Feb. 28, 2020

To the Campus Community:

Winona State University is monitoring the news about COVID-19 closely. We are committed to taking the steps necessary to protect the health and safety of all students and employees.

To date, there have been no positive cases of COVID-19 reported in the State of Minnesota. The Minnesota Department of Health assesses the risk of becoming sick with COVID-19 as low and is not recommending that events or extracurricular activities be cancelled at this time (See: Information For Schools and Child Care on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)).

The WSU Emergency Management team is actively monitoring developments and reviewing emergency and continuity of operations plans to prepare for changing circumstances. We will continue to provide you timely updates and guidance as this situation evolves. For more information on COVID-19 review the CDC’s Prevention and Treatment recommendations.

To keep our campus healthy, we are encouraging students and employees to practice respiratory (coughing and sneezing) etiquette, wash hands frequently, and stay home if they are sick or have symptoms of respiratory issues. We are also asking faculty and supervisors to offer flexibility to students and employees who are sick, have respiratory issues, or who need to care for family members who are ill.

Best Practices to Protect Yourself

  • Wash your hands frequently – Soap and water for at least 20 seconds is best (Soap is better than hand sanitizer, but hand sanitizer is better than nothing)
  • Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands (especially eyes, nose and mouth)
  • Cover your cough or sneeze
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home if you are sick (faculty, staff and administration will do all that is possible to support and accommodate this)
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
  • Get your flu shot (Health & Wellness Services still has shots available for students)

If going on spring break or other travel, be sure to continue using prevention best practices to protect yourself and others. If you’re sick, please reconsider traveling. If you become sick while traveling, isolate yourself upon your return until fever-free for 24 hours and call your health care provider. If you have other questions, contact WSU Health & Wellness Services’ Ask-A-Nurse message line at 507-457-2292.

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 WSU-sanctioned activities involving faculty, staff, and students.

We realize this leads to many questions and even more complications, and we will work with students and employees to find solutions to the problems this action may create. The Minnesota State system office has indicated it will review this action on a recurring basis as it continues to monitor reports, guidance, and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. State Department. We will provide any updated information with our campus community as it becomes available.

Students and employees who may be planning to travel internationally over spring break or for other personal travel are encouraged to monitor official government travel advisories. In recent weeks, the CDC and the State Department have elevated travel advisory levels for several countries, including China, Japan, South Korea, Italy and Iran. While restrictions currently apply only to travelers returning to the U.S. from China, the situation is evolving and new restrictions could occur.

If you are currently in Europe or planning to travel to Europe over spring break, a valuable resource is the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control’s COVID-19 website.

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Winona State University Communications Office manages media relations for the university as well as external and internal communications, connecting with local and regional media outlets in Winona, Rochester, La Crosse and the Twin Cities

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