COVID-19 Information & Updates

Letter from the Dean's Office

As we begin the new semester, we are aware of the rapid spread of the Omicron COVID variant.  Given the high transmissibility of this variant, we need everyone to be vigilant in helping reduce the spread of the virus.

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recently issued new quarantine guidelines for individuals testing positive for COVID, or exposed to someone with COVID. The guidelines are available on this page.

Dakota College will continue to provide data on the website regarding the number of positive cases reported at its various locations across the state, as well as the numbers of students and staff who have been identified as close contacts.

We strongly recommend that anyone experiencing COVID-like symptoms be tested.  Students and staff on the Bottineau campus can contact Katie Voigt, Student Health Nurse, for testing; Telephone: 701-228-5460 | Email: kathryn.voigt@dakotacollege.edu   Her office is in the Student Center.  While the BinaxNow test is generally readily available, please be aware that individuals requesting a PCR test need an appointment with Nurse Voigt.  This appointment helps ensure that test samples can be delivered by courier to Bismarck on a timely basis.

Weekly testing will continue for unvaccinated student athletes to help minimize the possibility of spreading the virus during practices and games.  Unvaccinated student athletes who have contracted COVID will be exempt from testing for 150 days from the date they were first diagnosed with COVID (this is because individuals who have previously contracted COVID will likely show false positive test results during this time period).

While the college will not be requiring face masks at this time, hand sanitizing stations are available at primary building entrances and in all classrooms and labs.  The college’s physical plant staff will also continue the practice of wiping down door latches across the campus on a regular basis.  One immediate step we can all take is to sanitize our hands when arriving in a building.  Please do not touch your eyes, nose, and mouth with dirty hands. Touching one’s face with dirty hands is a major spreader of illness.  Your cooperation in utilizing this easy practice is one step we can all take in reducing the spread of the virus.

While we all wish that we didn’t have to deal with COVID any longer, we can’t ignore the fact that this continues to be a serious health and safety issue.   I’m asking for your continued patience, understanding, and support with our COVID protocols.  Our goal is to have a safe semester for everyone at DCB!

Thank you.

Jerry Migler, PhD, Campus Dean

Dakota College at Bottineau’s goal is to create a safe and effective learning environment for students, staff, and faculty. As we look to the fall semester, our goal is to return to a more “normal” campus environment. However, we realize just how fast situations can change during a pandemic and our plan for a return to regular campus operations will be based on a continuing decline in COVID numbers, positive vaccination trends, and a similar return to normalcy throughout the state and nation.  

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Sandy Hageness
COVID-19 Monitoring Contact
Administrative Assistant – Office of the Campus Dean
Email: sandy.hageness@dakotacollege.edu
Phone:  701-228-5480

 

Dakota College's Current COVID-19 Risk Level: 2

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Level 1 | Low Risk

Operations continue while limiting seating and maintaining social distancing. Face-to-face instruction is the norm, with remote/virtual instruction available for all courses. Limited restrictions in residence halls. Self-service dining options are reduced; seating capacity reduced in Dining Center. Face masks are required in classrooms, labs, shared offices, meetings, student gatherings, campus events and while moving around campus. Social distancing is expected.

Level 2 | Moderate Risk

College operations continue as in Level 1, although with additional restrictions placed on larger gatherings and public access to the campus. Face-to-face instruction continues as the norm, with remote/virtual instruction available for all courses. Further restrictions on access to the Dining Center as well as additional social distancing in residence halls.

Level 3 |  High Risk

Additional hybrid instruction is implemented for all courses, with remote/virtual instruction available for all courses. Campus events are canceled, with a case-by-case review for events which can be held virtually. Athletic events are held only if allowed by NJCAA, ACHA or conference regulations and local conditions permit; no fans or spectators allowed. Further restrictions on visitation policy in residence halls. Take-out meals only from the Dining Center. Non-essential personnel allowed to work from home. All students and employees expected to self-screen daily.

Level 4 | Critical

All Level 3 requirements remain in force. All classes move to online or alternative delivery. Only essential employees work on campus. No athletic practices, games or events. All students and employees required to self-screen daily.

 

COVID-19 Cases and Reporting
January 28, 2022

Positive
COVID Cases
Active
Cases
Recovered Cases
On Campus Students
26
33
Off Campus Students
5 19
Faculty & Staff
1
12
Total Positive Cases 
32
64
Close Contact
Monitoring
In Quarantine
On Campus
Students
7
Off Campus
Students
0
Faculty & Staff
0
Total Being Monitored
7

 Lowering the Risk of Transmission: Mask Wearing and Physical Distancing

Students, faculty, staff, and visitors to Dakota 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 recommendations and wearing a face covering in the presence of others can slow the spread of COVID significantly and will allow Dakota 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:

 

Masks

  1.  When indoors, faculty, staff, students, and visitors shall choose whether or not they want to wear a mask.  
  2. It is possible that students will be required to wear a mask in some classrooms but not in others.   Masks must be worn in the classroom, science labs, CTE labs, and other learning areas, when the instructor has included mask wearing as a requirement in the course syllabus.  Instructors must notify the Chief Academic Officer of the course name and number for any course where mask wearing will be required as a condition of attendance.  Instructors may re-evaluate their decision to require masks or not require masks, if the instructor includes such a provision in the course syllabus.  
  3. Masks must be worn in meeting rooms when the organizer and/or supervising administrator requires masks to be worn.
  4. Masks will be worn at workstations and in offices at the discretion of the faculty or staff who works there.  Look for the “mask up” sign on office doors, cubicles, and plexiglass fronted workstations; if you see the sign, please respect that employee’s decision to require mask wearing during your conversation.
  5. Masks are not required while practicing and/or competing in sports, when performing in a theater production, or participating in another like activity, unless the supervising administrator (theater director, athletic director, etc.) makes mask wearing a requirement.
 

Physical Distancing

  1. Because wearing a mask and utilizing physical distancing is helpful but does not provide complete protection from transmissio
  2. 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 Teams, and using instant messaging or email. Faculty and staff may decline an invitation to attend an in-person meeting and request the organizer to allow for remote attendance.  
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 with clear Plexiglas.

Testing, Tracking, Isolation, and Quarantine

The DCB Campus Nurse is designated as our official point of contact with the ND Department of Health.  Faculty, staff, and students are expected to immediately notify the DCB Campus Nurse if they are positive for COVID, if they are symptomatic, or if they have a household member or roommate who is positive for COVID.

 

Testing

Dakota College will help coordinate with the ND Department Health so that testing is made available to our campus as often as is practical.  General information about the number of positive cases known at DCB will be posted each school day on the college’s COVID information page.  DCB will adhere to all confidentiality requirements that apply to faculty, staff, and students.  Only that information that can be released will be released.  The following preventative testing will be required:  

  1. Due to the close contact nature of play, practice, and travel, all athletic team members (including players, coaches, and student managers) must undergo on-campus COVID testing each week (more often if directed to do so by the Athletic Director).  Fully vaccinated members of the team may opt-out of testing if they attest to having zero symptoms consistent with COVID.  
  2. Faculty, staff, and students who are determined to be a close contact to another faculty, staff, or student must either agree to two consecutive day rapid tests (showing negative) or go on campus restrictions until a negative PCR test result arrives.  A fully vaccinated faculty, staff, or student may opt out of testing if they attest to having zero symptoms consistent with COVID. 
 

Contact Tracing & COVID Tracking

Dakota College faculty, staff, and students shall cooperate with public health officials (or their designee) and the DCB Campus Nurse in any contact tracing effort to help identify persons who may be at risk.

 

Campus Restrictions

DCB will impose campus restrictions on faculty, staff, and students, under the following conditions:

  1. If the employee or student tests positive.
  2. If the employee or student is a close contact of a household member or roommate who has tested positive, and the employee or student is not fully vaccinated.
  3. If the unvaccinated employee has symptoms consistent with COVID and is awaiting test results.
  4. If the employee is a close contact to a household member who is symptomatic and is awaiting test results and the employee or student is not fully vaccinated.

Students and employees who test positive will undergo campus restrictions based on the latest CDC guidance.

Students and employees who are a close contact of a household member or roommate will undergo campus restrictions based on the latest CDC guidance. Vaccinated individuals can be exempt from quarantine restrictions and COVID-19 testing if the individual is fully vaccinated and remains symptom-free following the exposure.

Employees and students living off campus will not be allowed on campus until their period of campus restrictions is over and they are asymptomatic.  Should work or school materials be needed, permission to be on campus (temporarily) may be coordinated with the approval of the Human Resources Director.  

Faculty and staff shall use sick leave or annual leave unless they can work/teach from home and are approved by their supervisor to work/teach from home.

Students living on campus, under campus restrictions, will be prohibited from leaving the assigned residence hall room (and nearest appropriate restroom) until their restriction period is over.

Should a student under campus restrictions who is living in the residence halls choose to leave campus, the student must wear a mask and leave/re-enter using the door to the parking lot that is nearest their room.

Students will be provided with the option to attend class using technology when such an option is available or must make other arrangements as agreed upon with their instructor.

Travel and Off Campus Requirements

  1. Dakota College faculty and staff shall attend out-of-town training and meetings using technology whenever it is possible to do so.
  2. Out-of-state or international travel requires approval of the Campus Dean.
  3. In-state travel requires approval from the appropriate direct supervisor.  
  4. Students, faculty, and staff who work/learn at a location other than the main campus in Bottineau must adhere to the more restrictive mask wearing and physical distancing requirements of the work location.  For example, if Minot State University has a more restrictive requirement than DCB, a student or faculty member there must comply with MSU’s requirement.  

Protocol Updates, Related Information, and Signage

Updates and changes in protocol will likely occur on a very regular basis.  Emails will be sent out alerting the campus to this new information and to consult the COVID-19 Information page of our website for detailed information. The DCB Campus Nurse and Dean’s Office Administrative Assistant 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.   

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 and teaching 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-19 FAQs

 

How can I get tested for COVID-19?

Testing for COVID-19 is done through a medical provider. If there is a shortage of tests or collection supplies, testing will be prioritized for patients hospitalized with respiratory illness, healthcare workers, those living or working in group settings (i.e., long term care, group homes) or those who are identified as a close contact to an existing case and are ill.

Dakota College student health is a testing collection site. COVID-19 testing supplies are limited. Testing available by appointment with the Student Health Nurse. 701-228-5460

• Stay home if you feel sick.
• If you have mild or no symptoms, stay home and practice good social distancing.
• If you have a fever (100.4 or higher), cough, or shortness of breath, call your provider. If you are having an emergency, go to the ER or call 911.
• If you don't have a provider, providers are available locally.
If you are ill and unable to be tested, the NDDoH is asking you to isolate yourself from those you live with and have contact with for at least 10 days since symptoms first appeared or 72 hours without a fever without the use of fever-reducing medicine.
• Please call prior to visiting any medical provider.
• You can also call the NDDoH COVID-19 Hotline at 1-866-207-2880.
• If you have traveled to areas where there are cases of COVID-19 please complete the NDDOH COVID-19 Travel Survey.

 

What do I do if I'm sick?

Stay home if you feel sick:

• Again, stay home if you feel sick.
• If you have mild or no symptoms, stay home and practice good social distancing.
• If you have a fever (100.4 or higher), cough, or shortness of breath, call your provider. If you don't have a provider, here is a list.
• If you are having an emergency, go to the ER or call 9-1-1.
• Take this NDDoH Risk Assessment to help determine if your symptoms align with COVID-19.
• If you are ill and unable to be tested, the NDDoH is asking you to isolate yourself from those you live with and have contact with for at least 10 days since symptoms first appeared or 72 hours without a fever without the use of fever-reducing medicine.
• Please call prior to visiting any medical provider.

For more information on what to do if you are sick, go to the CDC “What to do if you are sick” page or call the NDDoH COVID-19 Hotline at 1.866.207.2880.