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COVID-19 Fall Policies

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Jeremy Haefner

News  •

Dear DU community members,

I hope everyone is enjoying the summer and eagerly looking forward to the start of the 2021 fall term. To our incoming students and families—welcome! And welcome as well to the faculty and staff members newly back on campus. It is wonderful to begin to see the activity and vibrancy we love about the University of Denver.

And while we celebrate a gradual return to a kind of “normal,” I also want to recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic is not over, as the virus and its variants still pose significant risks to unvaccinated individuals and communities. The University—in consultation with our health care partner, National Jewish Health—is closely watching conditions on campus, locally, nationally and worldwide. We will remain agile as conditions evolve.

With these factors in mind, we have been working diligently on our COVID-19 policies and procedures for the fall 2021 term. The detailed protocols will be available on by July 30. Please look for a follow-up email later this week from our COVID-19 Coordinator, Sarah Watamura. We will also hold a virtual town hall regarding our COVID-19 policies in mid to late August. Details and invite to come. For now, I’d like to share some preliminary information.

Vaccines and Your Vaccination Record

  • Right now, nearly 70% of DU community members have submitted their vaccination records or a vaccine exemption request. Thank you! If you have not yet submitted your vaccination record, please remember it is due no later than the start of the fall term or September 1, whichever is earlier. You are not cleared to be on campus until your record or approved vaccine exemption are verified in the MyHealth portal, available through your PioneerWeb homepage.
  • All FDA-authorized vaccines are accepted. If you received a vaccine that is not yet FDA authorized but is listed by the World Health Organization (WHO), we will accept your vaccine record, but you will be assigned a more frequent COVID-19 testing schedule.
  • If you are only partially vaccinated or vaccinated with a vaccine not authorized by the FDA or listed by WHO, you are considered “unvaccinated” and will need to follow the same protocols as those who are unvaccinated.
  • Once you submit your vaccination record or approved exemption request, you are assigned one of three “access levels” that designate your clearance for campus—cleared for campus, cleared for high contact, and/or cleared for field placement/clinical work. Your assigned clearance activates your DU ID card and allows entry into DU buildings.

Testing and Symptom Monitoring

  • Even if you are fully vaccinated, if you experience COVID-19 symptoms, please remain off-campus. If you are a residential student, socially distance and seek a COVID-19 test. For any residential student who tests positive, living quarters will be made available at the Hilltop Residence Hall during the isolation period.
  • Everyone, including fully vaccinated individuals, will be tested for COVID-19 twice during your first two weeks back on campus. Please log into PioneerWeb to see your individual testing schedule on the “campus access status” page.
  • We will conduct more frequent testing for COVID-19 until the third week of the term. The exact testing frequency during this time and through the term is tailored to your specific cohort group’s circumstances. Those details will be in the message from our COVID-19 Coordinator, Sarah Watamura, later this week. We aim to move to less frequent testing after the third week, depending on conditions and virus prevalence at that time.

Protocols for Unvaccinated Individuals

If your vaccine record is not accepted, if you are not fully vaccinated, or if your vaccine exemption is approved, you are required to wear a face covering always while indoors and outside when in groups of five or more (or at events which require it). You must also follow a more frequent COVID-19 testing schedule, socially distance where feasible and quarantine following international travel, travel to restricted states or after exposure to someone who tests positive for the virus.

Travel and Visitors

  • International travel for university business or programs, including study abroad, will now require full vaccination with an FDA-authorized vaccine.
  • Visitors are welcome on campus. Please follow our visitor protocol, which includes completing a brief survey before visiting campus.

I am grateful—through widespread vaccination—that we are able to enjoy less strict mitigation protocols. Of course, should conditions worsen and the need for more mitigation measures become necessary, we will provide updates and guidance. For more detailed information, be sure to visit after July 30, or email Be safe. Get vaccinated if it’s available to you. And enjoy the rest of summer.


Jeremy Haefner