At Ridgewater College, the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff is our top priority. We, along with our colleagues at Minnesota State, continue to monitor the ongoing COVID-19 situation and are following guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Minnesota State System Office. Ridgewater College is committed to taking the steps necessary to protect the health and safety of our faculty, our staff, and our students.
The Ridgewater College Fall 2021 plan is currently under development as we await updates from the MDH that are specific to Fall Semester 2021. A “Fall Semester 2021” web page will go live soon with the latest information, FAQs and updates.
HEALTH and SAFETY MEASURES
Face Coverings Required Indoors Beginning Monday, August 9
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) updated their public health recommendations – requesting that fully vaccinated people wear face coverings in public indoor spaces in response to the increase in COVID-19 cases due to the Delta variant. This recommendation applies specifically to counties where CDC data shows a “substantial” or “high” level of transmission. Currently, 21 Minnesota counties show levels of transmission where the CDC masking recommendation applies, including Kandiyohi County and McLeod County, the two counties where Ridgewater College is located.
Therefore, Ridgewater is reinstating the face covering requirements for all employees, students, and visitors, including contractors and vendors, inside our buildings, regardless of vaccination status beginning Monday, August 9. This requirement does NOT apply to outdoor campus spaces. Signs will be posted throughout the campus, but do not wait for the signs to comply. This mask requirement will remain in effect until further notice.
The State of Minnesota is not requiring vaccinations of students or employees at this time. However, all are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated. Visit the MDH’s vaccination web page for more information.
Social/Physical Distancing Guidelines
The social/physical distancing requirements were lifted on 5/28/21 per guidance from MDH and Minnesota State. Although these requirements have been lifted, we ask that you continue to be respectful, considerate and kind regarding each other’s needs or desire for social distance and physical boundaries.
Stay Home if You are Sick
If you feel unwell or have the following symptoms, please leave campus and contact your health care provider. Then, follow up with your instructor or supervisor.
- Shortness of Breath
- Sore Throat
Campus Screening Tool
The daily self-screening tool was suspended on 5/24/21 and we no longer require a COVID self-screening process in order to be on campus. The screening tool has been taken off the website and the screening stations on each campus have been removed. It’s possible the screening tool may be reinstated.
Cleaning and Sanitizing Protocols
Ridgewater College has met or exceeded CDC guidelines for cleaning in classrooms, study spaces, and public spaces, with a special focus on high-touch surfaces. Cleaning supplies, including hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipe dispensers, in classroom spaces, dining areas, study spaces, and other high-traffic areas are available and allow for self-service cleaning. Ridgewater College uses cleaning products on the EPA List for Use Against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). In addition, we have:
- Installed hand sanitation stations throughout our campus
- Displayed signage across campus to provide guidance related to hand hygiene, vaccinations and COVID19 symptoms
- Developed and implemented a detailed safety plan for campus labs and instructional spaces.
- Followed CDC guidance for group sizes and building occupancy limits
We are committed to monitoring and following the recommendations regarding cleaning and sanitation as the COVID19 situation evolves.
For questions related to COVID-19, please email us at [email protected].
Is Ridgewater College open?
Yes, our campuses are open to students, prospective students and the public. Our spaces will be available for lease for public events on a case-by-case basis beginning June 1, 2021. For students wishing to schedule a campus tour, please visit ridgewater.edu/visit.
Reporting Positive COVID-19 Test Results and Exposures to Positive Individuals
If you are a student or an employee who has been on a Ridgewater College campus in the last 14 days and:
- Has tested positive on a COVID-19 test – AND/OR
- Has had possible exposure to someone who has tested positive to the COVID-19 virus – AND/OR
- Are experiencing new or worsening Symptoms (per CDC) matching those of COVID-19 that cannot be explained by other reasons
Please submit our COVID-19 Exposure Reporting Form and be sure to inform (call or email) your instructor(s) or supervisor.
Customized Training and Continuing Education Courses
Customized Training and Continuing Education at Ridgewater College is currently holding classes virtually as well as face-to-face, both on campus and off. In person classes can be scheduled, providing they are held as allowed per the latest direction of the Governor, Office of Higher Education, the Minnesota State College and Universities System, and Ridgewater College. All individuals involved in the delivery of face-to-face classes are subject to screening protocols and health guidelines as established by both the college and/or the client site hosting the classes. Please contact your Training and Outreach Manager or the Customized Training department if you have specific needs or questions.
General Frequently Asked Questions
- Will Fall Semester 2021 be back to "normal"?
Yes — but it will be a “new” normal, given all that we learned during COVID! At this time, we are planning to be back to normal as far as offering classes, student activities, and student services in person again, having all campus buildings open, and welcoming the public back to visit our campuses. Courses will continue to be offered in a variety of formats to meet student needs and provide flexibility; those formats include in-person, hybrid/mixed and fully online. All student services offices will be open again, with most of our staff returning to campus beginning July 26th.
- Will Ridgewater faculty and staff still offer office hours?
Yes. Please reach out to your instructor if you have questions on their office hours. You can also meet with academic advisors, financial aid officers, or admissions specialists through virtual appointments.
- What should I do if I have been exposed, have symptoms of COVID-19 or test positive for COVID-19?
- First and foremost, you should stay home and not come to campus.
- Second, you should report your situation to our Campus Safety Director on our COVID-19 Reporting Form and wait for instructions. She will determine if contact tracing and/or quaranting are required.
- Notify your instructor or supervisor and staff.
Additional guidance is available from the Minnesota Department of Health:
- What to Do if You Are Sick
- Symptoms and Testing: COVID-19
- Is it COVID-19
- What to Do if You’re Waiting for COVID-19 Test Results
- Do I need to wear a mask in Ridgewater College buildings?
Yes. As of Monday, August 9, masks must be worn indoors while inside any Ridgewater College building (unless you are alone in an enclosed space).
- Why isn’t Minnesota State requiring all faculty, staff, and students to be vaccinated?
Minnesota State is following the guidance from the State of Minnesota and Minnesota Department of Health on vaccinations of our students and employees. Currently the State of Minnesota is not requiring vaccinations. We are, however, strongly encouraging our employees and students to get vaccinated. In addition, a number of our colleges and universities have been working with MDH to offer vaccination clinics to their faculty, staff, students, and campus communities, and are developing strategies to offer additional clinics prior to fall term.
For questions or concerns related to COVID-19, please email us at [email protected].