Campus Communications

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May 28, 2020 1:03 p.m.

Update for faculty and staff 

Good afternoon,

As the fight against the coronavirus continues, we are grateful to Brittany Ness, Mayville State’s COVID-19 liaison, for her work to help keep the Mayville State family safe. She has developed a COVID-19 fact sheet with her recommendations for faculty and staff. Please review the fact sheet and follow up with Brittany if you have questions or concerns. She can be reached at or 701-430-1972.

Have a great day!

Dr. Brian Van Horn, President

Mayville State University

Download the COVID-19 fact sheet.

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Update for Faculty and Staff

May 19, 2020  3:03 p.m.

A new phase in the fight against the coronavirus

As we knew would happen, instances of COVID-19 have started to crop up in Traill County. This is cause for pause and moves us into a new phase of fighting the pandemic. As time goes on, we’re probably going to know more and more people who have been exposed and/or infected. It is our top priority to keep those in our campus community safe and we are stepping up our efforts as we enter this new phase.

Brittany Ness named university’s COVID-19 liaison

In a significant effort to help keep our campus community safe, we have asked Brittany Ness to serve as the university’s COVID-19 liaison. She will be our point of contact for any individuals on campus who test positive for COVID-19, who suspect they have been exposed, or who are awaiting COVID-19 test results. Those individuals include faculty, staff, students, and community members who may have reason to be on campus. Brittany will be working together with these individuals to conduct contact tracing.

If you fall into any of the categories listed above, please reach out to Brittany at or 701-430-1972 immediately. Your willingness to do so is crucial in our efforts to keep you and others safe.

Brittany, who is a graduate of Mayville State’s RN-to-BSN nursing program and is the director of the Eastern North Dakota Area Health Education Center at Mayville State, has an office in Old Main. She is an experienced public health nurse and easily relates to all areas of consideration within this role, including confidentiality. She has been in contact with our local Sanford Clinic and public health officials to establish her formal role as MSU’s COVID-19 liaison and to make sure she has the knowledge and training she needs to effectively serve in this capacity. We are appreciative of Brittany’s expertise and willingness to step up and serve in this very important role.

Notification when positive cases are identified

Should there be positive COVID-19 cases identified within the Mayville State campus community, all faculty and staff will be notified. Those who have been in close contact with someone who is being tested for COVID-19 or who has been identified as positive will be notified by Mayville State COVID-19 liaison Brittany Ness.

Do what you can to keep yourself and others safe.

We’ve been at this coronavirus fight for a long time. Please continue to be vigilant in doing the things that will help to keep you safe:


We are encouraging you to use a mask or face covering if you are in a place where others are around. We are looking into purchasing masks for those who may not have them. Watch for further updates.

Plexiglass barriers

A plexiglass barrier has been installed at the check-out desk at the bookstore. Similar barriers will be installed in the business office, registrar’s office, the Wellness Center pass through window, and at the cash register in Dining Services. We’re also looking into having them installed in the concession stands in athletic facilities.

Cleaning efforts

Our facilities services staff are working very hard to ensure that every effort is made to keep those on campus safe. In addition to their regular duties, they are taking extra steps to make sure frequently touched surfaces are sanitized and disinfected several times a day. These include doorknobs, water fountains, bathrooms, countertop surfaces, chairs, and more.    

In the case of a potential COVID-19 incident, a process of deep cleaning is used. This involves the use of a Quaternary cleaner. This non-acid cleaner is designed specifically for disinfecting hospitals, nursing homes, schools, and more. The cleaner is applied using electrostatic technology. The machine electrically charges the cleaning product, dispensing it into the air as a mist, allowing the disinfectant to wrap itself around all surfaces. There is no residue left on surfaces and it will not damage electronics or important papers on a desk.

I applaud Director of Facilities Services and Campus Security Bob Kozojed and his staff for the excellent work they are doing to keep us safe. Bob is also serving as Mayville State’s representative to the State of North Dakota’s COVID-19 group which includes a representative of each public college and university and its president, as well as the governor, NDUS chancellor, and numerous other state officials. He’s doing a wonderful job and I couldn’t be more grateful for his efforts.

What if you suspect you may have COVID-19 or may have been exposed to it?

If you are not feeling well, stay home. If you have a fever, cough, or other symptoms, there’s a possibility you could have COVID-19. If you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19 or think you might have COVID-19 yourself, contact your healthcare provider immediately.

See more from the North Dakota Department of Health:

Return to face-to-face instruction in the fall

As announced previously, we have made the decision to return to face-to-face course delivery at Mayville State in the fall. This comes after the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education unanimously passed a motion on April 29 to express their intent to have students return to campuses for classes in the fall. It is exciting to think about a situation that looks a little more like what we are familiar with and miss. While we know that things will continue to look a little different from normal, it will be a big first step.

Preparations for fall

While we’ve been considering possibilities, planning, and preparing continuously as the coronavirus situation has evolved over these last few months, additional planning and preparation is needed in order for us to meet this milestone. With the safety of our students, staff, and faculty at the forefront, we’ll need to plan for different kinds of scenarios, as many things are unknown and we have no way of knowing what the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines will be at that time.

When will we ask our faculty and staff who are working remotely to return to their campus offices? How will we accommodate social distancing (6 feet between individuals) in classrooms, labs, auditoriums, etc.? We’ll need to encourage frequent hand washing with soap and water and have hand sanitizers and probably masks or cloth face coverings available. How will housekeeping and custodial staff need to step up efforts to accommodate cleaning and disinfecting when there are more people around? What about accommodations in the residence halls and dining services?

There are numerous details to consider, and I am confident Team Mayville State is up to the challenge. In the next couple of weeks, the president’s cabinet and key campus personnel will convene for a retreat with the goal of developing a formalized plan. We’ll weigh out all of these particulars and many more.

Thank you!

As we look to the future and plans for fall, the campus continues to be open. Our enrollment, admissions, business office, and foundation staff, as well as staff in other administrative offices, cafeteria employees, bookstore personnel, custodians, physical plant employees, and others have been working daily on campus to ensure that our customers can get the services they need. Others are working remotely to ensure that the business of Mayville State continues to operate smoothly. I am Comet Proud of the outstanding efforts of all Mayville State faculty and staff during these unprecedented times. Thank you for stepping up to the challenge!

As I look out my office window, I can see our grounds staff busily preparing the campus for summer. Grass is being mowed, weeds are being pulled, and soon flowers will be planted. It is refreshing to enjoy our beautiful campus as we make our way to our offices and other areas on campus, and it is a sign of the beauty that will greet everyone as we return to life a little more like normal in the fall.


Dr. Brian Van Horn, President

Mayville State University