Get your shot on campus April 28-29: Pfizer vaccine appointments still available AND NOW OPEN TO FAMILY MEMBERS – Widespread vaccination among the Oredigger community is the key to our return to campus – and normal activities – in the fall. So, roll up your sleeve, do your part and get your first COVID-19 shot during Mines’ next on-campus vaccination clinic April 28-29. Plenty of appointments are still available for any Mines students, faculty, staff (including those employed by a Mines-affiliate organization) and family members who have not yet received a first dose of a vaccine. The clinic will be held on April 28-29 (first dose) and May 17-18 (second dose), and in order to receive the vaccine (Pfizer), you need to be able to complete both doses on the scheduled dates.

As previously announced, Mines plans to return to full in-person course delivery for the Fall 2021 semester. In order to offer the distinctive on-campus experience and education that Mines is known for, we need as many Orediggers as possible to get vaccinated against COVID-19 between now and August 23, the first day of Fall 2021 classes. The Pfizer vaccine is approved for anyone 16 or older.

Currently between doses of the vaccine? Live like you’re not vaccinated – It’s a great feeling, getting your first COVID-19 shot, but it’s not a hall pass to return to your pre-pandemic life. It’s crucial that you remain cautious and keep your guard up until you are fully vaccinated and protected – and that doesn’t happen until two weeks after you receive your final dose (dose No. 2 of Pfizer/Moderna or the one-shot Johnson & Johnson).

These aren’t just public health talking points, either – in recent weeks, a number of Mines community members have contracted COVID-19 between their first and second doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. As Dr. Natasha Bhuyan, a clinical assistant professor at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, put it, “After people get the first dose of the vaccine, we tell them to live their lives as if they have not been vaccinated. Continue to wear a mask, continue to practice physical distancing. You could still potentially catch COVID during this time.”

What to do when you’re between vaccine doses:

  • Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces.
  • If you choose to socialize with others, gather outdoors, not indoors.
  • Wear a face mask that covers your nose AND mouth indoors (ATTN: nose danglers and chin strappers).
  • Continue to practice social distancing (at least 6 feet) when around others.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water (or hand sanitizer if you’re not near a sink).

President Johnson to students: “Help us finish strong and keep our community healthy” – In a message to Mines students late Thursday, President Johnson discussed the recent surge in cases on campus – 36 Orediggers tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday and Tuesday – and urged students to take action to reduce COVID-19 transmission on campus.

  • Avoid gathering indoors with multiple households,
  • If you live in a residence hall, FSL housing, or any place with large numbers of bedrooms or apartments connected through indoor hallways, please wear a face mask that covers your nose and mouth when indoors and outside your bedroom or apartment,
  • Wear face masks outdoors when you cannot maintain at least six feet of physical distance from others, and
  • Get tested regularly. If you feel you may have been exposed to COVID-19, do not stop testing after one negative result. Sign up for free testing on campus at: On most days, you can make same-day appointments.

“When confronted with previous spikes like this in our community, we all did what was necessary. I know we can do it one more time,” Johnson wrote. Read the full message on the Mines Climbs Together website.

COVID-19 Dashboard Update: Number of campus outbreaks jumps from two to five – The Mines COVID-19 dashboard was updated today, revealing 74active cases on campus. A total of 2,871 tests were completed last week, with a positivity rate of 0.91 percent. Additional case details are available here.

There are now five active outbreaks on campus, in Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Randall Hall and Mines Athletics (baseball, softball and football). CDPHE defines outbreaks as two or more individuals within a cohort (facility, business, non-household group) who have tested positive for COVID-19 within a 14-day period. The state’s outbreak report is updated each Wednesday at

Concerned about COVID-19 exposure? One negative test isn’t enough – The Mines COVID-19 Response Initiator Team (CRIT) gets this question a lot: If I’ve been exposed to someone with COVID-19 and test negative once, am I in the clear? The quick answer is no. It can take up to 14 days from the time you were exposed to the time you develop a COVID-19 infection, and one test result won’t give you a full picture of the situation. Instead, CRIT recommends that you test once a week for two consecutive weeks – the first test should be Day 5-7 after exposure and then again around Day 12-14. Sign up for FREE COVID-19 testing on the Mines campus at

Spring Commencement: Our plans for a safe in-person celebration (x4) – In a message to campus earlier this week, Mines shared its plans for Spring Commencement. Mines will host a total of four in-person ceremonies May 13-15, all of which will be held outdoors, rain or shine, at Marv Kay Stadium:

  • 2 p.m. Thursday, May 13: Spring 2021 Graduate Commencement
  • 9 a.m. Friday, May 14: Spring 2021 Undergraduate Commencement (Civil & Environmental Engineering, Geology & Geological Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Petroleum Engineering, Geophysics, Applied Mathematics & Statistics, Economics & Business, and Engineering, Design & Society)
  • 1 p.m. Friday, May 14: Spring 2021 Undergraduate Commencement (Mining Engineering, Metallurgical & Materials Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Chemical & Biological Engineering, Chemistry, Physics, and Computer Science)
  • 10 a.m. Saturday, May 15:  Special ceremony honoring all Class of 2020 graduates

All four ceremonies will follow the latest state and county health and safety protocols for graduation ceremonies, including guidance related to masks and social distancing. “As other universities plan for virtual commencement ceremonies, we will be celebrating in person – and that is due to you and your unwavering commitment to Mines and the health and safety protocols that protect our community,” wrote Director of Commencement Lisa Elson. Read the full message on the Mines Climbs Together website.

Updated campus mask policy now in effect: Optional outdoors, still mandatory indoors – On April 20, the Golden City Council approved changes to its citywide mask policy to remove the requirement to wear masks while outdoors within the City of Golden. In line with that change, as of April 21, Mines no longer requires face masks to be worn outdoors on campus, unless specifically stated as a requirement to attend an event. All Mines students, faculty, staff, visitors, contractors and vendors are still required to wear a face mask that covers their nose and mouth when indoors at any university facility. Read the full mask policy update at

No appointment, no worries. Walk-up vaccines now available at Denver’s Ball Arena – Earlier this week, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis announced that three community vaccination sites throughout the state will now accept walk-ins, and individuals will no longer need an appointment in advance to get the vaccine – including one in Denver:

  • Ball Arena: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday

“The vaccines are working extremely well, exactly as advertised and the data is clear. By getting the vaccine, you aren’t only protecting yourself, but also the people you love and your entire community. The COVID-19 vaccine is 93-95 percent effective in Colorado and a triumph of modern science, ranking among the most effective vaccines out there,” said Governor Polis. “If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, take the opportunity now and sign up to receive a vaccine at a location near you. It’s free, quick, and easy.” A full list of Colorado vaccine providers can be found at or by calling 1- 877-CO VAX CO (1-877-268-2926).

Wow, you made it this far? Don’t forget to let Mines know about your vaccination status – Have you received all the necessary doses of a COVID-19 vaccine? If so, CRIT wants to know.

Mines community members – faculty, staff and students – who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (two doses of Pfizer/Moderna or single dose of J&J) are asked to report their vaccination status to Mines via this secure and easy-to-use portal.

  • Students: After submitting the form, don’t forget to upload a copy of your vaccination record to the Student Health Center, via Trailhead.
  • Employees: At this time, CRIT is not asking for a copy of your vaccination card. In the near future, we hope to have a secure portal to allow staff and faculty to upload an image of their vaccination card.

Providing this information will streamline contact tracing efforts and help university leadership make informed operational decisions for Fall 2021. As a reminder, our plan is a fully in-person living and learning experience with pre-pandemic classroom capacities. Widespread community vaccination is one way to ensure we can stick with that plan.