Travel Health and Safety Guidelines

University-sponsored travel for employees and students will follow the Viking Safety Level guidelines as well as those issued by the CDC and the State of North Dakota. VCSU’s travel guidelines are subject to change and may be stricter at times to ensure the health and safety of our community.

In general, VCSU has implemented the following guidelines university-sponsored travel:

  • International travel is suspended.
  • Non-international travel for faculty, staff and students is allowed following the standard vehicle request procedures.
  • All university health and safety guidelines must be followed before, during and after travel.
  • The travel destination, regardless of the mode of transportation, may require additional mitigation, such as self-isolation upon arrival or return. If traveling out of state, travelers and approvers should review the state or local government guidelines for travel restrictions or isolation requirements. See state/territorial health agency websites.
  • If employee becomes ill or begins to show any symptoms of the COVID-19 virus while on travel, the employee will isolate and immediately inform the supervisor/field supervisor. See the self-assessment section below.

Before Departure

  • Maximum of two persons/vehicle. 
    • Exceptions may include team or classroom travel.
  • If more than one person is in a vehicle, face coverings (cloth or surgical) will be worn by both individuals, unless cohabiting individuals.
  • Temperature screening (self-taken) and self-assessment will be performed prior to departure (see self-assessment section below). If temperature is 100.4°F or higher, or any other COVID symptoms are being experienced by the employee, the employee will not travel and will report situation to the employee’s supervisor/field supervisor.

While on the Road

  • Face coverings (cloth or surgical) are required to be worn in public areas where the 6-foot CDC guidance cannot be complied with between individuals.
  • Immediately sanitize hands after filling up at gas stations to minimize movement of virus.
  • Practice good hygiene (frequent hand washing, no hand shaking, sanitizing vehicle surfaces).
  • Take rest breaks as needed, self-assess, and assess others. Stop if tired.
  • Travel under the assumption that restaurants may be closed and grocery stores will have modified hours that do not necessarily align with work/travel hours. Individuals will stock their own personal supplies as part of social distancing practices (e.g., food, snacks, drinks, etc.).
  • Do not share clothing (face covering/gloves, etc.) or food (chips, snacks, drinks).

While Working Off-Site

  • Work autonomously as much as possible; maintain >6 feet of physical distancing with coworkers whenever possible.
  • Work out of vehicle or in dedicated rooms whenever possible.
  • Frequently sanitize work areas and equipment.
  • Minimize contact with and wear a face covering when encountering/working with anyone not on the work/research team (e.g., gas station customers and employees, landowners, subcontractor personnel on-site, time in command centers or group areas.)
  • Enter other buildings only when necessary.
  • Employees should assume that activities may take more time or require new approaches: Incorporate extra time to complete tasks in your daily planning.
  • Schedule regular break times to ensure employees stay rested. Social distancing will be maintained during all group break times.
  • Face covering will be worn by employees if working closer than 6 feet from each other.

Overnight Stay

  • If travel time requires overnight stay, daily self-assessments will be performed prior to going to work site (see self-assessment below).
  • It may be necessary to stay in a community that is farther away from your work location if the closest community is experiencing increasing active cases of COVID-19.
  • No more than one person per room unless cohabiting individuals.
  • Continue to practice physical distancing and hygiene.
  • Current information can be found on the CDC Considerations for Travelers web page.

Face Covering

  • Please review CDC guidance for the use of face coverings.
  • Individuals who are unable to wear a face covering may be determined to be ineligible to participate in activities requiring travel, unless alternative risk mitigation strategies are identified and approved by the Emergency Management Team Health and Safety work group. Individuals may contact the Director for Human Resources (employees) or Health Services (students) for more information on alternative strategies.

Temperature and Self-Assessment Screening for Travelers

  • Have you traveled outside of the country in the past 14 days?
  • Have you crossed state lines via public transportation (airline, train, or bus) in the past 14 days?
  • Do you have a fever ≥100.4°F?
  • Do you have any of the common symptoms of COVID-19: fever and cough, sometimes difficulty breathing, more rarely sore throat, body aches, headache, chills, diarrhea, nausea/vomiting, and runny nose?
  • Are you considered a “close contact” to a person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or has been under investigation for COVID-19 in the last 14 days? A close contact is defined as being within 6 feet of a COVID-19 case for a period of time greater than 15 minutes with the past 48 hours or someone who was directly coughed or sneezed on.

If your answer is YES to Questions 1 or 2, then you cannot travel until you comply with North Dakota Department of Health recommendations regarding international travel or travel across state lines. View North Dakota recommendations.

If your answer is YES to Questions 3, 4, or 5, you may not initiate travel. Contact your supervisor/field supervisor about returning to your local residence. You must complete a 14-day self-quarantine from:

  • The date your symptoms of viral illness ended.
  • The date you last came in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.