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February 11, 2021: MetroSafe Update

Posted Thursday, February 18, 2021 | Announcements to Employees

COVID-19 campus exposure update

For the week of Feb. 4–Feb. 10, Metropolitan State has reported nine COVID-19 cases to the Minnesota State dashboard among individuals associated with our campus. Of these individuals, one was thought to be infectious while on campus. The data reported is shown below:

Students—Week of 2/4/2021 - 2/10/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 2/10/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—8 / 305

Negative—0 / 82

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 0

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—8 / 223

Contagious while on campus—0 / 20

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—8 / 203

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—5 / 220

Employees—Week of 2/4/2021 - 2/10/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 2/10/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—1 / 16

Negative—0 / 0

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 1

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—1 / 14

Contagious while on campus—1 / 1

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—0 / 14

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 13

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.

COVID testing FAQ’s

What is the difference between different types of COVID-19 tests?

  1. There are two main types of tests, diagnostic (also known as viral tests) and antibody tests:
    1. A diagnostic test can show if a patient is currently infected with COVID-19. The rapid antigen and lab test (PCR) are both diagnostic tests.
    2. An antibody test can show if you were infected with COVID-19 in the past. This test will test if you have antibodies to the virus that cause COVID-19. This test does not show if you have a current infection, because it can take 1-3 weeks for your body to make antibodies from a COVID-19 infection.

Are both the nasal swab and saliva test accurate?

  1. Both the nasal swab or sometimes down the throat test and saliva test work by detecting genetic material from coronavirus. Both tests that show a positive test result almost always mean the person is infected with the virus. However, both tests can be negative, even if a person is proved to later be infected (false negative). This is especially true for people who carry the virus but have no symptoms.

Free saliva testing is available to all Minnesotans. A mail order saliva kit or community testing sites in the Metropolitan area for more immediate testing can be found at:

https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/testsites/athome.html

What is the Rapid ID or BIONX Now test?

  1. This is a test that provides immediate results (usually within 15 minutes). These rapid tests are being used in health care and are becoming available for purchase at home. This test is intended for individuals with symptoms within the first seven days. It is an antigen test that uses a nasal swab.

Who should get tested?

  1. Anyone with symptoms.
    • If you have symptoms, get tested immediately.
    • Stay home when you are sick, whether you seek out testing or not. If you leave your home to get a test, wear a mask and stay 6 feet away from other people. The COVID-19 Test at Home program may be your best option for getting tested in the comfort of your own home.
    • Community testing sites are best for people with mild symptoms. If you have moderate to severe symptoms call your doctor or health care provider or go to the hospital.
  2. Anyone who was close to someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
    • It's best to get tested at least 5 days after the last time you were close to the person with COVID-19 (exposed). If you get tested too soon, the test may not be able to detect the virus.
    • The safest option is to stay home for 14 days after your last contact with the person who has COVID-19, whether you have symptoms or not. In certain situations, you may consider being around others after 10 days, or after seven days with a negative COVID-19 test result.
    • The COVID-19 Test at Home program may be your best option for getting tested, particularly if you learn about exposure early in the 14-day window.
    • If you would prefer to visit a Community Testing Site, make an appointment. If the site nearest you has no available appointments, they may have walk in testing without an appointment.
  3. Anyone who has attended a one-time, high-risk activity, such as a large gathering or an indoor event with people you do not live with.
    • If you start to feel sick, get tested right away.
    • If you do not feel sick, get a COVID-19 test at least five days after the event. If the test is negative and you are worried you might have been close to someone with COVID-19 (exposed), get another test 12–14 days after the event, even if you do not feel sick.
  4. Anyone who is actively engaged with people outside of their household or is working at places that remain open during the pandemic. This includes critical infrastructure, first responders, health care, retail, etc.
    • If you do not have symptoms and you have not been told you have been exposed to COVID-19, you are still at risk given how quickly the virus is spreading.
    • Make an appointment at a Community Testing Site. Plan ahead to find an available appointment, even if that includes looking at a testing location a little farther away.

Vaccination Update

Availability of vaccination supplies continue to be a challenge in the state. The state did not open the voluntary vaccination online vaccine registration this week due to the backlog of already registered adults age 65 or older.

The vaccine dashboard provides additional information on weekly vaccinations administered in Minnesota.

Feb. 9 Town Hall summary

More than fifty members of the Metropolitan State community came together over Zoom to hear updates and ask questions. Those in attendance heard updates including:

  • Ongoing progress with the university’s mechanical engineering contractors on verifying university air flow, ventilation, and filtration systems
  • Update on employee return planning
    • Likelier to be fall than earlier
    • Student needs will be the primary driving factor
  • Vaccination timing for state employees remains uncertain
  • Differing summer and fall term registrations to provide extra time for fall course options planning
  • COVID reporting update, including the request to report anecdotal cases when verifiable
  • Student services should be contacted directly by students struggling to access them
  • University-wide communications update, delineating the Metro Monday, MetroSafe, and Metro Moment communications purposes, publication schedule, and intended audiences
  • Provost’s Office to work with student veterans to ensure course coding requirements met for VA housing benefits

For a more detailed summary, visit the Town Hall section of the President’s page on my.metrostate.edu.