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November 20, 2020: MetroSafe Update

Posted Monday, November 30, 2020 | Announcements to Students

COVID-19 campus exposure update

For the week of Nov. 4–Nov. 10, Metropolitan State has reported 11 COVID-19 cases to the Minnesota State dashboard among individuals associated with our campus. Of these individuals, 4 were infectious while on campus. One note: in last week’s data, one student case who reported themselves positive while on campus was later confirmed by the MDH as negative. The cumulative numbers reflect the removal of that case from the positives. The data reported is shown in the following tables:

STUDENTS—Week of 11/18/2020 - 11/24/2020 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 11/24/2020

Case Number/ Total Reports—34 / 132

Negative—5 / 42

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—9 / 9

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—20 / 81

Contagious while on campus—2 / 12

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—18 / 69

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—12 / 67

Employees—Week of 11/18/2020 - 11/24/2020 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 11/24/2020

Case Number/ Total Reports—3 / 8

Negative—0 / 0

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 1

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—3 / 7

Contagious while on campus—0 / 0

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—3 / 8

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 1

As a campus with many students and employees studying and working offsite, if a positive case does not trace to an exposure/contact on campus, the campus may not be notified. Data may not be comprehensive or in real-time due to testing and reporting delays and are subject to change. Individuals, particularly those that have been at one of our locations, are also encouraged to report any COVID-19 health updates through our reporting form. As part of the Minnesota State system and in conjunction with the Minnesota Department of Health, Metropolitan State posts a link to the Minnesota State COVID-19 dashboard on the website.

Community Spread in the County

As community transmission of COVID is increasing rapidly throughout the state and county, our university campus steering committee is reviewing and monitoring steps that would occur if we need to move to a higher-level scenario and how campus operates if COVID transmission levels continue to escalate. We are currently operating in an Orange high transmission level scenario, which is more restrictive and shifts the campus back to remote only instruction and remote working unless absolutely necessary. Two indicators for this orange transmission level include increasing rates for student infections (>3% of campus students infected over a 14 day period), lack of adherence to mitigation strategies, or actions recommended by MDH. We want to keep you aware that a shift to a more restrictive scenario is possible. We will keep you informed as we monitor changing conditions with the pandemic.

Department of Health expands COVID testing access

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is concerned that Minnesotans, particularly those ages 18–35, are driving the state’s community spread of COVID-19 to record highs, many of them with no symptoms and no way of knowing they are positive. MDH believes the possibility of continued spread of the virus as the holidays approach and friends and families begin to gather poses a serious risk and urges all college and university students and those working on site at colleges and universities to get tested prior to the holidays or other opportunities to gather.

To make this possible, Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan announced a significant expansion in COVID-19 testing access, with the addition of more than a dozen new testing locations opening across the state over the next two weeks. All testing will be free and available to anyone who wants to be tested whether they have symptoms or not, and it will not require insurance. You can find options for testing at the MDH link, including nasal swab community testing events, saliva community testing sites, home tests, and a map of testing locations throughout the state.

COVID-19 testing is available at no cost at all Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) community testing sites. We are always planning more community testing locations across the state, working together with communities to make sure everyone can get tested.

  • You do not to need to show identification.
  • Tests are at no cost to you, and insurance is not required.
  • While appointments are recommended, walk-ins are always welcome.

These saliva tests are more comfortable than nasal swabs and just as accurate, but they may not be a good option for those with low saliva production, such as very young children or people who have suffered a stroke. Results are emailed to you 24-48 hours after taking the test. If you have questions about saliva testing, please email or call 800-800-5698.

Where to get a test

The state is opening up several saliva testing sites across Minnesota. As new locations open, they will be included here. Sites most accessible to our campus include: Inver Grove Heights Armory, Stillwater Armory, Roy Wilkins Auditorium, St Paul, the Minneapolis Convention Center, the Starlite Center in Brooklyn Park.

All sites will be closed:

  • Thursday, Nov. 26 and Friday, Nov. 27 for Thanksgiving
  • Thursday, Dec. 24 and Friday, Dec. 25 for Christmas

New Governor Executive Order Issued This Week

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz issued executive order 20-99 with a four week pause on bars, restaurant dining, and a slew of other activities in a bid to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus. The news comes as the state revealed on Wednesday a record high number of daily deaths, 67, connected to the virus.

Looking for Support?

All of our student support services are available remotely. The vast majority of staff and faculty are working primarily from home so email is likely the best way to reach out for support and to set up an appointment. Here are links to learn more about the available student support services and more information about COVID-19 student supports.

As we continue in a mainly remote environment, we want to be sure students have the current information about when, where, and how students may access various services. Please select this link to view current student service offices, computer lab, and building access hours.