September 24, 2020
Dear CSU Community,
I am so sorry to email you all so late, but I must make you aware of some COVID-19 precautions that we have put in place this evening. Based on high levels of the COVID-19 virus detected in wastewater sampling in Braiden and Summit Halls today, Colorado State University has placed both halls in mandatory quarantine effective immediately.
Here is the full message that was shared with all residents of these two halls; it will also be shared directly with faculty so they are aware of the need to be flexible with these students regarding in-person class attendance.
I want to be very clear that our first priority now, as always, is the health and wellbeing of our entire campus community. This means that this weekend we will be testing all students living in the two impacted residence halls and making medical care available to all students who are sick and develop symptoms. We will be delivering meals to all students in the impacted residence halls starting with breakfast tomorrow and throughout their quarantine period. We have connected these students to university physical and mental health resources. And our incredible staff will continue to go above and beyond to help these students get through this challenging situation.
Speaking of our staff, we are concerned about the impact these quarantines will have on them as well. The university’s leadership and pandemic teams are already in close, frequent communication with our Housing and Dining staff. We will check in with all of our employees who work with the impacted students often about how we can help them.
What do these quarantine events mean for our larger campus community and for our semester? I cannot tell you for certain at this time. The benefits of our wastewater early detection and rapidly-deployable onsite testing are that we can—and hope to—identify a relatively small COVID-19 outbreak, address it with medical care, and contain it through self-isolation and contact tracing of positive cases. So, while this new development is concerning, we remain hopeful that our community’s commitment to following public health precautions will help us stay open on campus. We are not interested in blaming anyone or pointing fingers; we just want to address our situation and get everyone healthy.
That said, our wastewater sampling numbers, which are extremely sensitive to levels of the virus, are climbing a bit, and that means that we must ask everyone to continue to stay 100% committed—as I know most of you are—to wearing your mask, keeping at least six feet of distance from others, avoiding gatherings, washing your hands for 20 seconds frequently, and staying home whenever you feel sick.
To our students who are now in quarantine: we are doing all we can to get you all back out onto campus and to class, and we are going to do all we can to support you in the meantime. I know this is unbelievably hard and not how you wanted to spend your semester. But I also know you are smart and strong and you care about each other. You’ll get through this. We are here for you.
And to our entire CSU community, let’s be there for one another now, just as we always are. Keep up your hard work following COVID precautions, knowing that this will someday be behind us and that we are more than strong enough to get through this challenging time, together.