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Latest on Covid-19 and campus operations

COO Larry Sampler discusses state and campus vaccination plans and updated health and safety protocols.

By Larry Sampler, chief operating officer

February 4, 2021

Larry SamplerOn Tuesday, Gov. Jared Polis announced that Coloradans ages 65 and older, as well as Pre-K-12 educators and staff, will be able to receive the Covid-19 vaccination this month and that the state is on target to have at least 70% of Coloradans who are ages 70 and older vaccinated by the end of February.

In the three open listening sessions I hosted with fellow Metropolitan State University of Denver leaders in January, it was clear that many employees are eager to receive their vaccinations. In the University’s conversations with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and other partners, we continue to advocate for Roadrunners, especially employees who interact directly with students and students who are completing internships and practicum hours in health care and Pre-K-12 settings. However, the University is also bound to the state’s vaccine-distribution plan, which prioritizes the populations that have accounted for the most Covid-19-related deaths and hospitalizations.

While most Roadrunners will likely fall into Phase 3 (which begins this summer), any members of the University community who fall into higher-priority phases and are able to receive their vaccinations from other providers are absolutely encouraged to do so.

On-campus vaccine-distribution progress

We are continuing to determine the best, safest and most equitable path forward with regard to the Auraria Campus' service as a Point of Dispensing (POD). As this is a collaborative effort with the Auraria Higher Education Center and our tri-institutional partners, please stay tuned for joint communications from President Janine Davidson, Ph.D., and members of the Auraria Executive Council. Our campus representatives are working diligently to advance the process and are committed to transparency and communication. Roadrunners can also visit the Health Center at Auraria website for more vaccine information and to register for a Covid-19 test.

In the meantime, MSU Denver continues to reach out to campus leadership organizations, including the Student Government Assembly, Faculty Senate, Staff Senate and Council of Chairs, to get feedback and ideas on the vaccination rollout. Comments gleaned from these conversations will be shared with the campus community at large and will help inform the POD process.

Roadrunners can also weigh in online by completing the Vaccinate Distribution Recommendation Survey.

Employees and students with questions about vaccine safety and efficacy, phases and more can visit the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment website. More information on vaccine safety is also available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

On-campus safety reminder

Metropolitan State University of Denver is working incredibly hard to provide a safe on-campus working and learning experience for all. Protecting our fellow Roadrunners by reducing the spread of Covid-19 is a shared responsibility, so thank you for doing your part.

In addition to practicing social distancing and keeping your hands and spaces clean, Roadrunners must wear a face covering at all times on campus when in the presence of others.

Please note that face-covering protocols have changed with the emergence of new virus variants.

  • Masks must properly cover the nose and mouth.
  • Bandanas and buffs are not acceptable face coverings.
  • Shields may be added with a mask but cannot be used alone unless medically approved by the Health Center at Auraria.
  • While teaching, faculty members may wear face shields if they can maintain a minimum distance of 12 feet from students during class.

Additionally, each member of the campus community must continue to perform the required daily health self-assessment prior to coming onto campus. If you are not feeling well or have any Covid-19 symptoms, call the Health Center at Auraria at 303-615-9999. A medical provider will assess your health status and advise you as to next steps. Do not come to campus until you are medically cleared to do so.

As always, if you have questions or concerns about our Safe Return to Campus, please reach out through this form or via email at


Larry Sampler

Vice president for Administration, Finance and Facilities and chief operating officer

Topics: Administration, AHEC, Health, Safety, Tri-institutional

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