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COVID Update: Lifting Restrictions Further

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Jeremy Haefner

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Dear DU community members,

As promised, I can now share the next two phases of the University of Denver’s updated COVID-19 mitigation protocols as informed by the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) recent relaxing of its recommendations for vaccinated individuals.

These decisions were made in accordance with the latest science and to allow the community to continue to gradually adjust as we approach the end of the spring term. Our vaccination rates continue to climb and give us confidence that we can ease restrictions comfortably in many areas. Right now, our vaccination rates for those approved to be on campus are faculty at 90%, staff 77%, graduate students 75% and undergraduate students 67%. We expect those numbers to increase further still by the fall term.

As a result of the new CDC recommendations and our high vaccination rates, the six-foot social distancing standard will be progressively relaxed across campus and, upon close consideration of many variables, DU will begin to further lift our face-covering requirements.


Phase I: June 1-14, 2021

Vaccinated individuals

Indoors: Face coverings will only be required for vaccinated individuals while in:

  • Classrooms
  • Community spaces in residence halls
  • Shared office spaces (two or more individuals in a common workspace at closer than six-foot distance if vaccination status is unknown by all parties)
  • Elevators
  • Restrooms
  • Coors Fitness Center
  • The Ritchie Center for the June 9 - 12 Commencement ceremonies

Of course, vaccinated individuals are free to choose to wear a face covering at any time.

Outdoors: In nearly all outdoor situations, vaccinated individuals do not need to wear face coverings. Certain large events and congregations—such as the 2021 Commencement ceremonies in the Ritchie Center on June 9, 10, 11, and 12—will require vaccinated individuals to wear face coverings. These expectations will be shared on a case-by-case basis.

Unvaccinated individuals

Indoors: Unvaccinated individuals are required to wear face coverings at all times while indoors, except in private offices or residential rooms. This will be enforced through an honor system, and we trust our community to follow this requirement to protect themselves and other unvaccinated or immune-compromised members of the community.

Outdoors: At events and in large groups, unvaccinated individuals must wear face coverings at all times, including outdoors.


Phase II: After June 14, 2021

Vaccinated individuals

Once summer term begins, all face covering requirements will be lifted for vaccinated adults except in certain events and large congregations. Expectations for these events will be shared on a case-by-case basis. Due to low vaccination rates, minors will be required to wear face coverings on campus regardless of vaccination status.

Symptom Monitoring: Vaccinated individuals will no longer be required to complete daily symptom monitoring via Everbridge. However, if you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms not due to a known chronic condition (e.g., migraines, allergies), you are required to remain off campus until you have a negative COVID-19 test, have been fever-free for 24 hours and symptoms are resolving.

Unvaccinated individuals

All requirements shared above in “phase I” remain in effect.

Symptom Monitoring: Unvaccinated individuals will need to continue daily symptom monitoring via the Everbridge application or via the Pioneerweb symptom survey.


Visitor Protocols

For now, visitors to campus—defined as those not conducting official University business, such as parents and families, guest lecturers, those delivering goods or services, etc.—will be required to wear face coverings indoors and outdoors whether they are vaccinated or unvaccinated. As we learn more, and as a higher percentage of the U.S. population becomes vaccinated, these protocols will be reevaluated.


DU is a Compassionate Community

As we adjust to this new and exciting normal, I ask that we all treat one another with compassion. Community members may choose or may not be able to receive a vaccination for a wide variety of reasons, and some people may need to continue to wear face coverings even when vaccinated due to being immunocompromised. Other vaccinated individuals may choose to wear a face covering regardless of the relaxed requirements. For these reasons—and because DU prides itself on being an inclusive and compassionate community—face coverings in any circumstance should never be treated as stigmatizing or viewed as punitive. Let us all move forward assuming best intentions and in support of the wide variety of experiences in the community.

I eagerly look forward to a vibrant, in-person, less restrictive campus in the coming weeks and months. And thank you to all who have made this transition possible through your sacrifice and dedication.


Jeremy Haefner