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January 21, 2021: MetroSafe Update

Posted Thursday, February 4, 2021 | Announcements to Employees

COVID-19 campus exposure update

For the week of Jan. 13–Jan. 20, Metropolitan State has reported nine COVID-19 cases to the Minnesota State dashboard among individuals associated with our campus. Of these individuals, two were thought to be infectious while on campus. The data reported is shown below:

Students—Week of 1/13/2020 - 1/20/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 1/20/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—10 / 279

Negative—0 / 75

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—1 / 1

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—9 / 203

Contagious while on campus—2 / 19

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—7 / 184

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—1 / 194

Employees—Week of 1/13/2020 - 1/20/2021 / Total from 08/24/2020 - 1/20/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—0 / 14

Negative—0 / 0

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 1

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—0 / 12

Contagious while on campus—0 / 0

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—0 / 13

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 13

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.

Quarantine guidelines

As you know, quarantine means keeping people who have been exposed to COVID-19 away from other people. As part of this precaution, people who are identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19 and who do not have symptoms of COVID-19 should stay away from others for 14 days past the last date of the contact. Close contact generally means spending 15 minutes or more over the course of a day within 6 feet of someone with COVID-19 while the person was infectious, or having direct physical contact with someone while infectious.

If you have COVID-19, it is important to stay home during isolation and quarantine and avoid unnecessary visitors. Following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines referenced in CDC: When You Can be Around Others After You Had or Likely Had COVID-19 remains the appropriate response.

In addition, faculty, staff, and students with COVID-19 should stay at home and can further reduce the spread of COVID-19 within their household by following the CDC guidance information If You Are Sick or Caring for Someone.

Other guidelines to keep in mind include:

  • Staying home for 14 days is not required for a close contact who tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 90 days and has already recovered
  • In some circumstances colleges or universities may allow individuals who have been exposed to quarantine for shorter amounts of time
  • Alternate modes of course instruction are available for students with COVID-19

First Town Hall of 2021

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

  • Updated COVID-19 plans and policies at both the university and state level
  • Continuing preparation for fall 2021 planning, and clearly communicating the university’s course coding to students
  • Updates on online support available to students and employees, and reminder to pay attention to MetroSafe communications for event details and general updates
  • Vaccination timing for state employees still uncertain
  • In-person courses will be more stringent in physical distancing
  • Continued vigilance needed even as local COVID infection situation improves
  • Welcome to new Senior Human Resources Officer Lori Kingston
    • IFO focused position to be filled in HR soon
  • Library hours changed to Monday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
  • Addressed steps taken in response to possible unrest surrounding the Presidential inauguration
  • Questions were taken

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

COVID Preparedness Plan

Our campus COVID Preparedness Plan has been updated for the semester. The plan outlines information for employees and students on campus operating requirements during the pandemic. In it, you can find information on building access points, health screening locations, face coverings requirements, and how to report COVID exposures or positive test results.

Community testing and vaccination

Minnesota has worked hard to provide no-barrier access to COVID-19 testing at all Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) community testing sites. Testing remains 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.

As mentioned last week, while distribution of COVID-19 vaccine has progressed in the state, we are still in the early stages of the process, concentrating the limited vaccine supply on the most critical healthcare workers and the most vulnerable among us. Minnesota Management and Budget’s COVID-19 vaccination information for state agency employees bulletin is the most up-to-date and reliable source of information regarding access to vaccine for state employees. This information is likely to be updated frequently, so consult it as questions arise.

Vaccination Pilot

The state of Minnesota is also piloting an appointment-based vaccination program for adults 65 years of age and older. There are a limited number of appointments available for eligible Minnesotans.