The North Dakota University System has offered guidance for college students who are planning to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday, accordig to information porvided by NDUS.
Students are encouraged to stay on campus but if they do choose to travel and visit friends and relatives who are outside their immediate household, they are encouraged to get a test for the new coronavirus prior to leaving campus and then once again when they return.
“Identifying these positive COVID cases is a good thing, as these results will increase our knowledge campus members who are positive, and in finding these positives and isolating them, we will decrease the spread of the disease,” said NDUS Chancellor Mark Hagerott. “Our ultimate goal is to keep our families and communities as safe as possible. Finding the positive COVID cases is a way to keep our campuses open and our communities as safe as possible.”
Students may be at lower risk when they are on campus, as opposed to elsewhere, due to the high mask use and social distancing on campus, according to NDUS.
NDUS campuses and area communities will have testing events before and after the Thanksgiving holiday break, and students are encouraged to participate in the available testing. Students are also encouraged to continue being diligent about practicing mitigation strategies which include masks, social distancing, hand hygiene and other practices. Several institutions are planning special events and observances for students who choose to stay on campus during the holiday break. Students should check with their individual campuses for special arrangements and activities that may be planned during the holiday break.
Individual campuses are reviewing their pandemic plans. Colleges and universities will adjust courses as necessary. Some colleges and universities will offer students the option of taking classes remotely after the Thanksgiving holiday, as well as continuing face-to-face classes.
Bismarck State College will continue offering both on campus and online classes after Thanksgiving.
Dakota College at Bottineau is providing students an option to learn remotely after the Thanksgiving break through the end of the semester. Students will still be able to attend classes in person on campus if they choose. This decision was reached after understanding there could be a spike in COVID cases across the college due to community spread from family gatherings and other social events that typically occur during Thanksgiving break and the continuing rise of COVID cases in the state and country. In addition, DCB wants to allow Canadian students an opportunity to spend more time with families during the holiday season.
Dickinson State University will temporarily shift to primarily remote campus operations for the final three weeks of the fall semester. The majority of classes will be delivered remotely. Face-to-face classes will resume on Jan. 11.
Lake Region State College in Devils Lake is encouraging residence hall students who leave for Thanksgiving break to access their courses using technology and not return to the residence halls until move in day for spring semester. The faculty have agreed to allow all students in lecture-based courses (including the taking of finals) to attend class virtually (in real time) using the technology installed in each classroom. Students in some CTE programs may not be afforded this option as they may need to finish clinical, shop, and/or practical skill demonstrations or labs. Faculty in those programs will advise their students regarding options. All residence hall students who must return or that choose to return to the halls after Thanksgiving and attend instruction face to face, will be required to test on Thursday, December 3, and quarantine and/or isolate as required by protocols.
Mayville State University students will also offer students the flexibility to attend classes in person or reomtely after Thanksgiving.
Minot State University will provide students the option to complete the last two weeks (and finals week) at a distance following Thanksgiving. Students choosing the distance option to complete the semester will still attend classes at their regularly scheduled times using appropriate technology.
North Dakota State College of Science at Wahpetonwill continue current instruction formats (face-to-face, online and hybrid) after Thanksgiving through the end of the semester.
North Dakota State University at Fargo will continue offering the Hyflex instructional model after Thanksgiving, through the end of the semester. NDSU is urging students not to return home for Thanksgiving break, citing the severity of the COVID-19 outbreak. Residence halls will remain open over the break at no added cost to students. Dining options will also continue to be available. Students planning to remain on campus must notify Residence Life. For students still planning to leave campus, the university is asking that they be tested before leaving Fargo and after they return to the campus.
University of North Dakota at Grand Forks will continue in hybrid mode (offering both on campus and online classes) after Thanksgiving.
Valley City State University will continue offering face-to-face, synchronous, and online classes after Thanksgiving. Students who are currently taking face-to-face courses have the option to travel home and finish the semester via synchronous delivery.
Williston State College will continue fall semester classes as scheduled. WSC encourages all students, faculty, and staff to take advantage of the COVID-19 testing events before traveling home for the holiday, and after returning to campus following the Thanksgiving holiday.