COVID-19 Updates: New Tracking Technique and More
Dear students, faculty and staff,
I wanted to provide a brief update on some new developments related to our COVID response protocols:
New Technique to Track Cases
We recently began a waste-water monitoring process to test for COVID in five of our six residential buildings. This is a promising strategy for early detection of COVID-19 cases. This monitoring will provide data that will help us estimate the number of people in a given building who may have the virus. Based on this information, we may recommend additional mitigation efforts, including more detailed symptom tracking, as well as targeted or building-level testing.
We have updated our COVID-19 dashboard to now include instances where two or more connected cases have occurred. We are mindful of the need to protect individual privacy and we will never disclose individual identities. But we also want to be transparent with our community about cases that the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) defines as “outbreaks,” or two or more connected cases.
We are closely monitoring potentially connected cases and using proven measures to protect the broader community. In close consultation with National Jewish Health, we are adapting our testing strategy to provide additional testing for members of the community if there is evidence of connected cases.
Increasing Cases in Denver
The Denver Department of Health and Environment (DDPHE) and the CDPHE are closely monitoring colleges and universities. They are also offering recommendations or requirements as appropriate. Overall, cases in Denver are on the rise. DU closely monitors the daily averages and cumulative case counts. We all have the same goal – to bring the number of positive cases down. We are working hard to exceed the health departments’ expectations for prevention, surveillance, and swift action. If you are contacted by a DDPHE or CDPHE representative for any reason, and you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Slow the spread. #DUYourPart.
We are very grateful to each of you for your efforts to help our community thrive in-person. This is not easy or simple, but we can mitigate the spread of the virus and provide the best possible educational experience for our students if we look after ourselves and one another.
Download the Everbridge application. Wear your face covering at all times while on campus (except in your private room). Maintain social distancing except with a small cohort. Accurately report symptoms. Quickly report on Everbridge if you test positive. And comply with specific requests from the University, CDPHE or DDPHE. These are all steps you can take to #DUYourPart.