Safer at Home Level 3
Frequently Asked Questions
What is “Safer at Home Level 3”?
Due to the high and rising case count within the City of Denver and state of Colorado, the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (“CDPHE”) announced on October 26, 2020 that CDPHE was moving the County of Denver to “Safer at Home Level 3.” The City and County of Denver completed that transition effective Wednesday October 28, 2020. The requirements of Level 3 are set forth in the most recent CDPHE Safer at Home Dial public health order. Retail establishments and offices must reduce to 25% capacity (down from 50%); restaurants and places of worship must reduce to 25% capacity (down from 50%) or no more than 50 people; indoor events are now capped at 25 people (down from 50); and gyms and fitness centers are capped at 25 percent or no more than 25 people. These changes are intended to return the City and County of Denver to the metrics for Level 2, which include no more than 175 cases per 100,000 residents cumulatively across a 2-week period. If these measures are unsuccessful in reducing the case count, CDPHE may move Denver to “Stay at Home” status, which would result in significant closures.
What does this mean for campus?
The most recent CDPHE Safer at Home Dial public health order has specific requirements on public and private higher education institutions and we are expected to adapt if their current practices are not in line with “Safer at Home: Level 3”, for example by moving overall to a mix of modalities across courses (a hybrid educational approach), reducing occupancy, and following requirements for mask wearing, social distancing, fitness centers and the like. We are already in “hybrid” instruction, as defined by the total number of students participating in in-person learning relative to our enrollment. No changes to our teaching modalities are necessary at this time. The current public health order requires occupancy of buildings at 25% or less, and we are and have been under 25% across campus. Current badge access records indicate buildings are accessed at under 20 percent of occupancy per day. Thus, no additional behavioral changes are needed at this time to be in compliance.
Can visitors come to campus?
This week, we have implemented additional limitations on visitors, including for research, clinical work and other purposes. We do not currently host in-person admissions tours. Unless you have been granted an exemption, please do not bring visitors to campus. To seek an exemption, please work with your dean or division head.
What about childcare?
There is no change to childcare facilities operation with the move to Level 3; therefore, Fisher will remain at current enrollment.
Can I travel?
We will continue to prohibit non-essential travel for university business for faculty, staff, and students. We are extending quarantine requirements following travel (whether for business or personal reasons) through the end of the calendar year. If you travel outside of Colorado for any reason, please quarantine off campus for 10 days before returning to campus. The purpose of this restriction is to protect the on-campus community from the virus, as travel usually increases contact with individuals who are not part of the on-campus community. Certain types of travel do not increase contact with others (e.g. travel to a remote cabin by car). Please use your best judgement.
I have a job/practicum/field placement off campus, what do I need to do?
We are now requiring that individuals with field placements/jobs/practica in situations that present elevated COVID-19 transmission risk beyond what you encounter on campus (e.g. beyond low risk environments) to attend these placements/jobs/practica remotely. Alternatively, if that is not possible, presents a hardship, or compromises your education, we ask that you attend DU activities remotely for the remainder of the fall term.. For individual questions or exceptions, please email COVIDCoordinator@du.edu.
How do I know if my field placement/job/practicum is more than low exposure risk?
All Colorado municipalities are seeing a surge in positivity rates so any Colorado workplace where you have close contact (within 6 feet) with people whom you are not otherwise in close contact (e.g., schools, hospitality) and/or other sites with positivity rates higher than the DU campus (e.g., jails, residential treatment centers, hospitals, clinics) has elevated exposure risk. If you are working alone in an individual office or have limited in-person contact with others in your workplace, you may have minimal exposure risk and be able to continue your placement/job/practicum. If you have questions about your particular circumstances, please email COVIDCoordinator@du.edu.
Can I go to the Coors Fitness Center?
Following its initial announcement, CDPHE revised the portion of the public health order that called for the closure of gyms, recreation centers, and indoor pools to allow a maximum capacity of 25% or 25 people, whichever is smaller. The Coors Fitness Center will remain open, but at a reduced capacity.
Are there changes to Ricks and Fisher?
Although DPS schools are being asked to move 3rd through 5th graders online beginning next Monday (11/2), we do not currently anticipate changes to Ricks and Fisher operations. We will continue to monitor the situation and any additional guidance.
Should I still be attending class on campus?
Please understand that our low positivity rate on campus means that attending class in person or participating in other approved campus activities while following campus policies remains the best way to experience DU. Please regularly visit the DU dashboard for up to date information on campus positivity and connected cases.
As a faculty member, do I have to move my class online?
No, please teach your course in the modality you were assigned through the end of the term, unless you are otherwise informed, such as if Denver County is moved to “Safe at Home” or the University experiences an alert level change.
Should all classes be moved online/should campus be closed?
In his press conference on October 27th, the Mayor strongly encouraged all Colorado residents to continue with their daily activities, but to become vigorous in their adherence to social distancing, mask wearing, and hygiene to minimize the spread of the disease. We as a community have been working very hard to implement and enforce social distancing, wearing face coverings, and disinfection protocols. That success, coupled with our COVID-19 testing program, has meant that DU’s positivity rate is extremely low. All of these measures, scaffolded with numerous other efforts, have helped us keep transmission extremely low in our community. From the beginning of our return to campus this fall term, we have put into place processes to support individuals who may need to work or learn remotely. Our COVID-19 work accommodations process is available to those employees who require a change from in-person to remote. Students can also transparently see course modalities to craft a course schedule that fits their needs.
Can I socialize on campus?
Staying engaged on campus while following protocols provides a way to interact meaningfully and reduces the temptation to engage off campus in less safe ways. The new public health order restricts informal gatherings to no more than 10 people from no more than 2 households (sets of roommates; suitemates). All gatherings and events larger than 5 people can still occur, but must be registered and approved through 25live. The University will continue to review these gatherings and events for approval to support the social wellbeing of our community.
Where can I get the most up-to-date information?
We will be providing further information and transparency on the updated dashboard.
Can I take my class on a field trip?
At this time, field trips are strongly discouraged. If you believe your field trip is essential to your course content, you must still provide an opportunity for students to earn course credit via alternate means. Furthermore, you must strictly follow transportation protocols. For a field trip exemption, please work with your dean.