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Full in-person operations expected at Auraria campus by fall

An announcement from the three institutions on campus outlined reasons why Auraria can be safely reopened in fall 2021.

DENVER — Community College of Denver (CCD), Metropolitan State of University of Denver (MSU Denver) and CU Denver plan to return to full in-person operations at the Auraria campus downtown in fall 2021, according to an announcement from the colleges Thursday.

"We are committed to starting the fall semester on campus and with full operations to the extent possible in an effort to maximize the student experience and student success while remaining safe," the three institutions said in their announcement. 

College leaders said they are optimistic the in-person return can happen for three reasons:

  • The projected availability of the vaccine
  • Extensive mitigation strategies
  • Creativity and resolve of our community.

> Video above: Studies show students experiencing more stress amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The announcement also said a vaccination site at the Fifth Street Garage is expected to be operational in the weeks ahead.

"We will follow the state’s priority guidelines for vaccine distribution, and we anticipate that by this summer all students, faculty and staff within the Auraria community will be eligible for the vaccine," the announcement said. 

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College leaders said they expect the COVID-19 pandemic will still have impacts at that time, and will therefore continue with safety protocols upon reopening.

"We’ll continue to provide testing to monitor for any emerging transmission and adhere to public health guidelines," the announcement said. "Our highest priorities are, and must continue to be, to keep our campus community safe by following the latest science and public health guidance and supporting our students, many of whom are seeking an in-person learning experience. Evidence has shown that transmission of COVID is rarely happening in college classrooms and that testing and safety measures work. Vaccines are also crucial to these efforts, and we are relying on you to get vaccinated to make this vision a reality."

College leaders also said they want to reopen because "optimizing the campus experience is also an equity issue."

"We know that the pandemic has disproportionately affected low-income and underrepresented communities—across work and wage loss, health impacts and bigger disruptions to their education," the announcmenet said. "Without an increase in in-person classes, this equity gap will continue to widen."

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