Past COVID 19 updates

LRSC President Doug Darling will provide updates to the COVID-19 situation and its impact on the college, its students, faculty, staff, and community. The most up to date information is at ND Department of Health or Center for Disease Control.

Past announcements from LRSC administration to faculty/staff/students since March 2020

August 2021 updates

LRSC COVID-19 Summer 2021 Protocol

Lake Region State College resources, policies, procedures, and other information regarding COVID-19. 

Effective Monday May 17, 2021, Lake Region State College will be retiring our current COVID protocols.

Retired protocol is inclusive of all nine sections formerly listed under the COVID-19 menu tab, including: 1) LRSC Smart Restart Plan, 2) LRSC COVID-19 Reporting, 3) Isolation and Quarantine protocol for LRSC students, 4) Isolation and Quarantine protocol for LRSC faculty and staff, 5) Wearing a face mask, 6) Bookstore, 7) Dining Services, 8) Housing protocol, and 9) Residence Hall information FAQ. Also retired is our COVID-19 dashboard showing the numbers of faculty, staff, and students in isolation and quarantine.

The following protocol will be in effect until August 15, 2021, at which time new protocol will be published for the start of fall semester.

  1. Faculty, staff, and students are expected to promptly notify the HR Director if they are positive for COVID or if they are symptomatic. Deliberate failure to do so would constitute a violation of our employee and student Code of Conduct policies.
  2.  Faculty, staff and students will not be allowed on campus for 10 days (from onset of symptoms or from the date of the test) if they are positive for COVID, have significant symptoms consistent with COVID (i.e. loss of taste and/or smell), or have a household member who tests positive for COVID and the faculty, staff, or student is not vaccinated.
    • Faculty and staff shall use sick leave or annual leave unless they can work from home and are approved by their supervisor to work from home. Students must attend class remotely when it is possible to do so and the technology is in place. 
    • Residence hall students shall be moved to a different room where they will stay until 10 days has passed since their positive test and/or their onset of symptoms. Students will not be allowed to leave their residence hall room unless they wear a mask and go directly to the nearest exit and leave the building.
  3. Masks will be worn by all in attendance during any indoor instructional activity, when the number in attendance exceeds 50% of the standard capacity of the classroom or event venue unless at least 75% of those in attendance are vaccinated and willing to provide proof. Instructional activity includes the Peace Officer Training Program, Nursing Program, and any other face-to-face indoor classroom activity.
  4. For non-instructional settings, all LRSC buildings will be mask-optional. Mask wearing in hallways, offices, meeting rooms, office suites, and public spaces like the Bookstore, Dining Room, Student Union, and Learning Commons, etc. is at the discretion of each individual visitor, employee and student.
  5. Meeting rooms, including Chautauqua Gallery, Heritage Hall, Colonial Room, Collinson Room, and other like rooms will be mask-optional with maximum capacity of the room set at 75% of standard capacity.
  6. Any staff or faculty member can decline an invitation to attend an in-person meeting and request the organizer to allow for remote attendance (Teams, Zoom, etc.).
  7. Faculty and staff may continue to eat in their office.
  8. Routine COVID-related cleaning and disinfecting by physical plant staff will cease. Employees with a desire to clean and disinfect their work areas will be provided with the supplies to do so.

May 2021 updates

These were the COVID protocols from August 2020 to mid May 2021.

Lake Region State College Royals 2020/2021 Restart  (Published on July 13, 2020)
On August 3, 2020, Lake Region State College will welcome staff and administrators back to campus, including those currently working from home and those on furlough.  Some student athletes will already be on campus living in the residence halls and international students needing to quarantine prior to student orientation will be moving in between August 7th and August 10th.  For the safety of faculty, staff, students, and visitors, the following restart protocol will be in place, effective August 3rd.  Failure to adhere to the requirements of this restart protocol will constitute a violation of the LRSC Code of Conduct (1500.05) or the LRSC Student Code of Conduct (800.30).

Section One:  Lowering the Risk of Transmission: Mask Wearing and Physical Distancing
Students, faculty, staff and visitors to Lake Region State College can greatly enhance our ability to offer a safer campus living and learning environment by making decisions that help the collective health of our entire community.  Observing the distancing objective and wearing a face covering can slow the spread significantly.  This will allow Lake Region State College to keep more courses, programs, and services open and available to students.  To achieve our goal of creating a healthy and safe environment, the following shall be required:
    I. Face Coverings (masks or face shields) and Physical Distancing
        1. When indoors, faculty, staff, students, and visitors shall wear a face covering when walking in hallways, when in areas open to others, and when riding in vehicles.  Face covering is defined as a face mask or a face shield (accompanied by a face mask if 6-foot distance cannot be accommodated). Gaiter coverings are not acceptable face coverings.
        2. Face coverings are also required when in the classroom, science lab, computer lab, Learning Commons, or meeting rooms.
        3. Coverings are not required in the following locations/circumstances:
            a. Outdoors when a six-foot distance can be maintained.
            b. When alone in an office or with only household members in a residence hall room. 
            c. When working in a cubicle or when working at a workstation with a wellness barrier and there is at least six feet of distance between you and a co-worker.  A face covering is required when leaving  the workstation for any reason.   
            d. While practicing and/or competing in sports, playing a musical instrument, performing in a theater production, or another like activity. 
            e. When face coverings are “not required” as part of an approved COVID Safe protocol plan (as in II and III below).
            f.  The Dining Room and the Student Union are open to faculty and staff for take-out only (in room dining is not allowed). 
            g. When specifically exempted by the President of Lake Region State College. 
        4.    Faculty should make every effort to ensure compliance with physical distancing as a best practice by spacing desks and chairs as far apart as is practical, requiring and enforcing the wearing of a face covering, making disinfectant wipes available to use on desks prior to being seated, and making hand sanitizer available as students arrive for class.
        5.    When the physical distancing objective can’t be met due to the number of enrolled students and classroom size, faculty should explore other options like rotated attendance, student scheduling    adjustments, relocation to a larger classroom or meeting room, and/or using technology to allow students to attend remotely.  
        6.    Because wearing a face covering and utilizing physical distancing is helpful but does not provide complete protection from transmission:   
            a. Faculty and staff should try to use other forms of communication whenever it is practical to do so.  Other forms include utilizing the telephone to hold conference calls, using technology such as  Microsoft Teams, and using instant messaging or email.  
            b. During more impromptu encounters and when two or more people need to see the same information, faculty and staff should utilize a wall monitor, screen sharing, and/or printed copies.  Do not  huddle closely around the same computer screen.
            c. Meeting organizers should evaluate the number of participants, the size of the room, and the ability to see a presentation and hear the speaker in a socially distanced manner as relevant  considerations.
            d. Staff who interact with others often should maximize the use of the wellness barrier.  The wellness barrier allows for a face to face conversation while providing physical separation through the use  of clear Plexiglas.     
    II.  CTE Labs and Athletics:  Faculty and administrators in the following areas will create, and submit for approval, supplemental protocol necessary to enhance our ability to lower the risk of transmission  as it applies to the unique nature of the:
        1. Kinesiology Lab
        2. Auto Shop
        3. Wind Lab
        4. DPAC Shop
        5. Simulation Lab
        6. Early Childhood Education Program
        7. Peace Officer Training Program
        8. PN and AD Nursing Programs
        9. Athletics Department; including the use of the gym and training room by teams and student athletes, use of the weight room, and the protocol agreed upon by the MON-DAK Conference for COVID safe competitions.   
Once approved by the VP for Academic and Student Affairs, these procedures will be published in a student handbook, an appropriate rules manual, procedure manual, and/or course syllabus so it is available to the affected students, faculty, and staff. 
    III. Auxiliary Services:  Administrators in the following areas will create and publish procedures to enhance our ability to lower the risk of transmission as it applies to the following locations:
        1. The Bookstore
        2. Dining Services
        3. Residence Halls 
These procedures will be published and available on the COVID Safe information page of the LRSC website.   

Lake Region State College will adhere to the guidance and recommendations from the ND Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  As COVID-19 testing becomes available to our community, the number of positive cases is likely to grow.  The LRSC Human Resources Director is designated as our official point of contact with the ND Department of Health.  
    I. Testing:  Lake Region State College will help coordinate with the ND Department Health so that testing is made available to our campus as often as is practical.
        1.  General information about the number of positive cases known at LRSC will be posted each school day on the LRSC COVID Safe information page.  LRSC will adhere to all confidentiality requirements that apply to faculty, staff, and students.  Only that information that can be released, will be released.  
        2. The LRSC Human Resources Director will publish the protocol (to the LRSC COVID Safe information page) that will be required of a student, faculty and/or staff member who:
            a. is feeling well but who has a household member who has tested positive for COVID 19;
            b. is feeling well but has a household member who has been tested for COVID 19 and is awaiting the results;
            c. is feeling well but who has a sick household member with symptoms consistent with COVID 19 but has not yet been tested;
            d. has symptoms consistent with COVID 19 and must stay home from work, who are at work and become symptomatic, is awaiting test results, or has tested positive for COVID 19. 
    II: Tracking:  Lake Region State College students, faculty, and staff shall cooperate with public health officials (or their designee) in any contact tracing effort to help identify persons who may be at risk.
    III. Self-isolation and Quarantine:  Only the ND Department of Health, a local public health official, or a medical provider may order a member of our campus community to self-isolate or quarantine.   
        1. Isolation is the term used for people who are already sick from the virus and is a prevention strategy used to separate people who are sick from those who are not.  It is also used if someone has tested positive or who has symptoms but has not yet been tested.  
        2. Quarantine is the term used for people who don’t currently have the virus but were exposed to someone with the virus.  Quarantine is a prevention strategy used to monitor people who have been      exposed (but not tested) to see if they become sick.  
        3. Lake Region State College will assist in monitoring and enforcing orders to isolate or quarantine only as it is appropriate for us to do so.  
        4. The Governor, in his executive order dated May 8, 2020 requires: “Any person who enters ND traveling from another country, or after traveling internationally within the past fourteen days, and who is not merely passing through, is subject to immediate quarantine for a period of fourteen days from the time of entry into ND, or for a period of fourteen days from the time of entry in the united States if after having traveled internationally, for the duration of the person’s presence in ND whichever is shorter.”   
            a. International students (including those from Canada) will be required to quarantine prior to physically participating in a campus approved activity, practice, meeting, or class.
            b. All faculty, staff, and students could be subject to isolation or quarantine orders should they qualify under the HR protocol created for Section Two I.2.a-d.   
Section Three: Travel and Off Campus Requirements
•    Lake Region State College faculty and staff shall attend training and meetings using technology whenever it is possible to do so.  
•    International travel is suspended and no approval guidelines or process will be created until permission is possible.  
•    Out of state travel requires approval of the President.
•    In-state travel requires approval from the appropriate Vice President.  
•    Students, faculty, and staff who work/learn at a location other than the main campus in Devils Lake must adhere to the more restrictive mask wearing and physical distancing requirements of the work location.  For example, if Mayville State University has a more restrictive requirement than LRSC, a nursing student or faculty member there must comply with MaSU’s requirement.  If LRSC’s requirement is more restrictive, when possible, the LRSC requirement must be met.  

Section Four:  Protocol Updates, Related Information, and Signage
Updates and changes in protocol will likely occur on a very regular basis.  Emails will be sent out by President Darling alerting the campus to this new information and to consult the COVID Safe information page of our website for detailed information.   The Director of Community Relations will ensure campus signs and other informational displays are up to date with information regarding social distancing, face covering requirements, cleaning and hygiene techniques, and other related COVID Safe reminders.   
Section Five:  Sanitizing Work Areas
The Physical Plant Director will make sure each classroom, office area, and meeting room has easy access to cleaning supplies, disinfectant wipes, and hand sanitizer.  Faculty and Staff must help take responsibility for keeping their work environment clean and disinfected.   Custodial staff will clean and disinfect classrooms, meeting rooms, hallways, and common areas at least daily but will need help from all employees in keeping work areas and classrooms clean and disinfected during the school day.  

COVID Reporting
Members of the LRSC Community are expected to notify the College through the below form if they have:
•    Tested positive for COVID-19
•    Been notified by a state health department official that they have been identified as a close contact to someone that has tested positive for COVID-19
•    Symptoms consistent with COVID-19 (individuals can check their symptoms through the ND Department of Health COVID-19 Risk Assessment Survey Tool by clicking here)
This form should also be used to report concerns about COVID-19 exposure to the College community. The purpose of this form is to inform the College that a student or employee has COVID-19, has been identified as a close contact, and/or has symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
COVID-19 Reporting Form 

 

 

Isolation and Quarantine for students 

COVID-19 Cases and Reporting Procedures
As COVID-19 testing becomes more widespread, the number of positive cases may grow significantly. New cases reported on the LRSC campus will be posted once a day, before noon, Monday through Friday. Student confidentiality laws prohibit us from disclosing the identities of individuals. Therefore, each new entry will be listed in strict accordance with student and patient confidentiality laws and will indicate when it was posted or updated. These statistics are reflective of information obtained by LRSC independently, in close cooperation with local and State health departments, or provided to LRSC by local and State health authorities. There may be instances when LRSC may have no way of knowing and communicating information about new positive cases on campus if individuals on campus do not disclose to LRSC or health authorities that they have tested positive for COVID-19. Thus, this information includes only positive cases that LRSC has been made aware of.
If there are positive cases, LRSC is prepared to assist public health officials in following up with others whom individuals may have come into contact. Anyone who has been identified as a close contact would be notified by the North Dakota Department of Health and provided with additional information.
Isolation and Quarantine:  Only the ND Department of Health, a local public health official, or a medical provider may order a member of our campus community to isolate.  LRSC will require a close contact to quarantine for up to 14 days if they are living on the LRSC campus or attending on campus classes.  LRSC may require a student to isolate or quarantine longer than is required should they test positive or show symptoms while in quarantine.  Lake Region State College will assist in monitoring and enforcing orders to isolate or quarantine only as it is appropriate for us to do so.
1.    Isolation is the term used for people who are already sick from the virus and is a prevention strategy used to separate people who are sick from those who are not. It is also used if someone has tested positive or who has symptoms but has not yet been tested. 
2.    Quarantine is the term used for people who don’t currently have the virus but were exposed to someone with the virus. Quarantine is a prevention strategy used to monitor people who have been exposed (but not tested) to see if they become sick.
For questions/concerns, please contact the HR Director/Risk Manager at Sandra.Lillehaugen@lrsc.edu.
Required Procedures for Students
Failure to adhere to the requirements of this restart protocol will constitute a violation of the LRSC Student Code of Conduct (800.30).
Student lives in the residence hall and tests positive for COVID-19:
Must notify LRSC and follow all protocols given by LRSC. Provide notification to: Sandi Lillehaugen at 701-662-1543 or Sandra.Lillehaugen@lrsc.edu and Housing Director, Scott Dunbar at 701-662-1525  or Scott.Dunbar@lrsc.edu 
•    Isolate for the required 14 days or until released by the NDDoH
•    Student will be moved to designated quarantine/isolation housing or they can return home
•    If on campus, meals will be delivered by food service or housing personnel
•    Participate in contract tracing protocols
•    Determine teammates and/or classmates that could be potential close contacts 
•    Student will be able to attend their classes synchronously using technology from their residence hall or home
•    LRSC will help arrange access to healthcare if needed
•    The original residence hall room will receive deep cleaning procedures
Student lives off campus and tests positive for COVID-19:
•    Must notify LRSC and follow all protocols given by LRSC. Provide notification to:  Sandi Lillehaugen at 701-662-1543 or Sandra.Lillehaugen@lrsc.edu  
•    Isolate for the required 14 days at home or until released by the NDDoH
•    Participate in contract tracing protocols
•    Student will be able to attend their classes synchronously using technology from their home
Student in the residence hall is a close contact of another that has tested positive for COVID-19:
•    Must notify LRSC and follow all protocols given by LRSC. Provide notification to: Sandi Lillehaugen at 701-662-1543 or Sandra.Lillehaugen@lrsc.edu and Housing Director, Scott Dunbar at 701-662-1525 Scott.Dunbar@lrsc.edu
•    Quarantine for the required 14 days 
•     Student will be moved to designated quarantine/isolation housing or they can return  home
•    If on campus, meals will be delivered by food service or housing personnel
•    Monitor your health for 14 days from the last exposure
•    Get COVID-19 test 4-7 days after exposure
•    If positive, follow ‘positive for COVID-19 protocol’ above
•    Student will be able to attend their classes synchronously using technology from their residence hall or home
Student lives off campus and is a close contact of another that has tested positive for COVID-19:
•    Must notify LRSC and follow all protocols given by LRSC. Provide notification to: Sandi Lillehaugen at 701-662-1543 or Sandra.Lillehaugen@lrsc.edu
•    Quarantine for the required 14 days at home
•    Monitor your health for 14 days from the last exposure
•    Get COVID-19 test 4-7 days after exposure
•    If positive, follow ‘positive for COVID-19 protocol’ above
•    Student will be able to attend their classes synchronously using technology from their home
Students who are well but who have a household member or roommate that has tested positive COVID-19:
•    Must notify LRSC and follow all protocols given by LRSC. Provide notification to: Sandi Lillehaugen at 701-662-1543 or Sandra.Lillehaugen@lrsc.edu
•    Self-quarantine at home, and avoid public places (shopping centers, movie theaters, stadiums, workplaces, etc.) for 14 days after the household member is recovered and removed from isolation. This ordinarily will involve self-quarantine for a total of 24 days (that is, 10 days from onset of symptoms of the household member, plus 14 days beyond that)
•    Monitor your health for symptoms of COVID-19
•    Student will be able to attend their classes synchronously using technology from their home
Student has a sick household member at home with respiratory symptoms, but has not been tested for COVID-19, and the student is well:
•    Must notify LRSC and follow all protocols given by LRSC. Provide notification to: Sandi Lillehaugen at 701-662-1543 or Sandra.Lillehaugen@lrsc.edu
•    Stay home at least until sick household member is subsequently tested for COVID-19 and found to be negative.
•    Sick household member should be encouraged to seek medical attention and be tested for COVID-19.
•    Student will self-quarantine at home, and avoid public places (shopping centers, movie theaters, stadiums, workplaces, etc.) for 14 days after the household member is recovered and removed from isolation. This ordinarily will involve self-quarantine for a total of 24 days (that is, 10 days from onset of symptoms of the household member, plus 14 days beyond that)
Students who are sick: 
•    Will notify their instructors and will not attend class
•    Must notify LRSC and follow all protocols given by LRSC. Provide notification to:  Sandi Lillehaugen at 701-662-1543 or Sandra.Lillehaugen@lrsc.edu
•    Student will self-quarantine in their residence hall room or at home, and avoid public areas 
•    If on campus, meals will be delivered by food service or housing personnel
•    Students with COVID symptoms are encouraged to seek medical attention and be tested for COVID-19 and if positive, follow positive for COVID-19 protocol above
•    Student will be able to attend their classes synchronously using technology from their residence hall or home
Students confirmed to have COVID-19 infections: 
•    Student will isolate as instructed by NDDoH until the following three are met:
o    Student has not had a fever (temperature greater than 100.4 degrees) for 72 hours without the use of fever reducing medications
o    Student’s symptoms have improved (for example, student’s cough and shortness of breath have improved)
o     At least 10 days have passed since student’s first symptoms appeared
•    The original residence hall room will receive deep cleaning procedures
•    Student’s common areas (classrooms, residence hall, bathrooms, etc.) will be cleaned and disinfected.
•    North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) will lead the contact tracing investigation.
•    Close contact is defined by the NDDoH as:
o    Being within 6 feet of a COVID-19 case for a prolonged period of time (15 minutes or more). Close contact can occur while caring for, living with, working with or sharing a health care waiting area or room with a COVID-19 case, or
o    Having direct contact with infectious secretion of a COVID-19 case (being coughed on)
Student has a fever and/or respiratory symptoms but was not tested: 
•    Student will self-isolate in their place of residence until the following three are met:
o    Student has not had a fever (temperature greater than 100.4 degrees) for 72 hours without the use of fever reducing medications
o    Student’s symptoms have improved (for example, student’s cough and shortness of breath have improved)
o    At least 10 days have passed since student’s first symptoms appeared
Student is tested and results indicate student does not have COVID-19: 
•    Student is able to return to class once the following two criteria are met:
o    Student has had no fever (temperature greater than 100.4 degrees) for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications
o    Student’s other signs and symptoms of illness are improved
Student thinks they may have been at the same location as a person who was diagnosed with COVID-19: 
•    The NDDoH conducts interviews with all persons diagnosed with COVID-19 to determine who their close contacts are. People who are identified as close contacts will be notified by the NDDoH and will receive instruction on quarantine and monitoring
•    Being in an indoor environment (e.g., store, classroom, workplace, restaurant) with someone who has COVID-19 is not necessarily considered having close contact
•    Students who have not been contacted by the NDDoH as a close contact will report to class as usual
Secondary contacts are contacts of someone who has been identified as a close contact. 
•    Student is not required to quarantine or isolate.
Student has completed the COVID-19 isolation period, has met the following criteria, and is prepared to return to class:
•    Student has not had a fever for at least 72 hours (temperature greater than 100.4 degrees) without the use of fever reducing medications.
•    Student’s other symptoms have improved (for example, cough and shortness of breath have improved).
•    At least 10 days have passed since student’s first symptoms appeared.

Isolation and Quarantine protocol for faculty and staff

COVID-19 Cases and Reporting Procedures
As COVID-19 testing becomes more widespread, the number of positive cases may grow significantly. New cases reported on the LRSC campus will be posted once a day, before noon, Monday through Friday. Student and employee confidentiality laws prohibit us from disclosing the identities of individuals. Therefore, each new entry will be listed in strict accordance with student, employee and patient confidentiality laws and will indicate when it was posted or updated. These statistics are reflective of information obtained by LRSC independently, in close cooperation with local and State health departments, or provided to LRSC by local and State health authorities. There may be instances when LRSC may have no way of knowing and communicating information about new positive cases on campus if individuals on campus do not disclose to LRSC or health authorities that they have tested positive for COVID-19. Thus, this information includes only positive cases that LRSC has been made aware of.
If there are positive cases, LRSC is prepared to assist public health officials in following up with others whom individuals may have come into contact. Anyone who has been identified as a close contact would be notified by the North Dakota Department of Health and provided with additional information.
Isolation and Quarantine:  Only the ND Department of Health, a local public health official, or a medical provider may order a member of our campus community to isolate.  LRSC will require a close contact to quarantine for up to 14 days if they work for Lake Region State College.  LRSC may require an employee to isolate or quarantine longer than is required should they test positive or show symptoms while in quarantine.  Lake Region State College will assist in monitoring and enforcing orders to isolate or quarantine only as it is appropriate for us to do so.
1.    Isolation is the term used for people who are already sick from the virus and is a prevention strategy used to separate people who are sick from those who are not. It is also used if someone has tested positive or who has symptoms but has not yet been tested. 
2.    Quarantine is the term used for people who don’t currently have the virus but were exposed to someone with the virus. Quarantine is a prevention strategy used to monitor people who have been exposed (but not tested) to see if they become sick.
 
For questions/concerns, please contact the HR Director at Sandra.Lillehaugen@lrsc.edu.
Required Procedures for Employees and Volunteers
In accordance with the guidance from the ND Department of Health (NDDoH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the following procedures must be followed by Lake Region State College employees and volunteers. An employee is defined as faculty, staff, and administrators and is inclusive of full time, part time, contract, and student workers.  
We are asking all employees to minimize the spread of illness by taking the following actions when working from campus:
•    Unless you are alone in your office, staff on campus should wear face coverings when interacting with others and when walking the hallways when it is likely you will encounter others.  
•    Maintain a six-foot distance between you and those you are working with or talking to.
•    Do not sit or stand close together.  
•    When two or more people need to see the same information, utilize a wall monitor, screen sharing, and/or printed copies, but do not huddle closely around the same computer screen.  
•    Avoid standing in each other’s doorway or sitting down for a discussion in offices without face masks and make using the phone, Teams, and other forms of electronic communication a higher priority.
Failure to adhere to the requirements of this restart protocol will constitute a violation of the LRSC Code of Conduct (1500.05).
Employees who are well but who have a household member undergoing testing for COVID-19:
•    MUST notify their supervisor and stay home pending results of testing. (The governor has asked that any household members of people being tested for COVID quarantine pending those results. LRSC will enforce the governor’s request.)
•    Employee may be eligible and may be required to work from home, and or teach remotely.
•    Employee’s workplace will continue to receive routine cleaning procedures.
•    Employee’s coworkers are expected to continue to report to work as usual if asymptomatic.
•    Employee may be eligible for Emergency Paid Sick Leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Contact the HR Director.
Employees who are well but who have a household member at home diagnosed with COVID-19 will self-quarantine at home, and avoid public places (shopping centers, movie theaters, stadiums, workplaces, etc.) for 14 days after the household member is recovered and removed from isolation.
This ordinarily will involve self-quarantine for a total of 24 days (that is, 10 days from onset of symptoms of the household member, plus 14 days beyond that).
•    Employee may be eligible and may be required to work from home, and or teach remotely.
•    Employee’s workplace will continue to receive routine cleaning procedures.
•    Employee’s coworkers are expected to continue to report to work as usual if asymptomatic.
•    Employee may be eligible for Emergency Paid Sick Leave under the FFCRA/FMLA. Contact the HR Director. 
•    Consideration may be given to LRSC employees identified as close contacts, but essential to the sustained operation of LRSC, to continue to work, provided practices as identified by the CDC are followed. Supervisors will contact the HR Director or division vice presidents for additional information.
Employee has a sick household member at home with respiratory symptoms, but has not been tested for COVID-19, and the employee is well:
•    Employee must notify supervisor and stay home at least until sick household member is subsequently tested for COVID-19 and found to be negative.
•    Sick Household member should be encouraged to seek medical attention and be tested for COVID-19.
•    Employee will self-quarantine at home, and avoid public places (shopping centers, movie theaters, stadiums, workplaces, etc.) for 14 days after the household member is recovered and removed from isolation. This ordinarily will involve self-quarantine for a total of 24 days (that is, 10 days from onset of symptoms of the household member, plus 14 days beyond that).
•    Employee’s workplace will continue to receive routine cleaning procedures.
•    Employee’s coworkers are expected to continue to report to work as usual if asymptomatic.
•    Employee may be eligible and may be required to work from home, and or teach remotely.
•    If employee is unable to work, they may use LRSC Dependent Care Sick Leave (NDUS HR Policy 7).
•    Consideration may be given to LRSC employees identified as close contacts, but essential to the sustained operation of LRSC, to continue to work,  provided practices as identified by the CDC are followed. Supervisors will contact the HR Director or division vice presidents for additional information.
Employees who are sick: Will notify their supervisor and stay home.
•    Employees with COVID symptoms are encouraged to seek medical attention and be tested for COVID-19. If not tested, you need to be symptom free for 72 hours before returning to work.
•    Employee may be eligible and may be required to work from home, and or teach remotely.
•    If employee is unable to work, they may use sick leave. (NDUS HR Policy 7).
Employees who appear to have symptoms upon arrival at work or who become sick during the day must:
•    Immediately inform their supervisor.
•    Immediately be separated from others.
•    Immediately be sent home
Employees with symptoms are encouraged to seek medical attention and be tested for COVID-19.
•    Employee’s workspace will be closed off for 24 hours, or as long as feasible, prior to cleaning and disinfecting.
•    Employee’s workplace common areas (bathrooms, copy rooms, etc.) will be cleaned and disinfected.
•    Employee’s coworkers will continue to work as usual if asymptomatic.
•    Employee may be eligible and may be required to work from home, and or teach remotely.
•    If unable to work, the ill employee may use sick leave. (NDUS HR Policy 7).
Employee is confirmed to have COVID-19 infections: 
•    Employee will self-isolate in their place of residence until the following three are met:
•    Employee has not had a fever (temperature greater than 100.4 degrees) for 72 hours without the use of fever reducing medications.
•    Employee’s symptoms have improved (for example, employee’s cough and shortness of breath have improved).
•    At least 10 days have passed since employee’s first symptoms appeared.
North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) will lead the contact investigation.
Employee may be eligible for Emergency Sick Leave under the FFCRA or traditional Family Medical Leave (FMLA). Contact the HR Director.
Employee’s workspace will be closed off for 24 hours, or as long as feasible, prior to cleaning and disinfecting.
Employee’s workplace common areas (bathrooms, copy room, etc.) will be cleaned and disinfected.
Employer will inform employee’s coworkers of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace but maintain confidentiality of the employee as necessary. NDDoH will provide assistance with notification process.
Employee’s coworkers identified as close contacts will be contacted by NDDoH. If employee’s coworker is not contacted by NDDoH, the coworker was not considered to be a close contact.
Close contact is defined by the NDDoH as:
•    Being within 6 feet of a COVID-19 case for a prolonged period of time (15 minutes or more). Close contact can occur while caring for, living with, working with or sharing a health care waiting area or room with a COVID-19 case, or
•    Having direct contact with infectious secretion of a COVID-19 case (being coughed on)
•    Employee’s coworkers will self-monitor for symptoms (fever, cough, or shortness of breath).
•    Employee’s coworkers will continue to work unless notified by NDDoH to stay home.
An employee has a fever and/or respiratory symptoms but was not tested: 
•     Employee will self-isolate in their place of residence until the following three are met:
Employee has not had a fever (temperature greater than 100.4 degrees) for 72 hours without the use of fever reducing medications.
Employee’s symptoms have improved (for example, employee’s cough and shortness of breath have improved) and are symptom free for 72 hours.
At least 10 days have passed since employee’s first symptoms appeared
•    Employee may be eligible and may be required to work from home, and or teach remotely. 
•     If employee is unable to work, they may use sick leave. (NDUS HR Policy 7)
Employee is tested and results indicate employee does not have COVID-19: 
•    Employee is able to return to work once the following two criteria are met:
Employee has had no fever (temperature greater than 100.4 degrees) for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications.
Employee’s other signs and symptoms of illness are improved.
•    Employee may be eligible and may be required to work from home, and or teach remotely. 
•    If employee is unable to work, they may use sick leave. (NDUS HR Policy 7).
Employee thinks they may have been at the same location as a person who was diagnosed with COVID-19: 
•    The NDDoH conducts interviews with all persons diagnosed with COVID-19 to determine who their close contacts are. People who are identified as close contacts will be notified by the NDDoH and will receive instruction on quarantine and monitoring.
•    Being in an indoor environment (e.g., store, workplace, restaurant) with someone who has COVID-19 is not necessarily considered having close contact.
•    Employee who has not been contacted by the NDDoH as a close contact will report to work as usual.
Secondary contacts are contacts of someone who has been identified as a close contact. 
•    Employee will report to work as usual as long as employee is not sick.
Employee has completed the COVID-19 isolation period, has met the following criteria, and is prepared to return to work:
•    Employee has not had a fever for at least 72 hours (temperature greater than 100.4 degrees) without the use of fever reducing medications.
•    Employee’s other symptoms have improved (for example, cough and shortness of breath have improved).
•    At least 10 days have passed since employee’s first symptoms appeared.
•    Employee is required to provide a return to work document/fitness for duty from the NDDoH or their health care provider before returning to work.  Fitness- for-duty report will be submitted to the HR Director.  HR Director will inform your supervisor of employee’s clearance to return to work. If the employee submits directly to the employee’s supervisor, that supervisor must send to the HR Director prior to allowing the employee to return.

 

 

Face coverings (masks or face shields) and physical distancing are required:
        1. When indoors, faculty, staff, students, and visitors shall wear a face covering when walking in hallways, when in areas open to others, when riding in vehicles, and in dining services/student union       (except while seated and eating/drinking).  Face covering is defined as a face mask or a face shield (accompanied by a face mask if 6-foot distance cannot be accommodated). Gaiter coverings are not acceptable face coverings.
        2. Face coverings are also required when in the classroom, science lab, computer lab, Learning Commons, or meeting rooms.
        3. Coverings are not required in the following locations/circumstances:
            a. Outdoors when a six-foot distance can be maintained.
            b. When alone in an office or with only household members in a residence hall room. 
            c. When working in a cubicle or when working at a workstation with a wellness barrier and there is at least six feet of distance between you and a co-worker.  A face covering is required when leaving  the workstation for any reason.   
            d. While practicing and/or competing in sports, playing a musical instrument, performing in a theater production, or another like activity. 
            e. When face coverings are “not required” as part of an approved COVID Safe protocol plan (as in II and III below).
            f. When specifically exempted by the President of Lake Region State College. 
        4.    Faculty should make every effort to ensure compliance with physical distancing as a best practice by spacing desks and chairs as far apart as is practical, requiring and enforcing the wearing of a face covering, making disinfectant wipes available to use on desks prior to being seated, and making hand sanitizer available as students arrive for class.
        5.    When the physical distancing objective can’t be met due to the number of enrolled students and classroom size, faculty should explore other options like rotated attendance, student scheduling    adjustments, relocation to a larger classroom or meeting room, and/or using technology to allow students to attend remotely.  
        6.    Because wearing a face covering and utilizing physical distancing is helpful but does not provide complete protection from transmission:   
            a. Faculty and staff should try to use other forms of communication whenever it is practical to do so.  Other forms include utilizing the telephone to hold conference calls, using technology such as  Microsoft Teams, and using instant messaging or email.  
            b. During more impromptu encounters and when two or more people need to see the same information, faculty and staff should utilize a wall monitor, screen sharing, and/or printed copies.  Do not  huddle closely around the same computer screen.
            c. Meeting organizers should evaluate the number of participants, the size of the room, and the ability to see a presentation and hear the speaker in a socially distanced manner as relevant  considerations.
            d. Staff who interact with others often should maximize the use of the wellness barrier.  The wellness barrier allows for a face to face conversation while providing physical separation through the use  of clear Plexiglas.     

 

LRSC Bookstore COVID-19 Response Plan
Access and Services, Fall 2020
This plan provides the latest available information about the Lake Region State College Campus Bookstore that may be impacted by the COVID 19 (novel coronavirus) situation. 
The campus bookstore will follow the same public access rules that are in place by the institution and are subject to change.  Please refer to the main campus website for the most up-to-date policies, times and dates of operation.
Beginning Wednesday, August 5, 2020, the campus store will be open to serve the campus community. New store hours will be in place to allow for additional cleaning of store and preparation of online orders.  The campus store will be open from 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM, Monday – Friday with special pick-up and delivery times based on student needs.   
•    Plexi glass shields are in place to protect employees and customers in front of the coffee bar area and the point of purchase cash register.  Hand sanitizer is available at the entrance of the bookstore for customers to use prior to entering and upon exiting.  Face shields and/or masks will be provided for and worn by staff when assisting customers on the sales floor.  Latex gloves will be worn when preparing any items at the Royal Java Espresso Bar and when handling daily deposits.  
•    Additional cleaning protocols are in place for countertops, pens, styluses and other items touched by employees and customers. Every effort will be made to clean common areas between customer transactions. 
•    Credit card readers have been set to not require a signature for purchase for amounts under $25.00. Cash and checks are still accepted as forms of payment. 
•    There will be no self-serve items in the bookstore. All prepared drink and food items will be handled by the barista employee using food safety preparation guidelines.
•    Directional signage will be put on the floor within the store to create 'one-way' traffic and to instruct customers where to stand when preparing to check out.  Product assortment will be maximized to allow social distancing.  
•    For students attending LRSC this fall (whether it be on campus, at an off-campus location, or online) we will be requiring all course materials to be ordered via the LRSC Online Bookstore.  Our receiving area has been reconfigured to accommodate online orders pending pick-up as well as allow for safe personal distancing among staff. We will offer a bookstore valet type service where we pull customer books for those who need accommodation due to special needs and circumstances.  
•    Free resident hall delivery, in store pick-up (by appointment) and curb-side pick-up options are in place as well as home delivery.  The store is currently working with the campus IT Director and Residence Hall Director to put in place scheduling assistant software to help manage pick-up and delivery times. 

Lake Region State College Dining Services is committed to food safety and the safety of guests that dine on campus.
In order to operate as safely as possible for our students and customers, Dining Services is implementing the following:
•    A temporary wall has been installed around the Student Union and Dining Room to accommodate one-way traffic into the dining area and for exiting. The double doors by the childcare center and doorway near the Adult Learning Center will be emergency exits only.
•    The cashier area has been located outside the Snack Bar to mitigate the need to stand in line within the dining areas. This way, students and guests can swipe their meal card or purchase meals as they enter.  Payment options include, board plan card (Student ID), R-bucks (on ID card) or credit card. No cash transactions will take place.
•    Once you have scanned your card, dining will become an “All you can eat” situation without returning for a second serving.  
•    “To Go” containers will be provided for those who prefer to eat in their room or office. The cashier will provide the containers. Select your food and depart the area. Please do not sit in the dining area with a “To Go” box.  
•    Sanitizing stations will be placed throughout the dining area. Please use them when you are in the dining room area.  
•    Masks are required until you are seated at your table. 
•    The Dining Room will have designated tables for student groups who are in high contact with one another. For example: athletic teams will be assigned designated tables. Specific programs also will have assigned tables (auto, nursing, ag). If you are in these classes, please sit at that designated table. Tables and booths in the Student Union will be available for individuals and roommates to sit together.
•    Faculty and staff are required to take meals “To Go”. 
•    If you are feeling ill, please do not enter the dining area.  We will be offering takeout items that others may pick up for you.
•    Meetings needing refreshments or meals and banquets are suspended at this time.
Please email dining service any questions you may have to rosalie.seibel@lrsc.edu.  

Module 8 Housing Protocol
Resident Illness Identification and Testing:
•    The housing director will work with the resident assistants to take the temperatures of students upon check in and once weekly once the semester is underway.  
•    When temperatures are taken, students will be required to complete a brief “how are you feeling” survey regarding any illness or respiratory ailment they may have recently experienced or are currently experiencing.  
•    Resident Hall students are required to show a negative test for COVID that was taken within the previous 30 days leading up to check in.  Those that cannot provide proof of a negative COVID test upon check in to the residence halls must take a test within the first week of arrival to LRSC.  
Touchless Fixture Installation:
The physical plant director will install at least one touchless faucet and paper towel dispenser and door opener clip (for use by the foot) in each resident hall community restroom.
COVID Safe Behavior:
•    The housing director and resident assistance will model COVID safe behavior at all times through mask wearing, sign posting, and positive messaging.  
•    The housing director will enforce the COVID Safe Protocol through positive messaging, verbal warnings, and written warnings to residents.  
•    Repeated violations of the COVID Safe Protocol will be considered misconduct under the Resident Code of Conduct and the Student Code of Conduct policy.
Cleaning and Disinfecting:
•    The physical plant director shall ensure that the commonly touched surfaces (bathroom fixtures, door knobs, countertops, refrigerator handles, etc) in the residence halls are disinfected as part of the cleaning protocol.  
•    Additional disinfecting of these commonly touched surfaces  will be done several times daily (including evenings and weekends) by employees (including student employees) supervised by the housing director.  

 

 

 

Residence Hall Information 

Residence Life FAQ for Fall 2020
Q. How many students will be assigned to each room?
4 people in the suites (Gilliland Hall) and 2 people in the non-suites (North Hall and South Hall).  There are 2 rooms are designed for 3 people, and those rooms will have 3 people. There will be no overload rooms (Turning 2 person rooms into 3 person rooms.)
Please note, LRSC Housing is unable to remove and store the unused furniture in each unit.
Q. When will I know the names of my roommate?
You can find out your roommate through Campus Connection. If you are currently not assigned a roommate, one will be added.
Q. How will students safely move onto campus?
A two-hour appointment  move in must be pre-scheduled.  You will receive an e-mail with instructions on how to sign up for a move-in appointment.  Available move in dates are August 19 through 21 for first year students and August 22 and 23 for second year students.  Check-in times will be between 8:00 am and 8:00 pm.   
•    The centralized check-in process will take place in Student Services.
•    Only the student will be allowed inside the venue to check into their housing assignment (picking up your keys).
•    Face covering will be required and their temperature will be taken.
•    The student will have to show their Covid-19 test results at this time.  Please have it printed out to turn in at the time of check-in.
•    Students may arrive at any time during their scheduled two-hour appointment (Between 8 a.m. through 6:00 p.m.)
•    Once the student and their 1 helper arrive at the residence hall, the helper will be required to wear a mask and their temperature will be taken before entering the residence hall.
Q. When will students sign up for their move-in appointment?
Students will receive instructions on how to sign up for move-in.  Please check your e-mail (LRSC email account) regularly for these instructions as they are still being finalized.
Q. What day can first-year students move into the residence halls?
First-year students may sign up for a move-in appointment between Thursday, August 19 through August 21, 2020.
Q. What day can returning students move into the residence halls?
Returning students may only sign up for a move-in appointment on Saturday, August 22, or Sunday, August 23.  Due to COVID-safe protocols and social distancing needs, student numbers during move in will be limited, which is why returning students may not move-in before Saturday. 
Q. May I move into the residence halls or apartments, before Wednesday, August 19?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. Our staff and facilities will not be ready to receive early arrivals. Unless you have received expressed instructions from the college to move in early, such as some athletes and some student staff, you may only move in during your scheduled appointment.
Q. Can I bring someone with me to help me move onto campus?
To ensure social distancing, students should bring one family member or helper (they are also required to wear a mask and have their temperature taken) in the residence halls to assist with their move-in process. Additional friends and family members are welcome outdoors.
Q. What will building access and social distancing look like for fall 2020?
Individuals will only be able to enter the residence halls through the main entrances. Students must use their ID CARD to enter buildings and not hold open or prop open doors to admit others. After entering the building:
•    Individuals should sanitize their hands at the nearest sanitizer station. 
•    Follow all signage and all social distancing guidelines outlined therein.
•    All entrances to the buildings will have signs and markings as reminders of social distancing requirements.
•    When inside buildings, please keep to the right in stairwells and hallways and make every effort to maintain social distancing.
Q. Will students have access to laundry rooms?
We will limit the number of individuals using the laundry rooms at the same time. Residents will be asked to wipe down commonly used surfaces before and after use with the provided products that meet the CDC's cleaning and disinfecting guidelines.
Q. Will guests be allowed in the halls and apartments?
For our LRSC community's safety, we strongly discourage visitors (any individual who does not reside on campus) in the residence halls or apartments.  
No overnight guest will be allowed in the residence halls or apartments for the fall semester. This will be revisited before the spring semester.
Q. What happens if I develop symptoms for COVID-19?
A student who has any symptoms, including a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher, must call Lake Region District Health Unit at (701) 662-7035 for assessment and COVID-19 testing.
Anyone with symptoms must self-isolate until the testing results are back. If negative, the person may return to their room. (We will have a couple quarantine/self -solation rooms, food will be delivered as needed by way of the meal plan).
Anyone who tests positive will be quarantined to prevent an outbreak on campus, their contacts traced, and those close contacts isolated per ND Department of Health guidelines. We ask all students, faculty, and staff to take personal responsibility and avoid situations that are high risk for COVID-19. 
Q. What will cleaning look like in the residence halls?
Enhanced cleaning protocols are in place on campus for high-risk/high touch areas (e.g., door handles, light switches, handrails, interior doors, door push plates, shared spaces, flat surfaces such as tables, and kitchen areas. 
Increased cleaning will be performed by the custodial staff in the restrooms in North and South Hall. 
Hand sanitizer dispensers will be placed at the entrance and exit points of each residence hall. 
We are asking residents to clean and wipe down surfaces before and after each use.
Students are responsible for consistently cleaning and disinfecting their living units and the exterior door handle.
Q. Will I have to wear a face-covering?
Facemasks or coverings (e.g., disposable masks or cloth face coverings) must be worn by all individuals in public areas within the residential facilities (e.g., lobbies and lounges, hallways, stairwells, laundry rooms, elevators, and restrooms, etc.) and campus.

 

 

 

 

Effective Monday May 17, 2021, we will be retiring our current COVID protocols. Retired protocol is inclusive of all nine sections found on our website under the COVID-19 menu tab, including: 1) LRSC Smart Restart Plan, 2) LRSC COVID-19 Reporting, 3) Isolation and Quarantine protocol for LRSC students, 4) Isolation and Quarantine protocol for LRSC faculty and staff, 5) Wearing a face mask, 6) Bookstore, 7) Dining Services, 8) Housing protocol, and 9) Residence Hall information FAQ. Also retired is our COVID-19 dashboard showing the numbers of faculty, staff, and students in isolation and quarantine.
The following protocol will be in effect until August 15, 2021, at which time new protocol will be published for the start of fall semester.

Faculty, staff, and students are expected to promptly notify the HR Director if they are positive for COVID or if they are symptomatic. Deliberate failure to do so would constitute a violation of our employee and student Code of Conduct policies.

Faculty, staff and students will not be allowed on campus for 10 days (from onset of symptoms or from the date of the test) if they are positive for COVID, have significant symptoms consistent with COVID (i.e. loss of taste and/or smell), or have a household member who tests positive for COVID and the faculty, staff, or student is not vaccinated.

  • Faculty and staff shall use sick leave or annual leave unless they can work from home and are approved by their supervisor to work from home. Students must attend class remotely when it is possible to do so and the technology is in place.
  • Residence hall students shall be moved to a different room where they will stay until 10 days has passed since their positive test and/or their onset of symptoms. Students will not be allowed to leave their residence hall room unless they wear a mask and go directly to the nearest exit and leave the building.

Masks will be worn by all in attendance during any indoor instructional activity, when the number in attendance exceeds 50% of the standard capacity of the classroom or event venue unless at least 75% of those in attendance are vaccinated and willing to provide proof. Instructional activity includes the Peace Officer Training Program, Nursing Program, and any other face-to-face indoor classroom activity.

For non-instructional settings, all LRSC buildings will be mask-optional. Mask wearing in hallways, offices, meeting rooms, office suites, and public spaces like the Bookstore, Dining Room, Student Union, and Learning Commons, etc. is at the discretion of each individual visitor, employee and student.

Meeting rooms, including Chautauqua Gallery, Heritage Hall, Colonial Room, Collinson Room, and other like rooms will be mask-optional with maximum capacity of the room set at 75% of standard capacity.

Any staff or faculty member can decline an invitation to attend an in-person meeting and request the organizer to allow for remote attendance (Teams, Zoom, etc.).

Faculty and staff may continue to eat in their office.

Routine COVID-related cleaning and disinfecting by physical plant staff will cease. Employees with a desire to clean and disinfect their work areas will be provided with the supplies to do so.

April 2021 updates

On Monday April 5th, Administrative Council met to discuss the CDC mask wearing and distancing requirements as they apply to fully vaccinated faculty and staff.  Fully vaccinated against COVID-19 means that two weeks has passed since your second shot of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine and/or two weeks has passed from your one shot of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.  

The following protocol changes are approved, effective today, for fully vaccinated faculty and staff. 

  • Are exempt from the need to test for COVID-19.
  • Are exempt from then need to quarantine as a close contact of a non-household member who tested positive for COVID-19.   
  • Will be required to quarantine only during the time a positive household member is in isolation.
  • Will be allowed to ride with other fully vaccinated faculty, staff, and students in vehicles without masks.
  • Will be allowed to interact with other fully vaccinated faculty, staff, and students in offices and other nonpublic spaces without a mask and without distancing.
  • Will be allowed to eat and otherwise interact with other fully vaccinated faculty, staff, and students in the Student Union and Dining room.

We will not be keeping a registry or list of vaccinated and unvaccinated faculty and staff, and will, for the most part conclude that the “honor system” with a “trust but verify” component will be sufficient to enact these new protocols.  As such, in order to be exempt from testing and quarantine requirements, faculty and staff must be willing to show proof of vaccination.  If you are fully vaccinated and would like to interact in the above listed allowable ways, if asked, you must be willing to show proof of your vaccination.  

All faculty, staff, and students will continue to wear masks in all other public areas, classrooms, and large meeting rooms regardless of vaccination status.  We will continue to evaluate protocol as the COVID-19 landscape changes.

As more individuals become vaccinated against COVID and numbers stabilize, Lake Region State College is updating its protocols in regard to graduation. 

Lake Region State College is expanding capacity in Robert Fawcett Auditorium to give graduates the ability to have guests during commencement ceremonies. Capacity for the Robert Fawcett Auditorium has been increased to 50 percent, or 324 people. Graduates participating in commencement May 14, 2021, will be granted TWO tickets for guests to attend the ceremony. The guest tickets are available to graduates until we reach that capacity figure. The first 108 students who register to participate in graduation will be given 2 tickets for guests. 

Faculty and staff (outside of those on stage for the ceremony) will not be in the auditorium for graduation. Graduation will still be live-streamed and links to access the livestream shared prior to the event.

Regarding tickets and seating:

  • Seating will be assigned for the graduation ceremony. 
  • Students must come pick up his/her tickets. 
  • Masks will be required during the event. 

To attend graduation and receive guest tickets, students must submit their intent to graduate and participation forms below. Please encourage students to fill out those forms as soon as possible. LRSC will release more details on when/where students can obtain their tickets after April 15th.
 

March 2021 updates

I hope faculty, staff and students had a relaxing and rejuvenating Spring Break. We are half way through the spring semester. Let’s work toward a strong finish! 

If you traveled outside your normal areas over Spring Break, LRSC will provide rapid testing for those who will need it. Those who traveled and have not yet received their full vaccine should test 3-5 days after returning from travel.  Lake Region State College will continue to offer rapid COVID testing in March in the nursing lab at the Bergstrom Tech Center.  The times will be Mondays from 11:30am to 1:30pm and Thursdays from 8:00am to 9:30am.

The ND Department of Health will be holding a community wide testing event (with both rapid and PCR testing) here on the LRSC campus on Friday, March 26 and Saturday, March 27th from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm. 

Also, a reminder that anyone from LRSC- faculty, staff and students – are invited to receive a vaccination at the shot clinics that take place each Thursday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm in the Memorial Building. These vaccinations are important to curbing the spread of COVID and helping the state reach herd immunity status. I encourage everyone who hasn’t been vaccinated to take advantage of this event. 

I want to thank everyone for following our COVID Safe practices by continuing to wear your mask and by social distancing as appropriate.  It is working. Locally, nationally and internationally, the numbers of people testing positive were going down, have plateaued, and are now beginning to rise. The CDC is warning against relaxing restrictions and not wearing masks.  We need to continue to be vigilant but I sincerely appreciate all everyone is doing to keep the campus community safe and thriving.

Finally, I want everyone to finish the semester successfully. Keep up the good work.  Unless we have a urgent message to communicate, this will be the last weekly email until closer to the end of the semester when I can give a report on the 2021 legislative session and other important LRSC information.
 

This Thursday, Ramsey County Public Health is holding another COVID vaccination clinic.  Anyone from LRSC- faculty, staff and students – are invited to receive a vaccination 

The vaccination clinic will run from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm Thursday, March 18 in the Memorial Building, downtown Devils Lake.

These vaccinations are important to curbing the spread of COVID and helping the state reach herd immunity status. I encourage everyone who hasn’t been vaccinated to take advantage of this event. Staff will not need to take leave, simply flex your time and work with your supervisor to ensure coverage while you are gone.  Students and faculty, if you are in the area over Spring Break, please take the opportunity as well.

Having at least that first dose of the vaccine puts people in a more protected status, especially with the Easter Holiday right around the corner. Many families get together for the Easter holiday. Starting the vaccination process now protects you and those you love. Fully vaccinated individuals also are exempt from testing for the following 90 days should they become a close contact to someone positive.   

There are a lot of myths and rumors about COVID vaccinations swirling on the internet.  If you are concerned about getting the vaccination because of information you have read online or information someone told you, please take a look at the information from the Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins, and the CDC.

I want to thank everyone for following our COVID Safe practices by continuing to wear your mask and by social distancing as appropriate.  It is working. Locally, nationally and internationally, the numbers of people testing positive were going down, have plateaued, and are now beginning to rise. The CDC is warning against relaxing restrictions and not wearing masks.  We need to continue to be vigilant.
 

Taking a break is important to everyone’s well-being. With next week being Spring Break I want to remind all who are able, to please take a breather. Whether it’s a walk in nature, staycation at home, or other activity. Self-care is so important. This month marks one year that everyone has been adjusting to a new way life in light of a pandemic. Be kind to yourself. We’ve done many great things as a college, teams, and individuals to keep our campus going. Thank you to all for your dedication and perseverance.

Please be safe during your Spring Break activities. If you are traveling, make sure you check all requirements of where you are traveling. 

ND Travel Guidance 

Travel FAQ’s (CDC)   

When to Delay Travel (CDC)  
            
Here’s a Travel Planner Tool, where you can check by destination to see what the rules for quarantine, testing, masks, closures, gatherings, etc. are in that particular area. Information provided for U.S. States and Territories https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/travel-planner/index.html

Know Your Travel Risk – Good information and links to more details 

If you do travel outside your normal routine areas, the college does offer the rapid testing for those who will need it. Those who travel and have not received their full vaccine should test 3-5 days after returning from travel. Lake Region State College conducts BinaxNow rapid testing for students and staff. Please plan on being tested when you return.  You must preregister for those tests.

Lake Region State College will continue to offer rapid COVID testing in March in the nursing lab at the Bergstrom Tech Center.  The times will be:

                Mondays – 11:30am – 1:30pm

                Thursdays – 8:00am – 9:30am

Access registration at this link to register for the LRSC testing events.

If you are unable to click the link above, copy and paste this link into your browser: https://nddoh-testreg-prod.powerappsportals.us/covid-19-screening/?eventid=ee83b4d5-844b-eb11-a812-001dd8309b4f
 

Students, Faculty and Staff:

As we come to the end of an unseasonably warm March week, I again want to thank you all for doing your part to keep our campus safe and open for face to face learning. Many of you took the opportunity to get your COVID vaccine and once someone is fully vaccinated, they are exempt from testing for the following 90 days should they become a close contact to someone positive. If you were unable to get up to the Memorial Building for a shot Thursday,  Lake Region State College will continue to update you on upcoming immunization clinics as they are scheduled.

If you didn’t get to the LRSC Playmakers production of Mr. Burns last night, you can catch showings at 7:30 pm tonight and Saturday and Sunday  at 2:00 pm. This post-electric comedy is sure to entertain. Tickets will be available at the door. Students are free, seniors: $5 and adults $10.

The North Dakota Legislature reconvened after its crossover break. Tomorrow, the college along with Ramsey County Farm Bureau, Devils Lake Public Schools and Northeast Education Services Cooperative will host a legislative update from 11-1 in the Dining Room at LRSC. Next week the ND University System, colleges and universities will present budget testimony to the ND House of Representatives. 

Again, thanks to all for being upbeat as we power through the semester in a COVID-safe manner. Enjoy the warm weather and sunshine.
 

I want to thank everyone for following our COVID Safe practices by continuing to wear your mask and by social distancing as appropriate.  It is working. Nationally and internationally, the numbers of people testing positive were going down, have plateaued, and are now beginning to rise. The CDC is warning against relaxing restrictions and not wearing masks.  We need to continue to be vigilant.

We have another tool available to fight the spread of COVID.  This Thursday, Ramsey County Public Health is holding a vaccination clinic and has said that anyone from LRSC- faculty, staff and students can receive a vaccination.  Many of our faculty, staff, and students have already been fortunate enough to get one of the extra doses available after public health nurses vaccinated those in the priority groups who had appointments.  

There are a lot of myths and rumors about COVID vaccinations swirling on the internet.  When people in ND are diagnosed with cancer or another serious medical condition, they usually go to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester MN, or another world class facility like Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. These two health care organizations, have, for many years, provided medical, science-based facts to educate the public and help people separate fact from fiction when it comes to online healthcare information. 
If you are concerned about getting the vaccination because of information you have read online or information someone told you, please take a look at the information from the Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins at the links below:
https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavir...
https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/featured-topic/co...

I encourage everyone who hasn’t been vaccinated to take advantage of the opportunity at the Memorial Building on Thursday from 10:00 until 2:30 pm.   Faculty and staff will not need to take leave, simply flex your time and work with your supervisor to ensure coverage while you are gone.  Students, your absence from class would also be excused should you miss class for this purpose.  Fully vaccinated individuals are exempt from testing for the following 90 days should they become a close contact to someone positive.   

Please consider the information provided by the Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins regarding the COVID vaccinations and make an informed decision as to whether or not vaccination is right for you.  Thank you again for all you have done and are doing to ensure we maintain a safe and healthy campus.   

February 2021 updates

Thanks to all who tuned in for Pretzels with the President on Wednesday for an update on what’s happening in Bismarck with the legislature. The college, along with DLPS, Northeast Services Cooperative, and local Farm Bureau will host a legislative update with representatives from District 15 and surrounding area March 6 from 11-1 in the Dining Room. 

Everyone continues to be upbeat as we power through the semester in a COVID-safe manner. Thanks for all your hard work to make this semester a success.

We have numerous chances to catch Royals student athletes in action the next few days. Volleyball is at home Friday and Saturday vs. Dawson Community College. Games are at 7:00 pm Friday and 1:00 pm Saturday in the Devils Lake Sports Center. The basketball teams are home from their Montana road trip and will play Sunday vs United Tribes. Women play at 1:00 and men at 3:00. Those games also are in the Devils Lake Sports Center. Our students take note when they see us at the games. Let’s Go Royals!

Also, the LRSC Playmakers will present their spring production Mr. Burns March 4-6 at 7:30 pm and March 7 at 2:00 pm. This post-electric comedy is sure to entertain. Tickets will be available at the door. Students are free, seniors: $5 and adults $10.

Next week, the system office will be releasing a system wide survey to all faculty, staff and students as part of its strategic planning process. This survey is similar to the survey released last spring and its purpose is to take the current temperature of the university system and compare it to the results from last year. The feedback will help frame NDUS strategic planning process as we gauge how these past 12 months have impacted our people and our institutions. 

Have a great weekend!
 

On February 1, 2021, the City of Devils Lake retired the citywide mask mandate that has been in effect since late October.  While residents and visitors to Devils Lake are no longer required to wear masks in indoor public spaces, Lake Region State College will continue to enforce our mask wearing and distancing requirements according to our approved COVID-19 Preparedness and Response protocol.  

Devils Lake, Ramsey County, and the State of ND have seen rates of infection, hospitalization, and positivity go down considerably since our high in mid-November.  Unfortunately, it is too soon to declare victory.  To ensure we are positioned well to see this semester through with as little campus based transmission as possible, we will continue to observe our protocol for the foreseeable future.  The City Commission did replace the mask mandate with a resolution of support, encouraging mask wearing when in public.  

Mask wearing however, is now a matter of personal choice when off campus.  Please keep those most vulnerable to complications in mind as you consider the pros and cons of wearing a mask in public.  
 

January 2021 updates

Thanks to everyone for another successful week. Our COVID safe practices make a difference. Keep up the great work. Statewide numbers of cases are going down and Governor Burgum has lowered the risk level statewide to green. 

Our guidelines will remain the same even as some regulations outside the college may change. We know our protocol works and will keep it in place. With the new strains of the virus and increasing case numbers in other parts of the US, we need to continue to be vigilant and continue with our current COVID safe practices. 

North Dakota isn’t receiving enough doses of vaccine to get all the high priority groups vaccinated prior to the end of the semester. They have assured us that higher education faculty and staff will be able to get vaccinated prior to the start of fall semester.

Royals volleyball and basketball are both at home this weekend. Volleyball plays Saturday at 1:00 pm and the basketball games are at 1:00 and 3:00 pm Sunday. Let’s go Royals!

Finally I want to wish both Dianne Gunderson and Doreen Hoffman congratulations on their retirements. Dianne and I started at LRSC the same year and worked together for several years. Both Dianne and Doreen have been loyal and dedicated to LRSC and will both be greatly missed. 

Faculty, Staff and Students:

The Royals basketball and volleyball seasons are in full swing. Teams have numerous games both home and away in the upcoming weeks. 

Earlier this week changes were made to the spectator rules for events in the Devils Lake Sports Center. Twenty-five% capacity is now allowed at sporting event venues, which means students, faculty, and staff are able to now attend. DLPS is now allowing up to 750 fans to attend. Facemasks must be worn when in the facility, fans must social distancing from other individuals outside of their family or pod whenever possible, practice good hand washing/sanitizing, and not gather. 

The basketball teams play this Sunday in the Devils Lake Sports Center vs. University of Jamestown JV. Women play at 11:00 am and Men at 1:00 pm. The Royals complete schedules can be found at LRSCRoyals.com. 

Everyone is doing a great job of staying masked up and practicing COVID-safe protocols. Keep it up! 

Remember for those who need to test (all faculty and staff) Lake Region State College will be holding COVID testing each Monday and Thursday at the Bergstrom Technical Center Nursing Lab.  If you are interested in having a rapid COVID test (BinaxNow), please stop by during the following times.

  • Mondays – 11:45am – 3:00pm
  • Thursdays – 8:00am – 9:00am or 10:30am – 11:30am 

If you have a testing need outside of these hours, please contact Sandi Lillehaugen at sandra.lillehaugen@lrsc.edu,

Thank you and have a wonderful weekend.

Doug Darling, Ph. D.
 

I hope everyone had a great first week. It’s been great to have all the students back. We are excited to start spring semester with face to face delivery on campus.  

Monday the campus is closed in observance of Martin Luther King Day. Student Life will have activities during dinner and in the evening Monday in honor of Martin Luther King. 

“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.”  Martin Luther King Jr.  

Remember that like last semester, we are following the same COVID safe protocols employed in the fall. This includes mask wearing, distancing, and limiting close contact situations.  The spirit of cooperation last fall was extraordinary. Let’s keep that going.  

Welcome back!  We are excited to start spring semester with face to face delivery on campus.  

Like last semester, we will follow the same COVID safe protocols employed in the fall. This includes mask wearing, distancing, and limiting close contact situations.  The spirit of cooperation last fall was extraordinary. Let’s keep that going.  

Remember to be tested for COVID-19 before January 15th.   Community testing is now available every Wednesday from 9 am to 11 am inside the former Leevers south grocery store.   A copy, a pdf, or a screen shot of your test result is all that is needed to be turned into the HR Office. 

All participants who registered and tested in the fall can test without registering a second time.  If you have never registered for COVID testing in ND, please do so in advance of testing by going to the following link:  https://testreg.nd.gov/

Finally, as we begin a new semester, I want everyone to remember our slogan at Lake Region State College – We Change Lives. At Lake Region State College, we welcome and value diversity. Part of changing lives is ensuring our campus is a safe hub for discussion, civility, and understanding. Everyone is welcome here. It is our responsibility to foster an open environment where students, faculty and staff learn, live, and work. 

Doug Darling, Ph.D.
President
 

December 2020 updates

Next week we welcome faculty back from the semester break for two days of in-service training (January 7th and 8th).  We will follow the same COVID safe protocols this spring that we employed during fall semester to include mask wearing, distancing, and a prohibition on close contact situations during the work day.  COVID-safe protocols outside the workplace are strongly encouraged as well.  We will also continue to stress the importance of testing as a tool to ensure we can quickly isolate and quarantine in our effort to slow the spread.  The spirit of cooperation we enjoyed last fall was second to none! 

Community testing is now available every Wednesday from 9 am to 11 am inside the former Leevers south grocery store.  We expect all resident hall students, student athletes, faculty, and staff (who have face to face interactions with students, employees, or community members) to be tested for COVID-19 between January 5thand January 15th.   The community testing events on Wednesday January 6th and Wednesday January 13th affords the perfect opportunity.  Once again, Sandi will be tracking the testing results.  She will be helped by Scott in housing and by Danny in the athletic department.  A copy, a pdf, or a screen shot of your test result is all they need.   

All participants who registered and tested in the fall can test without registering a second time.  If you have never registered for COVID testing in ND, please do so in advance of testing by going to the following link:  https://testreg.nd.gov/

We are also considering the adoption of new quarantine guidelines that are allowed by our public health office and the CDC.  Under this reduced quarantine protocol, close contacts would be required to quarantine for 10 days (instead of a 14 days). In addition, the quarantine period can be reduced for asymptomatic people to 7 days with a negative COVID-19 PCR test.  If we get the same proactive cooperation to testing that we saw last fall from faculty, staff, and students, Dr. Darling has agreed to adopt this new quarantine protocol.  A decision on this will be made in mid to late January.

Our safety guidelines can be found in the LRSC COVID-19 Preparedness and Response protocol under the COVID-19 menu tab on our website.    We will continue with these precautions in order to protect each other and keep our faculty, staff, students, and visitors safe from COVID-19 and to help slow the spread.  Having a successful spring semester will require everyone to exhibit self-discipline, act responsibly, and have respect for all who live, learn, and work at Lake Region State College.   

COVID-19 cases and positivity rates have been in significant decline locally but are still higher than they were when we started the fall semester.  Now is the time to be ever more vigilant to ensure infection rates do not begin to go up again.  With the rollout of two new vaccines, there is even more optimism and hope on the horizon.  Perhaps this spring’s testing and response protocol will be the last!  Please have a safe and healthy new year.     

Lloyd Halvorson, Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs

Students, Faculty and Staff –

As we pause this week for a holiday break, I want everyone to take a deep breath and enjoy time with friends and family. We’ve had a successful year, overcome obstacles, and employed numerous techniques to keep the campus open. Thanks to all of you for your dedication, time, and strength. Happy Holidays.

Attached is a link to a holiday message created by one of our marketing students. Enjoy.  Happy Holidays Video

Doug Darling, Ph.D.
President

We did it! Fall 2020 showed the strength of Lake Region State College. The LRSC Family came together and made a difference. That’s why we were able to make the semester a success. Please take the semester break as a time to rest up and enjoy the season.  We know that Spring 2021 will be another challenging semester to navigate so please take time to recharge these next weeks.

When you do return this spring, we will be following a restart protocol very similar to how we launched into the fall semester.  I will provide an update on that shortly after we ring in the new year. 

I hope there will be many great things to celebrate after the New Year. It will be exciting to have Royals Athletic teams in action in January. All sports teams will be competing during the spring semester. The legislative session also will start right after the New Year and I will keep you posted to news and activities from Bismarck that may impact LRSC. 

I’m incredibly proud of how our students, faculty and staff worked together and followed our COVID safe operating plan and successfully completed the semester face to face.  Thank you again for all you’ve done to make Fall 2020 a success. 
Happy Holidays!

Doug Darling, Ph.D.
President
 

LRSC Students, Faculty and Staff:

Hey LRSC – we did it! Today is the last day of regular semester classes with finals next week. We successfully completed the semester (with a few bumps here and there) conducting face to face instruction. I have been telling others across the state how proud I am of our students, faculty, and staff and thought maybe I should tell all of you. We are proud of you for doing a great job following our COVID safe procedures that allowed us to slow the spread and remain delivering face to face classes.

I want to wish all LRSC students good luck on final exams. Please have a safe, joyous semester break. Continue to practice COVID-appropriate actions during your time away. We look forward to seeing you again in spring semester. If you are graduating after this semester we wish you best wishes on the next steps of your life journey. 

Hats off to April Hubbard and her cast of A Virtual Christmas Carol. The group took what should have been on the stage and made the holiday come to life on Microsoft Teams. It was a great mix of faculty, staff, and students. Some of you have been asking how to view the recording of the show – it’s simple, go to the same link as for the live performance. For your convenience it is attached here to link and view. Be sure to select attendee. It is also on the LRSC website.

Hope you all have a great finals week!

Doug Darling, Ph.D.
President
 

Students, Faculty and Staff – 

I’m extremely proud of how our students, faculty and staff have followed the protocols in LRSC’s Smart Restart. Everyone (well, almost everyone)  is wearing masks, social distancing, washing their hands and following our COVID safe procedures. We are in the final stretch of the fall semester and we were able to complete the semester with students attending class in person as much as possible and continuing to reside in our dorms.  

Now is not the time to slack off on COVID safe procedures. We want to finish strong and allow everyone to have a happy and healthy holiday. So, stay the course, mask up, social distance, and reduce transmissible moments. 

We plan to start the Spring Semester on January 11, 2021 with face to face classes meeting on campus.
Have you met with your advisor for Spring semester? If you have met with your advisor, created a class list, did you complete the registration process? Do you know who your advisor is? If you don’t know who your advisor is, you can find your advisor’s name on Starfish or Campus Connection. 

If you still cannot locate your advisor, please reach out to Dr. Cat Ruch (Cathleen.Ruch@lrsc.edu). 

Please meet with your advisor soon and register- classes are filling up! 

Peace Officer Training Academy scheduled for Minot has been moved to Devils Lake and will run from January 11th through the end of April. 

There’s nothing like a classic Scrooge tale to get people in holiday spirit. You won’t want to miss the upcoming presentation of A Christmas Carol on Teams adapted and directed by April Hubbard and featuring LRSC students, faculty, and staff. The show is Wednesday, December 9th at 7:00 pm. 

Enjoy the great doors throughout campus decorated for the holiday season. Voting on the doors starts Monday on the college Facebook page. The courtyard also looks festive each evening with its royal blue lights. 

Finally, keep doing all your COVID-safe practices. It’s making a difference.

Doug Darling, Ph.D.
President
 

November 2020 updates

BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum tonight announced several mitigation measures aimed at slowing the accelerating spread of COVID-19 in North Dakota in order to protect the vulnerable, ensure hospital capacity and keep schools and the economy open. 

Capacity is strained across the state’s health care system, jeopardizing the ability of hospitals to provide the first-rate treatment North Dakotans are accustomed to – not only for COVID-19 patients, but also for those seeking care for heart attacks, cancer, trauma and other urgent needs, Burgum noted. 

“Our doctors and nurses heroically working on the front lines need our help, and they need it now. Since the beginning, we’ve taken a data-driven approach to our pandemic response, focusing on saving lives and livelihoods. Right now, the data demands a higher level of mitigation efforts to reverse these dangerous trends, to slow the spread of this virus and to avoid the need for economic shutdowns,” Burgum said in a video message announcing the measures. “Our situation has changed, and we must change with it. Tonight, we’re announcing four measures designed to reduce the spread of infections in our communities to protect our most vulnerable and to ensure hospital capacity.”

The measures include a State Health Officer order requiring face coverings to be worn in indoor businesses and indoor public settings as well as outdoor public settings where physical distancing isn’t possible. The order, signed by interim State Health Officer Dirk Wilke, is effective from Nov. 14 through Dec. 13. It includes exceptions for children under age 5, individuals with a medical or mental health condition or disability that makes it unreasonable to wear a mask, and religious services. 

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said this week that “adopting universal masking policies can help avert future lockdowns,” and that masks protect not only the people around the individual wearing the mask but also the mask wearer. 

“The most effective weapon against COVID-19 is wearing a mask,” Wilke said. “This is a simple tool, but one that’s critical in helping protect our loved ones and slow the spread.”

Burgum signed an executive order today to implement the other mitigation measures, which take effect Monday, Nov. 16, and are as follows: 

  • All bars, restaurants and food service establishments are limited to 50 percent of their licensed seated capacity, not to exceed 150 patrons, and are closed to in-person service between the hours of 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. Take-out, curbside and delivery will still be allowed during those hours, and Burgum encouraged North Dakotans to take advantage and support local businesses. 

For those that were already following the ND Smart Restart recommendations of 25 percent capacity in high-risk counties, the change will allow them to safely welcome more customers into their establishments with masking and distancing requirements.

Burgum noted the state will soon make $54 million available through a hospitality grant program to help these businesses navigate this challenging time, and has made $70 million available through the Bank of North Dakota to buy down interest on eligible existing debt for any business whose revenue was impacted negatively by COVID-19. 

  • All banquet, ballroom and event venues are limited to 25 percent of their maximum occupancy, not to exceed new capacity limits that have been established with input from venues and local public health officials based on the size of the venue. Physical distancing and masks will be required for the safety of all venue personnel and patrons. 
  • Playoff championship contests and performance events sponsored by the North Dakota High School Activities Association during the month of November may continue under NDHSAA requirements. All high school winter sports and other extracurricular K-12 school activities are suspended until Dec. 14. This also applies to all association, community and club sports for youth and adults.  

College and intercollegiate activities must follow guidance from the North Dakota University System and their respective national organizations.

Burgum said the four-week pause in activities will help keep schools open to in-person instruction – the optimal learning environment for most students – and ensure that students continue to follow the mitigation strategies of wearing a mask and physical distancing.

“I fully support and endorse the orders signed today by Gov. Burgum and the State Health Officer,” said Dr. Joshua Wynne, North Dakota’s chief health strategist and dean of the University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences. “We as citizens of North Dakota need to act now to limit further spread of the virus and thus prevent our hospital capacity from being threatened. Let’s do these things now so that by Thanksgiving the pandemic situation in North Dakota will be headed in the right direction.” 

Those who violate the mask and capacity requirements may be cited for an infraction. Burgum urged law enforcement and public health agencies to prioritize education in their enforcement, providing warnings and education about the risk of transmission, while reserving penalties for the most egregious violations that put public health at risk.

Industries not covered by the executive order should continue to follow the North Dakota Smart Restart guidelines.

In addition to these four measures, state officials continue to meet daily with North Dakota’s major hospitals to optimize capacity planning and assist with resource needs. 

“Despite North Dakota’s remarkable efforts at testing and case finding, these measures are no longer enough, and we are now in desperate need of implementing stronger measures in order to save lives and preserve our health care workforce and capacity,” said Dr. Paul Carson, an infectious disease specialist, professor of public health at North Dakota State University and physician advisor to the state’s COVID-19 response. “We have a growing body of good evidence that masking, especially when paired with other mitigation strategies, can substantially reduce the spread of the virus. I am very grateful that the Governor has taken the bold measure to implement an enforced mask mandate across the state, and am hopeful this will help to flatten the curve.”

Medical experts say small social gatherings with family and friends are also driving the current COVID-19 surge across the nation. Burgum urged North Dakotans to try to limit gatherings to their immediate household group as much as possible for the next four weeks and to wear a mask if gathering with people from outside the household. 

“We believe in North Dakotans. We believe in the power of individual responsibility. And we need individual responsibility now more than ever to slow the spread of COVID-19,” Burgum said. 

For more information on North Dakota’s COVID-19 response, visit www.health.nd.gov/coronavirus or www.ndresponse.gov
 

Considering the rising rate of COVID infections in Ramsey County, I would like to reiterate how necessary it is to avoid becoming a close contact of your coworkers here at Lake Region State College.  It is absolutely imperative that we all do our part to distance from others at all times.  

We are helping lead a Community Coalition to work to drive down the rate of infection in Ramsey County so that the county doesn’t get moved to Critical designation which would result in closing non-essential businesses again. We want and need to keep our schools, businesses and the college open.

While we cannot control the choices that faculty and staff make after hours, we are committed to the benefits that masks and distance provides in our effort to help our community overcome an unsustainable steady rise in cases and positivity.   

As a result of that commitment, during work hours, you must take advantage of the safety that meeting via technology provides and avoid face to face meetings with individual faculty, staff, and students (even those of short duration) whenever possible.  Furthermore, effective immediately, the Dining Room and the Student Union are open to faculty and staff for take-out only.

I know and trust that everyone wants to do their part to help the community overcome this extraordinary challenge.   

As we near the Thanksgiving holiday, let’s be grateful that the campus still is running in its COVID-safe manner without severe impacts to daily operations. Due to the consistent uptick in positive cases in Ramsey County and statewide, I want to reinforce that everyone make an extreme effort to keep potential exposure activity low.
 
Hopefully many of you were able to participate in the Nicole Phillips presentation today. This is the start of Gratitude Changes Lives activities taking place now through year’s end. 
 
A gratitude board is going up near the HR Office where we will want employees and students to post about:

  • People who they are grateful for and why
  • A moment of gratitude you want to share
  • Things that have placed gratitude in your heart
  • Things you love about LRSC
  • Actions of others that you’ve witnessed

 
Those who post will be entered into a drawing (make sure you include your name or id number on the back of the note to be placed in those drawings). More information on the gratitude board and other activities will be coming out next week. Watch for those contagious kindness moments!
 
We are bringing back Royals Wednesdays. Faculty and Staff can wear denim on Wednesdays, as long as the denim is paired with LRSC gear. Let’s show our Royal pride each and every Wednesday.
 
Grateful to be part of the Royals family.
 
Doug Darling, Ph.D.
President

October 2020 updates

Dear Campus,

Good news!  The Devils Lake community has launched a COVID Appropriate Community Coalition.  In cooperation with the Devils Lake City Commission, community organizations, medical professionals, educational institutions, and business leaders, the coalition will help educate the community to learn how to overcome the challenges presented by the increased infection rate in the Lake Region.  The new requirement to wear masks in public spaces is the first good step to slow the spread.  In furtherance of that effort the Devils Lake Chamber has launched a mask wearing campaign by using chamber cash as small reward for people “caught” properly wearing masks and social distancing.  Lake Region State College is a proud financial sponsor of that effort.     

Who makes up the Coalition?

  • City of Devils Lake Mayor Dick Johnson and City Administrator Terry Johnston 
  • School Board President Lee Ann Johnston and Superintendent of Schools Matt Bakke
  • Park Board President Jamie Beck and Parks Director Terry Wallace
  • Ramsey County Commission President Adam Leiphon and VP Jeff Frith
  • DL Chamber Executive Director Paula Vistad and Tourism Director Suzie Kenner
  • Lake Region State College President Doug Darling and VP Lloyd Halvorson 
  • Volunteer Medical Advisor David R. Burt, MD
  • Dr. Stephanie Foughty and Altru Clinic Manager Amber Stokke
  • CHI St. Alexius Hospital
  • Business Owners: Dick and Louise Prozinski, (and more to come…)

What are we for?
We are for driving down our rates of infection so we can remain a healthy and productive community.

Why do we say COVID “Appropriate”?  
Because COVID appropriate behavior when the county infection rate is 8, 10, or 12% looks different than when the infection rate is 2 or 3%.  We want our community to make slight changes in their behavior when rates are high so we don’t have to endure the unnecessary consequences.   

What is the coalition against?

  • Mandatory business closures, 
  • The suspension of athletic competition and extracurricular participation, 
  • Virtual learning to replace in person learning, 
  • Unnecessary illness and death, and 
  • An overwhelmed health care system that can’t take care of us when we need them.

What is the goal?
The goal of the coalition is to work with the community, schools, students, and business leaders to embrace minimally intrusive behaviors like mask wearing and social distancing in an effort to drive down the overall infection rate and the positivity rate while maintaining the current level of testing.

Our task is more urgent than ever!  The Governor has increased our risk level from moderate to high, and with that comes additional restrictions on bars, restaurants, and event locations.  A critical risk designation will cause mandatory business closures and would negatively affect almost every aspect of our community.  Please accept this email as a call to action; nothing threatens our ability to pursue our mission more than this.   As individuals and as a community, we can do better and we must.

Students, Faculty and Staff:

North Dakota made national headlines this week because of the huge surge in COVID-19 cases. We also saw an increase here at LRSC. We must be a cohesive campus at all times and make COVID-safe choices during and outside of business hours. Please remember that following COVID-safe protocols and minimizing exposure, such as large gatherings, slow the spread of this virus. 

THANK YOU to all who are continuing to follow these guidelines. THANK YOU to all smiling behind those masks keeping the health of LRSC in mind. No one wants to see Ramsey County move into a higher risk level. Remember that being COVID-safe protects more than yourself. It can protect a roommate, lab partner, study buddy, parent, or grandparent. We can do better. We must do better. 

We are in the last half of the semester. Let us work on ending the semester strong!  Use your Student Success resources if needed. Reach out to your advisor or program advisor for help with tutoring, advising, or if you just need some assistance. They are here to help. You can locate the name of your advisor on Starfish or CampusConnection. Our Student Success Services- TRiO/PowerSkills/Disabilities team includes:
Cathleen Ruch, Cathleen.Ruch@lrsc.edu
Dana Walford, Dana.Walford@lrsc.edu
Lindsey VanThuyne, Lindsey.VanThuyne@lrsc.edu
Jess Dimitch, Jessica.L.Dimitch@lrsc.edu

Finally, I want to give a big shout out to Dan Johnson, LRSC registrar and faculty member, for being named the Devils Lake Chamber Member of the Year. For those who don’t know, Dan also owns the Liquid Bean in downtown Devils Lake. He puts a ton of effort into promoting the community of Devils Lake and all the various organizations and activities taking place in Devils Lake and the Lake Region. Congratulations, Dan.

Stay safe, stay healthy and have a great weekend.
 

LRSC Students, Faculty and Staff:

We’ve made it to the middle of the Fall 2020 semester. Lake Region State College hasn’t moved any snow yet and our COVID-19 cases are staying low. We can’t control the weather, but we can control the spread of COVID-19 by maintaining our guidelines and remembering to mask up, wash hands, and social distance. THANK YOU to all who are continuing to follow these guidelines. It is much appreciated. As the semester enters its final stretch, we must continue to adhere to these standards. It makes a difference. 

This week, the LRSC Playmakers will present A Midsummer Night’s Dream at 7:30 pm Oct. 16th and 17th and 2:00 pm October 18th in Robert Fawcett Auditorium. Director April Hubbard has designed the play around COVID-19 safe guidelines. Guests will social distance and face masks are required. I encourage you to take in the production if possible and support our student actors and theater technicians. 

The holiday season will soon be here and concern exists of COVID case surge as outdoor activities decrease and people find themselves indoors. In consultation with the Student Senate and Faculty Senate, Lake Region State College has decided to launch a COVID mitigation effort that should position our institution well to prevent a COVID crisis during the three week period between Thanksgiving Break and Christmas break.  To accomplish this, we are strongly 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 computer 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 3rd and quarantine and/or isolate as required by the LRSC COVID-19 Preparedness and Response protocol.    

The Peace Officer Training class has been approved to accelerate training, utilizing evenings and weekends, in order to finish the curriculum and graduate on Wednesday November 25th.   If you have any questions about this residence hall COVID mitigation plan, please contact HR Director Sandi Lillehaugen or VP Lloyd Halvorson.  Residence Hall Director Scott Dunbar will provide additional information on check-out and check-in procedures and the meal plan refund that is available to students not returning after Thanksgiving.  
 

I want to extend thanks, personally, for the extraordinary effort that every person on this campus has put forth for another week. Many of you worked hard to prepare for our HLC Accreditation visit and had the opportunity to meet with members of the visitation team. By all accounts it went very well. A big thank you to the students, faculty, staff and Foundation Board members who participated. 

This week was a good one for Lake Region State College. Numbers of positive cases and those quarantined continue to drop. We want to keep it that way. That means keeping consistent with our policies and emphasizing social distancing efforts whenever possible. We are doing well, but always can improve efforts. 

Earlier today, the North Dakota Department of Health elevated Ramsey County from green, or low risk, to the yellow, or moderate risk, level. This is not what we want to see. Three bordering counties (Ramsey, Eddy, and Benson) are all in the moderate risk level now. 

Although newer cases aren’t representative of the college community, LRSC wants to do our part to bring those numbers down for everyone. I know the message may seem repetitive, but all of us at Lake Region State College must be ever more vigilant to put an end to unnecessary face to face interaction.  I think we all want our numbers to stay where they are!   

That means: 

  • Consistent facemask wearing
  • Wearing facemasks correctly
  • Keep within social distance guidelines
  • Avoid large gatherings
  • Restrict exposure by holding meetings via Teams or other technology

Now is not the time to start small group meetings face to face or pop in a coworkers office for a quick chat when other means of communicating are at our fingertips. 

Remember the Care19 Alert app can be downloaded onto your phone and help in the fight against COVID-19.  The app uses Bluetooth proximity technology in your phone to alert you if you have been exposed to COVID-19.  You can find out more information about the app here.  

A reminder that voluntary COVID-19 testing is available each Thursday here in Devils Lake at the former Leevers South (south of Hwy 2 and 20 intersection). 
 

A few important updates to share:

  • I have been fielding concern from faculty, staff, and students about the rather chilly temperature inside the building these last few days.  As most of you are aware, LRSC cannot simply toggle a switch to move from air to heat like we can at home.  It is a process that takes time to transition.  We have looked at the temperatures for the remainder of the week and found that highs are to be between 66 and 72 with lows between 41 and 55.  Next week things will get colder with highs between 47 and 55 and lows 35 to 44.  Every year we have to choose to be either too warm or too cold for a short period of time so the systems switch only needs to happen once.  Chad has agreed to start the 24 hour transition to heat on Monday morning October 12th.  
  • Thank you to everyone that assisted with our HLC Assurance Argument and to those that participated in meetings with the peer review team during the last couple of days.  Your contribution was very much appreciated!  As soon as they have a report for us, we will share it with the campus.  
  • Our COVID numbers are nothing short of remarkable.  As the last group exited quarantine over the weekend, our on-campus isolation and quarantine numbers are resting comfortably at ZERO.  While we still have a few that are in isolation and quarantine off campus, the progress we have made is exceptional.  We are proof that a residential institution can stop the spread by diligently implementing the isolation and quarantine protocol recommended by our public health officials.   A big thank you goes out to Scott Dunbar and Sandi Lillehaugen for managing this effort.  We would not have been near as successful without them and their around the clock dedication.  
  • Earlier this year, the NDUS announced approval for institutions to offer courses during the “intercession”, that three week period between when fall semester ends and spring semester begins.  We wanted to offer 6 to 8 courses, online, and have four faculty volunteers lined up to teach (Betsy, Karen, April D, and Randy).   If full time faculty want to offer a course during this new term, please reach out to Dan D by the end of the week.  If he doesn’t hear from you by then, he will offer part time faculty the opportunity.  
  • Next week the nursing program will host a virtual reaccreditation visit from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).   Our nursing program is one of the very best and our collaboration with other NDUS institutions through the Dakota Nursing Program will position us well for a successful visit.  Good luck to Karen and her team and a big thank you for going above and beyond to secure this important recognition.  

Have a great rest of your week!
 

Students, Faculty and Staff - On Monday and Tuesday next week, the Higher Learning Commission will conduct their site visit to review Lake Region State College for continued accreditation.  We have been preparing for this visit for about five years and are positioned extremely well to showcase the incredible work we do.  Due to COVID-19, only one of the six peer reviewers will be physically on our campus to tour and view our facilities. The other five will conduct their review through a number of Teams meetings with representatives from our faculty, staff, and students.  I want to say a really big thank you to all who have contributed to this effort and to Brandi Nelson for putting in countless hours preparing us for this very important event.  

Yesterday, during his weekly press conference, the Governor announced new protocol that we can use to evaluate who to quarantine during contact tracing.  Public health officials now recommend that individuals will not need to quarantine when they are in close contact situations where all individuals are properly wearing masks.  This change recognizes the effectiveness of masks and provides the “no quarantine” reward to close contacts when masks are worn by all.  Our protocol and COVID response information will be updated soon reflecting this new guidance.  

It is now more important than ever to follow the LRSC mask wearing and social distancing guidelines.  We have seen some complacency as of late and we need to be more diligent.  Lake Region State College has demonstrated exceptional progress in stopping the spread on campus through our isolation and quarantine efforts.  It is vital that we continue on that path.   Unfortunately we have seen faculty and staff put themselves in close contact situations that are unnecessary.  We have witnessed faculty, staff, and students wearing masks improperly, not wearing masks at times, and meeting in staff and faculty offices.  This must stop.  We can do better, and we must do better.   

Lake Region State College continues to position itself well for a continued safe and productive school year.  Everyone that lives, learns, and works at Lake Region State College is important in that effort.

Due to our protocol and our diligence, our campus is one of the safest places to be in the entire region!  Please stay safe, and have a great weekend.   
 

September 2020 updates 
 

Students, Faculty and Staff:

The fifth week of the semester is complete. Thanks to all of you Lake Region State College can continue to operate as normal as possible with on-campus, in-person classes. Thanks to everyone doing his/her part to slow the spread and reduce contact. We can’t relax now. Continue to encourage each other in following our protocols. 
 
Each Thursday is a COVID-19 testing day here in Devils Lake. The turnout at the latest event September 24th was phenomenal. Our current numbers are 5 student and 1 staff positive. Another 7 have recovered. Another 27 students and staff are in quarantine as close contacts. As of today, sports teams on inactive status are Men’s basketball and Softball. 

While these numbers are not high we must strive for zero in all categories. We can only do that if everyone adheres to the rules: avoid close contact situations, wear a mask, socially distance at all times.
 
Remember the Care19 Alert app can be downloaded onto your phone and help in the fight against COVID-19.  The app uses Bluetooth proximity technology in your phone to alert you if you have been exposed to COVID-19.  You can find out more information about the app here.  

Stay vigilant, stay safe and healthy.  Have a great weekend.
 

As we end another week here at Lake Region State College, I want to thank our faculty, staff, and students for being proactive to slow the spread of this virus. The testing event today (September 17th) in Devils Lake was very well attended.   It is important to continue to operate within our COVID-19 policies and procedures.  We must remain vigilant in our daily activities and be extra conscious of hand washing, mask wearing, social distancing, and to avoid close contact situations whenever possible. These simple acts can significantly slow the spread of COVID. 

The COVID-19 dashboard on our website has been enhanced to better show the number of students and employees in isolation and/or quarantine. This is updated daily Monday through Friday to reflect our most current reported numbers. It is accessible right from the college homepage.  A form for those feeling symptomatic also is available for faculty, staff, and students to fill out if needed: https://lrsc.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_eXuJOz4I38agDit.

At this time, volleyball, baseball, and men’s basketball activities are currently inactive.  We expect those teams to be active again in the weeks to come.   

The college will host a team of peer reviewers representing the Higher Learning Commission on October 5th and 6th.  They will evaluate the institution’s ongoing ability to meet HLC’s Criterion for Accreditation. Our Assurance Argument and Federal Compliance document were submitted on September 4th and the pre-visit review is already well underway.   Lake Region State College has been accredited by HLC since 1971.

If you haven’t had a chance to enter the Constitution Day contests, you have until Monday to submit your responses for a chance at some fun LRSC prizes.  A special shout out to Scott Dunbar for coordinating the on campus activities this weekend.   Enjoy the fall weather, be patient and kind, and stay safe.  

Doug Darling
President
 

LRSC Faculty and Staff 

Since March, I’ve been amazed at the proactive perseverance, devotion, effort, and patience shown by the faculty, staff, and students of Lake Region State College.  

Perseverance: persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.  As we end another week, I want to thank LRSC employees for devoting extra time to focus on student and facility needs during the pandemic. Many of you are investing additional hours here while also balancing home and family commitments.

Devotion: love, loyalty, or enthusiasm for a person, activity, or cause.  Hats off to our faculty and staff who worked additional hours (and by additional we mean 20+ hours on top of a regular work week) to make LRSC the best we can be.  Putting the finishing touches on our HLC self-study, installing the new technologies that allow our students who are quarantined to still attend class in real time but at a distance, helping with contact tracing and communicating with students, cleaning and disinfecting our facility, and working with students to move to new housing. Those efforts did not go unnoticed!

Effort: a vigorous or determined attempt. Before our first positive case was reported, LRSC created policies and procedures to operate safely during the pandemic. Those plans are adjusted as necessary. Lake Region State College is being proactive to identify cases through testing and by assisting public health departments to “slow the spread”.

Proactive: creating or controlling a situation by causing something to happen rather than responding to it after it has happened. There are still opportunities to make this fall a safer one. Interactions need to be COVID-safe. The face mask policies need to be followed. Do not become a “close contact” (keep your distance from each other and use technology to interact).   Make wise decisions when not working. Walk the walk we expect of our students. 

LRSC reported a second positive case yesterday, both of whom are isolating off-campus. The number in quarantine is now 32, with 15 of those off-campus.  These numbers are updated each day on the college website and can be accessed right from the home page.  Please check our website often for the most current information.

When notification arrives that individuals must quarantine, the college makes every effort to respond as rapidly as possible.  Employees must work from home and we must get students moved to quarantine where they are less likely to spread the virus should they unknowingly have it.  Some students are choosing to quarantine or isolate at home.  We have secured a total of 8 rooms at two local hotels that will house 7 students (including an RA) at each location.  These students are not isolating or quarantining, but have agreed to move off campus to help us free up space to isolate and quarantine students in Gilliland Hall where private restrooms are included in each two room suite.  

Be assured, the college is responding as quickly as possible to the rapidly changing dynamic.  We must give students time to pack their belongings and the rooms need to be sanitized before people move into them.  Chad and his team and Scott and his resident assistants are working overtime to make these accommodations.  Please express appreciation to them for their proactive perseverance, devotion, and efforts to make this possible.  Remember to work together, respond promptly, and most of all, please continue to be patient and kind.   Have a safe weekend!

Doug Darling
President
 

Classes are cancelled at the Lake Region State College Campus in Devils Lake for Tuesday, September 8, 2020.

As part of our COVID Safe Restart plan, our classrooms were to have been upgraded so remote attendance could be possible for those needing to isolate or quarantine.  We were unable to accomplish this prior to the start of the fall semester as much of the equipment arrived later than expected.  The technology is here and ready for installation.  Working around class schedules is difficult and would cause additional delays.   

Lake Region State College does have one campus-based positive case currently in isolation off-campus and 22 campus-based individuals in quarantine due to being a close contact of a positive case. These individuals need to be able to access his/her classes, which is why we are allowing our IT department the time to get these rooms ready. 

Our COVID-response measures including reports of positive cases and quarantine cases are listed on the college website: https://www.lrsc.edu/discover-lrsc/lrsc-covid-19-preparedness-response. These pages show reports since August 10, 2020 and are updated daily by noon.

Lake Region State College is being proactive to identify cases through testing and by assisting public health departments with contact tracing. The college will continue to do these activities to help slow the spread. 

Check our website often for the most current information. The COVID-response page is accessible right from the home page LRSC.edu by clicking the link in the green banner.
 

Students, Faculty and Staff:

A big thank you for another great week on the LRSC campus and for following the COVID Safe procedures LRSC has in place.

With a great start to the fall semester, LRSC hopes to keep the spread of COVID-19 at a bare minimum by requesting its campus community to Stay Safe and Keep in Place over the Labor Day holiday.

The college community from students to employees have been responsive to the LRSC Smart Restart policies and procedures.  We had good participation in our request that we all be tested prior to the start of the semester, which is why we want to see zero to minimal travel this weekend.

The college’s housing, student life, and dining services areas have created a weekend filled with activities and entertainment for the students that follow smart guidelines. Events run from Friday night through Monday night. There are great door prizes and a scholarship drawing also will be held for the students that choose to participate in the Stay Safe and Keep in Place plan.

The full slate of events is posted on the college’s website event calendar and Facebook page. 

We want to continue with a healthy fall semester. I expect that students and the campus community will do their part to slow the spread of this virus.  We can only succeed at this plan with your participation. 

Remember to be patient and kind to each other. We are hoping everyone has a safe holiday weekend.

Doug Darling, Ph.D.
President
 

On behalf of President Darling and the faculty at Lake Region State College, I want to thank you for taking our COVID-19 Preparedness and Response protocol seriously.  We want more than anything to keep COVID-19 out of our residence halls and classrooms so we can continue to do what we do at Lake Region State College.  Your support has been crucial to our success so far.  

Unfortunately, we must interact with some who choose not to do their part.  As a result, we must have in place the right policies and procedures. Following the Administrative Council meeting yesterday, President Darling signed an update to the student conduct policy (800.30) to reflect violations of our COVID Preparedness and Response protocol, specifically:

The following was added to the definition of Minor Misconduct:

  • Engages in conduct that violates the LRSC COVID-19 Preparedness and Response protocol, to include: 
  • Not wearing a mask when required to do so or in places where a mask is specifically required. 
  • Not social distancing as required and recommended. 
  • Engaging in unsafe behavior, on or off campus, that would tend to further the spread of COVID 19 such as attending large gatherings (more than 10 people) or attending on campus or off campus parties where social distancing and mask wearing is not occurring.

The following was added to the definition of Major Misconduct:

  • Refusing to test for COVID-19 when required to do so as a condition of living in the residence halls or participating on an athletic team.  
  • Refusing to cooperate with contact tracers as it applies to COVID-19 or refusing to abide by the isolation and quarantine requirements as it is described in the LRSC COVID-19 Preparedness and Response protocol or as directed to by public health authorities.  

The policy has always stated that a student is found responsible for major misconduct if they commit two or more acts of minor misconduct.  Therefore, repeated violations of our mask wearing, social distancing, and unsafe behavior provisions could constitute major misconduct.

Please continue to do your part to keep LRSC a safe place to live, learn, and work!

Lloyd Halvorson, Vice President for Academic & Student Affairs
 

August 2020 updates 

Students, faculty and staff:

Let me start by saying how proud I am of the way you are responding to our COVID-safe and Smart Restart policies and procedures.  We had a very good response to our request that we all be tested prior to the start of the semester. All of our students living in the residence halls and student athletes have been tested. We are nearing 100 percent participation from faculty and staff.

Everyone is #MaskedUp, social distancing and not gathering in large groups.  

If we can keep this up, we will have a great semester of face to face, on campus classes. We each need to take personal responsibility and not put ourselves in high risk situations. Faculty have been finding creative solutions to modify their classrooms to allow for safe instruction and low density seating. 

Students have an opportunity to raise awareness about COVID-19 and win some great prizes for the North Dakota Student Association COVIDChallenge. This challenge is designed for students to create videos on the platform of their choice (YouTube, TikTok, etc.) that contain CDC approved healthy hygiene practices that stop or slow the spread of COVID-19. The competition will have two rounds, an institutional round to decide each college’s top submission, and then a final round that puts universities of similar size/structure against each other. Check the LRSC Facebook page for more information that will be posted starting today. Flyers also are up around campus.

The state also has released an app to assist with contact tracing. It’s an app we hope LRSC campus members choose to use. The Care19 Alert app uses the Bluetooth proximity technology provided jointly by Apple and Google Exposure Notification Systems to keep track of the anonymous keys (transmitted by phones near you) that a user encounters over time.  The alert quickly notifies you if you've likely been exposed to COVID-19 - empowering you to make decisions that are best for you and your loved ones.

Click here for FAQ’s on the CARE19 Alert app

We continue to update the covid-19 guidelines regularly online at https://www.lrsc.edu/discover-lrsc/lrsc-covid-19-preparedness-response.

Have a great weekend! 
 

I wanted to remind faculty and staff to make sure and remind student about “masking up”.  We have seen students forgetting to wear their mask or choose to use a gaiter in lieu of a mask.  Our local public health office has decided that gators are not an acceptable mask and we decide not to allow them.

We will get more and more serious with the consequences of being COVID unsafe, but for these first few days let’s just be encouraging with a positive “mask up” message.  I am hearing great things from our students, from the messaging they heard during orientation, and from Dr. Darling’s visit with the student athletes yesterday.    

It is very nice to see so much overwhelming support for mask wearing.  The compliance so far has been great, but we need 100%.  Please help us convey that message.   
 

Students, Faculty and Staff:

It’s move in week! Just a few days and classes will be starting. Faculty are back and we are ready for a SAFE, SMART restart. It’s so great to have students back on campus, at our distance education sites, and online. You are what makes LRSC great. 

Remember, to have a successful academic year, Lake Region State College needs to operate COVID-safe so we can learn, work, and live on campus. That means EVERYONE has a significant role to play to make that happen. 

  • Make smart choices.
  • Wash your hands.
  • Social distance.
  • Keep away from large gatherings.
  • Wear your mask.

There will be one more large testing TOMORROW (Saturday, August 22nd) here at Lake Region State College from 8:00 am to 11:00 am. They plan on administering 400 tests. All participants must pre-register at https://testreg.nd.gov/ to help keep the lines moving quickly.  Remember this is a drive through event, you CANNOT walk over to be tested, you must drive through. It has been requested that there is only one person per vehicle.  The line will start by entering at the North Dakota Telephone Company entrance, join the line, exiting the auto shop and going out by Roller Field. The next available test date will be Tuesday, August 25th at the former Leevers South parking lot from 9:00-11:00am. 

Remember, we expect all students, staff and faculty (who have face to face interaction with students, employees or community members) to be tested for COVID on or before August 25th.    Sandi Lillehaugen will be tracking the testing. She will be notified of all positive tests and will need you to provide your negative email response when received. 

Remember to be patient, kind and helpful. Everyone is working hard to ensure we have a successful, COVID-safe year.  Looking forward to seeing you next week.
 

The final, updated CARES report has been submitted August 2020. Read it here.

In a few short days we will be starting the 2020-2021 academic year. The in-service agenda has been sent to faculty and staff and we’re excited to have the LRSC family back and operating under our new, smart restart guidelines. 

Since spring semester, new faculty and staff have joined the LRSC team, some current faculty/staff have taken on new roles, and others have moved office locations.  We will announce and introduce all of the new hires to LRSC at the All Campus meeting on Wednesday August 19th.   Here is a summary of some of those new roles and new office locations: 

  • We have relocated the Financial Aid Office back into the Student Services suite.  The Director (Kelsey Walters) has moved into the first office on the left (where Steve Shark was). Merissa Halvorson has been cross training for the past year in Financial Aid and has moved to the work station in front of Kelsey’s new office.  Merissa will be the primary associate assisting students and parents with their financial aid needs.  Doreen Hoffman will be located in office 111 in the math/science wing (behind Randy Fixen) and will continue to work with financial aid and assist Student Services in other ways.  
  • Anne Rasmusson has moved to the workstation beside Haley Lorenz to help with walk in customers (but her duties remain largely unchanged).    Director Steve Shark has moved to the office previously occupied by Brigitte Greywater.  
  • The Student Services conference room was converted into two offices this summer.  There are now three offices across the hall from Student Services.  From left to right, they are home to Stevan Waddell (English Faculty/Volleyball Coach), Julia Plummer (counseling intern), and Jessica Dimitch (counselor/disabilities coordinator). 
  • April Duchscher (newest member of the Math faculty) will be in the office between Room 15 and 21 (where Jenna Brooks was last year). Jenna Brooks will move next door to Sandi Lillehaugen so she can be closer to Chautauqua Gallery (her new classroom).    
  • Erin Wood (Marketing and Public Relations) will be moving soon to the office previously held by Katie Nettell so she is more centrally located to serve all areas of campus and have adequate space for student employees. We have decided to hold on replacing the position held by Carla Freschette (who worked as our Webmaster and graphic designer).  Jared Marshall and the staff in IT are helping to backfill those duties and Erin’s student employees will be crucial to our marketing and social media efforts.  
  • Melana Howe, our grants coordinator and corporate partner liaison will move to an office in the Community College Foundation.  

We are uploading new information to our COVID-19 Preparedness and Response page daily.  Please check there often for new information.  Remember, we can never be too safe. I can’t stress enough the importance for faculty, staff, and students to be tested prior to the semester start. The baseline will help guide LRSC in its operations to ensure the safest, healthiest fall start possible.  As I’ve stated in past emails, to start the year off right, we are expecting faculty, staff and students to be tested for COVID-19 before August 25th.  

Drive though testing will be held in the back parking lot of the Ramsey County Courthouse August 18th and 25th from 9:00am – 11:00am.  LRSC will also host another drive-through testing event on Saturday, August 22nd, time to be determined. All students and faculty are welcome at any of these events. Sandi Lillehaugen will be tracking the testing. She will be notified of all positive tests and will need you to provide your negative email response when received.   We are taking these precautions to protect our LRSC family and ensure that we can deliver on our mission.  We will continue to provide outstanding personalized service to our students and others while at the same time reducing the risks of transmitting COVID 19.  

These changes and the changes as a result of COVID-19 place additional demands on many members of our campus community.  Please demonstrate patience as we work hard to install the necessary technology and ask people to work in new and different ways.   

We are all working hard on the Royals Smart Restart.  Please remember to be kind to everyone in the LRSC family, have patience, and take time to help others who may be struggling.

There will be more updates during the campus meetings next week. Until then, stay safe and have a great weekend.

This week we welcomed most of the staff back to campus and are conducting business with the LRSC Smart Restart protocols.  I can’t stress enough the importance for faculty, staff, and students to be tested prior to the semester start. The baseline will help guide LRSC in its operations to ensure the safest, healthiest fall start possible.

LRSC held a “sold out” testing event on campus on Tuesday August 4th.  We will host another testing event on Tuesday, August 11th from 8:00am – 10:00am dedicated to LRSC students and employees and from 10:00am-12:00pm for the Devils Lake community.  All participants must pre-register at https://testreg.nd.gov/ to help keep the lines moving quickly.  Remember this is a drive through event, you CANNOT walk over to be tested, you must drive through. It has been requested that there is only one person per vehicle.  The line will start by entering at the North Dakota Telephone Company entrance, join the line, exiting the auto shop and going out by Roller Field. We expect all students, staff and faculty (who have face to face interaction with students, employees or community members) to be tested for COVID on or before August 25th.    Sandi Lillehaugen will be tracking the testing. She will be notified of all positive tests and will need you to provide your negative email response when received.  

There are also drive-through testing dates set up each Tuesday in August in the back parking lot of the Courthouse (18th and 25th) from 9:00am – 11:00am.  LRSC will also host another drive-through testing event on Saturday, August 22nd, time to be determined. All students and faculty are welcome at any of these events.

Remember that the wearing of face coverings, whether a mask or shield, will be enforced at LRSC. Based on information from Public Health, neck gaiters are not an acceptable face covering and a shield must be accompanied with a mask if a 6-foot distance cannot be maintained. The complete guidelines are in the LRSC Smart Restart Plan, but to summarize: Faculty, staff, students, and visitors shall wear a face covering when walking in hallways, when in areas open to others, when riding in vehicles, and in dining services/student union (except while seated and eating/drinking).  Face coverings are also required when in the classroom, science lab, computer lab, Learning Commons, or meeting rooms.

Coverings are NOT required when outdoors and a six-foot distance can be maintained, when alone in an office, with only household members in a residence hall room, when working in a cubicle or working at a workstation with a wellness barrier and there is at least six feet of distance between you and a co-worker, and when participating in an athletic practice/contest, when playing an instrument, and other similar type activity.   A face covering is required when leaving your workstation for any reason.   

  • Technology and the phone should be used instead of holding impromptu meetings at office doorways, hallways or workstations. We must use these tools instead of putting ourselves in front of individuals unnecessarily and adding to the risk of COVID-19 exposure. 
  • Faculty offices are not set up to hold face to face COVID safe meetings with students.  Please contact your advisor or teacher using email to schedule a face to face meeting using technology.  
  • Faculty and Staff should not go into any offices and instead use the service windows (if one is available) or stop at the entrance to the office suite with your question before venturing further into the offices.
  • Community coffee pots are not to be used.
  • Employees should eat in their offices and workstations as the dining room and student union are set up for use only by students.  Food Service will box meals for employees in to go containers.
  • Faculty are asked to use the copy room copier whenever possible.  
  • The door to the Academic Affairs and Reception suite will remain closed and employees must retrieve mail from the hallway and ask for assistance at the information window to retrieve materials from the copier or to drop off mail for USPS and Fed Ex.  

We are taking these precautions to protect our students, faculty and staff that make up our LRSC family. We will continue to provide outstanding personalized service to our students and others while at the same time reducing the risks of transmitting COVID 19.  

I fully expect LRSC team members to comply with these recommendations and rules. These protocols are in place to keep students, employees and visitors safe and help slow the spread of COVID-19. Sometimes we need to exit our comfort zone for the greater good. 

Having a successful restart will require everyone to exhibit self-discipline, act responsibly, and have respect for the safety of all who live, learn, and work at Lake Region State College. Please find the most current information on the LRSC COVID-19 Preparedness & Response link from the campus website www.lrsc.edu

July 2020 updates

Lake Region State College has heard your message loud and clear. You want face to face courses on campus. We are working with the rest of the ND University System to make that happen. 
Our Royals Smart Restart is a comprehensive plan to minimize the risk of COVID-19 and reopen the campus for residential living and in person courses. To be successful, it will require ALL OF US to make some changes in the way we do things. Most importantly, it will require taking personal responsibility for your actions and following COVID-safe protocols.

LRSC is asking ALL students to be tested for COVID-19 prior to coming to campus. There are 30+ test sites/dates set up across ND for NDUS students, faculty and staff.  The weekly schedule can be located at this Department of Health website. This link will show the test dates occurring in the near future. Other testing dates and locations will be added, so check often for updates.

Please attend a test site nearest you. You MUST pre-register for the testing at https://testreg.nd.gov/ . If you are from out of state and can’t get tested prior to coming to campus, there will be testing in Devils Lake on August 4th, 11th, 18th, 22nd, and 25th.  

If you test positive, we will make it possible for you to keep up with your courses while you stay home and quarantine per ND Department of Health guidelines.  Those guidelines can be found: Department of Health testing and care page.

To prevent an outbreak on campus, anyone who tests positive will be quarantined, their contacts traced, and those close contacts isolated per ND Department of Health guidelines.  We are asking all students, faculty and staff to take personal responsibility and avoid situations that are high risk for COVID-19.  

To provide a safer learning environment, we are limiting the number of students in some courses based on the size of the classroom and plan to utilize meeting rooms and other venues to accommodate a larger enrollment.  

We will make courses available using distance education technology in a real-time, synchronous format for those who have to quarantine, isolate, or who are ill and doing their part to protect others by staying home or in their residence hall room. 

New practices and procedures in Dining Services, Bookstore, Housing, and other campus services will be implemented. Please find the most current information on the LRSC COVID-19 Preparedness & Response link from the campus website

Please refrain from attending large gatherings and do your part to stay COVID free.    Having a successful restart will require everyone to exhibit self-discipline, act responsibly, and have respect for the safety of all who live, learn, and work at Lake Region State College.  
 

As we close another week here at Lake Region State College, I wanted to provide updates on our progress regarding Fall 2020. 

The campus is excited to have staff return to campus on August 3rd. Hopefully, all who are furloughed are ready to return. 

Our goals for the Smart Restart: 1) Keep the campus healthy. 2) Provide a high quality, accessible,
education and, as much as is reasonably possible, provide a personal, face-to-face experience where all students can succeed. 3) We want all of our students to have the opportunity to continue their studies and complete their degrees.

This week, the ND State Board of Higher Education issued a resolution that they strongly encourage the NDUS colleges and universities to require masks as a way to prevent the spread of COVID-19. That will be the general scenario at LRSC, per our smart restart protocol, which states face masks are required.  When indoors, faculty, staff, students, and visitors shall wear a face covering when walking in hallways, when in areas open to others, when riding in vehicles, and in dining services/student union (except while seated and eating/drinking).   Face coverings are also required when in the classroom, science lab, computer lab, Learning Commons, or meeting rooms unless certain circumstances exist. See the full plan at https://www.lrsc.edu/discover-lrsc/lrsc-covid-19-preparedness-response.  

The testing plan outline for faculty, staff, and students is closer to being finalized. UND Medical School Dean Joshua Wynne said there will be subsequent testing available for students. There will be testing available here in Devils Lake. Student Services will be sending out notices to students and any materials related to testing will be on the COVID-19 information page on the LRSC website. LRSC plans for Residence Halls, Dining Services, Bookstore and other areas are still being worked through. 

Please remember that this material, along with our restart plans is a process that may be adjusted depending on developments within the region or state. Having a successful fall will require everyone to exhibit self-discipline, act responsibly, and have respect for the safety of all who live, learn, and work at Lake Region State College. 

We know you can do these things. It’s the Royal thing to do. 

All information for the college’s COVID-19 preparedness and response can be found at https://www.lrsc.edu/discover-lrsc/lrsc-covid-19-preparedness-response.  This page is accessible from the homepage through the green alert banner.

Lake Region State College has finished awarding the CARES Act Grant for students. The amount of the award is $55,439.  Disbursed is $55498 to 108 students.

LRSC CARES Act Funding Final Report, July 20, 2020
 

LRSC faculty and Staff

We are continuing to address plans for fall semester in light of the safety measures required to create a COVID Safe environment. This week we published the employee protocol regarding quarantine and isolation.   Please remember all material, along with our restart plans is a process that may be adjusted depending on developments within the region or state.  The student quarantine and isolation protocol is dictated by the ND Department of Health and our local public health officials.  As soon as we have details, we will publish that to our COVID-19 Preparedness and Response page.  

Other COVID-19 related actions this week include:

  • The National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) has decided to move the fall sports competition season to the spring semester.  Teams will be allowed to practice and hold scrimmages this fall but will not compete for record.  At this time our shooting sports team is unaffected by this decision.
  • The North Dakota University System is planning a number of testing events in the near future so that students, faculty, and staff can be tested before the fall semester begins. The widespread testing would take place mid-August in cities across the state (including cities served by Lake Region State College). This free testing will not be mandatory for students, but highly encouraged. When more details are available, information will be uploaded to our COVID Safe Information page.  
  • Student Orientation and Faculty In-service are being modified to maximize our ability to deliver information in a COVID safe environment. The schedule for student orientation is being finalized and will be sent to students as soon as it is ready.

Please remember that having a successful fall will require everyone to exhibit self-discipline, act responsibly, and have respect for the safety of all who live, learn, and work at Lake Region State College.  We know you can do these things, and we expect you to.

Information on Residence Halls, Dining Services, Bookstore and other areas are still being worked through and will be shared when completed. All of our COVID information will be housed on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Preparedness and Response page on the LRSC.EDU website. This page is accessible from the homepage through the green alert banner.

LRSC Faculty and Staff:

Many staff with private offices have returned to campus and I had hoped to have remaining staff, who are not furloughed, back on campus next week.  We are in the middle of several maintenance projects, cleaning up and making repairs from the storm, monitoring the slight increase in the number of positive COVID 19 cases in our state, and the yet unknown affect the July 4th holiday, filled with activities and family get-togethers, will have on the case trend over the next few weeks.  For these reasons, we are going to hold off on bringing the remaining staff to campus and will allow additional flexibility for all staff to continue to work from home.  I have set August 3rd as the new target date for all staff to begin working from campus.   If you have a need, or your supervisor needs you to begin working from campus sooner, please make those decisions together.  

We are asking all members of our community to minimize the spread of illness by taking the following actions when working from campus:

  • Unless you are alone in your office, staff on campus should wear face coverings when interacting with others and when walking the hallways when it is likely you will encounter others.  
  • Maintain a six-foot distance between you and those you are working with or talking to.
  • Do not sit or stand close together.  
  • When two or more people need to see the same information, utilize a wall monitor, screen sharing, and/or printed copies, but do not huddle closely around the same computer screen.  
  • Avoid standing in each other’s doorway or sitting down for a discussion in offices without face masks and make using the phone, Teams, and other forms of electronic communication a higher priority.

Other things we must remember to do:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water
  • Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • If you are sick, stay home
  • Be prepared to stay home by keeping enough food, prescription medications and other necessities on hand
  • Frequently clean all commonly touched surfaces such as telephones, doorknobs, countertops
  • Avoid large gatherings

If you have been in contact with someone who is ill, please report that to Sandi in Human Resources and follow the isolation guidelines given to you by the Department of Health or your medical provider. If someone in your home must self-isolate because of potential exposure or they are awaiting test results, we ask that you also report that to Sandi and require that you follow the self-isolation guidelines set forth for household members.  
 
As testing for this virus continues, we expect to see additional confirmed cases in our community, region, and state.  We are working on ways to minimize the impacts of COVID-19 on campus and intend to send our Fall Restart COVID Safe protocol on Friday July 10th.   

Doug Darling, Ph.D. 
President
 

June 2020 updates 

Lake Region State College is preparing to welcome students, faculty, and staff back to campus in late August for an exciting year of teaching and learning.  To do so, considering the risks surrounding COVID 19, we are evaluating numerous ways to provide a safe environment.

We intend to be fully operational this fall with students living in the residence halls, eating in our student union and dining room, athletic teams competing, student clubs doing the great work they do, and providing all of the services to students as before this pandemic occurred. I believe we can do this and provide for a very positive experience on campus.  In addition to promoting the basics of social distancing and hand hygiene, we are considering other ways to limit exposure and reduce the risk of transmission.

We are working to increase technology in each of our classrooms to allow for virtual attendance for students who have traveled from afar and must self-isolate for a time, been ill and unable to attend class, or are arriving to campus late due to travel restrictions.  Mask wearing will be a reality in some classrooms and group meetings, where the density of students makes the social distancing objective impossible to achieve. 

We have created an information window for the computer help desk and are planning one for student services in order to limit the amount of traffic in and out of those areas and to prevent congestion wherever possible.  Wellness barriers will be seen on most desks where service to students is provided.  We will have an abundance of hand sanitizer, disposable masks, and are in the process of obtaining clear face shields for faculty who would like to wear one in lieu of a mask.

Changes in food service operations are still in the planning stages but we are committed to exceeding all of the recommendations for a safe and effective food service operation.  We are working with our local public health office and the ND Department of Health to make testing available and are evaluating all of the COVID safe recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as they apply to institutions of higher education.  We have reached out to our faculty and staff to get their recommendations for creating a safe environment.  

We are fortunate to be located in northeastern North Dakota and live among some of the most socially responsible people in the country.  We are far from the epicenter of this virus but we must not be complacent.  Putting reasonable protections in place is necessary in order to protect those that live, learn, and work at Lake Region State College.
 

Lake Region State College is preparing to launch some of its restart initiatives in the next week. Our goal is to get back to delivering face to face courses for fall semester while minimizing risk for our students, staff and faculty. The full restart plan still is being formulated, but this is what we know as of now:

Staff with private offices should start moving back and resuming their duties from campus any time after June 15 but no later than July 6. Please work with your supervisor on your specific plan to move back from your home office to your campus office. 

Staff who work in an open air environment (especially those sharing workspaces with others) will start returning to work July 13. Before returning to full staffing in these open air areas, some preparation work will need to be completed to ensure a safer, smarter work environment.  These preparations might include installing plexi-glass shields, desk dividers, or even moving work stations to help with social distancing.  Supervisors have been asked to forward office area modifications to Lloyd and Corry as soon as possible.  Sandi has been designated as the purchaser of shields, dividers, and other protective barriers.  Supervisors should communicate those needs to her in writing as soon as they are identified.  

Plans are being considered to create a service window for Student Services to make services available without visitors walking into the office suite.  We will also plan to restrict access to other areas by installing more electronic card access points.   In addition, we are considering moving some departments (and related personnel) to provide greater protection for students, staff, and faculty while maximizing the services we can provide.   

As people return to campus, the use of community coffee pots will end. Please bring your own coffee from home (using a thermos) or visit the campus coffee shop (when it opens). Water fountains that have the bottle filling option will be available but the fountain will be disabled.   We are working to have water bottles and other items available for students, faculty, and staff. 

Additional flyers, signs, and placards will go up throughout the summer to remind all of the very valuable preventative measures we are working hard to incorporate.  A more detailed plan, creating a COVID safe environment, will be completed soon. We will be reaching out to many faculty, staff, and students for input as the planning continues. 

May 2020 updates

Lake Region State College (LRSC) reviewed funds in G5 on April 28, 2020. The funds were received on April 25th. The Lake Region State College CARES Act Distribution Report was first published May 28, 2020 (30 days from becoming award of the funds) and is updated every 45 days. Last updated: May 28, 2020.

LRSC CARES Act Distribution Report
 

Earlier this week Staff Senate met with me with a request to start summer hours early. With many of us working from home….LRSC summer hours will begin May 4th and run through August 16th.  Watch for the official memo from HR outlining the details about summer hours. 

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum today presented his strategic budget guidelines for the state of North Dakota for the 2021-2023 biennium, with an emphasis on teleworking, process improvement, reduced facility costs and the use of technology for efficiencies to offset the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and a historic collapse in oil prices and tax revenues.

The COVID-19 pandemic, and the resulting impact on the global demand for oil, have led to a historic collapse in oil prices. Burgum noted he is not calling for a budget reduction through the allotment process at this time. Rather, he is asking agencies to carefully manage their budgets, continuing to look for ways to innovate while being fiscally responsible.

For institutions of higher education, base budgets are requested to be developed assuming 90 percent of their current funding formula. Special fund agencies are being asked to reprioritize 5 percent of their current adjusted appropriation to strategically reinvest in high-impact areas.

We are calculating the potential impact this will have to Lake Region State College and should have more solid numbers for the campus soon. Regardless, this budget will be a significant challenge.

It’s been a busy week as the semester winds down. Hopefully you are completing projects and preparing for exams. Our peace officer training students received their certificates earlier this week. Thanks to the partnership with Minot State, 15 more potential peace officers are ready for employment. 

Earlier today everyone should have received an email from Scott Dunbar on nominating students for the Who’s Who awards. Although the on campus semester was cut short, we had many students who are graduating worthy of recognition. Please take the time to fill out the nomination forms. 

Weekend Assignment – please do these 3 things this weekend. 
1.    Take a minute to express gratitude to someone – a friend, colleague, healthcare provider or someone deserving of gratitude.  
2.    Reach out and connect with someone you haven’t heard from in a while just to check on them and let them know you are thinking about them
3.    Please take some time to rest and recharge this weekend.

I am grateful for the opportunity to work with each and every one of you.  Thank you for all you do for LRSC and our students. 

President Doug Darling

The Covid -19 pandemic has changed our world in ways we could never have imagined over the past three months. I’m extremely proud of the way our students, faculty and staff have adapted and continue to move forward.  
                                    
The financial impacts on individuals, our campus, state and country continue to grow. To protect our employees and our institution we are taking some precautions to preserve our budget in case of enrollment declines or budget allotments from the state. 

The 20 members of our campus community, listed below, were given a two week notice of being placed on a temporary unpaid leave of absence.  This leave will begin on May 1st with an anticipated return to full time hours on August 1st.  

This was a decision that wasn’t made lightly and we fully expect each of these employees to be kept financially whole through our state’s weekly unemployment compensation benefit and the weekly federal unemployment stipend available under the CARES Act. 

Lake Region State College will continue to provide for their health care coverage and will work with them so other benefits do not lapse.    

These changes are not permanent, they are temporary and will help us position ourselves in the most positive way possible considering the current uncertainties.  Our hope is by acting now and taking advantage of opportunities in the CARES Act we can financially protect our employees long-term. A furlough now creates budget savings to protect employees and the institution should tuition shortfalls from enrollment declines or future budget cuts surface.

LRSC Students, Faculty and Staff - We want you all to know that we miss you! I hope all are doing well. We can’t wait to have the LRSC family together soon. Until then, stay safe, stay healthy, and reach out if you need anything for your courses or other questions. We are here for you! 

A number of faculty and staff have messages for you – click the link below.

We miss you video.
 

April 2020 updates 

April 14, 2020

BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum and Chief Operating Officer Tammy Miller today outlined the finalized hospital surge plan for North Dakota, expressing confidence that the state has the hospital capacity it needs to handle a surge in COVID-19 patients if one should occur. 
 
Burgum noted that North Dakota is currently using less than 1 percent of its hospital capacity for COVID-19 patients, and the state’s positive test rate of 3.1 percent is the second lowest in the country, with 341 confirmed cases out of 10,916 total tests. 
 
“While our hospitalizations remain low and we don’t believe that any additional health care facilities beyond hospitals’ own Tier 1 capacity is going to be needed, it is our responsibility in government to prepare for the worst-case scenarios, and in that regard, our state is well-prepared,” Burgum said during today’s press briefing. 
 
The surge plan was developed through the state’s Unified Command in partnership with health care providers across North Dakota. 
 
“Our mission is to protect the citizens of North Dakota and to minimize the loss of life and economic hardship,” said Miller, who co-leads the Unified Command with Maj. Gen. Alan Dohrmann, director of the Department of Emergency Services. “As we put together this plan, the overarching goal is to ensure that our hospitals and communities will have the resources they need to handle any surge in COVID-19 patients.”
 
For the purpose of surge planning, the state identified bed capacity in 50 hospitals based on three tiers:
 
•    Tier 1 – 2,098 beds: existing hospital capacity with current staff, supplies and equipment. 
•    Tier 2A – 2,394 beds: hospitals increase their bed capacity and stretch staff through scheduling, with a surge of equipment from the state medical cache as requested. 
•    Tier 2B – 3,488 beds: hospitals further increase capacity with a surge of equipment, supplies and staff from the state.
•    Tier 3 – 4,000 additional beds: This tier involves setting up minimal care facilities that would be used only if hospitals in the region have reached their maximum level of surge capacity with beds, supplies, equipment and staff that can be provided through state resources. Minimal care facilities could provide up to 4,000 additional beds, pushing the statewide total to nearly 7,500 beds.
 
The North Dakota Department of Health will monitor hospital surge and determine when and if a minimal care facility is needed. Miller stressed that minimal care facilities are not alternative hospitals, but rather are set up and organized to handle COVID-19 patients who may need hospital admission but, based on hospital capacity and triage priorities, that level of care isn’t available. 
 
In the unlikely scenario that they would be needed, Tier 3 facilities would open first in Bismarck and Fargo. The state has pre-positioned 200 beds each at the Fargodome and University of Mary Fieldhouse in Bismarck. Each Tier 3 facility would be overseen by a lead hospital. Sanford Health would be the lead hospital in Fargo and Bismarck, in partnership with Essentia Health in Fargo and CHI St. Alexius Health in Bismarck. 
 
If necessary, six additional Tier 3 facilities could be opened in the state’s other metro areas. Those locations and lead hospitals would be: 
•    Devils Lake: Lake Region State College gym, overseen by CHI St. Alexius Health-Devils Lake 
•    Dickinson: Dickinson State University’s Weinbergen Gym, overseen by CHI St. Alexius Health-Dickinson 
•    Minot: Minot State University Dome, overseen by Trinity Health 
•    Grand Forks: University of North Dakota Wellness Center, overseen by Altru Health in Grand Forks 
•    Jamestown: University of Jamestown Newman Center/Larson Center, overseen by Jamestown Regional Medical Center 
•    Williston: Williston State College’s Thomas Witt Leach Complex, overseen by CHI St. Alexius Health in Williston. 
 
For more information on the state’s COVID-19 response, visit www.health.nd.gov/coronavirus or www.ndresponse.gov

Posted: Date April 03, 2020
Author: Office of Postsecondary Education
Subject UPDATED Guidance for interruptions of study related to Coronavirus (COVID-19)
The Department appreciates that postsecondary institutions and their students face unique and urgent circumstances as a result of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. This guidance provides updated information that expands upon the Department’s March 5, 2020, guidance and provides additional regulatory flexibilities due to the lawful declaration of the COVID-19 national emergency.

On March 13, 2020, the President of the United States declared that a national emergency concerning the COVID-19 outbreak began on March 1, 2020, as stated in “Declaring a National Emergency Concerning the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Outbreak,” Proclamation 9994 of March 13, 2020, Federal Register Vol. 85, No. 53 at 15337-38. The Department considers this declaration to be equivalent to a federally declared major disaster, as defined in The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act in 42 U.S.C. § 5122(2) (Stafford Act) and provides the following information about additional emergency flexibilities and regulatory relief for institutions of higher education and their students.

In addition, on March 27, 2020, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), Pub. L. No. 116-136, which provides flexibilities beyond those captured in this document. The Department is reviewing the Act and intends to provide additional guidance on the Department’s COVID-19 webpage in the near future.

Finally, as with the March 5, 2020, guidance, this guidance document is a general statement of policy under the Administrative Procedure Act issued to advise the public prospectively of the manner in which the Department proposes to exercise its discretionary power and enforcement discretion as a result of, and in response to, the duly declared COVID-19 pandemic national emergency. The Department does not intend for this policy statement to create a legally binding standard affirmatively determining any member of the public’s legal rights and obligations for which noncompliance may form an independent basis for action. As required by the Administrative Procedure Act, the Department will afford members of the public a fair opportunity to argue for lawful approaches other than those put forward in this guidance, to argue for a modification or rescission of its terms, or both. To suggest another lawful approach or to argue for a modification or rescission of any of the flexibilities or provisions hereof, please email the Department’s Regulatory Reform Officer at COVID-19@ed.gov and reference in the subject line "Attn: Regulatory Reform Officer."

We recommend that institutions document in their records, as contemporaneously as possible, any actions taken as a result of COVID-19, including those actions described in this document.

Effective Period of Guidance

Although our March 5, 2020, guidance applied to students who had already begun their current term, more recent guidance from President Trump and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that social distancing may be required for a longer period. We thus extend those flexibilities to any payment period or term beginning between March 5, 2020, and June 1, 2020, inclusive.

Unless otherwise specifically stated in this guidance document, the emergency flexibilities set forth below remain effective until and through June 30, 2020, unless the payment period crossover extends over award years and is attached to the 2019-2020 award year. In that case the effective date is through the end of the crossover payment period.

The Department will extend the effective period of its guidance if circumstances warrant an extension and will inform the public of such an extension at the appropriate time. As we continue to monitor the COVID-19 emergency and CDC guidance, the Department will adjust dates as necessary.

Accommodating Students Whose Enrollment is Disrupted by COVID-19

In our March 5, 2020 guidance, we explained that our goal is to work with institutions seeking to accommodate students and continue their education despite interruptions caused by COVID-19. This remains unchanged, as we believe institutions know best how to protect their students, faculty, and staff.

Academic Calendars - Standard vs. Non-standard Terms
We understand that some students may have been recalled from travel abroad programs or experiential learning opportunities after the semester began. Therefore, institutions may offer courses to those students on a schedule that would otherwise cause the program to be considered a non-standard term or a nonterm program, if doing so enables those students to complete the term. If an institution utilizes this flexibility, it can continue to disburse aid based on its original academic calendar. These flexibilities will also be provided to institutions or their additional locations or programs that must temporarily cease academic instruction or extend scheduled breaks as a result of COVID-19.

Approved Leaves of Absence
For students who wish to take an approved leave of absence due to COVID-19-related concerns or limitations (such as interruption of a travel-abroad program), the Department will permit them to take such leave for the purposes of Title IV fund eligibility, even if the student notifies the institution of his or her request after the date that the leave of absence has begun. In such a case, the institution may retain the Title IV funds for that student to apply when the student resumes enrollment.

Normally, institutions are not permitted to put students on a leave of absence during the suspension of coursework, including clinicals or internships/externships; however, if the coursework suspension results from of COVID-19, in this limited circumstance the Department will permit the institution to put the student on an approved leave of absence until the institution can resume coursework or can find another placement for the student.

Enrollment Status Changes
We do not have the statutory authority to waive the requirement that institutions award or disburse Title IV funds based on a student’s actual enrollment status. For example, assuming an institution defines full-time enrollment as 12 credit hours, when a full-time student enrolled for 12 credit hours drops or withdraws from three credits, that student is now enrolled at three-quarter time status; however, for Direct Loans, the institution must only confirm at least half-time enrollment status as of the time of disbursement. It is not necessary to recalculate a student’s Direct Loan eligibility based on changes in enrollment status that occur after the institution originates a Direct Loan. For enrollment status changes that occur after an institution’s established Pell Grant recalculation (census) date, we do not require recalculation. The student must have begun attendance in all courses comprising the enrollment status on which the Pell Grant payment was based.

Distance Education

Approval to Offer Distance Education
Because of the COVID-19 national emergency, and as an emergency measure to accommodate students, the Department provides broad approval to institutions to use distance learning modalities without going through the standard Department approval process, even if the institution would normally be required to seek Departmental approval for the use or expansion of distance learning programs. At this time, this flexibility applies only to payment periods that overlap with the Department’s March 5, 2020, guidance or that begin on or between March 5 and June 1, 2020. If an institution chooses to continue offering a new program or using distance education in a manner requiring the Department’s approval after that point, it may be required to obtain approval under the Department’s and its accrediting agency’s applicable policies and procedures.

We also continue to permit accrediting agencies to waive their distance education review requirements; however, we encourage accreditors promptly to develop new policies and procedures for providing rapid approval of distance education programs for institutions working to accommodate students whose enrollment is otherwise interrupted as a result of COVID-19. Accrediting agencies should document the process by which their decision-making body decided to waive or provide expedited review of distance education programs. This flexibility is not available for clock-hour courses that lead to licensure if the licensing body will not accept distance learning courses or hours or give credit for them toward the number of hours a student must complete.

For the purpose of Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA), distance learning does not require the use of sophisticated learning management systems or online platforms, although accreditors may have additional standards included in their review of distance learning programs; however, accreditors may waive those standards for schools implementing distance learning programs solely for the purpose of allowing currently enrolled students to complete a term interrupted by COVID-19 closures. To meet the Department’s requirements for providing distance education, an institution must communicate to students through one of several types of technology – including email or by telephone – described under 34 CFR § 600.2, and instructors must initiate substantive communication with students, either individually or collectively, on a regular basis. In other words, an instructor may use email to provide instructional materials to students enrolled in the instructor’s class, use chat features to communicate with students, set up conference calls to facilitate group conversations, engage in email exchanges, or require students to submit work electronically that the instructor will evaluate.

The Department asks institutions to review the "FERPA and Virtual Learning Related Resources" resource list, the March 30, 2020 webinar, and related materials from the Department’s Student Privacy Policy Office (SPPO). As educators and students move to virtual learning due to the need for social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, SPPO has identified resources that discuss virtual learning, and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). These resources include toolkits, letters, and Q&As on information security best practices, the use of the school official exception under FERPA, classroom observations, and the use of emails, videos, and other virtual learning tools. SPPO has also issued a FERPA and COVID-19 FAQ on the health or safety emergency exception under FERPA at https://studentprivacy.ed.gov/resources/ferpa-and-coronavirus-disease-20.... For additional resources on FERPA, please read SPPO’s website at https://studentprivacy.ed.gov.

Institutions may provide distance learning temporarily to accommodate students as a result of a COVID-19 interruption, including in cases where students began attendance in classes offered in a brick-and-mortar setting but were transitioned to a distance education format in the middle of the term. This includes students who are enrolled at a U.S institution but are participating in a study abroad experience in a foreign country. In such a case, the student may participate in distance education provided by either their home institution or their foreign host institution. In these cases, to enable students to complete the current term, we will treat institutions that were properly accredited and authorized by states as being approved by these agencies to offer distance education and will accept the accreditation and state authorization of the institution for the programs in which those students were enrolled prior to the interruption due to COVID-19.

Institutions may also enter into consortium agreements with other Title IV institutions so that students can complete courses at other institutions but allow their home institution to award credit. Where accrediting agencies require students to complete a final number or percentage of credits in residence at the institution, accrediting agencies may also waive that requirement for students impacted by COVID-19 without objection from the Department.

The Department urges institutions to study the Department’s March 17, 2020, guidance to accrediting agencies, which permits accreditors to engage in virtual site visits of institutions or programs currently under review, scheduled for renewal of recognition, or in a show-cause or probationary status. This guidance also permits accrediting agencies to extend accreditation terms or provide additional good cause extensions, including if the institution or program has otherwise exhausted all regularly-provided good cause extensions, to enable institutions and programs to continue serving students during COVID-19 related interruptions of regular campus operations.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act
Post-secondary institutions working to move programs to a distance learning format in order to continue serving students during a COVID-19 interruption may have concerns about their ability to ensure that instructions and materials meet the requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504), and, for public institutions, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Department recognizes that in this unique and ever-changing environment, these exceptional circumstances may affect how education, including needed accommodations for students with disabilities, is provided. Institutions should not decline to provide distance instruction, at the expense of most students, to address matters pertaining to accommodations for students with disabilities. Rather, institutions must make decisions that take into consideration the health, safety, and well-being of all their students and staff. Additionally, the Department understands that, during this national emergency, postsecondary institutions may not be able to provide services in the same manner as they typically would for the rest of the academic year.

Postsecondary students with disabilities must receive academic adjustments, auxiliary aids and services, and reasonable modifications to policies, practices, and procedures, where doing so would not impose an undue burden nor cause a fundamental alteration. Some academic adjustments, auxiliary aids and services, and reasonable modifications in the postsecondary context, can be provided online, while some cannot. Whether an institution serves students in a brick-and-mortar or an online environment, the institution must ensure that students with disabilities have an equal opportunity to access educational programs, consistent with protecting the health and safety of the student and those providing that education to the student.

Where possible, instructors should work to accommodate students with disabilities, such as by using audio technology to read documents to students who are visually impaired. It may be appropriate to make other academic adjustments and reasonable accommodations through virtual means, such as online or telephonically.

Postsecondary students with disabilities typically work with their disability services’ coordinators through an interactive process to determine appropriate academic adjustments, auxiliary aids and services, and modifications.

With respect to issues concerning website accessibility and online education, the Department urges institutions to consult its Office for Civil Rights (OCR) webinar available here or as a link on the Department’s coronavirus webpage, https://www.ed.gov/coronavirus. If you have questions for OCR or want to request additional information or technical assistance, you may contact OCR’s Outreach, Prevention, Education and Non-discrimination (OPEN) Center at OPEN@ed.gov.

Foreign Schools
Pursuant to section 3510 of the CARES Act, the Secretary permits any part of an otherwise eligible program at a foreign institution to be offered via distance education, if the applicable government authorities in the country in which the foreign institution is located have declared a public health emergency, major disaster or emergency, or national emergency related to COVID-19. Retroactive to March 1, 2020, institutions may use this flexibility for the duration of such emergency or disaster and the following payment period for purposes of title IV of the HEA. The term “foreign schools” are those institutions located outside of the United States that participate in the Title IV Direct Loan program and award their credentials to U.S. students. This term excludes study-abroad programs in which a foreign institution provides instruction to a student who remains a degree-seeking student from the student’s domestic U.S. institution. Students in this category have always been permitted to engage in distance learning.

The Secretary also permits foreign institutions to enter into written arrangements with institutions located in the United States that participate in the Federal Direct Loan Program for the purpose of allowing a student of the foreign institution who is a Federal Direct Loan borrower to take courses from the American institution. For the purpose of this provision, foreign public or nonprofit institutions may only enter into written arrangements with public or nonprofit institutions in the United States. Foreign medical, nursing, and veterinary institutions that are for-profit may enter into written arrangements with U.S. public, nonprofit, or for-profit institutions.

At a later date, the Department will provide guidance to institutions on how to comply with the reporting requirements under the CARES Act applicable to institutions under section 3510.

Return of Title IV Funds (R2T4) and Reporting Requirements (34 C.F.R. § 668.22)

Institutional Charges, Refunds, and R2T4 Calculations
The CARES Act makes significant changes to the requirements and flexibilities surrounding R2T4. The Department is currently reviewing the implications of the Act and will provide appropriate guidance as soon as possible.

General Provisions (all Title IV Programs)

Academic Year (§ 668.3)
The Department is authorized to approve a reduced academic year if an institution offering credit-hour programs is unable to offer at least 30 weeks of instruction during its academic year. If an institution determines it will temporarily cease providing instruction, extend a break, or otherwise reduce the length of its term in a manner that results in fewer than 30 weeks of instruction in the academic year as the result of COVID-19 disruptions, it should send an email to CaseTeams@ed.gov to request a temporary reduction in the length of its academic year. The request must:

Identify each educational program or programs for which the institution requests a reduction and the requested number of weeks of instructional time for those programs (institutions are permitted to request the waiver for all programs); and

Demonstrate good cause for the requested reductions (which would include disruptions related to COVID-19).

Institutions should include in the subject line of the email the institution’s name, OPEID, and the state where the main campus is located. The request will be reviewed and forwarded to the appropriate School Participation Division, which will communicate its final determination to the institution.

Agreements to Permit Study at Another Institution (§ 668.5)
If an institution is unable to continue to provide a student’s eligible program because of COVID-19, it may enter into a written agreement with another institution (such as one that has a larger number of courses or programs available through distance learning than the home school can provide) to enable the student to continue his or her academic program while receiving Title IV assistance.

Compliance audits and audited financial statements (§ 668.23)
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has extended its due date for submission of the single audit to the Federal Audit Clearinghouse. The Department will provide additional guidance on this extension.

Institutional Participation (§ 668.26(a)(1))
The temporary cessation of educational instruction due to the urgent circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic will not result in a loss of institutional eligibility or participation.

Campus Security Reporting and Equity in Athletics Disclosures (§ 668.41)
The Department will provide appropriate guidance as it continues to monitor the COVID-19 national emergency.

Notifications Regarding an Immediate Threat to Health or Safety (§ 668.46)
The Clery Act and its implementing regulations require institutions to notify the campus community upon the confirmation of a significant emergency or dangerous situation involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or staff occurring on campus. The Department does not interpret the statutory language as requiring institutions to give regular, on-going updates on COVID-19 or to proactively identify positive COVID-19 cases within the campus community. The Department also does not interpret the statutory language to apply to positive COVID-19 cases among individuals who are not attending classes, working, or residing on campus or to require notifications to such individuals.

An institution may satisfy the emergency notification requirements of the Clery Act and § 668.46 as follows: (1) provide students and employees a single notification through the regular means of communicating emergency notifications informing them about COVID-19 and necessary health and safety precautions, as well as encouraging them to obtain information from health care providers, state health authorities, and the CDC’s COVID-19 website; or (2) create a banner at the top of the institution’s homepage containing that same information, including a statement about the global pandemic and a link to the CDC’s website.

Cash Management (34 C.F.R. Part 668, Subpart K)
Institutions must comply with the cash management regulations unless unable to do so due to COVID-19 disruptions. Where an institution is unable to comply, it should document the reason(s) for instances where it is unable to comply and retain the documentation in its records. These include, but are not limited to, the following regulatory requirements:

Borrower Requests for Loan Cancellation (§ 668.165(a)(4)(ii))
Excess Cash (§ 668.166)
Notices and Authorizations (§§ 668.165(a)(3) and 668.165(b)(4)(iii))
Need Analysis
Any aid (in the form of grants or low-interest loans) received by victims of an emergency from a federal or state entity for the purpose of providing financial relief is not counted as income for calculating a family’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC) under the Federal Methodology or as estimated financial assistance for packaging purposes.

Professional Judgment
Section 479A of the HEA gives an institution’s financial aid administrator (FAA) the authority to use professional judgment to make adjustments on a case-by-case basis to the cost of attendance or to the values of the items used in calculating the EFC to reflect a student’s special circumstances. The Department encourages FAAs to use professional judgment to reflect more accurately the financial need of students and families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. In making case-by-case determinations, the FAA must obtain and retain in the affected student’s file documents that supporting and substantiating the reasons for any adjustment.

Institutions must make and document professional judgment determinations on a case-by-case basis without regard to how broadly an event may affect its student population. The use of professional judgment in the Federal Methodology need analysis is discussed in the Federal Student Aid Handbook. Additionally, FAAs must report to the Central Processing System (CPS) as a “correction” transaction and with the “PJ” indicator any professional judgment decisions that affect a student’s eligibility for a Federal Pell Grant.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) (§ 668.34)
The CARES Act provides additional flexibilities to institutions regarding the calculation of SAP. An institution of higher education may, as a result of a qualifying emergency, exclude from the quantitative component of the calculation any attempted credits that were not completed by such student without requiring an appeal by such student. The Department intends to provide additional guidance regarding how to implement these additional flexibilities.

Verification (Part 668 Subpart E).

Verification Status Code “W” Warning and “Deobligation” Process Postponed
Typically in April, FSA initiates a warning and “deobligation” process for student records reported with a verification status code of “W” under which schools are warned that Pell Grant disbursements to students with this code will be regarded as “overawards” and reduced to a zero dollar amount ($0.00), even though the disbursements were previously accepted in the Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) System. Approximately two weeks following this warning, we systematically reduce the affected disbursements. The warning and “deobligation” process is also repeated each July and October. Given the occurrence of this April deadline during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are canceling the April 2020 warning and “deobligation” process to allow schools additional time to perform internal reviews and to avoid the “deobligation” of otherwise eligible Pell Grant awards. We will re-evaluate the process scheduled for July 2020 and October 2020 as we approach those dates.

For those borrowers in verification groups V4 or V5, the flexibilities listed below apply if the institution is unable to receive the required documents in person or by mail (e.g., qualified staff are not on campus to complete this task or students are not able to mail documents). These flexibilities also apply if the applicant or student is unable to provide the required documents in person or cannot provide notarized documents by mail.

We suspend the in-person submission and notary requirements for V4 and V5 verification. The institution may allow an applicant or student to submit copies of the required verification documents electronically to the institution. This may occur by uploading a photo of the documents (including from a smartphone), PDF, or other similar electronic document through a secure school portal, by email, etc.

We also recognize that forms of identification (such as a driver’s license) may expire with no real and reasonable opportunity for renewal due to social distancing requirements. Institutions may accept a copy of an expired document if it expired after March 1, 2020.

Further, the Department waives the requirements under § 668.57(b) and (c) that a dependent student submit a statement signed by one of the student’s parents when no responsible parent can provide the required signature. In such a situation, the institution must note and retain an explanation of why neither of the student’s parents was available to provide such a statement.

Federal Student Aid Program Information

Federal Pell Grant, Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant, and Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Programs

Deadline for Reporting Initial Disbursement Records (Federal Pell Grant § 690.83 and TEACH Grant § 686.37)
Generally, an institution must submit to the Department a Federal Pell Grant, Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant, or TEACH Grant disbursement record for a student not later than 15 calendar days after the institution makes a disbursement to the student or becomes aware that a disbursement needs to be adjusted.

For the Federal Pell Grant program, if the institution becomes aware that previously reported payments or expected payments for a student are no longer accurate, the institution must submit an accurate disbursement record for that student no later than 15 calendar days after becoming aware of the need to make the change. The institution should promptly contact its School Participation Division if it is unable to meet these deadlines.

Additional deadline details are included in the deadline date notice published annually in the Federal Register. For the TEACH Grant Program, an institution must submit to the Department subsequent disbursement records, including adjustments and cancellation records not later than 15 calendar days following the date of the disbursement, adjustment, or cancellation. The appropriate School Participation Division will address any concerns about the deadlines for submitting disbursement records (including adjustments and cancellations) for the TEACH Grant Program on a case-by-case basis.

Final Federal Reporting Deadlines
Upon an institution’s request, the Department will extend the deadline for reporting final Federal Pell Grant payments if the institution is unable to meet the published deadline. An affected institution should make the request as soon as possible by submitting a request via the Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) website (https://cod.ed.gov) or by contacting the COD School Relations Center at 1-800-474-7268.

All Federal Student Loans Held by the Federal Government—Zero Interest and Suspension of Payments
In response to the COVID-19 national emergency, President Trump announced that zero interest would accrue on student loans held by federal government agencies for at least 60 days beginning on March 13, 2020.

The CARES Act extended the interest reprieve and implemented an automatic forbearance until September 30, 2020, for any borrower with a student loan held by the Department. The Department published frequently asked questions (FAQs) with responses for borrowers on its studentaid.gov website.

All Federal Student Loans Not Held by the Federal Government—Zero Interest and Suspension of Payments
Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program lenders and institutions who hold Perkins loans may provide the same zero interest and cessation of payments benefits to the loans they hold on a voluntary basis. Borrowers of these loans should contact their servicer (or the institution if paying the institution directly) for additional information.

William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program/FFEL Program

Borrowers in In-School Loan Status (§ 685.207) and In-School Deferment Status (§ 685.204)
The Department will continue to report to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) as “in-school” for the loan status of each borrower who was in an “in-school” status on the date the borrower’s attendance at the institution was interrupted due to the COVID-19 national emergency. The Department will continue the borrower in that loan status until the institution reports the borrower as withdrawn. (Please also see above section Enrollment Status Changes for information about required reporting.).

Submission of Direct Loan Payment Data (§ 685.301(c))
This regulation requires an institution to submit Direct Loan payment data in accordance with procedures and deadlines established through a notice published in the Federal Register. An institution that is unable to meet the requirements specified in the Federal Register Notice must contact its School Participation Division to discuss its concerns.

Collection of Defaulted Loans
The CARES Act requires the Department of ED to cease collection activities on all defaulted loans, including administrative wage garnishment and the Treasury Offset Program until September 30, 2020.

Satisfactory Repayment Arrangements (§ 685.102)
The Department will not treat any payment the borrower fails to make as a missed payment in the stream of six consecutive, on-time voluntary full monthly payments required to re-establish his or her eligibility for assistance under Title IV of the HEA. If the Department does not extend the effective period for the temporary relief provided by this guidance, the required sequence of qualifying payments resumes at the point at which it was discontinued.

The Department will not treat any payment the borrower fails to make as a missed payment in the stream of three consecutive, on-time voluntary full monthly payments required to establish eligibility to consolidate a defaulted loan. If the Department does not extend the effective period for the temporary relief provided by this guidance, the required sequence of qualifying payments resumes at the point at which it was discontinued.

Payments to Rehabilitate Defaulted Loans (§ 685.211(f))
The Department will not treat any payment the borrower fails to make as a missed payment in the stream of nine on-time monthly payments within ten months for purposes of rehabilitating the defaulted loan through September 30, 2020 as directed in the CARES Act.

FFEL Program: Lenders and Guaranty Agencies and Loans held by the Department Satisfactory Repayment Arrangements (§ 682.200(b))
The FFEL loan holder should not treat any payment the borrower fails to make as a missed payment in the stream of six consecutive, on-time voluntary full monthly payments required to re-establish his or her eligibility for assistance under Title IV of the HEA.

A FFEL loan holder should not treat any payment a borrower fails to make as a missed payment in the stream of three consecutive, on-time voluntary full monthly payments required to establish eligibility to consolidate a defaulted loan.

Borrowers in In-School Loan Status (§ 682.209(a)) and In-School Deferment Status (§ 682.210)
The loan holder should continue to report to NSLDS as “in-school” the loan status of each borrower who was in an “in-school” status on the date the borrower’s attendance at the institution was interrupted due to the COVID-19 national emergency. The loan holder should continue the borrower in that loan status until the institution reports the borrower as withdrawn.

Collection of Defaulted Loans (§ 682.410)
Guaranty agencies must stop collection activities on defaulted loans until September 30, 2020, on all federally held loans. Collection activities must resume at the end of the period at the point at which they were discontinued. The guaranty agency must document in the loan file why it suspended collection activities on the loan and is not required to obtain evidence of the borrower’s status while collection activities have been suspended.

Payments to Rehabilitate Defaulted Loans (§ 682.405)
The FFEL loan holder should not treat any payment the borrower fails to make as an interruption in the nine on-time voluntary full monthly payments within ten months for purposes of rehabilitating the defaulted loan.

General Campus-Based Program Issues

Allocation Reduction Due to Under-Utilization (§ 673.4(d)(3))
The CARES Act makes changes to provisions relating to the allocation of campus-based program funding. The Department intends to provide additional guidance on the allocation reduction due to under-utilization.

Filing Deadline for Fiscal Operations Report and Application to Participate (FISAP)
The Department will issue appropriate guidance as it continues to monitor the COVID-19 national emergency.

Federal Work Study (FWS)
The Department’s March 5, 2020, guidance regarding FWS payments aligns with flexibilities provided under the Stafford Act, which permits FWS students to receive FWS, even if they are unable to work their scheduled hours or must perform their work in a different way (such as online rather than at a facility) as a result of COVID-19 interruptions, provided the institution is continuing to provide educational services and is paying its faculty and staff. As explained in the March 5, 2020, guidance, for students enrolled and performing FWS at a campus that must temporarily cease providing instruction due to COVID-19, for a FWS student who is employed by an employer that temporarily or permanently closes as a result of COVID-19, or for students quarantined and unable to travel to campus or their jobsite, the institution may continue paying the student Federal work-study wages during that cessation.

Payments may be made in an amount equal to or less than the amount of FWS wages those students would have been paid had they been able to complete the work obligation necessary to receive FWS funds.

An institution may pay a student enrolled at an eligible institution who:

Received an FWS award for the award period during which a COVID-19 related interruption occurred on the campus;
Earned FWS wages from the institution for that award period; and
Was prevented from fulfilling his or her FWS obligation for all or part of the award period due to a COVID-19 related interruption.
This flexibility applies only to students who have begun their FWS job prior to the declaration of the national emergency and may not exceed one academic year.

The CARES Act provides additional flexibility for institutions to provide emergency grants from their remaining Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) allocations, which include grants to students who would have otherwise received FWS wages had they started their job prior to the national emergency. The Department will issue guidance on the use of remaining SEOG allocations.

The CARES Act also allows the Secretary to waive the non-federal share in certain circumstances. The Secretary will consider this waiver authority and will issue guidance on this issue.

Community Service Requirements (§ 675.18(g))
An institution must use at least seven percent of the total amount of its FWS Federal funds granted for an award year to compensate students employed in community service. In addition, the institution must ensure that it includes at least one project for tutoring children in reading or one project for family literacy in providing community service. The HEA provides that a waiver of one or both community service requirements may be granted if the Secretary determines that enforcing the requirements would cause hardship for students at the institution. The Department considers the inability of an institution to expend at least seven percent of its total FWS Federal allocation for community service and/or to have at least one project for tutoring children in reading or family literacy due to the COVID-19 national emergency as an appropriate basis for a waiver. An institution must submit a request for a waiver along with a statement that explains the reason for its inability to comply with one or both of the community service requirements. An affected institution should request a waiver as soon as possible by using the annually published waiver submission guidelines or by contacting the Campus-Based Call Center at 1-800-848-0978.

Flexibility in Making Certain FWS Payments (§ 675.18(i))
As explained above, the CARES Act provides additional opportunities for institutions to award grants to students using reallocated SEOG funds. The Department will publish guidance on how to administer grants made from reallocated SEOG funds.

Federal Perkins Loan Program

Borrowers in Repayment (§ 674.33)
The Department authorizes institutions to grant forbearance, for a period not to exceed three months, to a Federal Perkins Loan borrower who is in repayment and who is unable to make payments due to a COVID-19 related interruption.

For an institutionally held Perkins Loan, interest accrues during any period of forbearance. A borrower may request this forbearance orally or in writing and is not required to submit documentation to be considered eligible for this forbearance. An institution must document the forbearance in the borrower’s file. To receive forbearance beyond the three-month period, the borrower must make a request to the institution and provide supporting documentation. (At the expiration of the three-month period, the institution should examine the borrower’s situation to determine potential eligibility for an economic hardship deferment or unemployment deferment, as appropriate.) This period of forbearance is counted toward the three-year maximum limit on the number of years of forbearance that may be granted to a borrower.

Collection of Defaulted Loans (Part 674, Subpart C—Due Diligence)
The institution may stop collection activities through September 30, 2020 upon notification by the borrower, a member of the borrower’s family, or another reliable source that the borrower has been affected by the COVID-19 national emergency. Collection activities must resume when the period ends. The institution must document in the loan file why it suspended collection activities on the loan and is not required to obtain evidence of the borrower’s status while collection activities have been suspended.

Satisfactory Repayment Arrangements on Defaulted Loans (§ 674.2)
An institution should not treat any scheduled payment the borrower fails to make as a missed payment in the stream of six on-time, consecutive, monthly payments required for the borrower to make satisfactory repayment arrangements on a defaulted Perkins Loan and to re-establish their eligibility for assistance under Title IV of the HEA. If the Department does not extend the effective period for the temporary relief provided by this guidance, the required sequence of qualifying payments resumes at the point at which it was discontinued.

Payments to Rehabilitate Defaulted Loans (§ 674.39)
An institution should not treat any scheduled payment the borrower fails to make as a missed payment in the stream of nine on-time, consecutive, monthly payments required for the borrower to rehabilitate the defaulted loan. If the Department does not extend the effective period for the temporary relief provided by this guidance, the required sequence of qualifying payments resumes at the point at which it was discontinued.

Conclusion

We encourage school communities to take all appropriate steps to ensure the health and well-being of students, faculty, and staff. If you have questions about the information provided in this guidance document or you are encountering a scenario that we have not addressed, please email the Department at COVID-19@ed.gov. In response to questions from the postsecondary community, the Department has also established FAQs that we will update periodically.

We established the webpage https://www.ed.gov/coronavirus to provide general information for school communities, including links to information posted by the CDC and Prevention, and as the location for the Department’s guidance. We encourage institutions to refer frequently to these informational resources.

As we get ready for the Easter holiday break, I want to touch base with everyone and again say thank you for all your hard work and dedication this past month. 
Please remember to unplug when needed.  Keep up the heroic efforts. Whether you are a student, staff, or faculty, you are a hero for adjusting and persevering during this time. 

Spend time with the family you are at home with and take a deep breath. Don’t forget to check on family and friends and help those who need assistance.
And always remember to reach out if you need help with a class, work assignment, or more. We are still a family. #LR4Life  #RoyalsFamily  #LRfamily

Doug Darling
 

On April 7 Gov. Doug Burgum and the North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) in partnership with ProudCrowd, creators of the popular Bison Tracker app, launched a free mobile app, Care19, to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in North Dakota.

This app will help the NDDoH reduce the spread of COVID-19 by more efficiently and effectively identifying individuals who may have had contact with people who have tested positive. Once the app is downloaded, individuals will be given a random ID number and the app will anonymously cache the individual’s locations throughout the day. Individuals are then encouraged to categorize their movement into different groups such as work or grocery. The app will only store the location of any place a person visits for 10 minutes or more, and the ID number of each individual contains no personal information besides location data.

If an individual tests positive for COVID-19, they will be given the opportunity to consent to provide their information to the NDDoH to help in contact tracing and forecasting the pandemic’s progression with accurate, real-time data.

“This is an opportunity for North Dakotans to be leaders in the worldwide response to COVID-19,” said Burgum. “Our goal is for at least 50,000 North Dakotans to download the app. The more people who participate, the more helpful the data will be. The aggregated information this app is gathering can save lives. Embracing this technology is one more way we can show that we’re all in this together.” 

The NDDoH has worked tirelessly to track COVID-19 cases, and about 250 people have jumped in to help ramp up efforts. Despite all the cooperation, this manual process is very time-consuming and not 100 percent accurate. Through a public-private partnership, the Care19 app will dramatically improve the state’s contact tracing abilities.  

If individuals are categorizing movements, the NDDoH will be able to get a more accurate understanding of how COVID-19 is spreading – whether due to traveling, community spread or close contact spread – and where potential clusters are located. 

“We are extremely excited that our work on the Bison Tracker could be reshaped to quickly support the fight against COVID-19”, said ProwdCrowd CEO Tim Brookins. “Big thanks to Governor Burgum and his team, as well as my Microsoft co-workers who helped me bring Care19 to life.”

The first roll-out of the app is now available at the Apple App store and coming soon for Android users. 

For more information about the Care19 app, go to the NDDoH website at https://www.health.nd.gov/Care19.

The Lake Region State College Faculty Senate, Chief Academic Officer, and Registrar have agreed to allow students to choose an S/U grade option for spring semester 2020.  Students who are dissatisfied with the final grade earned and recorded, may contact the instructor (no later than Monday, May 25, 2020) and request the grading basis be converted to Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory.  
 
Upon request of the student, the instructor will notify the Chief Academic Officer who will inform the Registrar of the student’s decision to exercise this option.  The Registrar will make the change in grading basis.  Unless the course syllabi included provisions for S/U grading at the outset, the faculty member will not be able to use the S/U grading basis without following this process and involving the Chief Academic Officer and Registrar.     
 
Prior to making the request to exercise this option, students must consult with their advisor so they understand how this might affect transferability to a college outside the ND University System, how it may affect satisfying a pre-requisite, how an S/U grade for a required course could affect entry into certain programs or graduate school, and/or how an S/U grade might impact program completion requirements.  
 
The S/U grading basis is not available to students in the Peace Officer Training Program or who are enrolled in the Dakota Nursing Program at Lake Region State College.  If you need further explanation or clarification, please contact Academic Affairs Director Brandi Nelson at the following email:  brandi.nelson@lrsc.edu  
Sincerely,

Lloyd Halvorson, Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs

March 2020 updates 

Please note the following changes regarding Dining Services and the Learning Commons: 

Dining Services will close Wednesday afternoon (April 1). The few remaining students in the resident halls are now living in apartments with kitchen facilities. College Care for Kids remains open and have made other arrangements for meals. 

The Learning Commons is now closed. Sheila will continue to support students, faculty, and staff with their material/resource needs by phone (701) 662-1533 or email: Sheila.Collins@lrsc.edu. Resources are also available at: https://www.lrsc.edu/student-life/library-learning-commons. New Horizons computer lab will still be accessible. 

Staff and faculty continue to reach out to current and prospective students. Through this entire process, Lake Region State College is continuing to show its grit and create positive results for students. 

Stay safe and healthy,

Doug Darling
 

Our first and highest priorities remain educating our students in the best way possible, as well as promoting the health, safety, and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff. Because we are trying to have as few people as possible physically on campus in offices, we are adjusting the setup of the switchboard/information window.

•    Beginning tomorrow (Tuesday March 31st) the switchboard will be answered remotely (M-F 7:45-4:45) by Jennifer, Joycelyn, and/or Bobbi. 
•    Fed Ex, USPS, and UPS will continue deliveries of mail and packages each day as normal.  
•    Outgoing mail must be in the mailroom by 11:00 each day as one of them will come to campus to process at this time.  
•    To maintain social distancing, please stay in the hallway and communicate with them through the Information window while they are there.  
•    The mail boxes will be locked from the inside, so if you stop by to get your mail you will need your mailbox key.

A team from the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers St. Paul division will be in North Dakota, and possibly on our campus, this week. The Corp is visiting many ND communities to analyze logistics of various facilities as temporary medical units in the fight against COVID-19. More information will be made available if future plans involve LRSC. 

I will send out additional messages as needed throughout the days and weeks ahead. Please stay safe and healthy. 
 

As the first full week with most of us working or learning from a distance concludes, I want to sincerely say “Thank You” to everyone who transitioned their daily routines into new practices.

Although we aren’t physically working face to face, we are keeping our teams and groups together thanks to technology. Thank you to all faculty, staff, and students who are continuing operations using Blackboard, Microsoft Teams, Instant Messaging, and other devices. Please be reassured, that while we are working remotely, we are staying connected.  Lake Region State College is a great place because of our flexibility and service to students and each other. Please don’t lose that camaraderie as we continue with the semester. 

Our first and highest priorities remain educating our students in the best way possible, and promoting the health, safety, and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff.

Soon we will start the preparation for recovery and return to Lake Region State College…bolder, brighter, and better than before. 

Taking a page from our Governor’s playbook, please show gratitude to your coworkers and to our health care workers and first responders.  

Please stay safe and healthy. 

Doug Darling, Ph.D. President
Lake Region State College
 

Today starts a new chapter at Lake Region State College. The new normal includes delivery of classes online and the majority of faculty and staff working remotely. As stated last week, there still are processes to work out and we will be in a constant state of change for some time. Please be understanding of each area’s and individual’s situation while we convert to these new workstyles.

Due to the COVID-19 situation, it became apparent that holding our traditional commencement activities in May would be impractical.  LRSC’s Spring 2020 graduation,  Nursing’s May pinning ceremony, and Adult Learning Center graduations are canceled. The Athletic banquet scheduled for May 14 has been canceled and the Booster drawing will take place during the Booster Golf Tournament in July.

We’ve continued to be responsive to students leaving our housing units. The move out process in the residence halls is progressing smoothly thanks to the organized procedure established by Housing. We hope to complete the process with all housing students in as precise a fashion.

To alleviate some traffic near offices and the Learning Commons, the College Care for Kids drop off and pick up entrance will be changed to the door between the Dining Room and the Adult Learning Center effective Tuesday morning (March 24). The Adult Learning Center reserved parking spots in the North Hall parking lot can be used for drop-off and pick up purposes. 

Communication with the campus remains key and we easily can become bombarded with messages. For the near future, the various listservs on campus will require approval before messages are sent to intended audiences. This will help limit repetitive messages during this time and stop messages meant for a small, specific group from being sent to such a large group.

Last week we shared that LRSC is creating a calling/texting plan, a checklist, and guidance to communicate with the large number of students who have transitioned from face to face classes into online. Faculty, please mark in Starfish should you suspect any issues with student learning.   Jennifer and Joycelyn will be the primary receptionists moving forward and will be a great resource for you if you need any assistance, have questions, or simply need to find someone or something.   

As always, please watch your email and the LRSC website for updates: https://www.lrsc.edu/coronavirus-covid-19-preparedness-and-response.

For the past week, each department and work unit has been creating staffing plans that will allow us to accomplish the important work that must be done, serve our students and faculty, and maximize the health and safety of everyone. 

We are using email, instant messaging, telephones, and technology to communicate with each other, maximizing social distancing by not entering another’s workspace unless invited to do so, and washing our hands with reckless abandon!  

We still have a lot of work to do and consider our staffing plan to be in a constant state of change.  Administration will be meeting daily to evaluate, monitor, and adjust operations as needed. Jennifer and Joycelyn will be the primary receptionists moving forward and will be a great resource for you if you need any assistance, have questions, or simply need to find someone or something.   

Updates related to COVID-19 will be listed in the news section on our website homepage or this page.

Cat, Brandi, and Steve are working on a plan to make contact with all of our full time liberal arts students who have been thrust into an online learning world they did not choose for themselves.  LRSC is creating a calling/texting plan, a checklist, and guidance sheet for callers.  Faculty MUST make raising a flag in Starfish an absolutely necessary task immediately should they suspect a problem.     

We are counting on our CTE faculty, who remain in contact with their students, to make sure the online-academic portion of their course load is going well.  I would ask each of you to proactively ask your students how things are going.  If you should learn that one of your students is struggling online, it is imperative that you let us know.   We want these students to be successful and we have the staffing resources to help.  The goal is to do such a good job with this that our retention and graduation rates actually increase!    

Gary and his team in IT are working hard to prepare the technology that employees need to fully function from home, but it is going to take some time.  I have asked him to prioritize the best he can.  Some machines are ready now, some not until next week.  Please be patient and more importantly demonstrate patience!    

Those working remotely need to remember to use safe practices regarding cyber security. Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem issued a press release earlier this week advising North Dakotans to be cautious about coronavirus-related scams, including helpful tips.

As always, Please watch your email and the LRSC website for updates.

Lake Region State College is following the most recent information regarding the COVID-19 global pandemic.  As the information presents itself we are faced with making changes in how we deliver education, house and feed students, and provide other community services.    

Earlier today the Governor issued an executive order essentially closing in house dining in any food service establishment.  As such, LRSC Dining Services will transition to take out only and the Dining Room and Student Union will be closed to food consumption.    

He also issued an executive order declaring all state buildings closed to the public.  While not specific to colleges and universities, we face the same challenges in trying to protect those that live, learn, and work here.  Effective tomorrow, all exterior doors will be locked and require key card access.  College Care for Kids families will be allowed access only via the doors closest the Learning Commons and Athletic Offices.  

We previously notified everyone that we were transitioning all face to face academic and lecture based courses to online and had hoped to be able to accelerate lab learning for several of our career and technical education programs.  Unfortunately, we have had to transition to alternative delivery for the vast majority of these students.  Affected students have been notified of the changes and how it affects them.

As students come back from spring break and make arrangements with our housing director to leave the residence halls, we will be simultaneously launching a student outreach plan to ensure those students who chose face to face learning and now must do so online are not left without resources.

We are also following the Governor’s recommendation that employees practice social distancing, limit public interactions and gatherings, and telecommute when possible.   Although not all personnel will be physically present during the work day, all services are still available.  Please contact the LRSC switchboard, (800) 443-1313, (701) 662-1600, should you need any information or assistance.    

It is important to take note of the most current travel recommendations regarding self-quarantine. The North Dakota Department of Health has many resources for people regarding COVID-19. Guides, checklists and more information can be found at: https://www.health.nd.gov/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/coronavirus-public.  Anyone in the greater Devils Lake region feeling ill should call the Altru Hotline to discuss symptoms before going to the medical facility. That Hotline number is (701) 780-6358.  

In response to the most recent information and to help mitigate the spread of COVID 19, LRSC has made the following operational changes:

  • Academic and lecture based courses, including those scheduled through the Devils Lake Campus, the GFAFB, and UND Launch!, will be taught online (for the remainder of the semester) using the Blackboard learning management system.  Students should watch for an email from their instructor, the base director, and/or the Launch! coordinator.  Students should log into their courses on Monday, March 23rd unless otherwise directed.  
  • Career and Technical Education students in Wind, Auto, Precision Ag, and Simulation Technology should return to campus after spring break and report to their program location at 9 am on Monday, March 23rd.
  • The Minot class of the Peace Officer Training Program will resume as scheduled.  Lt. Maritato will provide detailed information on Monday March 23rd regarding new protocol.    
  • The Devils Lake, Grand Forks, and Mayville students in the Dakota Nursing Program will resume learning, testing, clinicals, labs, and simulation as coordinated by the DNP Consortium Director. 
  • Residence hall students whose courses are all academic/lecture based and will be delivered online are asked not to return to the residence halls after spring break.  Please contact Housing Director Scott Dunbar for more information.  
  • International Students and students in Wind, Auto, Precision Ag, Simulation Technology, and Nursing who live in the residence halls may return as scheduled following spring break.     
  • The Lake Region State College campus is open to current students, faculty, and staff but is closed to the general public.  
  • College Care for Kids remains open.
  • The Learning Commons will be open 7:45 to 4:45 Monday through Friday and closed evenings and weekends.
  • Interlibrary loan will be unavailable.  
  • The LRSC Education Office at the Grand Forks Air Force Base has been closed as the GFAFB has been restricted to essential personnel only.      
  • All spring athletic seasons including, Volleyball, Softball, Baseball, and the Clay Target/Shooting Sports league have been cancelled.  

The following scheduled activities have been cancelled:

  • The Blood Drive scheduled for March 23rd
  • Walking in Two Worlds, Women’s Panel scheduled for March 25th
  • The Hypnotist, scheduled for March 26th
  • Campus Preview Day for April 4th 
  • Campus Registration Day for April 22nd 
  • Annual Scholarship Event for April 22nd 
  • Phi Theta Kappa Initiation for April 23rd 

An additional update will be provided on Wednesday, March 18th and again on Friday, March 20th.  Please watch your email and/or the LRSC website for these updates.  

https://www.governor.nd.gov/news/first-case-novel-coronavirus-confirmed-north-dakota-work-continues-prevent-spread

https://www.health.nd.gov/diseases-conditions/coronavirus

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

In support of the national and state efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19, Lake Region State College will be adjusting its plans for course delivery, hours of operation, and more. The new operational guidelines for the college will be sent out Monday, March 16th. Please watch your email and the LRSC website for updates: https://www.lrsc.edu/coronavirus-covid-19-preparedness-and-response.

In the meantime, students in need of services are expected to call rather than visit the campus in person. 

All staff should report to work as scheduled on Monday. 

The health and well-being of our community is of the utmost importance. This is a fluid situation, and Lake Region State College will continue to monitor and communicate changes. 

Living and working like we do, we can’t eliminate all contact completely, but we need to take prudent steps to slow down the spread of the virus. 

Information and updates on this ongoing medical issue can be found at the following sites:

https://www.governor.nd.gov/news/first-case-novel-coronavirus-confirmed-north-dakota-work-continues-prevent-spread

https://www.health.nd.gov/diseases-conditions/coronavirus

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

Gov. Doug Burgum today declared a state of emergency for North Dakota in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) public health crisis and issued guidance to K-12 schools with Superintendent of Public Instruction Kirsten Baesler and State Health Officer Mylynn Tufte.

The governor’s executive order activates the State Emergency Operations Plan to assist local and tribal officials and directs all state agencies to provide resources and capabilities, including authorization to activate the North Dakota National Guard. President Trump, in declaration a national emergency this afternoon, urged every state to set up emergency operations centers immediately.

“We have been preparing for this since January when we activated Emergency Operations Center in the North Dakota Department of Health,” Burgum said. “Today’s emergency declaration is the next logical step in our proactive efforts to contain and mitigate the coronavirus disease through a whole-of-government and whole-of-community approach. It gives us more access to federal resources, including testing capabilities. We will continue to keep the public informed with updates and additional decisions as this situation rapidly evolves.”

Information and updates on this ongoing medical issue can be found at the following sites:

https://www.governor.nd.gov/news/first-case-novel-coronavirus-confirmed-north-dakota-work-continues-prevent-spread

https://www.health.nd.gov/diseases-conditions/coronavirus

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

As of today (March 13th, 2020) LRSC plans include the following. Remember that these plans are fluid and could change at any time. Please watch your email and the LRSC website for updates: https://www.lrsc.edu/coronavirus-covid-19-preparedness-and-response

  • Classes at our home campus in Devils Lake will resume after spring break (March 23rd) as currently scheduled and in their original format.  
  • Classes at our Grand Forks Air Force Base will resume with the start of Term IV after spring break (March 23rd).   
  • UND Collaborative Enrollees will be accommodated by faculty and provided a way to participate remotely until UND resumes face to face delivery.
  • The Minot class of the Peace Officer Training Program will continue as scheduled.
  • The Devils Lake, Grand Forks, and Mayville students in the Dakota Nursing Program will participate as required by the LRSC Nursing Director.
  • As some Dakota Nursing Program campuses are suspending face to face classes, methods of instruction, testing, clinicals, labs, and simulation will be coordinated through the Director of the Dakota Nursing Program.  
  • LRSC Launch! classes on the campus of UND will suspend face to face classes and utilize technology to deliver coursework until UND resumes face to face operations. 
  • The Lake Region State College campus will remain open and faculty and staff should report to campus as scheduled.  
  • No changes have been made to Dining Services or our Residence Halls at this time.   

Lake Region State College is committed to the health and well-being of our entire community of faculty, staff, and students.   

We will continue to monitor the situation and make adjustments as necessary.  As such, a decision to suspend the face to face delivery of courses could be made quickly as new information presents itself.  Faculty should prepare to teach utilizing the Blackboard Learning Management System and students should prepare to learn in this way.   

Please check the LRSC home page and your email daily for additional updates.  

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

We are all aware of the steadily increasing reports of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) which is causing disease and deaths in most countries. With cases now being reported in ND, MN, and SD, it is rapidly approaching our own communities. To better protect our students, staff, and faculty, Lake Region State College has instituted a suspension of all college-sponsored international travel through March 31. As of now, we are not suspending college-sponsored domestic travel, but all college-sponsored travel will receive ongoing regular assessment as this outbreak progresses. It is important for students to be prepared to continue their academic coursework in the event the situation escalates and the campus is unable to hold face to face classes. We would ask students and faculty to take their electronic devices and books with them when they leave for spring break so that teaching and learning can continue uninterrupted online using the Blackboard Learning Management System.

Whether you are traveling domestically for a college-sponsored program, or traveling anywhere for personal reasons, we ask you to thoughtfully take several things into consideration to protect yourselves and others around you. These considerations are particularly important now as many of you have travel related plans over spring break.

  1. The risk of acquiring infection increases substantially the more you are around other people. One of the key principles of mitigating serious communicable diseases is to practice social distancing, (i.e. avoiding events and situations that put us in close contact with many people). Travel frequently puts us in close contact with many people, such as in airplanes, airports, restaurants, and large events or gatherings. Please consider if your travel is necessary, and if it could possibly be postponed or altogether canceled.
  2. People who are at higher risk of more severe outcomes from SARS-CoV-2 should strongly consider foregoing any travel. This would include people over the age of 60, or those with underlying chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, chronic respiratory diseases, or immunosuppressive conditions.  
  3. If you must travel, try as much as possible to practice social distancing by avoiding large crowds and keeping space between you and others where people congregate. Practice frequent hand-hygiene by washing hands with soap and water or using an alcohol-based product.  
  4. Once you return home, please be vigilant for the development of any signs or symptoms of respiratory tract infection in yourself. If you develop any symptoms of fever, cough, or sore throat, please present to your own medical provider as appropriate, and do not come to work or class until you have been evaluated and your symptoms have resolved.
  • Classes at our home campus in Devils Lake will resume after spring break (March 23rd) as currently scheduled and in their original format.  
  • Classes at our Grand Forks Air Force Base will resume with the start of Term IV after spring break (March 23rd).   
  • UND Collaborative Enrollees will be accommodated by faculty and provided a way to participate remotely until UND resumes face to face delivery.
  • The Minot class of the Peace Officer Training Program will continue as scheduled.
  • The Devils Lake, Grand Forks, and Mayville students in the Dakota Nursing Program will participate as required by the LRSC Nursing Director.
  • As some Dakota Nursing Program campuses are suspending face to face classes, methods of instruction, testing, clinicals, labs, and simulation will be coordinated through the Director of the Dakota Nursing Program.  
  • LRSC Launch! classes on the campus of UND will suspend face to face classes and utilize technology to deliver coursework until UND resumes face to face operations. 
  • The Lake Region State College campus will remain open and faculty and staff should report to campus as scheduled.  
  • No changes have been made to Dining Services or our Residence Halls.   

Lake Region State College is committed to the health and well-being of our entire community of faculty, staff, and students.   

We will continue to monitor the situation and make adjustments as necessary.  As such, a decision to suspend the face to face delivery of courses could be made quickly as new information presents itself.  Faculty should prepare to teach utilizing the Blackboard Learning Management System and students should prepare to learn in this way.   Please check the LRSC home page and your email daily for additional updates.  

Keep watch in your email for further notices regarding measures being taken by the NDUS or Lake Region State College. 

Please have a safe and healthy spring break.

Information and updates on this ongoing medical issue can be found at the following sites:

https://www.governor.nd.gov/news/first-case-novel-coronavirus-confirmed-north-dakota-work-continues-prevent-spread

https://www.health.nd.gov/diseases-conditions/coronavirus

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

Thank you for your consideration, and I wish you a happy and healthy spring break!