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November 25, 2020: MetroSafe Update

Posted Monday, November 30, 2020 | Announcements to Employees

COVID-19 campus exposure update

For the week of Nov. 18–Nov. 24, Metropolitan State has reported 29 COVID-19 cases to the Minnesota State dashboard among individuals associated with our campus. Of these individuals, 1 was infectious while on campus. The data reported is shown below:

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

Case Number/ Total Reports—36 / 168

Negative—6 / 54

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—3 / 3

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—27 / 111

Contagious while on campus—1 / 13

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—26 / 98

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—28 / 92

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

Case Number/ Total Reports—2 / 10

Negative—0 / 0

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 1

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—2 / 9

Contagious while on campus—0 / 0

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—3 / 10

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.

COVIDaware MN launches

COVIDaware MN, an app that runs on your smartphone and notifies you if you have been near someone who tests positive for COVID-19, launched on Monday, Nov. 23. The app uses Bluetooth technology to communicate proximity to other devices, and does not communicate any personal information. For more information about COVIDaware MN, including instructions on downloading the app, visit the COVIDaware MN webpage.

Community Spread

As you all know, Governor Walz announced new restrictions last Thursday in an attempt to slow the accelerating spread of COVID-19 in the state. The Minnesota Department of Health updated its guidance for higher education institutions with instruction to begin operating under Scenario 4: sustained level of high transmission (Red). View Recommendations for Different Levels of COVID-19 Transmission Among Higher Education Institutions here.

Additional mitigation measures will be implemented on campus to slow the spread of the virus. These measures include reducing and limiting social interaction and moving coursework online as much as possible, limiting or canceling third party events on campus, and using other strategies to reduce opportunity that could lead to further spread of COVID-19.

For higher education institutions, libraries and student centers can remain open for the purpose of students studying.

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.

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.

  • 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.

Other free MDH testing options available:

Where to get a test

The state is opening up several saliva testing sites across Minnesota. Sites most accessible to our campus include: Inver Grove Heights Armory; Stillwater Armory; Roy Wilkins Auditorium, Saint Paul; the Minneapolis Convention Center; and 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