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COVID-19 Update: Alert Level Orange and Closing out the Fall Term Safely

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Mary Clark

News  •

Dear DU community members,

As COVID-19 conditions in Denver and Colorado continue to worsen, we anticipate there will be additional restrictions from the city and county of Denver before the end of the week.

Unfortunately, our location in a city with a high rate of positivity has resulted in an increase of cases on campus in the past two days. We believe it is prudent to take precautionary actions so that we can continue to promote the health and safety of our community.


Beginning tomorrow, November 6, DU will operate at alert level orange (moderate to high risk.) This means the prevalence of the virus has increased, and indicators point to further increase in the upcoming days. The decision to elevate and the resulting protocol changes were made in consultation with our health partner, National Jewish Health. See below for details.

Classes & Students


  • Beginning Monday, November 9, we will begin to wind down our in-person operations. Faculty should transition their in-person and hybrid/hyflex classes so, presumptively, all classes can be delivered remotely by Monday, November 16, through the remainder of the term.
  • Students may continue to live in their residence halls and engage with others while following social distancing and face-covering requirements. All residential students should follow check-out procedures as they prepare to leave campus within 24 hours of their last class and no later than 9 a.m. on November 25.
  • Dining halls will remain open through the end of the term.
  • Anderson Academic Commons will retain its current hours and services until December 4. Outdoor locker and curb-side checkout will continue.
  • Student Affairs and Inclusive Excellence (SAIE) staff will continue to support students, including helping students access physical and mental health care, as well as COVID-19 testing.

Faculty & Staff


  • We will reduce campus access to Phase I and II personnel by December 4. (More guidance about this will be provided shortly.) If you are unsure what your phase is, check your status on PioneerWeb. If you would like to revise your status and continue on-campus work after December 4, there is a request form to do so at this portal. Once you complete the information on the form it will be sent to your dean or division head for approval.
  • As shared in a letter last week, individuals on campus are expected to have either suspended in-person participation at their external internships, field placements, and/or additional off-campus jobs, or transitioned to attending courses and on-campus activities remotely for the remainder of the fall term. We appreciate that this presents challenges and may require conversations with the appropriate individuals if exceptions need to be made.

Events, Visitors & Other Updates


  • All events should be moved to remote delivery beginning tomorrow, November 6.
  • As a reminder, no visitors are permitted to enter campus buildings.
  • At this time, the Coors Fitness Center/Ritchie Center will remain open following the protocols shared on October 30.
  • Any adjustments to the Fisher Early Learning Center and the Ricks Center for Gifted Children will be communicated directly with families and staff.
  • Limited vendor and contractor access remain in effect and approvals should be coordinated at all times with the relevant campus unit.



Aside from the pivot to online class instruction by November 16, the schedule for the next two weeks remains unchanged. As planned, there is an extended reading week to allow students on the quarter system to pack, travel and study before online finals begin. There are no class activities permitted during reading days.

Below is a reminder of the schedule for the remainder of the term.

Last Day of Class

November 20 for fall quarter
November 23 for Sturm fall semester

Residential Student Check-Out Deadline

Within 24 hours of a student’s last class and no later than 9 am on November 25

Remote Reading Week

November 21 – November 29 for fall quarter
November 24 – December 1 for Sturm fall semester

Remote Finals Week

November 30 – December 4 for fall quarter
December 2 – December 16 for Sturm fall semester



  1. Follow social distancing, wear face coverings, and practice frequent hand washing and other behaviors proven to mitigate the spread of the virus.
  2. Follow public health orders and stay in groups of less than 10 people and no more than two households or living pods (roommates, suitemates).
  3. Carefully monitor yourself for symptoms and seek medical consultation should any possible COVID-19 symptoms emerge. Students can receive care at the Heath & Counseling Center. Faculty and staff should contact their healthcare provider.
  4. Take a test for COVID-19 as required or requested or if you have concerns about a possible exposure or symptoms. 
  5. If you test positive or are exposed to someone who has tested positive, strictly follow isolation and quarantine requirements.

We continue to actively test, quarantine, and monitor our on-campus community. Please continue to check our COVID-19 dashboard for the most up-to-date case information.

If you receive a positive test result from an external testing location, please immediately report your result to, or by calling 303-871-COVD (303-871-2683) or choosing “self-report” in the EverBridge app. Please also upload your external test results (positive or negative) to The results will be reviewed by the HCC, so we can provide appropriate guidance.

And finally, please be sure to take care of your physical and mental health—these are trying times. Staying physically and psychologically strong helps you manage the challenges of the pandemic. Students can find support resources here. Faculty and staff can use SupportLinc.

We are grateful for your compliance as we work to keep our community safe. The changes we are implementing are intended to help us work together to finish the fall term strong and leave campus healthy. Take good care and please continue to #DUYourPart.

Mary Clark
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor

Todd Adams
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

Sarah Watamura
University COVID Response Coordinator


The University of Denver Pivot and Logistics Working Group

Pivot and Logistics Working Group


Jennifer Karas, vice provost of academic affairs, Office of the Provost
Niki Latino, associate vice chancellor of student affairs

Working group

Todd Adams, vice chancellor of student affairs 
Jamaal Ahmed, associate registrar, student information systems
Leslie Alvarez, director, Office of Teaching and Learning
Dennis Becker, registrar, Office of the Registrar 
Kristy Firebaugh, assistant dean, College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences
Theresa Hernandez, associate vice chancellor, Information Technology 
Michael LaFarr, executive director, Health and Counseling Center
Mo Lotif, manager of strategic initiatives, Student Affairs and Inclusive Excellence
Lisa Martinez, sociology professor and interim assistant provost, Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion 
Kristine McCaslin, director, Student Rights and Responsibilities
Keith Miller, chemistry associate professor and associate vice provost for graduate education
Nic Ormes, associate dean, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
Derigan Silver, associate professor of Media, Film and Journalism Studies, chair of the Faculty Senate Committee on Academic Planning, and deputy COVID-19 coordinator
Rachel Stonecypher, director of capital projects, Facilities Management 
Lisa Victoravich, accountancy professor and associate dean, Daniels College of Business 
Sarah Watamura, chair of the psychology department and COVID-19 response coordinator 
Annecoos Wiersema, law professor and associate dean of academic affairs, Sturm College of Law