BISMARCK — The University of Mary in Bismarck plans to return to campus this September.

Friday, July 24, the university released its guidelines and protocols for returning to campus this fall and said it is committed to resume classes and on-campus life.

The university is using a system of determining risk levels from 1 to 5 that will run parallel to the state of North Dakota’s system to determine which measures and protocols are appropriate at any given time. The risk level shown in the document, reportedly as of July 7, was Level 2.

  • Level 1 ("New Normal") features normal operations and capacity with heightened cleaning standards. Masks are not required.
  • Level 2 ("Low Risk") sees most operations continue at capacity while limiting seating in dining services. Masks are required in high-risk settings where social distancing is impossible.
  • At Level 3 ("Moderate Risk"), all gatherings are limited to 75% capacity and takeout meals will be available from dining services. All students and faculty must carry a mask on them and are required to use them in any situation where social distancing is impossible.
  • At Level 4 ("High Risk"), on-campus students remain on campus, while commuter students refrain from entering the campus. Dining services are limited to 50% as all students receive takeout meals, there are no athletic or external events, and students are randomly selected for testing.
  • At Level 5 ("Critical"), all classes move online and only essential employees are allowed to work from campus.

If a student has symptoms of COVID-19, they are expected to contact the school’s Student Health Clinic and self-quarantine. They will visit the clinic to be tested and quarantine in their residence hall or residence along with their roommates. Anybody exposed through close contact will also need to quarantine.

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If a student in a residence hall tests positive, they will be moved to a designated area of campus to remain isolated for two weeks or until cleared by an official, the guidelines said.

In order to aid in contact tracing, the university is encouraging all students, faculty, and staff to download either the Care19 Diary app or the Care19 Alert app for mobile devices, or to keep a meticulous daily journal of all close contact every day, the guidelines said.

“Accurate contact tracing records are a prime method to make contact tracing more effective, to respect and conserve the valuable time and effort of public health officials on the front lines, and to reduce lost time at work or study for oneself and all of one’s close associates,” according to the release.