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Campus reopening plans on track having acquired perfect health audit score

The same day Colorado Governor Jared Polis announced new guidance for reopening colleges and universities, CMU received the results of a recent reopening plan health audit from officials at Mesa County Public Health. CMU’s reopening plans for the fall remain on track having received a perfect score on the health audit. 

“We continue to pace ahead of the game when it comes to preparing campus for a return,” said CMU President Tim Foster. “Our Safe Together, Strong Together initiative has provided a framework for and inspired momentum around a safe campus return in the weeks ahead.” 

The new guidance from Colorado maintains emphasis on remote learning but allows in-person instruction with up to 50% student capacity per room. CMU planning efforts in April proactively designed 50% capacity plans anticipating new guidance. 

“The fact that CMU already has small class sizes places us in a position of advantage,” said CMU Vice President for Academic Affairs Kurt Haas, PhD. “When average class sizes are already half of what some universities offer, it’s a lot more feasible to meet or exceed the state order. Also by doing this work in April, we are well prepared today for welcoming students back.” 

Mesa County Public Health was on campus Friday, June 19, conducting an audit of opening plans that had been previously approved by the agency on May 11. Safe Together, Strong Together Co-Chair and medical liaison Amy Bronson, EdD, assisted with the audit.  

“From the Moss Performing Arts Center to the Hamilton Recreation Center we were able to demonstrate our return to campus plan is more than just memorandums and meetings,” said Bronson. “We demonstrated CMU has already put into action necessary safety measures required by health agencies, and that we are now ready to begin Safe Together, Strong Together Phase 3 preparations.” 

CMU will prepare a final Phase 3 return to campus proposal in July. The final phase will include student housing and final academic adaptive strategies for select classroom buildings.  

Phase 1 of Safe Together, Strong Together was approved on May 11 and included a limited opening of the campus recreation center and outdoor recreation facilities. The pilot opening included best practices outlined by Colorado Safer at Home and the Mesa County Safer at Home variance that allowed additional openings in Mesa County. 

Officials at Mesa County Public Health (MCPH) approved the Safe Together, Strong Together Phase 2 opening plan in early June. The plan included opening of CMU's University Center, Outdoor Program, Admissions Office and Student Welcome Center, El Pomar Natatorium, The Maverick Innovation Center and Eureka! Math and Science Center. 

All reopening plans have been made in conjunction with CMU’s medical and health advisory team. The team includes numerous topical subcommittees and an advisory committee of epidemiologists from St. Mary's Hospital, Community Hospital, Mesa County Public Health and CMU health-related faculty experts.

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Written by David Ludlam