COVID-19 (Coronavirus) | Williston State College

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COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

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COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Please check this page for up-to-date resources and information on WSC's response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
WSC is currently in the Level 3 | Moderate Risk Category.
 
 

COVID Dashboard

  Active Recovered
WSC Students 0 104
WSC Employees/Contractors 2 28

Updated: 11.30.2020 10:00 AM Office of the President (Including Data for TrainND Northwest)

Testing Events

The Upper Missouri Health Unit, in conjunction with Williston State College, will host community COVID-19 testing events on the WSC campus.

Please see our events page for current dates.

Please note the new location for Fall/Winter.  See map below.
 
COVID-19 testing events are open to the entire community, faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity and get tested.  The testing is free and takes only minutes, with walk up and drive thru options both available. 

Preregistration will further minimize waiting times and expedite testing. If you've registered once you don't need to do it again if you are getting re-tested.
  



 

COVID-19 FAQ


All of us are aware of the realities of COVID-19 and its pandemic spread, so as we prepared for the school year we did not expect to completely avoid COVID-19 at WSC, but we did plan to manage what would happen when the first cases of COVID-19 showed up on our campus.  Well, that time is here, and this is a good opportunity to review some important information and give you answers to some common questions.
 
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What if I have COVID-19 symptoms?
If you show any of the symptoms associated with COVID-19 you should self-quarantine and seek medical assistance if necessary. 

This is a useful COVID-19 symptom checklist for your reference.

COVID-19 Self-Monitoring Checklist
If you answer “yes” to any of the below questions, you need to stay home and call your local health provider. 
  • Do you have a fever (temperature over 100.4 F) without having taken any fever reducing medications.
  • Before you take your temperature:
    • Wait 30 minutes after eating, drinking, or exercising. 
    • Wait at least 6 hours after taking medicines that can lower your temperature, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and aspirin.
  • Do you have a loss of smell or taste?
  • Do you have a cough?
  • Do you have muscle aches?
  • Do you have a sore throat?
  • Do you have shortness of breath?
  • Do you have chills?
  • Do you have a headache?
  • Have you experienced any gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite?
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What if I am identified as a “close contact” for someone who tested positive for COVID-19?
If you are identified as a “close contact” you will be contacted by a representative of the North Dakota Department of Health.  They will tell you if you need to quarantine for 14 days. 

It is also possible that the college will recommend quarantine because one or more of your suitemates has tested positive for COVID-19.  During your quarantine period you should self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and contact a health care provider if necessary. 

Additional information for persons identified as a close contact.
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What if I have been around someone who tested positive or a “close contact”?
If you have not been identified as a “close contact” and you have not been directed to quarantine, you do not have to self-isolate.  You can go about your business and attend classes, however, you should self-monitor for any COVID-19 related symptoms and continue to practice social distancing and wear a facemask. 

Additional information about exposure but not close contact.
 
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Do I need to self-Isolate/quarantine?
Based on the best scientific advice currently available this guidance is for people without symptoms of illness and who are not healthcare workers.

PERSON A [If this is you]:
Close contacts are typically identified and given guidance by the North Dakota Department of Health, which includes instructions to quarantine for 14 days from last exposure to the positive case. If you, as a close contact, are tested for COVID and have a negative test during your quarantine period, you still need to remain quarantined until formally released by the ND Department of Health.
 
PERSONS B & C [If this is you]:
Okay to go to work.  Practice social distancing wear a mask in public when social distancing is difficult and follow good hand washing hygiene. If you develop fever or symptoms, stay home. Call ahead before seeking care from your primary healthcare provider.
 
Close contact means being within 6 ft. for a prolonged period (15 minutes), or any household contacts.
 
If you have a connection that is more distant than the options described, you do not need to do anything more than social distancing and practice good hygiene, which is recommended for everyone. People connected to you do not need to do anything different from everyone else unless they themselves have risks due to some other exposure.
 
If you have had a positive COVID-19 test (nasal or oral swab), have completed your isolation period, and have been released from isolation from the ND Department of Health, you may return to normal daily activities. Once you have tested positive, you DO NOT need to have further COVID-19 testing (unless required by your employer)
 
Adapted from Harvard University Health Sciences, 03/16/20
And https://www.ndsu.edu/fileadmin/policesafety/docs/COVID_Do_I_Need_to_Self_Isolate.pdf

 
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I tested negative while under quarantine; do I need to complete my quarantine?
If you are under a quarantine order from the North Dakota Department of Health or WSC, you need to complete your assigned quarantine, even if you receive a negative COVID-19 test result while you are in quarantine.
 
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Who do I contact if I cannot attend class in person or need other accommodations?
First and foremost, you should always work directly with your instructors if you need accommodations or if you cannot attend class for any reason. If you need assistance with this, reach out to your advisor.

For arranging accommodations you can contact
LeeAnn Clark
Accessibility and Retention Specialist
leeann.clark@willistonstate.edu
701.774.4224


 
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When should I be tested for COVID-19?
Anytime you have COVID-19 symptoms and your health care provider suggests a test, you should do so. 

For testing to be accurate, you should be tested around 7 days after exposure, so getting a test too soon after possible exposure could lead to a false negative or false positive test.  Even though it is hard to wait when you are worrying about possible exposure, a little wait time is a good thing when it comes to testing.
 
The North Dakota Department of Health sponsors weekly static community testing events that offer free COVID-19 testing.  Williston State College will host these testing events each Monday in September from 4:00 – 6:00.
 
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What will determine if the campus stays open and how it operates?
Any decisions relating to changes in general campus and academic operations will be primarily data driven and based on the following considerations:
  • COVID-19 testing data from the region and Williams County
  • Contagion rates within the campus community
  • Housing capability, especially quarantine/isolation units available
  • Input from faculty, staff, and student leadership
  • Advice from local and state officials
Decision makers will receive and review information and recommendations from the WSC Executive Cabinet, Faculty and Staff leadership, North Dakota Department of Health, Upper Missouri Heath Unit, North Dakota University System, Aladdin Food Service, WSC Foundation, and the State Board of Higher Education. 
 
Any change in operations would be communicated to faculty, staff, and students as soon as possible prior to implementation.  The threat and response matrix is a useful tool in understanding actions steps that are available to WSC.
 

Care19 Alert App

The Care19 Alert, is available to help stop the spread of COVID-19 by notifying users of possible COVID-19 exposure while protecting their privacy with technology developed by Apple and Google.

"Here is another tool to help Tetons reduce the spread of COVID-19. The Care19 Alert is available to help stop the spread of COVID-19 by notifying users of possible COVID-19 exposure while protecting their privacy with technology developed by Apple and Google.  I encourage you to view the information below and download the Care19 Alert app.  I am using the app and I hope you will too."

- Dr. John Miller, WSC President


For more information, visit ndresponse.gov/covid-19-resources/care19 and watch https://youtu.be/6qr7FTRyT-0


Campus Updates


Face Coverings
As of 7.28.2020 face coverings will be required in all classrooms, common areas, gatherings, and office spaces, except where social distancing is possible. This applies to visitors, faculty, staff, and students. UPDATE:  Effective 10.15.2020. Based on revised face mask guidelines from the DoH and Office of the Governor, bandanas, clear face shields, and gaiters do not provide a “close contact exemption” if worn. All faculty, staff, and students now need to wear a cloth or disposable mask

CARES Act Grant
Congress recently passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act in response to COVID-19 pandemic. This act included funding to institutions of higher education, referred to as the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), providing students with grants to offset the unexpected expenses they may have incurred as campus operations were disrupted.

WSC will not have an application for the CARES Act Grant and is currently working on developing our campus-specific protocol in distributing funds to students. Our process is evolving and will continue to do so as we receive additional guidance from the U.S. Department of Education. Not all students will be eligible to receive emergency grant funding.

WSC Bookstore, Andrea's
The WSC Bookstore will reopen on Monday, August 3rd, with the following guidelines and restrictions:

  • Capacity – We will limit the number of in-store customers to 10.
  • Appointments – The bookstore will continue to allow customers to make appointments for online order pick-ups, book purchases, and any other bookstore business. Appointments can be made here.
  • Sanitation Station – We will provide face masks, hand sanitizer, and gloves at the front door. Face coverings are required to enter the bookstore.
  • Social Distancing – Customers will be asked to observe a 6’ distance between themselves and others. Please use the marks on the floor at the check-out counter as a guide.
  • Coffee Bar – The coffee bar will be open and available with some restrictions (ie. removal of self-serve drip coffee, free access to straws, cups, etc.)

Learning Commons
The Learning Commons will be open to students with the following guideines and restrictions:

  • The library is a “common” area; face coverings are required except where social distancing is possible. 
  • Study tables are spaced apart allow for social distancing with 1 person per table.
  • A maximum of 2 people will be allowed in each of our 3 study rooms at one time to allow for social distancing.
  • All library computers and laptops are spaced apart to allow for social distancing.
  • Disinfectant wipes are located next to all computers for a student’s use both before and after the student’s computer session. 
  • A sanitizing station is located right inside the Learning Commons entrance containing face masks, disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer, and gloves. 
  • All library materials returned will be quarantined for 72 hours (books, calculators, and laptops) before being available to loan.
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Press Releases
8.20.2020 | WSC School Start Information
As we approach the long-awaited return to school on August 24th, Dr. Miller has some general information and reminders you will find helpful.

8.06 | WSC Preparation for the August 24 School Start
In support of and following recommendations for North Dakota’s “smart restart” return to general operations, WSC wants to remind all faculty, staff, and students of the upcoming COVID-19 testing events scheduled to be held in Williston throughout the month of August:

7.29.2020 | Smart Restart COVID Testing for College Students and Community Members
As part of the Smart Restart plan for colleges and universities, the Upper Missouri District Health Unit (UMDHU) is sponsoring free COVID-19 "drive thru" testing events scheduled throughout the month of August in Williston:

7.24.2020 | WSC Opening Day - August 24th
The following is an update from Williston State College president, Dr. John Miller, on WSC's response to the coronavirus (COVID-19):WSC will require face coverings in all classrooms, common areas, gatherings, and office spaces, except where social distancing (separation of 6 feet or more) is possible.

5.18.2020 | WSC to reopen after Memorial Day
In support of and following recommendations for North Dakota's "smart restart" return to general operations, WSC staff members will return to campus for work beginning Tuesday, May 26th. Students and visitors are encouraged to contact WSC and TrainND Northwest by phone or email to set up campus and training appointments.

5.4.2020 | Restricted access continues at WSC, plans to reopen begin
In support of and following recommendations for North Dakota's "smart restart" return to general operations, WSC will continue to restrict access to its buildings and facilities but will begin a phased return of support staff to campus over the next two to three weeks.

4.2.2020 | Restricted access continues at WSC
In support of and following social distancing recommendations to help slow the spread of COVID-19, WSC will continue to restrict access to its buildings and facilities through Friday, May 1, 2020. Existing guidelines allow WSC employees to continue their work remotely from home, while employees considered "operationally essential" and contractors will continue working on campus. TrainND-Northwest personnel are delivering the bulk of their safety training to trainees via distance learning.

3.26.2020 | WSC and COVID-19
The WSC Bookstore will reopen on Monday, April 6 but by appointment only. The bookstore has made arrangements with its cap and gown vendor, Balfour, to coordinate returns, refunds, and order cancellations. WSC's workforce training campus, TrainND Northwest, now has online course options available for the ONE BASIN-One Way! program, H2S, and the XTO High Risk Orientation. WSC, along with its North Dakota University System partners and the State Board of Higher Education, is still working on a refund policy for room and board. More information will be published as a plan is approved for each campus. 

3.24.2020 | WSC cancels Commencement activities
Due to the continuing need to practice personal and social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19, Williston State College is canceling all commencement and honors activities scheduled for the week of May 11-15. In the coming weeks, faculty and staff will be working on a virtual recognition program to honor graduates. WSC, along with its North Dakota University System partners and the State Board of Higher Education, is also currently working on a refund policy for room and board. More information will be published as a plan is approved for each campus.

3.21.2020 | WSC to transition online for remainder of Spring 2020
Effective immediately, WSC courses will be delivered online for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester. Classes will resume online as scheduled on Monday, March 23 and continue in an online format for the remainder of the semester. If there are exceptions, faculty will communicate these with students, keeping the safety of all our number one priority. Additional details related to the completion of the Spring 2020 semester continue to be developed and will be communicated in the coming days. WSC housing will be in contact with all residents with information related to housing and dining, the retrieval of items, and the move-out process.

3.20.2020 | WSC and COVID-19 update
From Monday, March 23 through April 3, no face-to-face academic courses or scheduled training at TrainND Northwest will be conducted on the WSC and TrainND Northwest campuses. During this time, only employees considered "operationally essential" will report to campus for work. All other employees will work remotely off-campus. This applies to both the WSC and TrainND Northwest campuses.

3.19.2020 | TrainND Northwest and COVID-19
At this time and until otherwise notified, TrainND Northwest will continue with ALL trainings as scheduled including well control training provided by Vorenkamp Well Control Training. Class sizes will be limited to 10 people and our instructors have been asked to help facilitate a 6-foot space bubble with students in class. TrainND Northwest is committed to the safety of our community

3.18.2020 | WSC and COVID-19 update
WSC will remain open but effective Wednesday, March 18 through Friday, April 3, only employees considered "operationally essential" will report in person. All other staff will work remotely off campus. Classes will still resume in an online environment for 2 weeks (March 23-April 3). As always, WSC is committed to the safety of our community.

3.12.2020 | WSC and COVID-19
In response to COVID-19, WSC will shift most face-to-face on-campus classes to remote instruction for 2 weeks (March 23 - April 3) following spring break. At this time, WSC will remain open and all other campus facilities will continue to operate. WSC is committed to the safety of our community.
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Preventative Measures
The NDDoH and our local public health unit encourage all persons to take preventative measures to avoid COVID-19, colds, and the flu:
  • Avoid contact with sick people
  • Clean your hands often by washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60%-95% alcohol
  • If you are sick, stay home
  • Contact your local healthcare provider or call 701.572.7651 (CHI St. Alexius Williston clinic) to schedule an appointment with a primary care provider or 701.774.7400 (CHI St. Alexius Williston hospital)
  • Visit the CDC website for more info on steps to prevent illness

On Saturday, March 28, North Dakota's State Health Officer, Mylynn Tufte, signed a confinement order for all ND residents returning from international locations and U.S. states with widespread disease, as classified by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). The order included all WSC students, faculty, and staff.

On May 8, State Health Officer, Mylynn Tufte, issued two amendments to that order which allow people to travel freely within the U.S. and releases requirements previously included in the first order for everyone except international travelers.

It is recommended that individuals who are in quarantine after traveling recently in the United States still fulfill their 14-day quarantine, but it is no longer required.

If you have traveled recently

  • Avoid contact with sick people
  • Clean your hands often by washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60%-95% alcohol
  • Pay attention to your health for 14 days after your return and take this survey from the NDDoH
  • Stay home and seek medical advice if you get sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing
  • Contact your local healthcare provider or call 701.572.7651 (CHI St. Alexius Williston clinic) to schedule an appointment with a primary care provider or 701.774.7400 (CHI St. Alexius Williston hospital)
  • Avoid travelling if you are sick
  • Follow the latest travel updates from the CDC
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Avoiding COVID-19 Scams
Looking to exploit the public's fears, cybercriminals are using tactics such as fake texts, Coronavirus-related Android/Apple mobile apps with ransomware, and phishing emails claiming to be from legitimate organizations with information about COVID-19.

How to avoid falling for phishing scams:
  • Pay close attention to who is sending you the email. Phishing emails can come from fake Centers for Disease Control and Prevention representatives @"cdc-gov.org" rather than the correct "cdc.gov."
  • Keep in mind that legitimate email addresses don't guarantee safety. They can be spoofed or can come from an account that has been hacked, so pay close attention to what the email is asking you to do. An email that asks you to provide banking information, account password, or social security number is a red flag - you should never be asked to provide those via email.
  • Make sure you know where a link is taking you to before you click it - by hovering your cursor over a link for a few seconds until the link's URL pops up - and that the link leads to a site that you are expecting.
  • Additional resource: State officials provide COVID-19-related cybersecurity threat information
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Resources
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Contacts
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