With the omicron surge continuing in North Dakota, Minot State University is experiencing a record-breaking amount of cases.

In January, MSU had over 250 covid cases — which is the most at any time during the pandemic.

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, and many colleges and universities took action by having students wear masks and participate in virtual learning.

Now, coming up on two years of being in a pandemic, things have changed.

A junior says Minot State has been keeping up with the guidelines.

“I think they’re very lax with it, to an extent,” said Carson Cayko. “I think they’re being responsible, but also understanding that there are students here that don’t wanna wear masks and stuff so if you got a vaccine, you’re good.”

The vice president of Student Affairs says even with a surge in cases, the university’s COVID protocols will remain the same.

“Basically our professors have the authority to require masking in their classrooms, but at this time, we don’t have any plans to have a campus-wide mask mandate,” said Kevin Harmon. “It’s really difficult when no one else in the community is doing it.”

With contact tracing scaling back at the university, students, faculty and staff are expected to self-report their positive test results.

It’s up to school officials to spread information, and Harmon says the university’s communication has gotten better over the last few years.

“I think the biggest change has probably been made in how we deliver classes to the students,” said Harmon. “In many cases, we can have a face-to-face presence, as well as virtual.”

Another junior agrees that communication has gotten better.

“I think they’re handling it pretty well,” said Destiny Stanton. “And they always send out a weekly reminder of events and stuff going on and they always include information about COVID in there.”

If a student tests positive for COVID or has been in close contact with someone that tested positive, they are given the option to take virtual classes.

Harmon says if students that test positive remain on campus, they isolate and are delivered meals daily.