COVID-19 Update: Welcome to Fall 2022
- CDC and DU shift to personal responsibility for maintaining health and protecting others
- Free testing remains available at the Care Pod
- Mandatory testing is limited to close contacts and outbreaks
- Masking indoors is required for outbreaks and close contacts
- Continue to carry your DU ID, as most buildings will require an ID for entry
Dear DU Community,
We are excited to welcome everyone back to campus to join the Law students who started in mid-August.
At DU, it takes our collective effort to promote learning, exploring and growing. We know that the COVID-19 pandemic has been emotionally and physically exhausting. Many in our community experienced illness and loss, nearly everyone experienced fear and anxiety. At the same time, DU leaned into the challenges and established protocols and practices to help protect the community.
COVID-19 is still with us, but we have numerous interventions and treatments. The very good news is that the dominant variants are less severe—with fewer hospitalizations and deaths. With high vaccination rates and more individuals appropriately and effectively taking personal responsibility for their health and the health of others, the University’s role is evolving to support pre-pandemic levels of personal responsibility. Of course, if conditions worsen or change in unpredictable ways, we may need to return to some of our prior protocols. We will, as always, continue to monitor national, state and local trends very carefully and pay attention to guidelines offered by the CDC, and in consultation with our health care partner, National Jewish Health.
Over the summer, we communicated specific changes to vaccination requirements, COVID-19 testing, and building access. This message summarizes what to expect when you return to campus this fall.
All students, faculty, and staff living, learning, or working in person on the DU campus must be up to date on their COVID-19 vaccinations, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines. Currently, for those ages 18-49, the requirement is the primary series plus one booster and for ages 50+ the CDC recommends a second booster.
Check your MyHealth portal to ensure your vaccinations are current. If not, please follow instructions and upload your updated vaccination record or request a medical exemption or complete the non-medical exemption form. For more detail or instructions regarding uploading proof of vaccination or an exemption, please see the HCC’s COVID-19 Vaccination website.
DU no longer requires arrival testing or mandatory testing for COVID-19, except for the following situations:
- When notified by the DU contact tracers that you are part of an outbreak, defined by the Colorado Department of Public Health as five or more confirmed, related cases of COVID-19 in a facility or group within 14 days
- When you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19
- When you have been exposed and identified as a close contact of an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19
This year we will not be using the Hilltop Apartments as an isolation space for residential students who test positive for COVID-19. Instead, we will allow students who live in congregate housing with communal bathrooms to leave campus and return to their home to isolate if they are able to safely travel in a personal vehicle. Students who cannot leave campus and return home will isolate in an on-campus facility for at least five days from the date of their positive test and they will be released when they receive instructions from the University. Students in Fraternity & Sorority Life housing and many residential students with single occupancy bedrooms will isolate in their own rooms.
DU requires anyone identified as a close contact to be tested at the Spit Lab as soon as possible and then again, every other day until day 5—for example, testing on days 1, 3, and 5 after exposure. This approach increases our ability to detect the virus and swiftly isolate individuals, lessening the likelihood that the virus will spread further within our community. DU will also follow the CDC guidelines and let everyone identified as a close contact know that they are expected to wear a mask when indoors for 10-days after exposure for the safety of others.
DU’s Care Pod is open and available to any DU community member without an appointment. Friends and family can test for a fee but must make an appointment through the myhealth.du.edu portal. Please check the Care Pod website for hours of operation and to make appointments for friends and family.
If COVID-19 or other health conditions escalate, we will evaluate testing and masking requirements and may reinstate mandatory testing.
Masking is required in certain locations on campus or in the following situations: when a person has tested positive, has been identified as a close contact, is part of a unit experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak, is experiencing symptoms, or has knowingly been exposed to COVID-19 off campus. Masks are required to enter the Health and Counseling Center (HCC), the Care Pod, and the SPIT Lab.
Following the CDC, we also strongly recommend that people wear a high-quality mask for ten days following symptom onset or positive test for COVID-19, and after a known close-contact exposure.
Two final reminders—monitor your campus access status routinely and always carry your DU ID card with you. Not all buildings are open to the public, and many will require your DU ID card and campus clearance to open. Also, if we experience a surge in COVID-19 cases, we may return to requiring ID card access for all buildings.
We look forward to having everyone back on campus! The new website can be accessed here https://www.du.edu/public-health and will be a resource for updated information and monitoring the COVID dashboard.
Executive Director, Enterprise Risk Management
Public Health Project Manager