COVID-19 Spring return policies
Dear DU community,
As we prepare for spring break and our return to campus for the spring term, we have carefully evaluated COVID-19 conditions on campus, locally, nationally, and internationally, including monitoring new variants and subvariants of concern. Right now, conditions on campus and in the surrounding community are very favorable (and we have detected and effectively managed BA.2 cases on campus since late February). Case rates, hospitalizations and death rates are plummeting. The weather is also warming (today notwithstanding!), which reduces case rates of many viruses naturally as people spend more time outdoors and with windows open. Furthermore, our community is very highly vaccinated thanks to your compliance with our booster requirement. We also recognize the community is eager to enjoy a reduction of restrictions that these favorable conditions support. Taking these data points together, our spring re-entry plan is as follows:
- Everyone is required to provide two PCR tests, taken at least two days apart within a seven-day period beginning on or after March 21.
- These tests must be either a saliva PCR test taken on campus OR an external laboratory saliva or nasal PCR (submit external records to the Health and Counseling Center myhealth portal).
- At-home tests and laboratory antigen tests are not acceptable.
- Friends and family testing is open by appointment only. Please note that appointments may be quite limited during the first week after spring break while we accommodate reentry testing.
- Pick which date is best for you on or after March 21 to take 2 tests within a 7-day period.
- You must have at least one negative test result in your MyHealth record before April 4 to have access and two negative test results acknowledged by April 8 to have access to campus after April 11.
- After these reentry tests, you will return to the testing frequency indicated for you when you log into PioneerWeb and click on the link that reads “Campus Access Status.”
Please be mindful that testing volume will likely be quite high on campus the first week of spring term, so you may temporarily experience longer than usual wait times at the testing locations and for results.
- Everyone who has completed the required return steps other than testing (primary series COVID-19 vaccination, COVID-19 booster, flu vaccination, quarantine log if not fully vaccinated) will be granted temporary access from March 28-31—even if you don’t yet have a confirmed negative test result.
- Beginning April 1, you will lose access to campus if you don’t have a pending spit lab test result or an external laboratory record submitted for review. Beginning April 4, you will lose access if you don’t have least one negative COVID-19 test result based on the schedule above. Beginning April 11, you will lose access if you don’t have two negative COVID-19 test results taken after March 21.
We based these decisions on our evaluation that even with travel and increased socialization, case rates are low enough to allow temporary access while our community members test. However, if you were exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19, if you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, or if you have traveled to an area designated by the CDC as high transmission, you must test promptly and wait for a negative test result before returning to campus. In addition, if you are identified as a close contact by contact tracing, you will be required to test more frequently than the schedule outlined above.
- Beginning March 21, face coverings will not be required if you are fully vaccinated under DU’s COVID-19 Vaccination Protocol. This change applies in most circumstances, including in classes, as well as to visitors.
- However, if you have traveled or increased your social contacts during spring break, please wear a face covering until you receive your first negative test result from spring return.
- Adults who are not fully vaccinated must continue to wear face coverings in most circumstances. Face coverings are still required in some locations (e.g. medical appointments at the HCC, SPIT collection sites and SPIT lab). Please follow the provided requirements when you are in specific locations and watch for guidance relevant to specific roles and communities (e.g. mental health clinics, field placements, food preparation and service, Ricks and Fisher).
VISITORS AND EVENTS
- Visitors are welcome on campus, and all events are allowed at full capacity.
- In alert levels clear or green, visitors attending ticketed or registered events are not required to complete the visitor survey. Other visitors must complete the visitor survey.
- Fully vaccinated visitors are not required to wear face coverings except in the limited circumstances identified in DU’s COVID-19 Protocol for Face Coverings.
At this time, doors will remain locked with access granted to those cleared for campus access as described above. However, during spring term we will have open door events. We look forward to opening the doors more broadly in the spring if conditions are favorable.
We recognize that DU community members may find these protocols, which are designed to strike a balance that supports physical health while removing some restrictions, too restrictive or not restrictive enough depending on their perspective. With recognition that coronaviruses will remain active for the foreseeable future, we invite you to take advantage of times when conditions are favorable, but we expect that you will continue to comply with our testing and access requirements as we adjust to these more favorable conditions. Testing and access requirements provide us critical data to gauge whether to adjust our protocols (for example, face covering requirements) and how to make those changes. Of course, we will act quickly to adjust should new variants of concern require it. Thank you for your ongoing commitment to co-creating a community of care.
For questions or concerns, please contact COVIDCoordinator@du.edu or 303-871-2683.
Sarah Watamura & the COVID-19 Response Team