Safe Return to Campus
Roadrunners are ready to face the challenges of the road ahead.
Together, we will find new ways to make sure every MSU Denver student has access to an excellent education and the personal support they need to succeed – whether that’s on campus or online.
Check back daily for updates on our safe return to campus for fall 2020.
Roadrunners Safe Return Committee:
Meet the team that is facilitating a safe and coordinated return to campus.
Safe Return to Campus Frequently Asked Questions
The MSU Denver Roadrunners Safe Return Committee continues to work on plans for a safe and gradual return to campus. As always, the top priority will be the health of our students, faculty and staff. The plan will also aim for flexibility, both for our community members who are most vulnerable and in the event that we once again need to pivot our operations as a result of the pandemic.
Please check back regularly as this FAQ will be updated with new or revised information as it becomes available.
Will there be classes on campus this fall?
As we announced with our Auraria Campus partners in May, we’ll be adopting a mixed approach to classes, which allows us to safely accommodate some in-person courses while also bolstering our online offerings. With social-distancing guidelines and campus capacity restrictions, most of our classes will meet online. On-campus classes were prioritized based on which require an in-person component to meet Student Learning Objectives.
Do I need to wear a mask/face shield covering the nose and mouth on campus?
In order to make the campus as safe as possible, all students, faculty and staff are required to wear a face covering (mask or face shield) over their nose and mouth while on campus, when in the presence of others.
For individuals who have a specific medical condition that precludes them from wearing a traditional cloth face mask or for those who prefer an alternative option, a face shield is an acceptable face covering.
Will everyone be expected to provide their own masks/face shields that cover the nose and mouth? Will MSU Denver be providing Personal Protective Equipment if someone forgets to bring their own? What happens if students are unable to afford PPE?
Individuals are responsible for bringing their own masks/face shields that cover the nose and mouth when coming to campus.
For the limited number of students, faculty and staff who will be on campus for classes in the late summer, MSU Denver will be providing PPE kits. Each kit will include three disposable masks and hand sanitizer. You can pick up a kit in the Jordan Student Success Building Student Lounge from July 6-10.
After those kits are distributed, masks will be available at the Health Center at Auraria for those who forget their face covering on a given day. Please call the Health Center in advance of picking up your mask at 303-615-9999.
What square footage are we using to maintain social distancing in classrooms?
We want to ensure there is a 7x7 foot bubble around each student with additional consideration for teaching areas, egress, equipment and configuration of the room.
How will students be informed about social distancing practices?
Students in late summer face-to-face classes were notified by email with details on expectations. Please see the Health Protocols and Self-Assessment page for additional information. The University will continue to update its this website and FAQ with new information, so please check back often.
What should someone do if a student or co-worker is not abiding by physical-distancing, face-covering guidelines, or otherwise endangering others?
Our hope is that Roadrunners will act with a spirit of generosity and selflessness, maintaining social distancing and wearing a mask or face shield that covers the nose and mouth to ensure the safety of their peers. This is the key to keeping face-to-face classes on campus for the entire semester.
If you have a concern about a student who is not compliant with expectations, or who is otherwise in violation of University policy, please contact the Dean of Students Office (303-615-0220) directly to report the concern.
If you have a concern about a faculty or staff member who is not compliant with expectations, or who is otherwise in violation of University policy, please contact the Office of Human Resources (303-615-0999) directly to report the concern.
Is it possible that the Auraria Campus would have to shut down again due to COVID-19?
If the governor were to reinstitute stay-at-home orders for higher education, MSU Denver would comply. The Health Center at Auraria will work with the State Health Department to determine appropriate actions as needed. Based on the spring 2020 semester, the University has a plan in place to move classes and operations online if necessary.
Will there be any events on campus?
Direction on events for fall 2020 will be available soon. Our goal is to have a structured events application process and guidelines. In the meantime, it is preferred that all event coordinators plan for alternative options, such as pivoting to a virtual setting.
How can faculty and staff get office access (one-time or continuing)? And what about those who need to return to campus for required research activities?
Most MSU Denver employees will continue to work remotely for the foreseeable future. At this time, employees can continue to seek one-time campus access approvals by working with their supervisors and filling out the access approval form.
Employees who need a broader exception to the one-time access rule must discuss their critical and ongoing needs with their supervisor as well as their chair or department head. The University is working on a process to allow for ongoing work on campus and should have an update soon.
Is there the option for faculty to use empty classrooms (during summer and/or fall) to conduct and record their online classes?
Due to the potential health ramifications and room cleaning protocols, we will not open rooms for recording. Online Learning and the Center for Teaching, Learning and Design can assist with alternatives should an individual require adjustments to their space to conduct or record lectures. Those with additional questions should contact their chair, then move to the dean if further assistance is needed.
Are we treating outdoor spaces different than indoor spaces? (Tivoli Quad, The RAC, JSSB Lawn)
This information is being compiled as a part of the Safe Return Auraria Facilities and Operations subcommittee. We should have additional information soon. See above for information on face coverings.
If there is going to be limited entrance access to buildings, will the most accessible entrance be one that remains open?
Yes, accessibility will be considered when determining primary entrances. Please follow all signage on buildings – at entrances, exits and in common areas.
Will there be hand sanitizer in every room?
There will be sanitizer stations at building entrances and at elevator lobbies. Everyone is encouraged to wash their hands frequently throughout the day and minimize touching their faces. Please see the Health Protocols and Self-Assessment page for additional information.
What cleaning protocols will be used and who is responsible for the cleaning? Are we looking at new ways to clean labs more efficiently?
The Safe Return Auraria Facilities and Operations subcommittee is compiling this information and will provide an update soon.
Will we be adding plexiglass or other barriers to spaces, for example, for front desk workers?
The University is working on mockups that can be used if needed. The preferred option would be to ensure extra distance between the "customer" and desk.
Will students be able to reserve spaces (of sufficient size to safely house 4-5 students) for group work? Will library study spaces be available?
The Safe Return Auraria Facilities and Operations subcommittee is working to determine if this is possible and will have an answer soon.
Is University-related travel suspended?
All University-funded or affiliated travel through the end of the calendar year is suspended. Faculty, staff or students who foresee a need to travel that warrants an exception to this policy should act well in advance of their anticipated travel to secure such an exception (proposed by the relevant dean and granted by the provost for academic travel; and proposed by the relevant director or AVP and approved by the COO for nonacademic travel).
Upon returning to Denver, please consult with the Auraria Health Center (303-615-9999) for any precautionary measures that must be taken prior to returning to campus. This is for the protection of everyone in the campus community.
With regard to faculty-led study-abroad courses for winter break and the spring semester, please contact the Office of International Studies.
This policy does not address personal travel. However, precautionary measures should be strongly considered by members of our University family if traveling in any capacity.
Does the Health Center at Auraria perform COVID-19 testing and is it free? Who can get tested? If I become ill while on campus or off, who should I call?
- Any Auraria Campus student, faculty or staff member can be tested at no cost, regardless of whether they are insured or not. Call the Health Center at Auraria at 303-615-9999 prior to visiting in person.
- The State Health Department, in conjunction with County Health Departments, are the agencies responsible for contact tracing of all positive COVID-19 cases. Individuals that test positive will receive a phone call from their local health department. At that time, a contact investigation is started, which is then followed by a contact-tracing investigation. The Health Center atAurariawill collaborate with Health Departments as requested.
Are we allowed to test everyone for COVID-19 prior to returning to campus?
Based on guidance from public health experts at Denver Health, mass testing of Auraria Campus constituents is not essential, given the overall demographics of the Auraria community.
Will a health check be required at every entry?
Auraria Campus CEOs are reviewing a variety of options for health screenings for fall 2020. For late summer session, Roadrunners are expected to complete a daily health assessment before coming to campus
What will happen if someone has been in the office and subsequently tests positive?
The Health Center at Auraria will work with the State Health Department, as they routinely do whenever a communicable disease presents on campus, to enact the appropriate response. The response procedure will vary from one incident to the next, contingent on numerous factors.
Does the State Health Department inform individuals whose COVID-19 test results come back positive and do they use contact tracing to inform those who may have been exposed?
Yes. The State Health Department, in conjunction with County Health Departments, are the agencies responsible for contact tracing of all positive COVID-19 cases. Individuals that test positive will receive a phone call from their local health department. At that time, a contact investigation is started, which is then followed by a contact-tracing investigation. The Health Center at Auraria will collaborate with Health Departments as requested.
Why is it important for Auraria constituents to inform the Health Center at Auraria if they test positive for COVID-19?
This communication permits internal contact tracing to be initiated and provides a better understanding of the impact the virus is having on the campus community.
What are the campus access restrictions for anyone coming back from international travel?
Upon returning to Denver, please consult with the Auraria Health Center (303-615-9999) for any precautionary measures that must be taken prior to returning to campus. This is for the protection of everyone in the campus community. At this juncture, there is a state health order that requires those returning from overseas to self-quarantine for 14 days prior to coming back to campus.
Are there any campus access restrictions for someone coming back after domestic U.S. travel?
Currently, there are no restrictions when coming back from domestic travel. That said, precautionary measures should be strongly considered by members of our University family if traveling in any capacity.
Will I get the same quality education in an online class as I do with an in-person class?
Courses migrated to remote learning in spring and summer were functional and effective – over 97% of you remained active and engaged in your newly-remote courses. For fall, MSU Denver is implementing course-design expectations to build upon the quality and simplicity of these courses. Existing online courses that meet these expectations deliver equivalent grade and withdraw rates as face-to-face courses, so we are confident you will experience real learning and preparation for your future – not just completion of requirements to get closer to a diploma.
Who should a student contact if they need academic support?
MSU Denver is committed to your academic success. The best place to start is by engaging the faculty member teaching your class. That faculty member can help you come up with a plan to address your academic needs, for example, by recommending the Tutoring Center or the Writing Center.
How will tuition and fees be handled for fall 2020?
MSU Denver will not increase the cost of tuition for resident and nonresident undergraduate students for the fall 2020 semester. Relatedly, the board waived several campus-based fees for the fall semester. Please visit the Fall 2020 Fees at Work webpage for more details.
What should students do if a family member or someone they care for gets sick during the semester and they need to prioritize caring for them over schoolwork?
The University is here to support you. Please contact the Student Care Center as soon as you realize you may be in this situation. You can email email@example.com or phone 303-615-0006 or file a CARE Referral form with your information. From there, you’ll connect with a case manager at the University who can help you craft a plan to get through this difficult time, balancing all the factors that are relevant for your unique circumstance.
If an instructor of an on-campus class were to test positive for COVID-19, how does MSU Denver ensure the course continues to be instructed to its completion and students earn the credits they registered for? What are the procedures for replacing instructors?
Existing procedures would apply. Colleges regularly have faculty members who develop unforeseen health problems that require them to stop teaching. Department chairs collaborate with dean’s offices to contact Human Resources and hire a temporary faculty member to teach for a short time or finish out the semester. These procedures would apply for faculty having to quarantine for two weeks in cases of positive COVID-19 tests or for those who may have to stop teaching due to hospitalization.
If a student in an on-campus class tests positive for COVID-19 and must quarantine or if he/she is hospitalized, how are student attendance policies impacted?
Faculty face this type of issue regularly with other illnesses like the flu. As is the case with other illnesses or significant personal circumstances that arise mid-semester and that can impact students' ability to complete in standard format, several options may be available. Upon being diagnosed with COVID-19 or becoming symptomatic, students should contact their individual faculty members via phone and/or email to discuss plans. Students should also contact the Student Care Center (firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 303-615-0006) by filing a CARE Referral form to share the specifics of their situation. From there, a case manager will reach out to help the student navigate applicable academic options, as well as related personal and/or financial considerations and resource needs.
I’ve lost my job due to COVID-19 or am not able to get in as many hours and can’t afford to pay my bills, so I’m unsure if I can stay in school/pay tuition. What should I do?
These are tough times and you are not alone in struggling with financial matters. The University has several financial resources that may be available to you at this time, and can also help you connect with relevant community supports such as unemployment benefits (if applicable) or public benefits that may be able to help you pay the bills. Please contact the Student Care Center (email@example.com or 303-615-0006) and the Office of Financial Aid (firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-556-8593) as soon as possible after finding yourself in this predicament.
If a student in an on-campus class tests positive for COVID-19 and must quarantine or if he/she is hospitalized, how are financial aid policies impacted?
Can faculty and staff that are considered high risk request to continue remote work?
MSU Denver will follow the CDC's definition of who is considered high risk.
According to the CDC, individuals with certain conditions may have a higher risk for COVID-19 infection. Those conditions may include:
Older adults (aged 65 years and older)
- People with HIV
- Asthma (moderate-to-severe)
- Chronic lung disease
- Serious heart conditions
- Chronic kidney disease being treated with dialysis
- Severe obesity
An immunocompromised employee, whose health condition falls within one of the CDC High Risk Categories or is pregnant, may seek a Temporary COVID-19 Workplace Adjustment using the Request for Accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act process by contacting Amanda Berry, employee benefits manager at email@example.com.
For employees who are high-risk due to a reason not in the CDC definition, certification of the condition and high-risk status from a health care provider will be required. Employees who are high-risk because of age will not be required to provide additional documentation.
If an employee isn’t feeling well, should they take sick leave or work remote?
Our top priority is the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff. We strongly encourage employees who are ill to stay home.
If an employee isn’t feeling well, but can and is willing to perform work, continued remote work should be considered. Employees are encouraged to work directly with their supervisors. If the employee is unable to perform work, they may take sick leave or if the absence is COVID-19 related, employees should contact Amanda Berry, employee benefits manager at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss available leave options under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
- The FFCRA provides leave, both paid and unpaid, if an employee meets eligibility requirements, and requests the leave for a qualifying event. Due to the complexity of the law, and the differing eligibility requirements and differing entitlement provisions, it is necessary that each request for leave be individually evaluated, and guidance provided on a case-by-case basis. Please contact Amanda Berry, email@example.com, in Human Resources with questions regarding this information.
- The CDC recommends that people who are experiencing respiratory illness stay home until they are free of fever and other symptoms, such as frequent and severe coughing, for at least 24 hours without the use of medicines (e.g., aspirin and cough suppressants).
What if the University decides a class can be delivered in a face-to-face format in fall 2020 and the faculty member refuses to teach it face-to-face?
If a faculty member has a documented accommodation through Human Resources that necessitates that they teach remotely in the fall, the department chair should not assign them to teach face-to-face.
If a faculty member does not have a documented accommodation, and would rather not teach face-to-face in the fall, they should contact their chair as soon as possible to express their concerns.
Should an employee or member of an employee’s household who has been exposed (contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case) or has pending COVID-19 test results self-quarantine”?
- Yes, self-quarantine is required by the CDC.
- First, as with any medical condition, confidentiality around an employee’s health should be maintained to comply with federal regulations (FMLA, ADA, HIPAA).
- If an employee is willing and able to perform work, continuing remote work should be considered. Employees are encouraged to work directly with their supervisors. If the employee is unable to perform work, please have the employee contact the employee benefits manager, Amanda Berry, within the Office of Human Resources to discuss available leave options.
- The CDC recommends that anyone experiencing symptoms should use a form of telemedicine as their first point of care. It is best to talk through symptoms with a health care professional before showing up in-person to a medical facility.
- Anthem, Kaiser and UnitedHealthcare will cover the costs for COVID-19 tests. This means testing will be given without deductibles, co-pays or co-insurance requirements.
- Customer Service: 800-542-9402
- 24/7 NurseLine: 800-337-4770
- Video Visit: www.livehealthonline.com
- Dispatch Health
- Plan Information: Anthem Multi-Plan Summary
- Customer Service: 303-338-3800
- Phone Visit: 303-338-4545 to schedule
- Video Visit: 303-338-4545 to schedule
- 24/7 NurseLine: www.kp.org; use Appointment Center to schedule
- Email: www.kp.org; log into your account to email your doctor
- Plan Information: Kaiser Permanente
- Please see Kaiser’s informational sheet and frequently asked questions with the latest information and advice to help you feel prepared. Visit their website for additional information. You can also read further information about how Kaiser Permanente is responding to COVID-19.
United Healthcare (UHC)
- Customer Service: 877-283-5424
- 24/7 nurse line: 866-402-0006
- Virtual Visits: 877-283-5424 to schedule
- Plan Information: United Health Care Plan Summary
- Please see UnitedHealthcare’s FAQ on Coronavirus, Virtual Visit Flier, App Information, and Teledoc Flier. Visit the UHC website for additional information.