For Your Health
For Your Health

News from the University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences

New SMHS pandemic guidelines in effect

In view of the announcement by UND of new pandemic-related expectations that were effective on June 1, 2021, the UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences (SMHS) in turn has updated its own guidance on this matter, although there is no change in the expectations in those locations where direct patient care is provided (such as the Centers for Family Medicine in Bismarck and Minot and the Center for Sports Medicine). Because of the potential negative impact of viral spread on vulnerable individuals/patients who may come in contact with UND healthcare providers or learners, the School’s new guidance is, in some regards, more proscriptive than that of UND.

These new UND SMHS guidelines became effective on June 1, 2021, and will apply throughout the summer semester that ends on August 20, 2021. They are as follows:

1. Masks no longer are required for UND-related events outdoors, whether on- or off-campus. Similarly, physical distancing no longer is required outdoors, although it still is encouraged to the extent possible.

2. Masks will continue to be required while in the SMHS building on the Northeast (Grand Forks) campus, as well as in SMHS buildings on the Southeast (Fargo), Southwest (Bismarck), and Northwest (Minot) regional campuses. As before, masks need not be worn when the individual is indoors in one of these facilities when alone in an otherwise unoccupied office with the door closed, or when eating alone in a public area. Otherwise, the physical distancing requirement no longer will apply in those buildings, although it still is encouraged to the extent possible.

3. UND faculty, staff, or students who expect to have (or might have) direct patient contact at some point in the subsequent 30 day period (whether through direct patient care delivery or in teaching situations) are expected to continue to wear masks when indoors (as specified in point 2 above) at all other non-SMHS locations and sites, including when traveling, when they are present in an official UND role.

4. Instructional delivery methods (in-person vs. hybrid vs. on-line) currently in use or planned for the summer semester will be unaffected by this guidance.