COVID-19 Announcements from March-August 2022
UPDATE: May 24, 2022
The Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) Policy #1446 (COVID-19 Proof of Vaccination and Testing) for employees has been rescinded effective May 24, 2022. Normandale continues to monitor changes in the pandemic, including the appearance of new variants, and will respond with updated policies and procedures as appropriate.
We continue to encourage everyone to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines to get vaccinated and boosted and, as before, to get tested if they have COVID-19 symptoms or if they have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for the virus.
UPDATE: May 16, 2022
COVID-19 conditions in the metro area and throughout Minnesota have significantly changed over the spring semester. Based on current conditions and guidance, Normandale is updating its COVID-19 protocols. As of May 17, we will not require social distancing in campus facilities. We will use the next months to plan accordingly.
This decision and other mitigation strategies are based on COVID-19 data and guidance from the CDC, Minnesota State, and MDH. Initially, distancing was recommended at campuses where the vaccine uptake levels were unknown. At Normandale, we have a high vaccine rate among employees (93%) and students (72%). We have had consistently low levels of COVID-19 cases among employees and students on campus. The CDC currently categorizes most Minnesota counties as having "Low COVID-19 Community Levels" based on the numbers of hospital beds being used, hospital admissions, and the total number of new COVID-19 cases.
The college continues to focus on recommended COVID-19 mitigation strategies, including improving air handling units, controls, and filters. We schedule 30 minutes between classes to enable multiple air exchanges in rooms and to lessen the intensity of traffic during transitions. At this time, we do not require masks, but we support mask wearing on campus. If Community Levels become high, we will consider implementing a campus mask mandate.
UPDATE: March 3, 2022
Last week, the CDC updated the metrics used to inform their mitigation recommendations, most importantly including masks. Their measure now has three levels: low (green), medium (yellow), and high (orange). The levels are based on a mix of case rates, total new COVID-19 admissions over 7 days, and the 7-day average of percent of staffed inpatient beds occupied.
With these changes, the Minnesota State system approach is also changing. For colleges and universities in counties in the "low" or "medium" levels, the system will no longer require face coverings in indoor public settings. In Hennepin County, our community level is medium.
As of Friday, March 4, 2022, Normandale Community College students, faculty, staff, and visitors are not required to wear a face-covering or mask on campus. You may choose to mask at any time. Normandale Community College honors the many reasons why an individual may still wear a mask. The CDC has not updated its masking guidance for healthcare and clinical settings. As a result, campus clinical settings, such as dental clinics, nursing, etc., will remain subject to indoor masking requirements until that guidance changes. Specific programs outside of healthcare may also require masking, so please consult current program, licensure, and accreditation requirements for the latest safety guidelines.