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Housing Updates Related to COVID-19

covid-19 news

Living on campus is a core part of the UMD experience and we are committed to fostering a safe and inclusive housing experience for students this academic year. That said, things will look different this year. We all share in the responsibility to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, from staying home if we don’t feel well to limiting large gatherings and respecting physical distancing guidelines.  

This continues to be a dynamic, rapidly-evolving situation as well as a stressful time for many members of our community. We are all in this together. Be respectful and kind to one another.

Housing & Residence Life is working closely with University leadership and partners across campus to manage COVID-19 response and preparations. Visit the UMD Coronavirus website for the latest information.

Community safety for residents and staff is a top priority.

Residential health and safety efforts are rooted in the most current science and based on guidance from federal, state and local health authorities. Measures will include a combination of the use of physical distancing, hand hygiene, limited density in indoor spaces, appropriate face coverings when distancing is challenging, and other support resources.  

Below are several frequently asked questions. We will share information as it becomes available by updating this page and direct email as necessary. 

If you have a specific question or concern, email is best. Contact us at

Who will get housing this fall?

While we have planned for multiple scenarios and contingencies, it is our expectation that we will be able to honor all applications for incoming new students received by June 1, 2020 as well as existing ontime fall contracts for returning students.

New Students (First-Year & Transfer)

Incoming new students who applied for housing by June 1, 2020 will be guaranteed on campus housing. Students who have submitted a housing application after June 1, 2020 will be automatically placed on a waitlist for housing.  We are working to be able to accommodate as many students as possible in our on-campus housing facilities while also following guidance provided by public health experts.

Returning Students

Returning students who completed their housing applications by March 6, 2020 will be accommodated.  We intend to keep returning students assigned to the spaces they selected at room draw whenever possible. In some cases, we may be unable to guarantee your original room, roommate(s) and/or building assignment.  If that is the case, we will reach out to you directly.

Will my medical/dietary accommodations be supported?

The University of Minnesota Duluth is committed to providing equitable access for all students. Disability Resources is the campus office that collaborates with students who have disabilities to provide and/or arrange reasonable accommodations.

If you have a disability or health condition which requires a specific housing accommodation such as a certain room type, accessible room, single-user bathroom, etc., contact Disability Resources at

Specific housing accommodations take time to arrange and space is limited. More information can be found on the Disability Resources website.  

When will I learn more about my housing assignment?

Assignments will be communicated via your UMD email in mid-July 2020.  This communication will include information about the room or apartment you have been assigned to, contact information for roommates, and information about move-in.

Will I have roommates this year?

In order to support physical distancing, some rooms will be assigned fewer occupants. We are anticipating no more than two people will occupy rooms in residence halls.  Our on-campus apartments will allow for two students in each bedroom, with a total of four students in each apartment.

Will international students be able to access campus housing this fall?

We recognize there may be travel or other challenges for international students this fall, and we are working to help students address any issues. We will share more information as it is available.

International Student Services can provide additional information to support international students.

When will students be able to move in?

We are planning a measured move-in process to support physical distancing.  First Year and new transfer students will move into their fall housing August 26 -28. Returning students will move into their fall housing August 29-30. Specific move-in days are based on the building into which you have been assigned.  Additional information will be provided in your housing assignment notification in mid-July. 

Can I tour the building and see my room before I move in?

We are unable to support in-person tours this summer.

Once you have received your housing assignment in mid-July, you can view 360 photos of rooms and buildings.

What should I bring and what items are permitted?

This year more than ever, maintaining clean spaces is a shared responsibility. Please do your part to keep your personal spaces and surfaces clean. We recommend bringing a supply of hand sanitizer and antibacterial surface cleaner.

Also, the University is working to make two cloth face masks available at no cost for each student, but you may want to bring additional masks.

Find other recommended items and checklists.

Reminder: check your family's homeowner’s insurance information in advance to see if your personal property is covered. If not, you may want to speak with your insurance provider about purchasing renter’s insurance.

What can I do to be as safe as possible in my building?

All campus health and safety efforts will be based on the most current science as well as guidance from federal, state and local health authorities. Visit the UMN Safe Campus website for details on the campus wide measures to be taken and the requirements being put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19.

In addition to COVID-19, there will likely be members of our community with common colds, influenza, or other illnesses over the course of the semester. Remind yourself and others to slow the exponential spread of coronavirus and other illnesses by practicing good health habits.

  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. 

  • Keep a supply of hand sanitizer (as possible).

  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing.

  • Clean all high touch areas in your room or apartment.

  • Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.

  • Avoid crowded areas and maintain six feet of distance between yourself and others.

  • Wear a face covering (mask) when inside a campus building and when physical distancing is not possible.

  • Get adequate rest and eat well.

  • Stay home if you are sick. Self-isolate and contact UMD Health Services or another healthcare provider for guidance.

Will face coverings (masks) be required in my building?

The University strongly recommends everyone wear a cloth face covering (mask) when inside a campus building and when six feet of distancing cannot be maintained.

The University is working to make two cloth masks available at no cost for each student. Check the Safe Campus website for updated information.

As a reminder, it is common in many cultures, including in the U.S., for individuals to choose to wear masks as a way to minimize direct contact with airborne pathogens. The wearing of a mask should not be interpreted as an indication that the wearer is ill.  

How will we practice distancing in my building?

To slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus, it is critical that we all do our part to keep physically apart from each other. This means staying at least 6 feet away from individuals with whom you do not share a room or apartment.

We know that you may still want to connect with others living in your building, but remember to maintain appropriate physical distancing at all times. Be mindful and use good judgement for you and your neighbor’s benefit. If you have any cold-like or COVID-19 symptoms, do not use the community spaces.

What is the plan to operate the dining center and other foodservice?

Dining Services has implemented operational processes based on Minnesota Department of Health guidelines that include physical distancing, increased cleaning, employee wellness, reduced seating capacity, a modified service model, and any other requirements needed for a safe dining experience. 

For more information, please check out the UMD Dining Services website.

What happens if a resident becomes ill?

Housing & Residence Life works in close partnership with UMD Health Services to address cases of COVID-19 that arise in our residential communities. 

  • For anyone feeling ill or experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness of any kind — with fever and cough — the Minnesota Department of Health recommends you remain as isolated as possible in your room to prevent spreading it to others.

  • If someone tests positive with COVID-19, the patient will be contacted with additional information.

  • We will also have isolation and quarantine space set aside to support our residents should the need arise.

How are you cleaning buildings?

We are following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Minnesota Department of Health and will continue to adjust as new information emerges.

Our staff are cleaning high traffic points even more frequently than usual, including door handles, handrails, water filling stations, elevators, laundry facilities, etc.

This is a shared responsibility. Please do your part to keep your spaces clean and to avoid sharing spaces and/or equipment.

Student Support
We recognize this time of social isolation and heightened health fears can take a toll. Resident Advisors on each floor and other dedicated building staff in each building are an email, phone call, Google hangout, or Zoom meeting away.

Please find additional campus resources below:

Xenophobia and Bias
Disease does not discriminate and racist behavior or stereotyping is not tolerated.

If you experience harassment or discrimination, reach out to your Resident Advisor or your building’s Residence Director. You can also report to the Campus Climate Initiative.

Our Community Behavioral Standards reflect a respect for the rights and responsibilities needed to foster engaged and inclusive community living experiences. We encourage all students to know their rights and responsibilities as a community member living on campus at UMD. Our policies and procedures are outlined in the Housing Guidebook on our website.