Students: If you have symptoms, are a close contact, or have tested positive, you should contact the COVID Student Helpline at 701.730.8304 or

Employees: If you have symptoms, are a close contact, or have tested positive, you should contact Human Resources at 218.299.3339. Bemidji employees self-report by contacting Mollie Nelson, PhD, RN at or 218.586.8777. Communicate with your supervisor for the need for leave or, when feasible, to make arrangements to perform responsibilities remotely.  

What to do if you're sick

Regardless of your vaccination status:

1.     If you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 stay home and isolate yourself from family, friends, and roommates as much as possible. If you develop symptoms while on campus, go home.

2.     Call a health care professional who can assess your symptoms and risk factors and help you make a plan. DO NOT go to the emergency room unless you are having a medical emergency. You should not walk into any health care clinic if you suspect you have COVID-19, unless otherwise instructed to do so by a health care professional.

3.     Consult a health care provider to see if you need COVID-19 testing.

COVID-19 Symptoms

  • Fever (temperature >= 100.0 F) or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

What to do if you test positive

Regardless of your vaccination status:

  1.      Follow self-isolation instructions from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and your local health department. Isolation is used to separate people infected with COVID-19 from those who are not infected.
    • Monitor your symptoms. If you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing), seek emergency medical care immediately.
    • Stay in a separate room from other household members, if possible.
    • Use a separate bathroom, if possible.
    • Avoid contact with other members of the household and pets.
    • Don’t share personal household items, like cups, towels, and utensils.
    • Wear a mask when around other people if able.

2.     Inform close contacts and assist the college or local health department with contact tracing.

What to do if you may have been exposed


Those who are considered close contacts do not need to quarantine. They should symptom monitor for 14 days from the date of last exposure. Vaccinated individuals who are exposed should wear a mask in public and should get tested three to five days after exposure. 


Individuals who are considered close contacts and are not vaccinated should quarantine alone. The gold standard for quarantine is 14 days. Individuals may be able to leave quarantine early following negative testing, as directed by their healthcare provider.   


Individuals who are considered close contacts and have recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days do not need to quarantine if ALL of the following are true:

  • Illness was confirmed with a positive lab test in the past 90 days
  • Have fully recovered
  • Do not currently have any symptoms of COVID-19

Common Questions

What counts as a close contact?

The CDC defines close contact as:

  • You were within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more
  • You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19
  • You had direct physical contact with the person (hugged or kissed them)
  • You shared eating or drinking utensils
  • The infected person sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on you