How COVID-19 Affects Travel and Study Abroad
Based on guidance from the CDC, the University has suspended all non-essential, University-related travel, both domestic and international, effective immediately through May 31. We will reassess this policy in May for summer and fall travel. (Faculty and Staff: Requests for exceptions will be reviewed and decided by the Incident Management Team. The request should be made through your leadership structure, who will forward it to the Incident Management Team.)
COVID-19 continues to spread to countries around the world and can present challenges to travelers. It is important to consider not only potential exposure to the virus, but also the possibility of being stranded abroad due to a suspension of airline services and other modes of transportation, or being required to quarantine upon return to the United States. Recommendations and restrictions for international travel are constantly changing. Please check the CDC website for the most updated information regarding travel to various areas and countries.
Faculty, staff and students planning personal travel (either domestically or internationally) should carefully watch U.S. Department of State and CDC guidance on COVID-19, and prepare for the possibility of rapidly changing travel restrictions that might prevent them from returning to campus.
Any University faculty, staff, or student returning from travel abroad may be required to quarantine by the Minnesota Department of Health, for up to 14 days.
St. Kate's does not currently have any students studying abroad in countries that have declared travel bans or other issues.
Any person (faculty, staff, students, and visitors) who traveled in a country with a CDC Level 3 Travel Health Notice (due to the novel coronavirus) will take the following steps before arriving on a St. Kate's campus:
- Stay home for 14 days after leaving a country with a CDC Level 3 Travel Health Notice.
- Monitor your health and immediately report any symptoms of illness consistent with COVID-19 infection (fever, cough, shortness of breath) to the Minnesota Department of Health at 651-201-5414.
- Faculty and staff should contact Human Resources before returning to work.
If you know that you have been exposed to the coronavirus, you must self quarantine at home for 14 days. Contact the MDH immediately at 651-201-5414 if you develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19. Follow MDH recommendations regarding when it is safe for you to return to work. You must contact Human Resources prior to reporting to work.
- Faculty should contact CHADs and deans to discuss any specific issues related to sick leave or family leave. (View Faculty Leave Policy, Adjunct Faculty Leave Policy)
- Staff should contact their direct supervisor to inform them of their need to use sick leave and that they will be out of work. (View Employee Handbook – Staff Leave Policy 4.18.e.1)
- For those individuals on the University’s Health Plan, telemedical options are available including Virtuwell (www.virtuwell.com) and Doctor on Demand (www.doctorondemand.com). You may also contact the HealthPartners Nurse line at 612-339-3663 for additional consultation regarding symptoms.
If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 infection — such as a fever, cough, or shortness of breath — within 14 days of your return from personal or official travel to a country with a Level 3 Travel Health Notice (due to the novel coronavirus) OR have been in close contact with someone who has confirmed COVID-19, immediately contact the Minnesota Department of Health at 651-201-5414. Please do not show up at a clinic, urgent care, or other health facility without calling first.
Close contact is defined as being within approximately 6 feet (2 meters) of a person with confirmed COVID-19 for a prolonged period of time, or having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g., being coughed on) without wearing personal protective equipment.
All Global Studies and study abroad summer programs have been canceled. Based on guidance from the CDC, the University has suspended all non-essential, University-related travel, both domestic and international, effective immediately through May 31. We will reassess this policy in May for fall travel.
Faculty and Staff: Requests for exceptions will be reviewed and decided by the Incident Management Team. The request should be made through your leadership structure, who will forward it to the Incident Management Team.
The staff in the Office of Global Studies is working closely with St. Kate’s students who are studying abroad. They are following the guidance of the U.S. State Department, the CDC, and the World Health Organization. They have been in contact with each student and will continue to monitor the situation at each location and make decisions on an individual basis.
For those with personal travel plans, we advise you to review the U.S. State Department and CDC travel advisories to assess any potential risks and consider any changes you may want to make. It is possible that travel restrictions will continue to expand and could affect your ability to return home or to the University.
Please be aware that as this situation evolves, you may be required to self-quarantine for 14 days based on your travel.