December 3 MetroSafe Update

Posted Friday, December 4, 2020 | Announcements to Employees

For the week of Nov. 25–Dec. 1, Metropolitan State has reported 18 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 11/25/2020 - 12/1/2020 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 12/1/2020

Case Number/ Total Reports—29 / 196

Negative—4 / 61

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—7 / 7

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—18 / 128

Contagious while on campus—0 / 13

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—18 / 115

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—30 / 121

Employees—Week of 11/25/2020 - 12/1/2020 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 12/1/2020

Case Number/ Total Reports—0 / 10

Negative—0 / 0

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 1

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—0 / 9

Contagious while on campus—0 / 0

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—0 / 10

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 1

One note: in last week’s data, one student case who reported themselves positive was later confirmed by the MDH as negative. The cumulative numbers reflect the removal of that case from the positives. We do report any case in which a student provides a positive test date as well as those MDH confirms as positive. We will continue to correct these if there are changes identified if/when MDH is able to confirm separately.

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

As you all know, Governor Walz announced new restrictions recently 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 (Deep Orange). 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 student services.

https://mn.gov/governor/news/executiveorders.jsp

https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/schools/ihe.html

COVIDaware MN available now

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 and GPS location to identify and communicate proximity to other devices, while not communicating any personal information. People using COVIDaware MN are notified when their device has been in proximity to a device carried by someone who tests positive. For more information about COVIDaware MN, including instructions on downloading the app, visit the COVIDaware MN webpage.

Department of Health expanded COVID testing access still available—New site info

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) remains 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 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 is 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 mn@vaulthealth.com or call 800-800-5698.

Other free MDH testing options available:

Where to get a test

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) announced a new COVID-19 testing site in the Victory Links Golf Course Parking Lot at the National Sports Center in Blaine, part of a collaboration with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Testing at this site will occur Monday, Dec. 7 through Saturday, Dec. 12. The site will be set up as a drive-thru, with participants self-administering a nasal swab test. The site has capacity for 10,000 tests over the course of the six days. Appointments are strongly encouraged, but not required.

Testing Site Location:

National Sports Center

Victory Links Golf Course - parking lot

2010 105th Ave NE

Blaine, MN 55449

Hours of Operation:

Monday, Dec. 7–Friday, Dec. 11

10 a.m.–6 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 12

8 a.m.–2 p.m.

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, Dec. 24 and Friday, Dec. 25 for Christmas

Building access changes, winter break hours, and computer/technology support

This coming Saturday, Dec. 5, the Library and Learning Center will be open from 10 a.m.–6 p.m. to allow for extra time to complete finals and associated projects. Other area and service access changes necessitated by the increased restrictions started Dec. 1 include:

  • The first floor is OPEN and available for study and computer use; the second floor is closed to patrons.
  • Study rooms on the first floor which are equipped with computers are also AVAILABLE while those on the second floor are not.
  • Please call 651-793-1624 for assistance with resources, printers, and more. There is a courtesy phone at the desk; dial 1624 to contact staff with at that phone. Library staff will also deliver materials for you to pick up on the first floor. This includes books, interlibrary loan resources, and more.
  • Metro State IDs are now available only through email/mail. See https://libguides.metrostate.edu/covid-19 for instructions.
  • IT Assistance is available through the chat widget on the desktop of every lab computer.
  • Reference Librarians are available to help with research, writing, and more here: https://libguides.metrostate.edu/covid-19/write_at_the_desk

Winter break building schedules

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.