There are only 10 days separating us from Thanksgiving. That gives us a 10-day window during which we can take important steps to help ensure a safe and healthy holiday and end-of-semester—for ourselves and for our friends and loved ones.
We hope this email, which collects resources and recent campus news, will prove useful to you as you finalize your plans and go about your work over the next week and a half.
Thanksgiving and End-of-Semester Preparations:
What’s required this week—and beyond
In a sense, we should all spend the coming days acting as if we’re preparing to join the astronauts that Space X and NASA launched into space Sunday night. Simply put: We need to pull on our protective gear and prepare to spend the days and weeks ahead in a safe and smaller-than-usual bubble. By doing so, we can dramatically increase our chances of avoiding infection and transmission.
To help limit the spread of this virus and stay as safe as possible, we must all:
- Continue to wear a mask whenever outside of our rooms or households.
- Keep six feet between ourselves and anyone except roommates at all times.
- Move all social gatherings online. Study groups outside of class where social distancing and mask wearing isn’t consistently in place should also be conducted through Zoom or other tools.
- Venture out only to get exercise, groceries and essential medicines.
- Get tested. (More on that below.)
If you’re planning to travel for the holiday—self quarantine and start planning now
We know that some students are still planning to travel for the holiday—and many intend to finish the semester up from home. In either case, you’ll need to start planning now to be ready to travel and stay safe once you arrive.
- Self-quarantine. Follow the safety guidance outlined above to limit your potential for infection prior to travel.
- Monitor your health daily. If you exhibit any symptoms of COVID-19, immediately contact the Student Health Center at 303-273-3381.
- Get a flu shot. The Student Health Center still had about 75 doses available as of this morning, or you can stop by a local pharmacy here in Golden or back at home.
- Plan ahead. Make a plan for how you’ll alter your actions and activities prior to traveling—and once you arrive at your destination ahead of the holiday. Begin by implementing the activities outlined above.
- Spread the word. Let your roommates know of your travel and self-quarantine plans. (Students living on campus should have already solidified move-out plans with Residence Life; contact your RA if you have any questions.) Students heading home should also have candid and detailed planning conversations with parents and family to make sure their re-entry into the home (and any holiday gatherings) are as safe as possible. See No. 7 below for more details and resources.
- Get tested 2-3 days prior to traveling. Make sure to get tested in time to receive your test results before departing. All students can register for a FREE COVID-19 test through Mines’ collaborative testing program with COVIDCheck Colorado (CCC) by visiting https://www.primarybio.com/a/mines. A Mines CWID is required. For your convenience, you may also sign up for an appointment at CCC’s other testing sites throughout the Denver area.
- Travel safely. If you will be traveling, review the CDC’s travel guidance. While this guidance doesn’t differ substantially from guidance in place on campus, you will want to take special precautions to further limit your risk of infection or transmission when traveling—particularly if you are traveling by plane or bus. Remember: you should not travel if you are sick.
- Self-quarantine again when you arrive at your destination. A helpful article (“How Can My College Student Come Home Safely for Thanksgiving?”) appeared in Friday’s New York Times that repeats some of the guidance detailed above. Experts there also suggest that students isolate for a few days once they’ve returned home. Families are encouraged to increase ventilation in the house during that time and consider having all members of the household wear masks while the student monitors their health before re-engaging with family in closer quarters.
Students living on campus who return to campus must test again
Students living on campus who return after the Thanksgiving holiday are asked to test immediately upon their return to Mines—and twice per week until they depart for Winter Break. Those students returning to Mines residence halls (including 1750 Jackson) and all fraternity and sorority houses will be required to:
- Get tested as soon as possible upon their return from Thanksgiving Break. Students may move back into their rooms prior to testing but should schedule their test for either Monday, Nov. 30 or Tuesday, Dec. 1.
- Self-quarantine until they receive a negative COVID-19 result. Most results are returned within 24-36 hours. During self-quarantine, students should only interact with their own roommates and get take-out meals.
- Test twice weekly until Winter Break. All students living on campus after Thanksgiving will be tested twice per week until they head home for Winter Break.
Health, wellness and support services will also remain available to all returning students
All students returning to Mines to finish up their classes and exams remotely will continue to be asked to adhere to safety guidelines and the Oredigger Promise, while also accessing most of the on-campus resources currently available to students. While some dining and facility hours and options may change based on demand, campus spaces will remain open and accessible to students, as will the Student Health Center and Mines COVID testing site.
In addition, we hope all students, whether on campus or at home, will continue to make use of the mental health support, health services, and advising services that will remain available to all Mines students. These include:
- Student Health Center
- Counseling Center
- AHP Live Care (24/7 free online access to medical and mental health providers, regardless of your insurance)
Need other support and don’t know where to start? Raise Your Hand!
No matter your plans, take care of yourself—and take advantage of the holiday
In 10 days, those of us writing this message will be staging small – and often virtual – holiday celebrations of our own. When we do, we’ll be thinking of all of you—and our immense appreciation for all you have done this semester to keep yourselves and our community as safe as possible.
You should be proud of your accomplishments, and your place in this tremendous community.
You should also make sure to pause and take full advantage of this holiday. Even if you’re staying in Golden to eat questionable holiday cooking with your roommates, please take time to safely enjoy a well-deserved break. Get out of the house for a hike or a walk. Settle in for a day (or two) of movie watching and game playing.
And don’t forget to check in with those loved ones and old friends you’d normally be seeing around the family dinner table or neighborhood. You’ll be glad you did—and so will they.
Thanks again, Orediggers, for all you do and will continue to do. Stay safe and together (if from a distance) in the weeks ahead. And if there are ways we can assist you, please say so.
Jennifer Domenico-Brock, F.N.P., Director, Student Health Center
Dan Fox, Vice President of Student Life
Rebecca Flintoft, Assoc. Vice President of Student Life