COVID-19 Response Team

The COVID-19 Response Team (CRT) was established in the early phases of the University COVID response to handle the University response to notifications of positive COVID-19 tests, outbreaks and cluster identification from symptom tracking. It is the responsibility of this team to implement response protocols based on the best information at the moment, make rapid recommendation to and inform the senior vice chancellor for financial and business affairs and the provost in serious and emergent issues, as well as develop procedures and protocols when operational gaps are identified. This group supervises the outcomes of contact tracing (managing all aspects of the contact tracing and symptom monitoring) and thereby is officially responsible to report findings to the state or county, prepares and delivers notifications to individuals at more than minimal risk of exposure to the virus as a result of contact, requests or imposes quarantine/isolation of a student or employee, recommends or implements building disinfection or space modification, and provides opinions for employee accommodations. Because the CRT has access to personal health information, every team member is required to maintain confidentiality of personal health information. 

The COVID-19 Response Team is composed of a small number of DU employees with designated authority to provide rapid mobilization at all hours 7 days per week. This comprehensive group of experts promotes best outcomes including compliance to regulations and University policy, prioritizes the safety and security of the community, balances the competing needs of our community, and maximizes our financial and human capital resources. Membership of the committee is primarily made up of the COVID-19 coordinator (DU faculty member), state-deputized individual (DU employee from Environmental Health and Safety), medical expert (DU Health and Counseling employee) and facilities expert (DU custodial and/or building management employee). Additional members on-call when appropriate include Student Affiars and Inclusive Excellence, Campus Safety, Human Resources and the Provost’s Office. 

As per state and local guidance, the deputized individual is the institutional lead for contact tracing and regulatory response. The COVID-19 coordinator facilitates student/parent interactions and works closely with senior administrators and others on institutional communications. Facilities leads building disinfection and space modification. Housing and Student Affairs leads student quarantine and isolation and Human Resources leads employee accommodation and interaction. Most often the deputized individual and COVID-19 coordinator have a secondary role in all aspects of the team’s work, regardless of lead. 

Through mid-July when this document was written, this team has managed the spread of the virus on the campus with success by all metrics. The primary metric of success is not measured by the number of positive cases in our community, which is small, but by the lack of even a single cluster or outbreak. This indicates that the University has never been the source for the spread of the virus - a standard we continue to hold as our high-water mark in the months and year to come.