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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.

Friday, November 20 updates: 

During the semester the university has sent emails regarding most classes reverting to distance instruction starting Monday, November 30.  This transition was created so students could choose to leave campus for Thanksgiving break and finish the semester without traveling back to campus for the last three weeks of the semester.  Please note all housing facilities will remain open until Friday, December 18 for students who do not plan to leave for Thanksgiving or want to return to campus to finish the semester.  If you choose to stay on campus between now and Friday, December 18 you should bring your housing keys with you at all times as the outside doors to the buildings will be locked 24/7 during break and the remainder of the fall semester.

Following Thanksgiving Break, the University will be moving to Step One of the Maroon & Gold Plan beginning Sunday, November 29.  Exceptions and details are included below.

Reporting COVID-19 Symptoms & Exposure

If you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms or have been exposed to someone who has tested positive to COVID-19, please remember to complete the Health Services Screening Form.  The form is also available on the Housing website homepage.  After completing this form, Health Services will reach out to talk about any necessary next steps.

In addition to completing the form, if you have any symptoms, it’s also important to minimize contact with others until you have communicated with Health Services.

Maroon & Gold Sunrise Plan

We continue to remain at Step 2 of the Maroon & Gold Sunrise Plan until Sunday, November 29. The efforts each of you are taking, guided by the expectations of this plan, are having a positive impact as our on-campus case numbers remain manageable.

As a reminder, Step 2 has a “be back home” time of 10 pm each night.  This means that you should be back in your room, apartment, or common areas of your residential area (such as lounges, laundry rooms, etc.) by 10 pm.  You should not be in the room or apartment of another student or have guests in your room or apartment after 10 pm.  Complete details of Step 2 are available below.

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



Students will be issued credits to their student account for housing & meal plans due to the two-week delayed move-in by September 18th.  Students who were approved to move in during the two-week delay are not eligible to receive these credits.  Students should contact One Stop Student Services about receiving a refund if they have already paid their housing & meal plan bills in full.  A full breakdown of refunds is available on the Costs & Rates Page.  

The University recently announced the Maroon and Gold Sunrise Plan, which describes the steps that students living on-campus (both residence halls and apartments) will follow as they return to campus. This plan has been put in place to prioritize the health and safety of all students. This plan will progress over a number of weeks, with the final phase which has no restrictions.


  • Students will remain in their residence hall spaces or apartments. Exceptions include attending any in-person classes, access the dining center for meal pick-up, utilization campus resources (library, campus health, libraries, defined study spaces, and recreation and wellness facilities), going to work, attending religious activities, shop for absolute necessities, attend medical or dental appointments, tending to family emergencies, or being outdoors while physically distancing.

  • Students should not visit other residential areas. (If your key allows you access to an area, that is part of your residential area.)
  • Guests are not allowed in residence hall rooms or apartments at any time.  Only you and your roommates are allowed in your space.


  • Students will have increased access, including visiting all on-campus locations and the surrounding community.

  • There will be a 10pm required return to residence halls or apartments ("back home") for approximately two weeks.


  • Students will have full access to campus and the surrounding community as they do in Step 2.

  • There will be a midnight required return to residence halls or apartments ("back home") for approximately two weeks.


  • Students living in University housing will continue to have full access to University facilities and to surrounding communities (but should still wear masks, maintain distance, avoid large gatherings, etc.).

  • There are no “back home” time constraints.

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.

It appears that all of my courses will be delivered remotely - can I cancel my housing and meal plan for fall semester?

Yes, students can cancel their housing & meal plan up to the point at which they check-in for housing.  To cancel their housing, students should email our office ( letting us know that they wish to cancel and indicate a brief reason why.

Will students receive a prorated refund for housing & meal plan costs after Thanksgiving?

Per the terms of the housing contract, students can remain in their room or apartment through the end of fall semester (Friday, December 18, at 8 p.m.).  Students who choose to leave campus after November 25 will be able to leave their belongings in their room or apartment, and they can access their living space as needed through the end of the fall semester. Students with an active spring semester contract can remain in their living space throughout the winter break period or access their living space as needed if they have chosen to leave campus.  Discounts or refunds for housing will not be offered as all housing facilities will remain open.  All meal plans will end on November 25 and meal plan rates have been prorated accordingly.  An optional meal plan for the remainder of the semester (through December 18, 2020) will be available for students if they wish to sign up for one.  More information about signing up for the optional meal plan will be sent to students during the fall semester.



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.

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.

  • Students should complete this form so that Health Services may follow up on medical attention, testing, and other resources.

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

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

The University requires that all students, faculty, staff, and visitors wear a cloth face covering (mask) when inside a campus building.  Students are not expected to wear a face covering when in their assigned residence hall room or apartment. 

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 judgment for you and your neighbor’s benefit. If you have any cold-like or COVID-19 symptoms, do not use the community spaces.

Given the need to maintain physical distancing, HRL has updated our guests policies to add capacity limitations for rooms.  Students living in residence halls may have up to 2 guests in their room.  Students living in apartments may have up to 4 guests in their apartment.  Guests should wear face coverings at all times.

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.