Email from MSU President Davenport:

Dear Campus Community,

A member of the Minnesota State University, Mankato campus community has reported that they have been diagnosed with lab confirmed COVID-19 (coronavirus). While the Minnesota Department of Health has determined that the risk of exposure at our University is low, my thoughts are with this individual and my wish for them is a speedy recovery.

I understand that this news may create unease in our community. The safety, security, and health of our staff and students is our top priority.  To that end, we have followed cleaning procedures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and are working closely with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) for further guidance. We are also working with MDH to identify and notify any close contacts.

The most important actions each of us can take to further protect ourselves include:

  • Staying home if you are sick
  • Washing your hands often with soap and water; covering your cough and sneeze; avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Practicing self-care by eating a healthy diet and taking time to rest
  • Frequently cleaning all commonly touched surfaces
  • Avoiding large gatherings

This is our first notification of a case of COVID-19, and we are thankful to this individual for their self-awareness and reporting their condition to Minnesota State Mankato. As access to diagnostics increases (through clinical diagnosis or laboratory confirmation), so will the number of positive cases – both in the wider community as well as here at Minnesota State Mankato. Therefore, we expect that future diagnoses like these will not necessarily result in school-wide communication.

If you feel you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, The Minnesota Department of Health recommends:

  1. Stay at home for at least 7 days, and for 3 days with no fever and improvement of respiratory symptoms – whichever is longer. (Your fever should be gone for 3 days without using fever-reducing medicine).
  2. Use the CDC website on how to Care For Yourself at Home with COVID-19.
  3. If your household contacts were exposed to you while you had symptoms, they should try to stay home as much as possible for 14 days.
  4. They should closely monitor their health, and if symptoms occur, they must isolate themselves. More guidance on this can be found here: MDH COVID-19 Basics
  5. Use the CDC website for How to Minimize Spread.

If you are concerned about your personal health due to symptoms, please contact your medical clinic prior to arriving so they can take the necessary precautions to keep other patients and medical staff safe. There are many resources listed on our website dedicated to COVID-19 with reliable and up to date information.

This is a challenging time, and I know many of you may be feeling stress or anxiety.  Faculty, staff, and students may call the Minnesota Department of Health hotline at (651) 201-3920 with questions about symptoms, treatment, or risk of COVID-19. An Emotional Support Help Line is available for all students at 866-342-6892, and Student Health Services is answering student questions related to COVID-19 at (507) 389-5591. In addition, both the University Student Health Services and the Counseling Center are offering remote services for students.  Of course, the Employee Assistance Program is vital in promoting well-being among our employees with confidential counseling services.

We will get through this together as a community, and will be stronger when we emerge.

Take care,

Richard Davenport