Dear Mines Community,
Colorado School of Mines continues to closely monitor the global outbreak of the novel strain of the coronavirus (COVID-19). We have received many questions across campus about the coronavirus and Mines’ efforts to prepare for and address this evolving situation. This email provides an update on our activities and points to resources and preventative best practices that will be helpful to you—and help keep our entire community as healthy as possible.
All of this information will be collected and updated as needed on the Mines website and will be regularly referenced in the Daily Blast to students and employees. Mines officials are also preparing to share guidance regarding international travel, which you should receive within the next day.
Please take a moment to read through this entire email. Thank you!
Director – Student Health Center
Associate Vice President – Human Resources and Title IX Programs
What is a coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that include the common cold and more serious respiratory illnesses. While COVID-19 has infected thousands so far, it remains primarily outside the United States and there are no confirmed cases in Colorado as of February 27.
The most current information and guidance about COVID-19 can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Symptoms of COVID-19
- Shortness of breath
Ways to protect yourself and others
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
- Frequently wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol
- Clean common spaces with disinfecting wipes (doorknobs, countertops, desks, etc.)
What to do if you become ill
- Stay home if you have a fever or are experiencing significant bouts of coughing or sneezing.
- Do not return to school or work until you are free of fever (100.4 degrees or greater), signs of a fever or any other symptoms for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medications (e.g. cough suppressants)
- Cover your mouth with a tissue or inner elbow when sneezing or coughing
CDC recommendations on when to contact a health care provider
- If you have traveled to an area significantly impacted by COVID-19 and are experiencing a fever and lower respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, chest pain)
- If you have had recent contact with someone who may have been infected with COVID-19 and you are experiencing a fever or lower respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, chest pain)
- If seeking medical care and you suspect COVID-19, call ahead and let the medical office or emergency room know about your symptoms and any recent travel.
- Please be aware that if you have traveled from China, the CDC now requires that you be monitored for up to 14 days. You should contact your health care provider for further guidance and recommendations.
Are you a student who’s feeling sick?
- If you are unwell, stay home and get better.
- Students who miss class due to illness may request an excused absence within one week of the absence, by submitting a request here: https://www.mines.edu/student-life/forms/personal-excused-absence/.
- Faculty will work closely with students to make up assignments, course material and quizzes/exams missed due to illness within a reasonable amount of time.
- Students who have a concern about possible exposure to the coronavirus should contact their health care provider or the Student Health Center for guidance at 303-273-3623. Students may also contact an Urgent Care Center or nearby Emergency Room.
Are you an employee who’s feeling sick?
- Employees may use accrued sick leave to stay home if they are feeling ill. Supervisors should work closely with employees to accommodate absences due to illness.
- Employees who have a concern about possible exposure to the coronavirus should contact their health care provider for guidance. Employees may also contact an Urgent Care Center or nearby Emergency Room.
- Employees with questions regarding sick leave or health care coverage should contact the following members of the Human Resources team: Katey Tarkington, Benefits Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org, 303-384-2749; or Ann Hix, Benefits Manager, email@example.com, 303-273-3052.
What is Mines doing to prepare?
Mines continues to monitor the COVID-19 health crisis and is in close coordination with Jefferson County Public Health Department (JCPH) and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). Following Mines’ Emergency Operations Plan, we have assembled a cross-functional team to coordinate planning and actions in order to mitigate impact on education and services, develop contingency plans, and support students and employees.
Should a major outbreak occur, Mines would follow the guidance of the CDC, JCPH and CDPHE regarding quarantines, closures or other recommended actions. Mines will continue to focus on the health and safety of our students and employees and the continuing education of our students.
More information on COVID-19 and Mines’ recommendation and responses can be found at: www.mines.edu/emergency/coronavirus. This website will be updated as appropriate.
A reminder about our community’s commitment to nondiscrimination and inclusivity
Mines is committed to inclusivity and access for all persons and strives to create learning and workplace environments that exclude all forms of unlawful discrimination, harassment and retaliation. Some universities have reported incidents of isolation or targeting of individuals perceived to be from international areas significantly impacted by COVID-19. As a testament to our inclusive community, we have not received any such reports here at Mines and, as we move forward together, let us all continue to support the entire Mines community, including those affected and those with ties to these impacted areas.