Editor’s note: This message was sent to the entire Colorado State University community on Feb. 5, 2021, by Provost and Executive Vice President Mary Pedersen.
Dear Campus Community,
As we are completing the third week of the spring semester, I want to thank all of you for the hard work you have accomplished to get us here! I want to thank the students, staff, and faculty for your engagement in the weekly screening requirements and continuing to follow all public health guidelines. I would like to thank the staff for their dedication and stepping up to support the entire university community in so many ways. I would also like to thank the faculty for the heavy lift they have undertaken through this pandemic since last March. You have shown great rigor and compassion in your commitment to students, keeping morale high in your courses, tackling new technologies, and innovating your teaching methods. The outcome has been an extraordinary success, and created as many in-person experiences for our students as humanly possible amid a global health crisis.
Our pandemic and research teams, and staff across the university have continued to build our capacity to screen and test for COVID-19, contact trace, quarantine, and isolate. We started Phase I the first week of the semester, with all classes entirely online. We moved to Phase II in the second week, bringing on the next group of courses, in-person and selected hybrid. We shared with you that we would move to Phase III and transition to the remaining in-person and hybrid courses when we had the ability to increase capacity to screen and test, and with the continued support of our Larimer Public Health Department. We are now planning to transition to Phase III on Monday, Feb. 15, 2021.
Expanded screening capacity
Saliva screening capacity has expanded, giving us the ability to screen all students, faculty and staff routinely on any campus on a weekly basis starting Feb. 8, 2021 (Mandatory COVID-19 Screening). We are working to expand the number of screening sites, in addition to the MAC Gym, which will continue to be the primary location for screening. Additional screening sites will include Pods at the following locations: the Moby Arena lot on Main Campus, near the Veterinary Teaching Hospital on South Campus, and at the Foothills Campus. The COVID website will be updated with hours of operation and maps of the locations when the additional screening sites are open.
CSU’s public health team has expanded capacity to contact trace and respond to submissions on the COIVD-19 Reporter, and manage the quarantine and isolation cases. We will continue to work closely with Larimer Public Health Department and be guided by their recommendations to respond to any changes in our pandemic environment on a daily/weekly basis. We must remain agile and flexible as we proceed through the rest of Spring Semester.
In order for us to optimize the ability to successfully remain on campus until our Spring break (April 10, 2021), we all need to continue to follow the weekly screening requirements, and all public health guidelines, including wearing face masks and adhering to physical distancing protocols. I would encourage faculty to reinforce the mandatory screening guidelines with students enrolled in your in-person courses. Regular screening for students, staff, and faculty can help us ensure our ability to be in the classroom and help prevent increases in our cases.
I want to close with a special acknowledgment to Vice Provost for Undergraduate Affairs Kelly Long. Since April of last year, Kelly has masterfully led the Teaching Continuity and Recovery Team to identify and address the university’s academic needs during the pandemic, including the learning environment, and well-being of faculty and students. That has required very strategic coordination across multiple units and has been in partnership with the deans and colleges, Information Technology, the Registrar’s Office, Facilities Management and other key supporting partners.
Thank you so much again and please let us know what questions and concerns you have.
Mary E. Pedersen
Provost and Executive Vice President
Colorado State University