for teleworking

Whether you lead a team or are a team member, take advantage of these two virtual learning courses to help you boost productivity and work more efficiently from a distance.

Essential Skills for Managing Remote Workers

This course equips managers and supervisors to understand the demands of remote employees, how to coach them, and strategies to lead during a crisis. FREE

  • Tuesday, March 24 from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
  • Wednesday, March 25 from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
  • Friday, March 27 from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Essential Skills for Remote Workers

This course provides practical guidance for teleworkers to learn the essential strategies and skills to produce your best work with the least amount of disruption to your work life balance. FREE

  • Tuesday, March 24 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.
  • Wednesday, March 25 from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Friday, March 27 from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

How to Register?

Courses are available for the first 50 people who register. Register through Self Service. Select ELM. Select Find My Learning. Type “Essential” in the Search Finder bar and look for the course title.

  • Collaborate.
    Join an interactive virtual classroom to learn essential strategies and skills on teleworking.
  • Learn strategies.
    Join an interactive virtual classroom to learn essential strategies and skills on teleworking.
  • Gain best practices.
    Gain best practices for collaborating with your colleagues, staying connected with your manager, staying focused on your work, and keeping a work life balance.


Contact ETD at or 651-259-3646.

We are monitoring demand for the course and will continue to offer more dates as needed.

To request a reasonable accommodation and/or alternative format of this document, email ETD or call 651-259-3646.

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Supervisor Information

Late in the afternoon of March 17,2020, Chancellor Malhotra sent a memo to Leadership Council regarding staffing continuity of operations/mandatory telework and flexible work options during the COVID-19 outbreak. Until further notice, all college and universities are directed to take immediate action to implement telework for all employees unless work responsibilities require an employee to be physically present on site. With the exception of the employees whose duties must be performed on site, all employees are expected to work from a remote location by the end of the business day on Friday, March 20, 2020.

MMB Telework Policy

  • Supervisor will need to create a remote workplace plan for their department by Friday, March 20, 2020 (see example).
  • Supervisor and employee will need to create a plan detailing how the duties of the employee will be met through telework or a combination of telework and on-campus presence by Friday, March 27, 2020 (see template).
    • Many of our employees have young children at home or other barriers that make it challenging to work remotely during their normally scheduled shift. Please keep this in mind as you meet with employees and try to accommodate by changing days of work, shifts, or hours of work.
  • Supervisors must inform employees if they are required to report to campus. Any on-campus presence must be identified in the work plan.
  • Employees cannot elect to be on campus unless required as per their work plan. However employees may come to campus to pick up work, if needed.
  • Work plans are fluid and may change or be updated as needed.
  • Remote working will change the nature of the job as there may be less interruptions. Below is a list of suggested other duties that can be assigned to employees so they are able to fulfill the required hours of their normal workday.
  • Please consider options for employees in positions that are required to be on campus to maximize social distancing such as adjusting work schedules, staggering shifts, moving to separate offices, etc.
  • We are recommending supervisors set up weekly Zoom meetings or conference calls with employees.

Other duties may include, but are not limited to:

  • Assigning on-line ELM training through the State of Minnesota Self Service
  • Create position manuals which document employees duties and how to perform them (great for succession planning)
  • Update departmental forms
  • Update department webpages
  • Process workflow documentation
  • Review departmental policy and procedures through an equity lens
  • Update position descriptions
  • Projects that have been put on hold
  • Assist other departments outside of current position that are in need of additional help

Thank you for your efforts to continue service to our students during this difficult time. Your patience and partnership is greatly appreciated.

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Telework Contacts

Technology Resource Center

Center for Online Learning and Teaching (COLT)

BA 539, Southwest Minnesota State University
1501 State St.
Marshall, MN 56258

Last Modified: 10/19/20 11:06 AM