COVID-19 dashboard updated each weekday in Spring 2021—The Mines COVID-19 dashboard will continue to be updated each weekday starting Monday, Jan. 11. The fall semester’s case and testing counts were archived this week but remain available via a link on the spring dashboard. Additional details are available here.

Returning students: It’s not too late to get your pre-semester COVID-19 test—All registered students planning to return to campus next week were asked to get tested for COVID-19 between Monday, Jan. 4 and Friday, Jan. 8—which is today. Any molecular PCR or rapid antigen test administered at a testing or medical facility is acceptable, and students should receive a negative test result and be symptom free before participating in any in-person class or on-campus activity.

Only those students who will have a physical presence on campus (living in campus housing, attending in-person classes, conducting research in an on-campus lab, studying in Arthur Lakes Library, using on-campus amenities, etc.) are required to test.

Students living in the residence halls, 1750 Jackson and sorority and fraternity houses are also asked to test again on their move-back day this weekend. The COVIDCheck Colorado site on campus will be open Saturday, Jan. 9 and Sunday, Jan. 10 for students moving back into campus housing. Campus residents should limit their activities and social circle until they receive their test results.

COVID-19 testing update: Set up an account through PrimaryBio’s new account management system next week — Free COVID-19 testing is available for all Mines students, faculty and staff through COVIDCheck Colorado at any of their test sites—including the one on the Mines campus—using this link: www.primarybio.com/a/mines

Effective Monday, January 11, all testing participants will be asked to create an account through PrimaryBio’s new account management system. This new system will allow participants to view upcoming appointments and past results.

The State of Colorado has agreed to cover all costs for COVID-19 tests at COVIDCheck sites through March 31. As a result, your health insurance provider will not be billed for tests performed. Your family and friends can also access COVID-19 testing at any COVIDCheck site using this link: www.primarybio.com/l/cdphe. Some sites, like the one at Mines, have limited access hours for general community testing.

Reminder to faculty: Get familiar with the updated teaching recommendations, policies for Spring 2021—The Office of Academic Affairs has made a few key updates to its teaching recommendations that reflect some of the lessons learned during the fall semester. Among the major changes:

  • More clear guidance on workload expectations outside of class
  • Respecting student breaks by not having high-stake assignments due right after a long break
  • Encouraging more student-student and student-instructor interactions during class time
  • Updates to the exam policy regarding proctoring solutions, testing center and Spring 2021 final exams

Read the complete Spring 2021 Recommendations for Teaching on Mines Climbs Together’s faculty guidance page. The Spring 2021 teaching and learning policies (password protected) are available here. (Academic Affairs will share the password with your department heads. Please contact your department head for the password if they haven’t sent it to you already.)

Heading to campus? Check in on your health with new COVID Health Screen tool in The M—Starting Tuesday, Jan. 12, Mines students, faculty and staff who are living, studying or working on campus are asked to use a new, readily accessible tool for checking their health before they arrive on campus. The tool, which is prominently featured at the top of The M app(look for the red banner), asks users to answer three questions related to their health status—and is intended to remind users to remain off campus if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, under isolation or quarantine orders or if they’ve been in close contact with a COVID-19 case. The health screen supplements a tool that ITS developed in the fall for use by employees working on campus.

Jefferson County moves down to Level Orange on state COVID-19 dial—The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment moved Jefferson County to Level Orange on the state’s COVID-19 dial earlier this week, following a statewide 13-day downward trend in cases. With the change, indoor dining at restaurants can resume at 25 percent capacity and gyms can expand their indoor capacity from 10 percent to 25 percent. “With the move to Level Orange, we are cautiously optimistic that our community will continue to see some of the positive trends we’ve seen since the slight bump after the Thanksgiving holiday, like a decreasing positivity rate and a decline in hospitalizations,” said Dr. Margaret Huffman, Director of Community Health Services at Jefferson County Public Health.

Tighter restrictions on gatherings, events remain in effect in Jefferson County—Effective Jan. 1, 2021, Jefferson County Public Health issued a public health order that is more restrictive than the state’s dial (as permitted under the statewide system) regarding gatherings within the county.

  • Indoor events are limited to 25 percent capacity or 25 people, calculated using the social distancing calculator, whichever is smaller.
  • Outdoor events are limited to 25 percent capacity or 75 people, whichever is smaller.

Mines Campus Events will be following the more restrictive capacity limits for indoor and outdoor events until further notice. Educational activities—including in-person classes and labs—are exempt from the county order.

How else will Jefferson County’s move to Level Orange impact campus operations? 

  • Mines Dining: Mines Market and the Periodic Table will remain takeout only through Sunday, January 17.  Limited indoor seating will resume on Monday, January 18.
  • Student Recreation CenterReservations will still be required to use the workout equipment in the Fit Lab and Isaacs Room, open swim, fitness classes, intramural sports and the climbing wall. That said, “operating at 25 percent capacity is a huge improvement to the number of individuals who can be in the SRC—and more importantly, specific spaces—at a given time,” Rec Sports Director Rob Thompson said.
  • Mines Athletics: The policy of not admitting spectators will continue for all winter sports until further notice. Mines Athletics will continuously re-evaluate this policy as government guidance changes in the future.