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COVID-19: Shift to Green Alert Level & Related Protocols

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Sarah Watamura

COVID Coordinator

News  •

Dear DU community members,

Together, our community has achieved excellent vaccination rates. As we look forward to the fall term, we have carefully reviewed national and local data on transmission of COVID-19, as well as federal, state and local guidance, while also consulting with our health partner, National Jewish Health. With continued mandatory testing and a public-facing dashboard, we can be confident in our understanding of virus conditions on campus.

Shift to Alert Level Green

Although vaccination is key to reducing viral transmission and severity of illness, breakthrough infections are still possible. With delta variant cases increasing in Denver and around the country, we have determined it is prudent to implement additional mitigation measures. To allow seamless operations through the end of the summer term, start of the fall term and into the interterm, we have revised our alert levels to require face coverings except in alert level clear, and to implement more measures, including increasing testing frequency. We will move to alert level green effective Monday, Aug. 16.

Alert level green allows visitors and requires badge access for buildings; buildings operate at normal capacity without restrictions to event size or required social distancing; however, face coverings are required for everyone in indoor events of 5 or more people.

New Face Covering Requirements

In alert levels green and blue, exceptions to the face covering requirement allow for removal while actively speaking or performing in classrooms or events where the space allows distance between the speaker/performer and the participants/audience. Please review the new alert level descriptions here.

Unvaccinated and Partially-Vaccinated Individuals

In all alert levels, people without verified full vaccination must wear face coverings at all times, except when alone in their private offices, study rooms or residential rooms or while actively eating or drinking.

Fully Vaccinated Individuals

In alert level green, face coverings also are required for fully vaccinated individuals indoors for all classes and all in-person meetings/events with 5 or more people, except while actively speaking/performing at six feet or more distance from others, or while actively eating or drinking. As in alert level clear, certain locations and situations require everyone to wear face coverings including within the Health and Counseling Center, in clinics, at the Ricks Center for Gifted Children and the Fisher Early Learning Center, while preparing or serving food, and within the SPIT lab and SPIT collection locations.

New Classroom Policies

  • No eating during classes, except when a student has an approved accommodation through the Disability Services Program. 
  • Required self-select seating; instructors will be provided with floor plans, instructions and support to record seat selection for contact tracing purposes. 
  • Verification of full vaccination before in-person participation in field experiences, clinical work, internships and service-learning courses.
  • In-person attendance is expected. If students are ill, normal instructor policies regarding excused absence apply. Any student placed in quarantine or isolation will be given information to forward to their instructors about the expected duration of their isolation or quarantine. In either situation, students must have access to course materials to continue participation. Please note that these materials may be simplified and asynchronous. Except in classes that traditionally offer hyflex participation or access to full recordings, these features should not be expected. At this time, quarantine is only required for close contacts who are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated and thus should affect far fewer students than last year. Close contacts will be directly notified by DU’s contact tracing team using protocols established and utilized during academic year 2020-21. 
  • Instructors are expected to use Canvas to store key course materials (syllabi, assignments) for each course so students can access these during quarantine or isolation. Faculty also should be prepared to provide exams and key lecture materials electronically should this be necessary due to instructor illness or emergency. Faculty teaching in person are not expected to run a hybrid class with elaborate and complete online access and materials. However, it is important to provide access to basic course materials online if students -- or the instructor -- cannot attend class due to illness. Given that we are asking students to not attend class if they are not feeling well while they await a COVID test, and given that allergy, cold, and flu seasons are upon us, planning ahead to provide basic course materials is strongly recommended.

Submit Your Vaccination Record

If you have not yet done so, please immediately upload your vaccine record to the MyHealth portal. People without a verified full vaccination record or an approved exemption will lose access to campus on Sept. 1, 2021. Only medical and religious exemptions are permitted for any higher education personnel, including employees, student employees, contractors and regular volunteers, pursuant to a recent Denver public health order. Please remember you must test within 48 hours of your fall start. Badge access will not be activated without testing within 48 hours of return. We appreciate your compliance with these return to campus requirements and your ongoing cooperation with badging into buildings, testing and wearing face coverings.

Increased restrictions might be disappointing, given the great conditions we have enjoyed over the summer. These measures are in place to support a robust in-person experience including having our full community back in person this fall in courses, workspaces, events, performances, athletics and social gatherings. Please review the revised alert levels, the campus action plan, which details our fall academic and health and safety approach, and our protocols page, for specific campus requirements. As always, you can contact the COVID Coordinator team with questions and suggestions,, 303-656-7137


Sarah Watamura & the COVID-19 Coordinator team