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The latest on Covid-19 and campus operations

Complete immunization-verification consent form before Feb. 15, mask-mandate update, discontinuation of testing for unvaccinated employees.

By Larry Sampler, chief operating officer

February 2, 2022

Larry SamplerDear Roadrunners,

I hope you all stayed safe and warm during Wednesday’s snowstorm.

If you haven’t already, I encourage you to check out the Severe Weather Alerts page, which aims to provide clarity on decisions and procedures regarding closures, delays and early dismissals. This page is where Roadrunners can sign up to receive RAVE alerts about important and timely events or incidents on campus. These emergency communication alerts work only if you’re registered for the service. To register, or to review and/or update your information, visit Log in using your Metropolitan State University of Denver email address and password.

Also, thank you to our essential workers who continued performing their important jobs and to the many employees who dedicated some of their snow day to serving students and meeting our University mission. Your work is recognized and appreciated.

Complete immunization-verification consent form before Feb. 15

MSU Denver health and safety protocols require that all employees be vaccinated and boosted for Covid-19. To more efficiently verify employees’ Covid-19 immunization status, MSU Denver is requesting employee consent to automatically confirm vaccination through the Colorado Immunization Information System, a database managed by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Understanding our community’s vaccination status is essential in adhering to public-health guidance and keeping our campus safe.

Please complete the Colorado Immunization Information System Consent/Authorization Form by Feb. 15.

Other important information:

  • Employee information will be securely transferred between the University and the CIIS.
  • MSU Denver will not share this immunization information with anyone outside of the University without separate written consent.
  • Submitting this form allows MSU Denver to verify an employee’s immunization status as necessary only during active employment.
  • Employees who do not provide consent will be required to manually provide proof of immunization.

Data supports vaccination 

MSU Denver has long encouraged all Roadrunners to get their vaccination and booster shots, as the science behind vaccination is irrefutable. This week, the New York Times published a graph demonstrating the protection that vaccination provides. So for those of you holding out, please do reconsider and get boosted.

New York Times Covid-19 graphic

If you have not already, please get your booster as soon as possible at the Health Center at Auraria or one of more than 1,000 other providers across the state. 

Masks continue to be required on campus

The City and County of Denver’s mask mandate for businesses and indoor public spaces expires tonight at midnight. However, masks continue to be required on University grounds while the Roadrunners Safe Return Committee consults with internal and external stakeholders, including the Denver and Colorado Departments of Public Health and Environment, on next steps. The University is also reviewing masking guidelines in collaboration with our Auraria Campus partners.

We are aware of the importance of this decision to our students, faculty members and staff members. We are taking all relevant factors into consideration and will communicate more soon. In the meantime, members of the campus community can submit input on masking guidelines to the Faculty SenateStaff Senate or the Student Advocacy Council.

If the leadership of a particular department would like to have KN95 masks in their office, please have one representative from your department or office email Additionally, anyone can stop by the Jordan Student Success Building welcome desk to pick up a single mask for the day.

Masking waivers not accepted

I also want to address the “waivers” and “exemptions” MSU Denver has received from students who seek to opt out of the University’s mask-wearing requirements. There are hundreds of fake exemption cards available on the internet. I encourage anyone who receives one of these fake documents to ignore it, reiterate the University’s stance and follow our noncompliance protocol as necessary. So long as we feel it is in the best interest of the campus community to require masks, they will be required. There are no exemption forms or waiver cards that will abrogate this requirement. Any changes to our masking policy will be promptly and clearly communicated to our campus community.

Discontinuation of screening testing for unvaccinated employees

In late January, after careful consultation with the DDPHE, MSU Denver announced the end of screening testing for unvaccinated students; however, employee screening continued to ensure compliance with Denver Public Health Orders. The University has since clarified with officials that our additional mitigation measures such as immunization and masking ensure that we meet the city’s public-health requirements.

Therefore, the University will discontinue screening testing for the small number of unvaccinated employees, based on the same public-health guidance that prompted our decision to end screening testing for students, primarily because the Omicron variant is as likely to be transmitted among the vaccinated as the unvaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Thus, screening testing of only the unvaccinated is rendered ineffective in mitigating the spread of the disease.

I addressed this decision more deeply in my Jan. 27 article, but I encourage anyone who has questions or concerns to contact for more information.

As always, thank you all for acting responsibly and with compassion for others to keep our campus community safe.


Larry Sampler, vice president for Administration

Topics: Administration, Health, Safety

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