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COO Larry Sampler shares updated Covid-19 statistics and offers four easy ways to stop the spread.

By Larry Sampler, chief operating officer

September 2, 2021

Larry SamplerDear Roadrunners, 

I want to begin this week’s article with some statistics that remind us of the severity of this pandemic: 

  1. Covid-19 cases are again surging, with the U.S. exceeding 160,000 new positive test results dailyon average. Colorado’s test-positivity rate is 6.15%, higher than at any point since early January. 
  2. More than 200,000 children nationally, many of whom do not yet have access to the vaccine, tested positive for Covid-19 in the past week.
  3. Hospitalizations due to Covid-19 have once again reached a daily average of 100,000 nationwide, with 796 in Colorado, the most since last winter.
  4. The rate of hospitalization is 16 times greater in the unvaccinated population than in the vaccinated population.

*Data according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Covid Data Tracker and Colorado Department of Health and Environment Colorado Covid-19 Data.

While we don’t need to panic, these statistics evidence our need to remain vigilant and engaged in mitigating the spread of Covid-19. Luckily, there are several easy, immediate, concrete and effective things we can each do keep ourselves, our friends, our families, our classmates and our colleagues safe.

1. Get vaccinated

Make a free vaccination appointment today. 

Per MSU Denver policy, we expect all Roadrunners to be vaccinated. If you have been hesitant to get vaccinated, remember that the CDC has fully approved the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine and the Moderna vaccine is under final review. Vaccines are safe, effective and our best tool against the spread of Covid-19.  

Any Roadrunners who are not yet vaccinated or who are unable to be vaccinated MUST comply with additional testing measures to help safeguard the health of the campus community. Information regarding the testing process will come via individualized email from a email address. As previously shared, all faculty and staff members should call the Health Center at Auraria (303-615-9999) and inform your supervisor immediately of any positive case, regardless of testing or exposure location. New FAQs are also available to help members of the campus community understand important Covid-19 reporting and health protocols

2. Perform MSU Denver’s mandatory daily health self-assessment prior to visiting campus.

If you are feeling sick in any way, shape or form, do not dismiss your symptoms as allergies, a cold, etc. Instead, take an abundance of precaution and do not come to campus. I ask that all Roadrunners be flexible with one another as accommodations may have to be made, but, I repeat, no one who is experiencing any symptom associated with Covid-19 should be on the Auraria Campus. When in doubt, get tested immediately.

3. Rethink your travel plans

Per CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, M.D., if you are unvaccinated, do not travel over the upcoming Labor Day holiday. If you are vaccinated, take extra precaution to the point of reconsidering your travel plans.  

4. Wear a mask

As a reminder, MSU Denver requires masking indoors and in all instructional spaces for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals per the following: 

  • Masks should cover the nose and mouth; bandannas and gaiters are not permitted.
  • Face shields will be permitted as an alternative face covering only with appropriate medical documentation from a licensed physician.
  • Masks are not required outdoors but may be advised in large group settings.
  • Students in the classroom must wear masks at all times.
  • Outside of the classroom, vaccinated individuals may remove masks indoors only when 6 feet away from other individuals. (Example: a professor teaching 6 feet from students; in an office cubicle with a minimum of 6 feet of distance to others; or when in a private office, with or without the door open.)
  • All individuals may briefly unmask when actively eating or drinking; however, when indoors, unvaccinated individuals should find a location away from others to eat.

Other resources 

Thank you again for your hard work in supporting our safe return to campus. 


Larry Sampler 
Vice president for Administration, Finance and Facilities and chief operating officer 

Topics: Administration, Health, Safety

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