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Current COVID-19 Guidance

SMSU is monitoring local conditions on a daily basis and following guidance from the CDC, MN Department of Health and the Minnesota State System. The following guidance is provided to ensure our entire campus community has a welcoming and safe environment.

SMSU students who have been exposed to a COVID-19 positive case or have tested positive should follow the guidelines for quarantine and isolation. Students should complete the Student COVID-19 Self Report to notify the Office of the Provost of their exposure. Students may call 507-537-6246 if they have questions about quarantine or isolation.


Isolation and Quarantine Guidance

For those Testing Positive for COVID-19: 

  • Isolate – regardless of vaccination status
  • Stay home for at least 5 days
  • If you don’t have symptoms or your symptoms are resolving, and you are fever free without fever reducing medication, you can leave your house after 5 days
  • Wear a mask around other for an additional 5 days

For those Exposed to someone with COVID-19: 

  1. You are Up-to-Date with COVID-19 vaccination
    • Meaning:
      • Been boosted
      • Had two doses of Pfizer or Moderna in the last 5 months
      • Had the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the last 2months
    • Then:
      • You do not need to stay home
      • Wear a mask for 10 days
      • Test on day 5, if possible
      • If you develop symptoms, get tested and stay home
  2. You are NOT Up-to-Date with COVID-19 vaccination
    • Meaning:
      • Had two doses of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine over 5 months ago and are not boosted
      • Had only one dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine
      • Had the Johnson & Johnson vaccine over 2 months ago
      • Are unvaccinated
    • Then:
      • Stay at home for 5 days – Quarantine.  Wear a mask around others for an additional 5 days.
      • If you cannot quarantine, you must wear a mask for 10 days.
      • Test on day 5, if possible
      • If you develop symptoms, get tested and stay home

CDC resources:    



The university needs all community members to adhere to best practices for protecting their own health and the health of others. As such, all faculty, staff and students on campus and all visitors will be expected to follow health and safety protocols.

Well Fitted Masks

  • Current Community Levels in Lyon County are low and no longer warrant wearing a mask indoors. People may however choose to mask at any time.  People with symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19 should wear a mask in accordance with current CDC Guidelines for Isolation and Quarantine.

Wash your hands often

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available,  use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching  your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Cover coughs and sneezes

  • If you are wearing a well fitted mask: You can cough or sneeze into your well fitted mask. Put on a new, clean well fitted mask as soon as possible and wash your hands.
  • If you are not wearing a well fitted mask:
    • Always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or use the inside of your elbow and do not spit.
    • Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Immediately  wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Clean and disinfect

  • Clean high touch surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  • If someone is sick or has tested positive for COVID-19, disinfect  frequently touched surfaces. Use a household disinfectant product from  EPA’s List N: Disinfectants for Coronavirus (COVID-19)external icon according to manufacturer’s labeled directions.
    • If surfaces are dirty, clean themusing detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

Physical Distancing

  • Classrooms have returned to pre-covid capacity limits. If distancing is possible within the classroom, student should sit at least 3 feet but preferably 6 feet from each other.  Where distancing is not possible, a seating chart is recommended so that student consistently sit in the same seat for contact tracing possibilities.
  • If a student tests positive within a classroom, the entire class will not be required to quarantine. If close contacts cannot be established, all student should monitor for symptoms.  See the quarantine guidelines for those who are vaccinated versus those that are unvaccinated.
  • Unvaccinated individuals should strive to maintain a 6 foot distance at all times if possible.

Monitor your health daily

  • Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or  other symptoms  of COVID-19.
  • Take your temperatureif symptoms develop.
    • Don’t take your temperature within 30 minutes of exercising or after taking medications that could lower your temperature, like acetaminophen.
  • Follow  CDC guidance if symptoms develop.

Stay home when sick

  • Individuals who are feeling sick should not come to campus.
  • Individuals who become ill while they are on campus must go home.
  • Students who are ill should be directed to return to their home or residence hall room.
  • Individuals should contact their health provider if necessary.



International Travel

Student travel

For international student travel commencing on or after May 1, 2022, campus presidents have the authority to review and approve travel to destinations listed at a level 1 or level 2 travel advisory from the US Department of State. For destinations listed at a level 3 or above, system procedures 3.41.1 and 5.19.3 continue to apply: requests for international student travel must be submitted for review by the chancellor. Those requests should be submitted to Nate Hallanger ( Requests for travel to countries at level 3 or above will be expected to demonstrate that a thorough risk assessment has been undertaken for the program prior to and during the travel period of the program, in addition to providing standard information about the proposed travel (dates, numbers of travelers, academic requirements that the travel might fulfill, etc.).

Employee travel

For employee travel, campus presidents can now approve international travel to countries under a level 1 or level 2 travel advisory from the US Department of State ( Travel to level 3 or level 4 countries will continue to require prior approval from the system office (System Procedure 3.41.1, Requests for employee travel to level 3 or level 4 countries should be submitted to Eric Davis, Vice Chancellor for Human Resources (, along with a presidential endorsement of the request. 

Out of State Travel

Out of state travel continues to require prior approval by the President of the University.

Last Modified: 2/7/23 10:45 AM | Website Feedback