Safe Together, Strong Together Initiative


CMU is now devising a plan to be reviewed by health leaders. CMU is collaborating with medical experts and healthcare leaders to design a safe return to campus plan based on scientific evidence and medical best practices.


To reach our goal, planning committees will work through detailed re-start plans focused on major sets of guiding questions that address three primary areas of focus and goals of the team.


Define best practices and the training needed for the campus community to ensure a safe return to campus.

What training is necessary for students, faculty and staff to safely open campus and return to in-class learning? What safety precautions, accommodations and behavior modifications are necessary for a safe return to campus? How does campus leadership implement policies and procedures to promote and ensure safety on campus? What changes will be implemented in daily operations and how will these changes be implemented by fall?


Implement guidelines and practices to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

How will the community medical experts, campus health teams and student health work together to ensure that CMU’s plans for a safe return to campus has scientifically based, rigorous protocols that reflect best practices to address preventing the spread of COVID-19?

Virus screening and testing

Define the most effective and clinically-proven strategies for virus screening and testing that address health and safety of students, faculty and staff in returning to campus.

How will campus experts collaborate with community health experts to approve a methodologically rigorous screening and testing protocol to address campus and community safety?         

Phase 1: Pilot Openings and Development of Operations

May 2020

In April 2020, CMU partnered with Mesa County Public Health and Community Hospital to design partial opening plans for the CMU Recreation Center, The Maverick Stores and a small number of outdoor recreation facilities. This pilot opening was selected based on what current state and county orders allowed. The openings are meant to test the effectiveness of the team planning and partnerships outlined in this overview.

The focus of Phase 1 is also to consolidate the work from each team into an operational plan to be submitted to health officials in June 2020.            

The Hamilton Recreation Center will be available for use beginning on May 11 with the following prescribed limitations and/or protections in place:

  1. Only first floor fitness areas that are readily observable will be initially open with upstairs facilities remaining closed.
  2. The service counter areas will be reconfigured to accommodate employee and customer protections and social distancing.
  3. Capacity will be limited under Mesa County Public Health guidance.
  4. Thermometers are available for temperature checks upon entry.
  5. Patrons must wear masks at all times.
  6. Locker rooms only open for restroom use while lockers, showers and congregating remain prohibited.
  7. Social distancing must be observed with a minimum of 10 feet between users.

Additionally, patrons must wipe down each piece of equipment between use and observe the limited operating hours of (M-F 6am–7pm; S/Su 9am–6pm).

El Pomar Natatorium will remain closed pending further state guidance.

Limited use of CMU outdoor recreation facilities are allowed beginning May 11 so long as:

  1. No league play or tournaments occur.
  2. Six feet of social distance is observed at all times.

The following site-specific protocols will be observed at each of the following locations:

  • Elliott Tennis Center
  • Bergman Field
  • CMU Rugby Pitch
  • Stampede Field
  • CMU Sand Volleyball Courts

Limited operations of The Maverick Store will resume May 11 assuming the following are implemented:

  1. The number of customers allowed in store at once not to exceed eight customers.
  2. Plexiglass sneeze guards have been installed at checkout counters.
  3. Doors from University Center are closed for one way flow of traffic only from the exterior of the store.
  4. Designated one-way entrance/exit doors with signage are established.
  5. Customer traffic flow marked on floor.
  6. Six foot social distancing markings on floor are established.
  7. Facemasks are worn at all times by employees and patrons.
  8. Outdoor line areas are established with social distancing markings clearly exhibited in the designated line area(s).

Other information regarding The Maverick Store reopening

  • Store hours 9am-3pm, Monday - Friday.
  • On campus textbook buyback: Wednesday 5/13 – Friday 5/15, 9am-3pm
  • For those students geographically unable to participate in buyback, The Maverick Store has partnered with Nebraska Book Company for a virtual sellback. Find more information here
  • Rental book return information during COVID-19 can be found here.
  • Summer course materials will be available to purchase on-line or in-store beginning Monday 5/18.

The CMU natatorium will remain closed pending further state guidance.

Phase 2: Implementation of Safe Together, Strong Together Operations Plan

June 2020

Phase 3: Return to Campus Operating Plan

August 2020

The final Safe Together, Strong Together return plan will be posted in July and will be updated as pandemic conditions change.