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November 5, 2020

Today Mesa County Public Health downgraded our county to Safer at Home Level Orange (“High Risk”) in response to increasing community transmission of COVID-19. CMU is taking proactive measures in response and is emphasizing the importance of the ongoing Future is Now optimization planning effort. We will expand hours of operation for the campus testing facility as well as increase personnel dedicated to testing and contact tracing. CMU is also working with local community organizations and hospitals to encourage pandemic prevention efforts and community-wide best practices and prevention measures.

Despite increased community spread of COVID-19, CMU’s Safe Together, Strong Together response plan infrastructure is working as designed. Contact tracing, viral testing and isolation/quarantine protocols continue to operate at the highest levels. The pandemic response infrastructure developed at CMU also continues to alleviate additional operational burdens on Mesa County Public Health officials by complementing their efforts, which enable local health professionals to attend to the needs of the broader community.

As expected, and accounted for in the Safe Together, Strong Together plan, several Mavily units will be quarantined in the coming days and weeks as confirmed outbreaks (i.e., as few as two or more confirmed cases in a group) are identified. These units include curricular, extracurricular and athletic team Mavilies. The campus dashboard will reflect increased counts tomorrow and will likely reflect the highest number of cases yet reported at CMU. While the campus COVID-19 burden is still relatively low, cases are growing. As a result, CMU is testing significantly more people, performing more contact traces and quarantining/isolating more members of the campus community. The trends are obviously not where we would like to see them, but campus protocols are working and there is every reason to believe that, together, we can navigate these last two weeks of in-person learning.

This week’s developments are a good reminder we all need to double down on our commitment to safety protocols like mask wearing, hand sanitation and social distancing. We also should be intentional to limit indoor group gatherings.

Two weeks ago, CMU launched the Future is Now phase of our pandemic response planning efforts. This ongoing planning process is more important than ever. What we do today will impact how we operate in the future. Our team is strong, our campus is committed and our plan is working. Let's continue to support one another in the coming weeks as CMU approaches the holiday break.