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December 17, 2020: Winter Break Building Closures and MetroSafe Update

Posted Friday, December 18, 2020 | Announcements to Employees

Buildings closed for winter break

As a reminder, over the winter break all Metropolitan State campus locations will be closed to physical access from Dec. 19–Jan. 3. This includes the Saint Paul Campus, Midway Center, the Management Education Center, and the Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Center. During this time, all student support services will be accessible remotely.

COVID-19 campus exposure update

For the week of Dec. 9–15, Metropolitan State has reported 19 COVID-19 cases to the Minnesota State dashboard among individuals associated with our campus. Of these individuals, 0 were infectious while on campus. The data reported is shown below:


Students—Week of 12/9/2020 - 12/15/2020 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 12/15/2020

Case Number/ Total Reports—17 / 240

Negative—0 / 73

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—1 / 1

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—16 / 166

Contagious while on campus—0 / 17

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—16 / 133

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—8 / 157

Employees—Week of 12/9/2020 - 12/15/2020 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 12/15/2020

Case Number/ Total Reports—1 / 13

Negative—0 / 0

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 1

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—3 / 12

Contagious while on campus—0 / 0

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—3 / 13

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—1 / 2

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 testing—no-barrier access

Minnesota has worked hard to provide no-barrier access to COVID-19 testing at all Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) community testing sites. Testing is available to anyone who believes they need a COVID-19 test, with or without insurance. Participants will be asked for their health insurance information so the state can bill their insurance company on their behalf. If a person is uninsured or for any reason insurance does not cover some or all of the cost, the state will cover the difference so testing remains available at no cost to everyone.

What does no-barrier access mean?

  • You do not need to show identification.
  • Tests are at no cost to you, and insurance is not required (but please bring your insurance card if you have one).
  • Appointments are recommended, but you may walk in.

Community Testing sites for nasal and saliva testing can be found at the community testing page of the MDH website.

All community testing sites will be closed:

  • Thursday, Dec. 24 and Friday, Dec. 25
  • Thursday, Dec. 31 and Friday, Jan. 1

If you are seeking a test through a clinic or hospital, please confirm available testing hours directly with the clinic or hospital for the holiday weekends, Dec 24-27 and Dec 30-Jan 4.

Reporting COVID cases during winter break

We ask your help in continuing to report possible employee or any student COVID exposures on the university COVID web form during winter break. The university wants to continue to provide support and assistance for employees and students during the break. The reporting is also helps our continuing work with the Minnesota Department of Health on contract tracing.

COVID testing for spring semester

If you are traveling during the winter break or have been together with other individuals outside your household, we encourage you to get tested for COVID at one of the free testing locations before you return to campus in January.

Travel tips

Consider getting tested at least five days after you arrive, especially if your travel included being around many people (such as at airports, bus rides, larger carpools). It can take up to 14 days to get symptoms.

Wear a facemask and stay at least six feet away from others as much as possible for the first two weeks after you get where you’re are going. Be extra careful with family. Wash your hands often.

In general, avoid visiting older adults or people who have health conditions. If you do visit them, you should wear a mask, stay at least six feet away from them as much as possible, and wash your hands often. It is really important if you visit people who have increased risk for getting very sick from COVID-19 to be extra safe 14 days before your visit and consider getting tested a few days before you visit.

Vaccine Update

The state of Minnesota is expecting to receive 183,000 doses by year’s end (includes Pfizer and expected Moderna doses). That’s only enough doses to vaccinate about one-third of Minnesota health care workers by mid-January.

2,000 Pfizer doses were delivered on Monday this week. State “hubs” are being used to distribute vaccine throughout Minnesota.

The FDA is expected to approve the Moderna vaccine later this week. Minnesota expects to receive more of the Moderna vaccine than the Pfizer version.

Minnesota Department of Health Director Kris Ehresmann asks us to be patient in the midst of our excitement about the vaccine. Vaccine doses for the general population likely won’t be available until spring.