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November 8, 2020

Dear Campus Community:

Good afternoon.  With just two weeks left of face-to-face classroom instruction and against a backdrop of quickly changing conditions I wanted to speak directly to our Maverick family.  As you all know, our Safe Together, Strong Together initiative has always been anchored by a commitment to safety and medical/public health considerations; it’s the basis by which our university can accomplish our chief end of the pursuit of knowledge and transformational education of students.

Over the past several days, we have been in close contact with our public health and medical advisors.  It is clear that case counts are continuing to rise at a rapid pace.  Although our contact tracing reflects that there has been almost no transmission in the classroom.  The increase in positive COVID-19 cases both in the community and on our campus will, effective immediately, result in the following changes and considerations for our university as we move to a “Yellow” Campus Alert Level

It is vital to note that the following changes are all designed with the goal of keeping faculty, staff and students safe and protecting the teaching/learning environment.  All else must submit to the goal of safety and learning.

First, we are asking that all on-campus and off campus students to voluntarily begin quarantining except to attend class, get food, or to exercise/self-care.With respect to getting food we are asking on-campus resident students to voluntarily utilize grab-n-go options from our dining services to reduce unnecessary exposure to other students outside of their respective residence hall Mavilies. This voluntary quarantine is designed to allow students to safely return to their families two weeks from now for Thanksgiving break without undue risk of spread to at-risk or vulnerable family members.

Second, we have increased the hours and capacity of our campus testing site, starting tomorrow, to ensure that all members of the campus community will maintain access to high quality testing with prompt (24-48 hours) results.  This additional access will allow for students, faculty, and staff to test and head into the upcoming holiday break with negative results to ensure lower risk travel.  This will allow you to return home as you came to campus, having a negative test and having quarantined.  We also anticipate providing additional, extra hours for the community to begin accessing our test site in partnership with COVID Check Colorado and Mesa County Public Health to assist the broader Mesa County community during this difficult time.

Third, we are taking a temporary COVID Time-Out for several extracurricular campus activities, to include the Outdoor Program and Club and Varsity Athletics. When you choose to exercise/self-care please be extra cautious and follow all protocols in terms of mask wearing, social distancing, hand washing and disinfecting any equipment before and after use.   

Fourth, we have dedicated additional staff and volunteer resources to our Contact Tracing efforts to ensure that all positive case notifications continue to be made in under 24 hours, and positive cases are immediately moved into isolation for 10 days, per MCPH guidelines.

We have come far together, and we will safely wrap up this semester of in-person instruction by reverting back to what brought us together in the first place—commitment to safety, respect for one another, and an unyielding belief in the transformational power of education for the future of our country

Thank you for your hard work and commitment to our university and one another.  Go Mavs.

 

Sincerely, 

Tim Foster, President