Dear Roadrunners, 

On Monday, MSU Denver and our tri-institutional partners announced the next step in our careful and measured return to some pre-Covid-19 operations: moving to a mask-optional campus environment. Starting Monday, March 7,  masking will no longer be required within most indoor settings due to the continued decline in Covid-19 cases, test-positivity rates and hospitalization rates locally and across the state. 

However, this move comes with an important caveat: Masks may be required in individual classroom settings and other student gatherings at the discretion of the instructor or staff lead. Faculty and staff members remain empowered to manage their classrooms and student gatherings in the manner that seems most appropriate, and the expectation remains that students will comply with masking requests.  

If a student does not adhere to masking requests, faculty and staff members can: 

  • Ask the student to leave the classroom or gathering. 
  • Notify the Dean of Students Office for additional support. 

Additionally, all Roadrunners are encouraged to carry a mask with them at all times when on campus. 

Thank you again to all Roadrunners who provided insight and participated in the various decision-framing outreach efforts by the Roadrunners Safe Return Committee and the President’s Cabinet. This joint decision follows extensive input from the MSU Denver community and is consistent with our commitment to using rigorous, inclusive decision-making driven by public-health data. This change in policy reflects our efforts to remain agile in the face of this evolving situation and reinforces our community’s shared commitment to act with courtesy, kindness and common sense in alignment with our CADRE values. 

The following health protocols remain in place:

  • All Roadrunners are required to be immunized against Covid-19. 
  • Roadrunners must continue to complete the mandatory Daily Health Assessment. Do not come to campus if you are sick or experiencing any symptoms potentially associated with Covid-19. 
  • Masks may be required in individual classroom settings and other student gatherings at the discretion of the instructor or staff lead. 
  • As always, students will be required to adhere to all classroom rules and abide by the Student Code of Conduct. 

Moving forward

This campus masking decision is also in line with decision-making on the state level. In late February, the State of Colorado shifted its approach to the management of Covid-19, outlined in Colorado’s Next Chapter: Our Roadmap to Moving Forward. The document demonstrates how the state will continue to monitor Covid-19 and prepare for potential impacts, focusing on hospital readiness, public-health readiness, health care workforce stabilization, normalizing Covid-19 patient care and engaging the federal government for further support.  

According to the document, “If you are vaccinated — especially if you are up to date with all three doses — and if your household is fully vaccinated, then you should feel comfortable to now proceed with life as normal. If you get sick, you need to isolate and call your doctor for testing and treatment options. If you are unvaccinated, you continue to remain at high risk for severe outcomes such as hospitalization and even death from a Covid-19 infection, and we urge you to get the doctor-approved vaccine. If you are part of a vulnerable population, please proactively talk to your health care provider about protecting yourself, potential fourth vaccine doses, preventive treatments that are now available and your plan for receiving treatment if you contract the virus. The administration continues to urge the FDA to approve the safe and effective vaccine for people of all ages.” 

Additionally, to stay up to date on the latest Covid-19 stats for the City and County of Denver, I encourage you to visit the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment website. For campus updates, please visit the Safe Return to Campus website for more information and contact [email protected] with questions or concerns. 

Thank you for your ongoing commitment to keeping our campus community safe. 


Larry Sampler
Vice president for Administration, Finance and Facilities and chief operating officer
Roadrunners Safe Return Committee