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Safe Return to Campus recap

See details on air-quality improvements, operations, vaccination rates and more.

By Lindsey Coulter

July 6, 2021

Aerial image of Auraria Campus; On Thursday, Larry Sampler, vice president for Administration, Finance and Facilities and chief operating officer, shared important updates in anticipation of today’s official kickoff of our return to on-campus operations. Please share these updates with your fellow employees and help spread the word about changes and improvements.

#1: Talking about vaccination status

The Roadrunners Safe Return team has received several inquiries on what questions (with regard to vaccination status) can be asked of students, colleagues and employees by a supervisor. University leaders have developed the following FAQs to help guide conversations.

Question: Can I ask a student or colleague to disclose their Covid-19 vaccination status?

Answer: Employees should not ask students or colleagues about their vaccination status. College and unit leaders will communicate regularly with faculty, staff and students to remind and encourage unvaccinated employees and students to wear masks to achieve a safe and sustaining return. If you have additional questions, please email

Question: How will I know if an employee of mine has been granted a vaccination exemption?

Answer: Employees who have been granted an exemption and their supervisors will receive a communication from Human Resources with the exempted person’s name and the expectations of the exempted person. If you have additional questions, please email

#2: Operations updates

  • HVAC updates
    • MSU Denver will continue our increased heating, ventilation and air-conditioning precautions, which remain in adherence with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, including the use of Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value -13 filters and higher air-exchange rates.
    • The Auraria Higher Education Center Facilities Management team has made a number of improvements and adjustments, in adherence with CDC and American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers recommendations, to building air-handling systems. Learn more about HVAC updates.
  • MSU Denver will continue heightened cleaning procedures, which adhere to CDC guidance.
  • See summer building hours. Fall building hours will be issued in early August.
  • All signage has been removed except signs noting that those who are unvaccinated need to wear masks. AHEC has updated signage for shared buildings. 
  • Email to schedule a time to pick up a cleaning kit, which consists of a spray bottle, paper towels and instructions. This procedure will be assessed in late fall to see if it should remain ongoing.
  • Plexiglass is not planned for any spaces or locations on the campus, except for customer-facing transaction-counter-type locations where members of our campus community may be subject to increased contact with potentially unvaccinated members of the general public. No plexiglass is being considered for offices.
  • See the desk and conference phone FAQ for help in returning to your workspaces.
  • The Events application is no longer required, and the Auraria Campus Event Services process is back to pre-Covid-19 procedures.
  • The MSU Denver Events Coalition, formed as a result of the improved communication and collaboration of the RSR Events Subgroup, will continue to meet virtually on a monthly basis. The next meeting is Thursday. Contact Cora Potter for details.
  • All classrooms, labs and common spaces are being transitioned back to their pre-Covid-19 layout and capacities prior to the fall semester.
  • See the updated “Covid-19 Protocols for Reporting Positive Covid-19 Cases in Classrooms and Office Settings” document.

#3: Vaccination-verification survey results

Faculty, staff, students and prospective students continue to complete the vaccination-verification survey at a reassuringly high rate. Please note that, due to a formatting error, the figures shared in Thursday’s article were initially incorrect and have since been amended.

According to the results of recent vaccination-verification surveys distributed to faculty and staff as well as registered students and nonregistered students:

Employees: 1,836/2,559 (71.7% response rate)

  • 95.2% are fully or partially vaccinated.
  • 1% intend to be vaccinated by the start of the fall semester.
  • 3.9% (72) are exempt.

Registered students: 6,237/12,653 (49.3% response rate)

  • 82.5% are fully or partially vaccinated.
  • 3.6% intend to be vaccinated by the start of the fall semester.
  • 13.9% are exempt.

Unregistered students: 1,276/36,547 (3.5% response rate)

  • 77.8% are fully or partially vaccinated.
  • 6.4% intend to be vaccinated by the start of the fall semester.
  • 15.8% (178) are exempt.

For more information, visit the Safe Return to Campus website, reach out through this form or send an email to

Topics: Administration, Health, Safety

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