About COVID-19

On February 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced an official name for the disease that is causing the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak, first identified in Wuhan, China.

The new name of this disease is coronavirus disease 2019, abbreviated at COVID-19. In the name, "CO" stands for "corona," "VI" for "virus," and "D" for "disease." Formerly, this disease was referred to as "2019 novel coronavirus" or "2019-nCoV."

Reliable Sources


The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) has set up a hotline for questions about COVID-19. You can call CO-Help at 303-389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911. You can email COHELP@RMPDC.org for answers in English and Spanish (Español), Mandarin (普通话) and other languages.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides COVID-19 updates on its website at noon on Mondays through Fridays.


The World Health Organization also has provided a variety of advice to the public in the form of myth busters about COVID-19 to help eliminate the spreading of misinformation.


  • How does COVID-19 spread?

    Because this is a new coronavirus, we are still learning how it spreads, but it is currently believed that it spreads like other respiratory viruses — by people with the infection coughing and sneezing. These droplets are inhaled by other people or moved to the eyes, nose or mouth by contaminated hands.

  • What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

    Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure and include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Reported symptoms have ranged from mild to severe, resulting in death for some confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.

    For a listing of symptoms, visit the CDC's website.

  • What should I do if I’m experiencing symptoms?

    Students, if you are experiencing symptoms, call the Health & Counseling Center (HCC) at 303-871-2205 first before showing up at the clinic. Staff at the HCC will determine whether or not you should be seen in their office or an emergency room.

    Faculty and staff, you should call the advice number on your Kaiser Permanente membership card for further instructions. It’s important to contact your provider before you come in. Calling ahead helps you get directed to the most appropriate care so that you can be advised about any precautions that may be necessary to protect other members, patients and employees.

  • What should I do if I am anxious about a COVID-19 outbreak in Colorado?

    If you are a University employee, you can use SupportLinc, our Employee Assistance Program. DU employees and their family members can access counseling and receive professional referrals to other experts by calling 1-888-881-LINC [5462] or by logging in to the SupportLinc website with the username: universityofdenver. 

    Students should call the Health & Counseling Center at 303-871-2205 for support. Students can also reach out to Student Outreach & Support, which is a University resource where trained staff members ensure students are connected to appropriate campus resources, have a plan of action to meet your goals, and learn how to navigate challenging situations. Activate these services by completing a SOS Referral at sos.du.edu or by calling 303-871-2400.