COVID-19 Protocols

Updated: 7/29/20

Principles

We will adhere to the CDC, MDH, and UMN guidelines, including those outlined in the University’s Sunrise Plan and the MN Office of Higher Education Executive Order 20-74 Guidance.

Screening and policies for those exhibiting signs and symptoms of COVID-19

  • UMN Employees: Employees will self-screen using the protocol established by the University’s Office of Academic Clinical Affairs:
    • Take your temperature in the morning and when you return home from work. Log those results and report any fever of 100.4 or above to your supervisor.
    • Report any exposure to COVID-19 positive individuals, respiratory symptoms, sore throat, or dry cough to your supervisor.
    • If the employee indicates any of these conditions, the supervisor must require that the employee stay home, and the employee should seek guidance from their healthcare provider. 
  • Learners: 
    • At registration, OSTP staff will take the temperature of each learner using a no-contact thermometer and ask learners to answer the following questions:
        • Do you have a new or worsening cough?
        • Are you experiencing shortness of breath?
        • Within the last 14 days, have you been exposed to anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19?
    • If accurate no-touch thermometers are not available, OSTP staff will instead ask: “Have you had a fever in the last two days?”

If a temperature of 100.4 is present, or question responses indicate they could be sick, the health screener is required to inform the participant that they may not attend and ask them to leave. If a learner is asked to leave, they will be refunded their registration fee based on the cancellation policy described below.

Cancellation and Refund Policy

Cancellations and refunds will be based on the following scenarios:

  • If a learner cancels due to COVID symptoms, medical-advised quarantine, caring for others, or another COVID-related cause, a full refund will be issued
  • If a learner fails the health screening, a full refund will be issued.
  • All cancellations for non-COVID reasons must be received in writing by OSTP staff (septic@umn.edu) 4 business days prior to the workshop. All refunds will be made in the same manner as payment minus a $30 cancellation fee. Classes must be cancelled and rebooked before the start date of the course to avoid forfeiting your entire course fee.
  • If a learner is asked to leave the class due for not complying with requirements for social distancing, facial coverings, or other protocols, the learner will forfeit their entire course fee.
  • In the event that classes are cancelled due to state, local, or University restrictions, a full refund will be issued.

Course Supplies, Handouts, and Materials

Course supplies, handouts, and other materials will be assigned to a single person and not shared.

Food and Beverages

Participants will bring their own food as appropriate or only pre-packaged foods will be served. Participants will be asked to bring their own water and other beverages. Water fountains will not be used. 

Due to the requirement for facial coverings, for in-classroom sessions, participants will only be allowed to eat and drink while on breaks. For in-field sessions, participants will be allowed to drink water or other beverages as needed.

Restrooms

Participants and instructors will follow the venue guidance on restrooms, including capacity limitations and cleaning.

Continue Good Health Habits

Following the UMN Sunrise Plan, employees and learners will abide by the following handwashing and respiratory etiquette:

  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Keep a supply of hand sanitizer (as possible).
  • Cover your cough or sneeze.
  • Clean all high touch areas in your home and workplace.
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.

Masks and Face Coverings

We will strongly recommend staff and learners will wear clean masks or face covering outdoors; in outdoor settings where physical distancing cannot be achieved, masks or face coverings will be required. Clean face masks or face covering covering both the nose and mouth will be required indoors. Exceptions include:

  • When eating or drinking; however physical distancing must be observed. Due to the requirement for facial coverings, for in-classroom sessions, participants will only be allowed to eat and drink while on breaks. For in-field sessions, participants will be allowed to drink water or other beverages as needed.
  • When an accommodation is necessary as indicated by a medical or similar subject matter expert and granted by express written permission of the OSTP. Individuals who need an exception from this policy need to contact the OSTP at least three business days before the class begins to allow time to make additional accommodations. If a learner does not provide this notification, the OSTP reserves the right to ask the participant to leave the class and may not provide a refund.

For OSTP staff: 

  • Wearing a face shield only (no other face covering or mask) is for active indoor instruction, and a distance of 12 feet must be maintained from others. Once speaking is completed, an appropriate mask or other face covering must be worn, during which a distance of 6 feet must be maintained from others. All instructors will wear a face shield in the field/outdoors and have face coverings available. Other staff will wear a face shield or a mask at all times. All instructors and staff will maintain a distance of 6 feet from others at all times.

Social Distancing

Instructors and learners will maintain 6 feet of separation between each person, using visual aids to illustrate the arrangement. Specific protocols include:

  • Registration: In outdoor venues, learners will be asked to maintain 6 feet of separation while waiting to register. A plexiglass shield will be provided for registration staff.
  • Indoors: Desks, chairs, and tables will be separated by at least 6 feet and learners will not be allowed to move them. Even if learners are from the same family or company, they must distance from each other.
  • In field: Learners will be asked to maintain 6 feet of separation. Even if learners are from the same family or company, they must distance from each other. 

Housekeeping

The majority of these trainings will be held at non-UMN facilities. We will use venue housekeeping protocols, ensuring that they are as stringent or more than UMN guidelines.

Equipment/Supplies/Materials

  • Hygiene and sanitation supplies: hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, extra masks; also gloves and forehead thermometers for staff-led programs. Participants will be asked to provide masks as needed.
  • Signs: symptoms of COVID-19, health etiquette expectations
  • Audio equipment: The OSTP will provide instructors with PA systems, and each instructor will have their own microphone.

Right to refuse entry

The OSTP reserves the right to refuse entry to a class based on these protocols. Refunds may be granted, based on conditions outlined elsewhere in this document.

Communications

The Onsite Sewage Treatment Program will communicate safety protocols to learners prior to enrollment. OSTP staff will be trained to carry out the safety protocols.