Dear Campus Community,
Your vigilance in following our risk mitigation protocols and adhering to COVID-19 guidance has enabled us to continue classes and programming in-person, on campus. Thank you for all you’re doing to reduce the risk to yourself and others.
We continue responding to a rise in COVID-19 infections among CC students that occurred in connection with off-campus parties over Halloween weekend. This week, we are conducting additional screening testing to limit further transmission and reduce the risk to our community. Our Scientific Advisory Group and our national public health consultants at Crown & Company are analyzing the results and guiding our response.
Current COVID Stats and What They Mean
Between Nov. 1 and Nov. 7, the Student Health Center performed 1,140 tests, and 56 students received positive test results, with a spike occurring on Thursday, Nov. 4. In response we implemented additional screening testing and invited the two-thirds of the student body who had not recently tested to come in for testing, so that every CC student will have taken a test within one week. As of Monday evening, the Student Health Center had performed 534 tests, yielding 25 additional positive results.
What do Monday’s numbers mean? The testing program is working and helping us to limit further spread. As testing continues this week, initially we anticipate additional cases, followed by a decline and return to baseline. Students with positive test results are following isolation protocols. Meals, mail, and prescriptions are being delivered to students in isolation. The COVID-19 Response Team checks in daily with each student. Professors are in touch with students to discuss the need for support, adaptation, or assistance with their classes. Our full risk mitigation plan and COVID-19 dashboards are always available here.
The good news is that we have no indication of COVID-19 transmission in classrooms; our layered mitigation system, including vaccination, masking, and good ventilation is in place and working. In that setting, people without symptoms are unlikely to transmit the virus.
Reduce Your Risk
When interacting off campus, we need to keep in mind that the decision about practicing public health measures is up to us. Given the currently very high levels of transmission in El Paso County, we are likely to encounter the virus when out and about. The virus spreads through the air through breathing (also known as aerosol transmission), and particularly in indoor spaces where aerosols tend to accumulate. We encourage everyone to continue wearing masks while indoors, both on and off-campus.
As we look ahead to Fall and Winter Break, we want to continue to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our CC community and surrounding communities.
- If you are symptomatic, students should contact the Student Health Center (employees should contact their health provider) and get tested:
8 a.m.-noon and 1-7 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday:
11 a.m.-4 p.m.
- Students who receive positive test results this week may need to adjust their Fall Break travel plans as they will have to isolate for 10 days and may not travel, per the local health department’s requirements.
- Masking on campus will remain in place.
- Limit your social interactions.
- Classes will continue in person.
- Both dine-in and takeout options are available at campus dining facilities. As always, we encourage students to make use of outdoor seating and limit time unmasked indoors. Take advantage of takeout options at Benji’s, the Preserve, and Susie B’s.
- Social gatherings are limited to 10 people or less; students must continue using the party registration form.
- Visitor and events policies apply as usual.
- Organized campus activities may move forward as planned. No food for these activities indoors.
We are all in this together. Our campus community has worked to effectively mitigate the spread on campus. Masking, handwashing, testing when experiencing symptoms, and responsible social gatherings are all key pieces to managing risk during the ongoing pandemic. We encourage all community members to reflect on ways to make risk mitigation a part of everyday life — on campus and off campus — as we are learning to live responsibly during this pandemic.
Thank you for all your doing to support one another!
Chief Public Health Advisor to the President
Chair, COVID-19 Policy and Implementation Committee