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August 26, 2021: MetroSafe Update

Posted Tuesday, August 31, 2021 | Announcements to Employees

Reporting COVID-19
Employees should report to their supervisor as soon as possible a COVID-19 exposure, symptoms of COVID-19 or a test confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19. Supervisors should report an employee’s COVID-19 exposure or confirmed test diagnosis to HR. We strongly encourage employees to submit this information on the employee form on the university COVID-19 website.
Employees must also report any student COVID-19 cases of which they are aware using the same form.

Vaccination policy

Employees have received emails from Chancellor Malhotra and President Arthur about the State of Minnesota vaccination policy to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Effective Sept. 8, Minnesota State employees working at university locations will be required to either show proof of vaccination or be tested weekly. Minnesota State is preparing a system wide electronic tool for employees to use to show proof of vaccination.

Metropolitan State is working on options for weekly testing for employees with third party providers. This includes offering on site vaccination options for students. More information will be sent out when available.

We are sincerely grateful for your ongoing flexibility, resilience, and commitment to keeping our Metro community safe and healthy during this pandemic.

Face covering policy

Metropolitan State University has implemented face covering protocols on campus keeping consistent with the new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control. New protocols require employees, students, and visitors, including contractors and vendors, to wear a face covering in public indoor settings inside campus buildings or university facilities at all locations, regardless of vaccination status.

Face coverings are available throughout campus for anyone who may need one. Classrooms will also, please maintain at least a 6-foot distance from others at all campus locations. Vaccination remains one of the most important public health measures each of us can adopt to keep everyone safe.

COVID-19 variants

  • Variants are common with a virus like COVID-19. Viruses constantly change through mutation, and new variants of a virus are expected to occur over time.
  • These variants are concerning because they are more contagious. For example, early data shows that some variants spread more easily and can be as much as 50% more contagious than the original virus.
  • Currently, the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant is the most common in Minnesota.

How vaccination helps

  • Vaccination reduces spread of the virus, which makes it harder for it to change and create variants.
  • With the Delta variant, fully vaccinated people may be able to pass the disease to others.
  • However, fully vaccinated people are less likely to get infected, and if a vaccinated person gets infected, the illness will likely be mild. The vaccine also greatly reduces the chance of hospitalization and death. That's why it's so important for all who are eligible to get vaccinated. The best tool we have to protect ourselves and each other is vaccination.
  • If you would like to speak to someone about any questions or concerns you have regarding the Delta variant and/or COVID-19 vaccines, please contact Rachael Mills at Rachael.mills@metrostate.edu.

Vaccinations

As vaccination continues to be our most effective tool in containing the virus, it is imperative to have as many people fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The most up to date vaccination information for Minnesota can be found on the state's COVID-19 Vaccine Data page.

All Minnesotans age 12 and older are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, and we continue to encourage all Minnesota State staff, faculty and students to get vaccinated. Minnesotans can use the online vaccine locator map to find vaccine locations near them and contact those health care providers with questions.
International students are eligible for vaccination through the State of Minnesota by using their Minnesota address.

COVID-19 campus exposure update
For the week of Aug. 18–24, Metropolitan State has reported 2 COVID-19 cases to the Minnesota State dashboard among individuals associated with our campus. One of these individuals was thought to be contagious while on campus. Note that our numbers are reflective of case counts during the current academic year. The data reported is shown below, displayed in a ‘numbers for this week/ total number of reports since 8/17/2021 format:

Students
Week of 8/18/2021 - 8/24/2021 / Total from 08/18/2021 - 8/24/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—2 / 2

Negative—0 / 0

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 0

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—2 / 2

Contagious while on campus—1 / 1

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—1 / 1

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—2 / 2

Employees
Week of 8/18/2021 - 8/24/2021 / Total from 08/18/2021 - 8/24/2021

Case Number/ Total Reports—0 / 0

Negative—0 / 0

Unknown/ Unconfirmed—0 / 0

Positive (Reported to System Dashboard)—0 / 0

Contagious while on campus—0 / 0

Not Contagious or Not on Campus—0 / 0

Recovered (Isolation has ended)—0 / 0

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.