MSU Denver ends COVID-19 protocols and vaccine mandate

University leaders said they will not hesitate to reinforce old requirements if COVID-19 numbers worsen.

The Tivoli Student Union on Denver's Auraria Campus. Sept. 30, 2020.

The Tivoli Student Union on Denver's Auraria Campus. Sept. 30, 2020.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
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Metropolitan State University of Denver is suspending its COVID-19 protocols, including vaccine mandates for students and employees, citing the current trend of infections and hospitalizations in Colorado.

In a letter sent to MSU students and employees, chief operating officer Larry Sampler said the decision was made in consultation with state and local health officials.

“While COVID-19 protocols and requirements were critically important at the height of the pandemic, declining cases and hospitalizations coupled with building immunity have given University leaders and public health professionals the confidence to take more deliberate steps toward returning to pre-pandemic operations,” Sampler said in the letter.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state remain relatively low, with state data showing a 7-day-average of 336. Hospitalizations also dropped below 100 for the first time last month, a record low during the pandemic.

MSU will continue to encourage campus members to stay home when sick, report positive test results to the university’s health center, and keep up-to-date with vaccine boosters. However, vaccination proof will no longer be required for enrollment or employment.

University leaders said they will not hesitate to reinforce old requirements if COVID-19 numbers worsen.

It is not clear whether the University of Colorado Denver and the Community College of Denver, which share the same campus as MSU, plan to adopt similar guidelines. Denverite has reached out to both schools for comment.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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