MSU Denver

Email from Larry sampler, chief operating officer, vice president for Administration

Jan. 14, 2022

Dear Roadrunners,  

Thank you to all who attended Thursday’s town hall, which outlined MSU Denver’s Covid-19 vaccine-booster requirement and explained the end of mandatory screening testing for unvaccinated students, in response to the rapid rise of the Omicron variant. As these are significant changes to our health and safety protocols, I encourage you to read this recap carefully and check out a quick highlight video.

Booster requirement
To protect our campus community, MSU Denver will require all students and employees to be vaccinated and boosted against Covid-19 within 30 days of eligibility, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As students often change their learning modality from fully online to hybrid to fully in person, all students will be required to be vaccinated and boosted against Covid-19, including those enrolled in online-only courses.  

In addition to limiting (though not preventing) the spread of the disease, Covid-19 vaccine boosters have been shown to greatly reduce the risk of severe infection, hospitalization and death. Boosters will help us not only protect our community, safeguarding much-needed hospital capacity, but will help us maintain services essential to accomplish our mission, reducing the severity of symptoms experienced by impacted faculty and staff members.

  • The deadline for all students to get boosted is Feb. 15, or within 30 days of becoming eligible to receive a booster, as defined by the CDC.  
  • No further action is necessary to verify your vaccine-booster status unless directly requested via your MSU Denver email.
    • Vaccination status for most students will automatically be verified through the State of Colorado’s immunization database, and no action is necessary.
    • Only students whose information is not included in the State of Colorado’s immunization database will need to provide proof of vaccination and booster. Those individuals will be contacted directly via their MSU Denver email with submission instructions.
    • Some students who previously submitted vaccination proof to the University may be required to resubmit; these students will be contacted directly via their MSU Denver email.

      [caption id="attachment_46076" align="alignright" width="1024"]Vaccine/Booster status flowchart for Covid-19 compliance at MSU Denver. *If compliant, no action is needed unless otherwise directed.[/caption]

    • Exemptions will be available in accordance with state and local laws. Anyone seeking an exemption will need to submit a new request. An updated exemption process and full submission instructions will be forthcoming.

No mandatory testing for unvaccinated students
MSU Denver will immediately suspend screening testing of unvaccinated students. This decision was made in consultation with the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment for several important reasons:

  • Unvaccinated people were more likely to transmit previous Covid-19 variants; however, the Omicron variant is highly transmissible regardless of vaccination status. This makes screening testing for unvaccinated people much less effective.
  • Vital testing resources are limited, and it is in the best interest of public health to maximize those resources for the symptomatic, exposed and vulnerable.
  • This move will increase testing capacity and will allow all members of our community to adhere to CDC-recommended protocols for testing related to symptoms and/or exposure.

Safety expectations for students
To further ensure the effectiveness of these processes, and to foster an environment of shared responsibility and compassion for others, all Roadrunners must:

  • Conduct your mandatory daily health assessment before coming to campus.
    • Do not come to campus if you have any symptoms and/or are not feeling well.
    • Consult a medical professional if symptoms persist.
  • Wear a mask.
    • Masking is required indoors.
    • Masks should properly cover the nose and mouth.
    • More protective surgical, KN95 or N95 masks are highly recommended; bandannas and gaiters are not permitted. Face shields will be permitted as an alternative face covering only with appropriate medical documentation from a licensed physician.
    • Masks are not required outdoors but may be advised in large group settings.
    • Faculty members may unmask while teaching if 12 feet of distance from others is maintained. All students must wear masks at all times.
    • Individuals may remove masks indoors only when:
      • in an enclosed room alone.
      • actively eating or drinking.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

Other important information

Remember too that Covid-19 is not the only transmissible disease that takes a bite out of our effectiveness during winter months. Most of the protective measures in place to battle the Covid-19 surge are also effective against the flu and common colds.

We will continue monitoring the situation with public-health experts and will adjust as necessary. Stay tuned for potential adjustments to protocols based on your feedback, insights and concerns.


Larry Sampler
Vice president for Administration, Finance and Facilities and Chief Operating Officer
Roadrunner Safe Return Committee