NDSCS COVID-19 FAQs

Click on the section below to find information on frequently asked questions related to COVID-19.

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General COVID-19 Questions

I am experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19, what should I do?

All NDSCS community members (employees and students) must report their symptoms through the COVID-19 reporting form here.

You should NOT attend work, class, shop/lab, or participate in any other activities if you have symptoms, stay in your living space and limit contact with other individuals.

After reporting, an NDSCS official will be in contact with you to provide you guidance, resources, and assistance. Follow all instructions provided by the NDSCS and/or health department official.

I have been identified as a close contact to someone that has tested positive for COVID-19, what should I do?

Follow all instructions and guidance provided by the health department official that contacted you; this will typically include quarantining (not leaving your living space). Additionally, you must complete the COVID-19 reporting form here. After reporting, an NDSCS official will be in contact with you to provide you guidance, resources, and assistance. For more information please click here.

COVID-19 Testing

Is COVID-19 testing available at NDSCS?

In partnership with Richland County Health Department, Fargo-Cass Public Health, and the North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) COVID-19 testing is regularly offered to employees and students.

Testing for Symptomatic/Close Contact Individuals: For those experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19 or have been contacted by a health department official and notified they are a close contact, testing is available through Student Health Services. Testing for NDSCS Wahpeton employees and students is conducted on campus at Student Health Services or Richland County Health Department; detailed instructions are provided after the COVID-19 reporting form has been completed. Testing for NDSCS-Fargo employees and students is conducted off-site through Fargo Cass Public Health; detailed instructions are provided after the COVID-19 reporting form has been completed. All testing is free of charge.

NDSCS Community Testing: Testing is available to any NDSCS community member (faculty, staff, student) on a regular basis. All employees and students are encouraged to be tested frequently. Frequent testing helps to minimize the risk and spread of COVID-19 through identifying positive cases early, increasing the likelihood of tracing and isolating. If you have NOT been tested by the NDDoH, please pre-register at testreg.nd.gov. If you HAVE been tested by the NDDoH, please come and be tested again, but there is no need to register again.

Testing Events

Click the button below for a schedule and locations of testing available in Wahpeton and Fargo.

COVID-19 Testing Opportunities

I am having symptoms or been identified as a close contact, how do I get tested for COVID-19 through NDSCS?

All NDSCS community members (employees and students) must report their symptoms through the COVID-19 reporting form here. Once you complete that form, an NDSCS official will be in contact with you as soon as possible and assist you, as needed, with scheduling you to get tested for COVID-19.

I’ve received the COVID-19 vaccine. Should I be tested for COVID-19?

At this time, individuals are still encouraged to be tested regularly for COVID-19, even if they have received the COVID-19 vaccine.

How much will the COVID-19 test cost through NDSCS?

In partnership with the North Dakota Department of Health, all symptomatic and close-contact testing through NDSCS will be free.

COVID-19 Prevention

Are face coverings required?

Effective August 24 at 7:45 a.m. NDSCS requires all members (both vaccinated and unvaccinated people) of the NDSCS community and visitors to wear face coverings while:

  • In all academic classrooms and learning spaces:
    • including shops, labs or other indoor instructional space
    • clear face shields may be utilized while teaching and/or presenting if physical distancing can be maintained (6 feet or more).
  • attending a NDSCS event held indoors;
  • interacting indoors face-to-face with at least one other individual (e.g. meetings, group study, tutoring);
  • in an indoor common space (e.g. lounges, hallways, shared office space, study areas, bathrooms) used by other community members;
  • in dining areas (e.g. wild grounds coffee shop) while not eating or drinking.

How is NDSCS ensuring clean facilities?

NDSCS Facilities Management staff has continued and enhanced their daily cleaning practices, such as disinfecting high-touch surfaces on continual basis. If you have concerns or questions about cleanliness, please contact 701-671-2313.

What can I do to reduce the risk of COVID-19?

We encourage you to keep yourself and the NDSCS community healthy through these personal prevention practices:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Consistently and properly (over nose and mouth) wearing a face covering.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean your living spaces frequently.
  • Avoid close contact and practice physical distancing (maintaining at least a 6 ft. distance from others)
  • Screen yourself and do NOT go to class/lab or participate in activities if you have any of the following symptoms:
    • Fever (100.4 or greater)
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing
  • Cough/sneeze into tissues or your elbow.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Get the COVID-19 vaccine. To find more information about the COVID Vaccine, review the COVID-19 Vaccine section below.
COVID-19 Vaccine

Should I be vaccinated for COVID-19?

NDSCS encourages all members of the College community to be vaccinated. Please visit https://www.health.nd.gov/immunization-guidance-public for additional information about COVID-19 vaccines.

When can I be vaccinated for COVID-19?

Please visit www.health.nd.gov/covidvaccinelocator for information on available appointments. Many public health units, clinics, and pharmacies are now vaccinating individuals in Phase 2 (all persons 16 years or older).

How do I schedule a time to be vaccinated?

NDSCS Employees and students are encouraged to regularly check the ND COVID-19 Vaccine Locator here: www.health.nd.gov/covidvaccinelocator for vaccine opportunities. 

COVID-19 Vaccine Opportunities

I’ve received the COVID-19 vaccine. Should I be tested for COVID-19?

At this time, individuals are still encouraged to be tested regularly for COVID-19, even if they have received the COVID-19 vaccine.

Can I receive the vaccine in North Dakota if I do not live in North Dakota?

Yes. Individuals that work or attend College in North Dakota can receive the vaccine from a North Dakota provider, pharmacy, or public health unit.

Travel Information

Is there any screening required if I travel?

Currently, there is no screening required, per the North Dakota Department of Health. For the most up-to-date travel guidance, please visit https://www.health.nd.gov/covidtravel.

Is NDSCS authorizing any travel?

College-sponsored travel is authorized for essential functions only. Please work with your direct supervisor, and Vice President or President, for essential travel authorization.

Can I keep my personal travel plans?

We encourage employees and students to understand the risks and obligations before non-essential personal travel. You may face a higher risk of infection, significant delays returning, and/or the requirement to self-quarantine upon your return, all of which could significantly impact your professional/academic and personal obligations. These impacts could come at a great expense. Should you decide to travel, be aware of the risks to your health and the impact it could have on your job duties and academic obligations.

Academic Information & Support Services

How is NDSCS delivering classes and support services?

NDSCS is offering classes in face-to-face, hybrid and online formats. Many face-to-face classes have remote delivery capabilities. Students should connect with their instructors regarding delivery method options for their courses if they are impacted by COVID-19. Support services are functioning through normal delivery options and hours. 

What if I need to isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19?

Students are required to notify NDSCS through the NDSCS COVID-19 Reporting Form if they suspect that they have COVID-19, exhibit symptoms, have been notified they are a close contact, or have tested positive. Students will then be informed about academic attendance guidance and the process for communicating with their instructors.

Who should I contact if I need assistance accessing a computer or internet to complete my courses?

NDSCS may be able to provide support for students who do not have access to online resources (e.g. internet access, laptop computer). Please contact the Student Success Center at 701-671-3000 to discuss options.

 

Housing and Dining Information

Are NDSCS Residence Halls open?

Yes, NDSCS residence halls are open. 

  • NO GUESTS are allowed in NDSCS living facilities. This means that off-campus visitors are not allowed to enter residential facilities. Students may only enter/occupy the hall/apartment they live in.
  • Visitation between rooms and apartments is not allowed. No one should be in a room/apartment that they do not live in.
  • Visitation between residential buildings is not allowed. No one should be in a building/apartment they do not live in.

What changes has NDSCS Dining Services made to reduce the spread of COVID-19?

NDSCS Dining Services is committed to food safety. All food and beverages served by NDSCS Dining Services are prepared in accordance with all state health department and CDC guidelines. Various protocols have been added to further reduce the risk and spread of COVID-19. For questions or concerns, contact NDSCS Dining Services at 701-671-2331.

Financial Information

Were students refunded for the meals they did not use in the spring 2020 semester? Were students refunded for the time they did not stay in their residence hall room?

Aligning with NDUS System Procedure 830.2, which determines the refund rates for this time period (excluding Spring Break), eligible students were refunded 40% of their residence hall room/apartment charges (a refund for March 23, 2020 through the end of the semester), and refunded a percentage/amount based on their meal plan and usage.

Residence hall and dining plan credits were posted to students’ CampusConnection accounts on April 10, 2020. 

Students can contact NDSCS Residential Life at 701-671-2224 with housing-related questions, or NDSCS Dining Services at 701-671-2321 with dining plan refund questions.

What if I am a student experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19?

We understand that some students will experience financial hardship associated with the impact of COVID-19 as it relates to family, travel and academics. For assistance please contact the Student Advocate at ndscs.studentadvocate@ndscs.edu as soon as possible and they may be able to connect you with support needed.

Does NDSCS have funds available to students through the CARES Act?

Please refer to ndscs.edu/caresact for information about CARES Act grants for students.

How can I support students in need?

You may make a gift to the NDSCS Wildcats Care Emergency Grant through the NDSCS Alumni Foundation. Please click here to learn more.

Event and Activity Information

Will events and activities continue to be held?

Yes. To find out about all the events that are happening, students are encouraged to:

  • Check their NDSCS e-mail
  • Follow NDSCS Student Life on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, or add ndscsstudentlif on Snapchat
  • Review and subscribe to the Events Calendar on the NDSCS website by clicking here

Can prospective students visit NDSCS?

Yes. To help limit prospective student and community exposure to COVID-19, NDSCS is taking additional precautions during in-person visits; however, visiting campus is encouraged.

As an alternative to in-person visits, prospective students can schedule a virtual visit. Some students choose this option due to travel limitations, COVID-19 concerns, and/or time constraints. Follow-up virtual visits may be arranged to meet with faculty or staff members from the department you are interested in so you can learn more about your program of interest.

Please click here to learn more and schedule a visit.

Will there be any changes for NDSCS Athletics?

Schedules and additional information about NDSCS Athletics is available online at ndscswildcats.com.

Is the Wildcat Wellness Center open?

The Claire T. Blikre Activities Center, which includes the weight rooms, cardio room, racquetball rooms, swimming pool and walking track, is open. For facility hours, visit ndscswildcats.com.

What are the guidelines for renters and guests at NDSCS?

NDSCS has established guidelines to provide a way for external stakeholders to utilize NDSCS spaces in a manner that minimizes risk and exposure of COVID-19. At the time of rental, the guidelines will be shared. 

 

Workforce Affairs Information

Is TrainND offering classes at this time?

TrainND Southeast will follow the direction of NDSCS in scheduling training events. TrainND Southeast also has online training options available. Please visit https://www.ndscs.edu/workforce-affairs/online-courses to review these options.

Please contact NDSCS Division for Workforce Affairs TrainND at 701-231-6912 or susie.carlson@ndscs.edu for training questions and inquiries.

Is SkillsND offering classes at this time?

The SkillsND program will follow the direction of NDSCS in scheduling Pre-CNA, Pre-Skilled Trades and Skilled Trades Classes. Contact SkillsND at 701-231-6918 or Deanne.Sperling@ndscs.edu to complete the application process by email or phone so you can be ready when classes resume. The next anticipated class is Pre-CNA.

Are room rentals available?

TrainND Southeast will follow the direction of NDSCS in scheduling room rentals. Please contact the NDSCS Division for Workforce Affairs at 701-231-6922 for Wahpeton or Fargo rentals.

What are the guidelines for renters and guests at NDSCS?

NDSCS has established guidelines to provide a way for external stakeholders to utilize NDSCS spaces in a manner that minimizes risk and exposure of COVID-19. At the time of rental, the guidelines will be shared.

Are there any changes that impact ApprenticeshipND?

ApprenticeshipND will continue to provide service to apprentices and employers in the best way possible. ApprenticeshipND staff will be available via e-mail and by phone as always. Some delays are expected in shipping out new materials.

For assistance, call 701-671-2206 (Wahpeton) or 701-231-6921 (Fargo), or email ndscs.apprenticeship@ndscs.edu or Brian.Fuder@ndscs.edu You can order books online at www.ndscs.edu/apprenticeshipnd.

Employee Information

How do I access shared drives and/or necessary electronic information from a distance?

Please visit the stay connected web page for step-by-step information on how to gain access through Virtual Private Network (VPN) to our shared drive system at NDSCS.  Please be mindful of the importance of accessing confidential and/or FERPA protected information from a distance. Please consult with your supervisor for specific access questions before contacting ITS directly.

How do I forward my phone if needed?

Please visit the stay connected web page for step-by-step information on how to update your voicemail and/or forward your phone. Please work with your supervisor to identify expectations related to being available by phone.

How do I access/facilitate meetings remotely?

Please visit the stay connected web page for step-by-step information on how to utilize TEAMS. Please work with your supervisor to identify expectations related to being available for meetings and check with the meeting organizer. 

How do I ensure my workspace is clean?

NDSCS will continue to clean campus spaces that are utilized/staffed Please review the re-entry plan located on the NDSCS intranet. You are encouraged to disinfect surfaces that are regularly touched (e.g. keyboards, phones, reception desks). Complete a Facilities Management work order to request the supplies needed.

What if I need to self-quarantine and cannot meet my job duties/responsibilities?

Review the positive case procedure on the NDSCS intranet and complete the NDSCS COVID-19 Reporting Form.

Notify your supervisor as soon as possible. Supervisors will be responsible for notifying the Executive Director of Human Resources.  Discuss with your supervisor the option of telecommuting (working remotely). While in self-quarantine you should monitor your symptoms following the guidelines from the North Dakota Department of Health. 

All leave policies can be accessed by clicking here: http://policy.ndscs.edu/sections/fringe-benefits

Do I need to complete FMLA paperwork if I contract COVID-19?

If you were not on FMLA prior to this, FMLA documentation is not required specifically for COVID-19 symptoms. However, if the absence involves actual contraction of COVID-19, hospitalization or longer-term treatment, FMLA paperwork may be requested. For other medical conditions (such as surgery or pregnancy), the FMLA policy will remain in effect.

What if I need to take care of a family member who has COVID-19?

If you have sudden caring responsibilities for a family member, you should report the information to your supervisor and Human Resources. They will assist with determining what leave to use. 

What if my child’s daycare or school is closed and I unable to meet my job responsibilities during this time?

If you are unable to work due to caring responsibilities, you should report the information to your supervisor and Human Resources. They will assist with determining what leave to use. 

I am experiencing stress about this situation; whom can I speak to?

Our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available through The Village. Information can be found by clicking here: http://villageeap.com/. All NDSCS benefited employees and members of their household are able to seek assistance through The Village EAP. The Village EAP is a confidential, independent counseling program that offers professional guidance in a variety of areas, such as: relationship issues, emotional health issues, drug and alcohol issues, workplace issues, crisis counseling, financial issues, legal issues, and wellness. Services are available 24/7, 365 days a year, with nationwide accessibility. There is no cost to your household, within certain limits.

How should I set up my work station if I am working remotely?

It's beneficial if a room or area of a room can be designated as your work space. This isn't always possible, so paying attention to posture and taking short breaks throughout the day will be important. If possible, connect your keyboard and mouse to your laptop, and attach your laptop to a monitor.