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COVID-19 variants identified at CSU, pandemic protocols persist

Graphic showing COVID-19 bubbles floating around in a red background behind a blue surgical mask. Text reads "Collegian, COVID-19 UPDATE"
(Graphic illustration by Robbie Haynes | The Collegian)

Six weeks into the spring semester, Colorado State University continues to react to the COVID-19 pandemic with regular testing, updates and reporting on campus numbers. 

In an email update sent to the campus community Wednesday afternoon, the CSU Pandemic Preparedness Team said the University is aware of at least two COVID-19 variants from student, faculty and staff cases. This identification does not alter the University’s public safety strategy, the email said.


“That means we expect everyone in the CSU community to screen frequently, wear a mask, wash your hands, physically distance, avoid gatherings and stay home when sick or exposed and follow any quarantine and isolation order,” the email said.

According to CSU’s COVID-19 dashboard, the University has 2,304 positive COVID-19 cases associated with students, faculty and staff since May 2020. This number includes positive cases identified by University testing and by other public and private health officials.

CSU requires any students, faculty and staff who are regularly on campus or living in University housing to conduct weekly saliva screenings. Since starting the saliva screening process in October 2020, CSU has conducted over 66,800 saliva screenings as of Feb. 8. Additionally, the University has conducted over 27,685 nasal swab tests as of Feb. 8. 

From Jan. 25, when in-person classes began, to Feb. 24, CSU reported 338 positive COVID-19 cases. Since spring move-in began Jan. 14, CSU has had 427 positive COVID-19 cases associated with the University.

The Pandemic Preparedness Team will continue to follow all Larimer County Public Health guidance, monitor results of both wastewater and individual tests and take measures to … stop the spread of the virus and its variants.”– CSU Pandemic Preparedness Team

On Feb. 18 the Pandemic Preparedness Team announced the final group of students, faculty and staff would be required to start mandatory COVID-19 screenings beginning Feb. 22. This includes all students, faculty and instructors taking part in face-to-face or hybrid courses. 

Others required to screen weekly include “all students living in University housing (or) living in a fraternity or sorority house, even if they do not attend a face-to-face or hybrid course; (and) all faculty and staff who are regularly, physically on a CSU campus or other university grounds in Larimer County,” the announcement said. 

The University expanded their saliva screening sites to include five different locations since the start of the spring semester. However, all sites are closed Saturdays and Sundays. The information for where and when to screen is available on the University’s COVID-19 resources website.

Students, faculty and staff can complete their saliva screening at the MAC Gym, located to the east side of the Student Recreation Center; in the Moby parking lot, on the southeast corner of Shields Street and Elizabeth Street; on the south end of campus by the University Tennis Complex; in the parking lot south of the South College Avenue Parking Garage; and at the Foothills Campus in the B.W. Pickett Equine Center. 

Only CSU students, faculty and staff can complete saliva screenings on campus — there are no family members allowed.


“The Pandemic Preparedness Team will continue to follow all Larimer County Public Health guidance, monitor results of both wastewater and individual tests and take measures to continue to … stop the spread of the virus and its variants,” the Feb. 24 email said.

Anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or potentially exposed to COVID-19 should complete the university’s COVID-19 Reporter as soon as possible and follow all public health and safety protocols. 

Serena Bettis can be reached at or on Twitter @serenaroseb.

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About the Contributor
Serena Bettis, Editor in Chief
Serena Bettis is your 2022-23 editor in chief and is in her final year studying journalism and political science. In her three years at The Collegian, Bettis has also been a news reporter, copy editor, news editor and content managing editor, and she occasionally takes photos, too. When Bettis was 5, her family moved from Iowa to a tiny town northwest of Fort Collins called Livermore, Colorado, before eventually moving to Fort Collins proper. When she was 8 years old, her dad enrolled at Colorado State University as a nontraditional student veteran, where he found his life's passion in photojournalism. Although Bettis' own passion for journalism did not stem directly from her dad, his time at CSU and with The Collegian gave her the motivation to bite down on her fear of talking to strangers and find The Collegian newsroom on the second day of classes in 2019. She's never looked back since. Considering that aforementioned fear, Bettis is constantly surprised to be where she is today. However, thanks to the supportive learning environment at The Collegian and inspiring peers, Bettis has not stopped chasing her teenage dream of being a professional journalist. Between working with her section editors, coordinating news stories between Rocky Mountain Student Media departments and coaching new reporters, Bettis gets to live that dream every day. When she's not in the newsroom or almost falling asleep in class, you can find Bettis working in the Durrell Marketplace and Café or outside gazing at the beauty that is our campus (and running inside when bees are nearby). This year, Bettis' goals for The Collegian include continuing its trajectory as a unique alt-weekly newspaper, documenting the institutional memory of the paper to benefit students in years to come and fostering a sense of community and growth both inside the newsroom and through The Collegian's published work. Bettis would like to encourage anyone with story ideas, suggestions, questions, concerns or comments to reach out to her at

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