The ND University System is monitoring developments related to the outbreak of COVID-19, which is causing disease and deaths in most countries. Our goal is to keep faculty, staff and students as safe as possible. We strive to take all circumstances into consideration and provide information to you as soon as we have it. To provide you up-to-date information as it relates to your learning environment and links to information around the globe, please check out this website for more information.


Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)


Employment information related to the Families First Coronovirus Response Act has been posted. Click here for more details. You can also review this FAQ site from the U.S. Department of Labor.


What has changed with technology and HIPAA laws?

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced March 17, 2020, that it will waive potential penalties for HIPAA violations against health care providers that serve patients through communications technologies that are not fully compliant with the requirements of the HIPAA Rules during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency. You can review the Notification for Enforcement Discretion for telehealth remote communications on the HHS website here.


What is the guidance for Covid convalescing at home or in a residence hall?

Here is the CDC guidance for household members of a person with COVID convalescing at home.


The bullet points at the end would be the ones we would want to try and follow for anyone helping a student who is in isolation on campus.


What are the higher ed institutions doing in our neighboring states?


  • Montana University System (As of March 23rd, all MUS campuses will, in every instance possible, transition all in-class instruction to online or other remote teaching modalities that do not require in-class presence)


  • South Dakota System – making decisions as a system. This is an evolving situation and the SDBOR will revisit this situation and communicate any changes in course delivery again March 27. Beginning Monday, March 23, all classes will be temporarily moved online.

Can I take sick leave for the coronavirus?

  • Employees experiencing symptoms of illness, can and should, remain at home and are entitled to utilize available sick leave.  

  • Employees recommended to self-quarantine based upon a positive or presumptive exposure to someone infected with the corona virus or who have traveled to high risk areas resulting in official recommendations to self-quarantine should be allowed to use sick leave benefits for the quarantine period regardless of where the exposure occurred or the reason for the travel.


  • Annual leave should be evaluated to determine its impact to agency business and staffing needs.  

  • Managers should deny leave requests that will or could present staff shortages or otherwise negatively impact the ability of the agency to serve its constituents.  

  • An employee’s travel plans associated with a leave request should be considered in evaluating a request and its impact on staffing and agency business. 

  • Managers are expected to use good judgment in approving or denying annual leave requests, including revoking previously authorized leave, based upon the needs of the agency, the reasons for the request and the continually evolving nature of the COVID-19 situation. 


  • There is pending federal legislation as part of the Families First Corona virus Response Act that will address expanded leave entitlement as a result of the COVID-19 situation.   


  • If you have any questions please contact HRMS or your legal counsel with the AG’s Office. 


How will dual credit courses handle the closure due to COVID-19?

Dual credit course arrangements are coordinated between the individual high school and the NDUS college or university offering the course.  If there are questions regarding dual credit courses for the spring semester, individuals should contact the local school to learn how the district and the college or university partner have determined to handle school closure.

What are the current travel restrictions?

All institutionally-sponsored international travel has been suspended. As of now, university-sponsored domestic travel has not been suspended, but all university-sponsored travel will receive ongoing regular assessment as this outbreak progresses. Whether you are traveling domestically for a university-sponsored program, or traveling anywhere for personal reasons, we ask you to thoughtfully take several things into consideration to protect yourselves and others around you.  These considerations are particularly important now as many of you have travel related plans over spring break.

    1. The risk of acquiring or inadvertently spreading infection increases substantially the more you are around other people. One of the key principles of mitigating serious communicable diseases is to practice social distancing, (i.e. avoiding events and situations that put us in close contact with many people). Travel frequently puts us in close contact with many people, such as in airplanes, airports, restaurants, and large events or gatherings.  Please consider if your travel is necessary, and if it could possibly be postponed or altogether canceled.
    2. People who are at higher risk of more severe outcomes from COVID-19 should strongly consider foregoing any travel. This would include people over the age of 60, or those with underlying chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, chronic respiratory diseases, or immunosuppressive conditions.
    3. If you must travel, please try as much as possible to practice social distancing by avoiding large crowds and keeping space between you and others where people congregate.  Practice frequent hand-hygiene by washing hands with soap and water or using an alcohol-based product.
    4. If you do travel, once you return, please be vigilant for the development of any signs or symptoms of respiratory infection. If you develop any symptoms of fever, cough, or sore throat, please contact your medical provider as appropriate, and do not come to work or class until you have been evaluated and your symptoms have resolved.

How is Core Technology Services addressing the current environment?

The NDUS System Office and Core Technology Services has created a COVID-19 working group. This group will closely monitor the ever-developing Covid-19/coronavirus situation and remain in tight coordination with the 11 institutions of the NDUS. Phil Wisecup, Vice Chancellor of Strategy and Strategic Engagement, will head the working group. A retired Senior Navy Admiral, Phil served as both president of the Naval War College and director of the White House situation room. Phil will be able to leverage his background and experience in providing leadership to the Covid-19 working group.


CTS is prepared to accommodate increased demands as classes and administrative services rely more on technology during this period:


    • CTS staff have been in communication with third-party vendors to discuss increased demand loads.
    • On-premise infrastructure has built-in redundancy that mitigates single point of failure within the data center. Applications that utilize the enterprise services benefit from this redundancy.  On-site and Off-site backups are conducted.
    • The state of North Dakota’s Information Technology group (ND IT) provides the NDUS with redundant network connectivity (STAGEnet).
    • Authentication services that reside in the NDUS Data Center utilize the aforementioned redundancy. Specifically, Blackboard Learn, the NDUS Learning Management System, utilizes authentication services at multiple locations across the state. Plans are also in the works to move an authentication instance to the public Cloud.

Are there other Covid-19 resources to review?