March 11, 2020

Winona State University continues to monitor news about COVID-19 closely and is 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 Winona State University community. The university has mobilized a COVID-19 Coronavirus Planning and Response Team that is reviewing and actively deploying aspects of the university pandemic plan to ensure that our community is prepared and protected. We are following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization, and working closely with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) to determine appropriate assessment and actions.

According to the Minnesota State Chancellor’s Office, the Minnesota Department of Health issued the following message today to higher education partners:

“With five coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases reported in Minnesota, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) knows there is increasing concern around what the next steps are for institutes of higher education, given that other colleges and universities across the country are taking various measures including tele-learning and closures.

At this time, MDH is not recommending those measures. Minnesota currently does not have evidence of ongoing community transmission, nor are there any cases currently in a college or university setting. If an institute of higher education has a case in a student, staff, or faculty member, MDH will work closely with the impacted college or university to provide guidance. Moreover, depending on how transmission and spread evolves in the state, we will work with colleges and universities throughout the state on our recommendations.”

Given this recommendation, Winona State will not transition coursework online at this time. We are fully committed to the health and safety of our students and employees, and also being mindful of providing our students with the education they deserve.

We will continue to monitor the situation closely, and provide timely updates as they are available. We have set up a dedicated website where you can access up-to-date information as needed. Learn more online at the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health Alerts website.

Please continue to practice respiratory (coughing and sneezing) etiquette, wash hands frequently, and stay home if you 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. For more recommendations from WSU Student Health Services visit: https://www.winona.edu/healthservices/health-alerts.asp.

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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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