COVID-19 Updates & Response

Fall 2020 at Northland

Learn how the fall semester will look different and how you can best prepare. We’ve outlined what to do before the start of the semester, how to prepare each day before coming to campus, and what to expect in terms of classrooms, housing, dining and transportation. We also offer our college support services and resources.

Welcome, Students!

We understand this is an interesting and challenging time, but it is also an opportunity for growth and learning. There is no better place for you than Northland!

In order to ensure that we can provide you with the best possible education and prioritize your safety, we are making unprecedented changes this fall. Our faculty and staff are dedicated to supporting you during this time. We remain committed to providing you with the absolute best learning experiences so you will have the greatest chances for success.

We are committed to following state health and safety guidelines, and if these change in the coming weeks, our operations will adapt as well. We are also committed to our mission of providing our students with a high-quality education.

Keeping our Campuses Safe

Northland is requiring daily screening of all individuals entering Northland campus facilities to determine if you're authorized to come on campus. Everyone will be required to wear a face covering or mask while on campus. Physical distancing will also be crucial in creating a safe campus community.

Academic Instruction for Fall 2020

For Fall 2020 Northland:

  • Analyzed and adjusted classrooms and class sizes to determine options for social distancing
  • Evaluated and adjusted seating arrangements throughout our campuses
  • Implementing a HyFlex technology-enhanced instructional model that allows students and faculty to fully interact in person or remotely beginning fall 2020.

Course & Lab Delivery

Technical Programs

Technical programs will have in-person, hands-on labs adjusted to assure student and staff safety with social distancing and other safety protocols.

Lecture-based Courses

Lecture-based courses will be adjusted to assure student and staff safety, including alternative formats that provide some in-person and/or live video instructional time (e.g., Zoom). Specific formats will vary by program and instructor.

Note: Depending on requirements by State and Health officials, delivery format of courses on our campus schedules may be adjusted during the semester.

Student Life

We are pursuing creative approaches to co-curricular activities, to foster learning and growth that comes from experiencing groups while following physical distancing guidelines.

Fall 2020 Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to questions the Northland community is asking about related to learning and teaching during the fall 2020 semester.

Fall Semester 2020 Course Delivery

Will the fall semester start and end as scheduled?

Fall semester begins on Monday, August 24 and ends with finals week December 14-18. See all semester dates and deadlines.

Please note, in-person classes could be cancelled or converted to online/remote if the COVID situation gets worse. To ensure the safety of our faculty, staff, and students, we must be prepared to adjust. We will continue to follow the recommendations from the State of Minnesota and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for COVID-19 guidelines and safety measures.

When and how do I know if my classes will be taught face-to-face on campus, online/remote, or hyflex?

You should check your course schedule and read all the notes. You can review your course schedule by logging in to e-Services with your StarID and password. If you do not know or cannot remember your StarID or password, please visit for assistance.

What is the difference between hyflex, face-to-face, online asynchronous and online synchronous?

  • Online Only (remote) classes will be offered online, with no in-person interaction.
    • Some online classes are asynchronous, which means that there are no required video conference meetings which you need to join at a certain time.
    • Others are synchronous, which means that you must engage with the instructor at a scheduled time.
  • Face-to-Face – Select classes will operate with face-to-face interaction in a classroom, lab or field experiences for all course work. Some course assignments may be delivered in alternative formats, but the majority of the course is delivered in-person in a space that has been prepared to accommodate students and faculty safely.
  • Hyflex - Face-to-face class where students have the option to participate remotely in either a synchronous (e.g., Zoom) or asynchronous (e.g., recorded lecture) manner.
  • Hybrid Course - Reduces the face-to-face class time by combining online instruction with in-person instruction.

What is the plan for Spring 2021?

It is possible that Spring Semester could look much like Fall Semester 2020 depending on how the COVID situation evolves in the coming weeks and months. Our operating decision for Spring will be based on the best available information about the trajectory of the pandemic, the safety of our community, updated scientific and medical guidance, directives from local governments, COVID-19 testing capacity, and the ability to effectively support community health through preventative measures. The health and safety of our employees and students will remain our top priority in all decisions. We will provide updates about our planning throughout the fall semester.

Wearing Face Coverings & Coming to Campus

What is the COVID-19 screening tool form and why is it required every time I come to campus?

Effective Monday, August 17, all students, employees, and visitors coming to campus will be required to complete a COVID-19 self-screening form. The screening can be done using a QR Code posted at one of our main entrances, and a smartphone.

The screening tool needs to be completed on a daily basis whenever a student, employee, or visitor is on campus. The safety of our students, faculty, and staff is our priority. We are required under Executive Order 20-74, which indicated that we “must establish policies and procedures, including health screenings, that prevent sick students or institution staff and instructors from entering the institution for in-person or on-site activities.”

We appreciate your cooperation and the efforts you are making to keep our campuses safe for all. Read more on our self-screening page or complete the COVID-19 self-screening form.

Do I have to wear a mask if I'm coming to campus?

Yes – masks are required on campus, whether you are in the classrooms, common areas, cafeteria, library, bookstore, or anywhere else where you may encounter other individuals. All individuals on our campuses – employees, students, visitors, vendors and service providers – are required to wear a face mask/covering upon entering any college building.

The only exceptions are as follows:

  • while eating in appropriate areas, but only while eating – before and after eating a meal, face masks/coverings must be worn and social distancing must be maintained when seated with others. Eating in labs, shops and active classes in not permitted. While eating, you must be stationary (not moving through hallways or other spaces).
  • outdoors on our campuses with physical distancing in place – but we strongly encourage wearing a face mask/covering when you are with other people in any situation.

To safeguard the learning environment and the workplace, to the extent reasonably possible, Minnesota State colleges, universities, and system office are also subject to Executive Order 20-81 which requires all employees, students, and visitors to wear face masks or face coverings in all buildings as well as other designated confined spaces.

Those entering campus must also complete a COVID-19 self-screening tool, available at the front entrances, or through our website either prior to or upon arriving on campus

What types of masks/face coverings are allowed?

Per the Governor’s Executive Order 20-81, types of face coverings can include a paper or disposable mask, a cloth mask, a neck gaiter, a scarf, a bandanna, or a religious face covering.

Face shields are not an acceptable form of a mask except in the situations described in the question below.

Will masks be provided to students and employees?

Face masks and coverings are available in the Northland Store for purchase.

What if I have a medical condition?

The Governor’s Executive Order 20-81 indicates the following individuals are exempt from face-covering requirements of this Executive Order:

Individuals with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that makes it unreasonable for the individual to maintain a face covering. This includes, but is not limited to, individuals who have a medical condition that compromises their ability to breathe, and individuals who are unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove a face covering without assistance.

To receive any modifications, employees must work with Human Resources and students with the Academic Success Center director (Sara Johnson).

If I have a mask on, do I need to observe social distancing guidelines?

Yes. A face covering is not a substitute for social distancing, but is especially important in situations when maintaining at least a 6-foot distance from other individuals who are not members of the same household is not possible.

What if someone in my class tests positive for COVID-19? What happens and will I be notified?

The College will continue to work with MDH and county officials to closely track COVID-19 cases. Given the sensitive nature of sharing private medical information, the college as a whole will not be notified of positive cases. However, the college’s Safety/COVID Contact will be informed of all positive COVID-19 tests and depending upon the results of initial investigation and contact tracing will take the necessary steps to notify those individuals who have been impacted and implement action plans..

Will Northland offer COVID-19 testing on campus for students or employees?


Do I need to need to stay home if I have traveled internationally?

Based on information from the CDC, students who are coming from countries outside of the United States DO NOT need to quarantine for two weeks when they arrive home.

Food & Dining Services

Will dining service be available on campus?

Dining service during the fall sememster 2020 will be assessed regularly.

Vending machines will be available at both campuses. Additionally, the Northland Store will have snacks and other food items available for purchase when open.

Can I bring food or beverages to campus? Where and how can I consume them?

Students may bring food and beverages to campus. Masks may be removed while eating. However, before and after eating a meal, face masks/coverings must be worn. Social distancing must be maintained when seated with others while eating.

Food must be consumed in appropriate areas, such as the campus dining areas. Eating in labs, shops and active classes in not permitted. While eating, you must be stationary (not moving through hallways or other spaces).

Student Technology

What kind of equipment/technology will I need to complete an online course?

Typically you will need access to the following items for the best online learning experience:

  • Laptop, computer or tablet
  • Webcam or built-in camera
  • Headset, earbuds, or a microphone/speaker

What if I do not have a computer, webcam or internet to participate in online classes?

If you do not have a computer to participate in online/remote classes, our campus computer labs will be set up with social distancing for use on both campuses. If you have technology concerns, please contact your advisor or instructor.

Do I need a different login to access my online courses via Zoom?

No. You can log in to your zoom account using your StarID and StarID password. If you do not know or cannot remember your StarID or password, please visit for assistance.


Please send questions to

Screening Tool

To reduce the impact of COVID-19 and comply with Minnesota State directives, Northland is requiring daily screening of all individuals entering Northland campus facilities to determine if you're authorized to come on campus.

Start Screening →

Need help? Watch screening tool help video. →

COVID-19 Screening Not Authorized Guidance Message

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Fall 2020 Semester Hours

Northland Campuses Are Open to the Public.

Please limit groups visiting the campus to 10 people or fewer. See campus entrance signage for more details.

Building Hours

Monday - Thursday
7:00 am - 7:30 pm

7:30 am - 5:30 pm

Business Hours

Monday - Friday
8:00 am - 4:30 pm

Media Inquiries

Members of the news media should contact Northland Marketing & Communications with any questions about Northland’s response to COVID-19.

Chad Sperling
Director Of Marketing & Communications
(218) 793-2436