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February 16, 2021

Late last night, we received notice from our partners at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT that the first campus COVID-19 case of the B.1.1.7 variant has been identified. We have identified this case as a result of the work of our partners performing genomic sequencing of all positive cases tested at our on-campus testing site. We know from virology that viruses mutate, and COVID-19 is no different in this regard. We have known that the B.1.1.7 variant in particular has been moving quickly throughout the country and has been known to be in Colorado and our community for some time now, and we have expected to see it on campus. More information about this specific variant may be found here and here.

We are consulting with Mesa County Public Health as well as our partners at Broad in terms of next steps, and we ask all members of the campus community — students, faculty and staff—to immediately redouble our efforts by taking a few simple steps:

  1. Get tested regularly at our campus testing site
  2. Wear a mask indoors
  3. Maintain 6' of distance and avoid crowds
  4. Frequent hand-washing and sanitization

We will continue to get through this pandemic together by sticking with our Future is Now plan and abiding by safety protocols. As always, please reach out to with any questions.


Safe Together Strong Together Co-Chairs
Dr. Amy Bronson
Vice President John Marshall