IMPORTANT New Information About the Return to Campus
- Join us next week for a town hall to ask questions and hear details regarding the winter/spring 2022 term and our COVID-19 mitigation plans. Details below.
- Given rising cases, we will begin winter/spring term with remote classes and meetings through Jan. 17, returning to in-person classes and meetings Jan. 18. However, campus will be open, and everyone should complete the required six steps shared last week. Details can be found here.
- Residential students are welcome to return as planned on Jan. 2 or at any time during the following two weeks.
- Staff should consult with their supervisors on their return, and supervisors should exercise flexibility when staff are able to successfully work remotely.
Dear DU Community,
Since we last wrote to you on Dec. 23, we have been monitoring the local, national and global omicron COVID-19 variant situation very closely. Unfortunately, positivity rates in the city, on campus, and around the country and world continue to rise as a direct result of the high transmissibility rate of the variant. Early indications are that this variant is not as dangerous as earlier strains—especially to those who are fully vaccinated. Nonetheless, we will need adequate space for isolation for residential students who test positive. To return as safely and seamlessly as possible, we are implementing a staggered return that will allow us to build upon our successful mitigation efforts over the past 21 months.
To describe our plans and address any questions, we are hosting two town halls next week, featuring the National Jewish Health medical advisory team and DU staff.
Please Join Us
Town Hall: Winter Term and COVID-19 Mitigation
For faculty & staff
Tuesday, Jan. 4
4:30 - 5:30 p.m. MT
Join Via Zoom
For students & families
Wednesday, Jan. 5
4:30 – 5:30 p.m. MT
Join Via Zoom
Initial Remote Instruction & Meetings
We will begin with two weeks of remote classes and meetings, resuming in-person on Tuesday, Jan 18. Residential students are welcome to return—the fitness center, community commons, and library will be open, and some student events will continue. Of course, those residential students who prefer to remain remote during this period are allowed and encouraged to do so. Please complete the return-to-campus steps itemized below as soon as you are able in order to more fully enjoy our campus community.
During this gradual return, staff may consult with their supervisors to work remotely when feasible. For guidance on remote work, visit our COVID-19 website. With the high positivity rate in the community, we understand individuals and units may experience positive cases of COVID-19 and that dependents of DU personnel and students may require care due to COVID-19 infection and exposures. We will all need to be flexible during this time.
Reduced Isolation Length
The CDC has recommended a shorter isolation period (5 days) when individuals are confirmed positive but asymptomatic or after symptoms have resolved. CDC guidance is an important consideration, and we are working with the Denver Department of Public Health & Environment to implement this guidance in a way that makes sense for a residential higher education community. We will require testing on day five to verify reduced viral load and confirm improved/minimal symptoms before allowing the completion of isolation and a full return to the DU campus. Until this approved revision, we will follow the current isolation protocol.
We strongly encourage everyone to receive a booster shot as soon as possible. Booster shots will be required by January 31, 2022. DU is offering on-campus booster clinics on January 5, 8, and 12. Please indicate your interest here.
Fisher & Ricks
Fisher and Ricks will open on schedule in-person. Please watch for communication directly from Fisher and Ricks directors regarding January protocols.
Required Steps for Winter Term
Please become familiar with all six steps you must take prior to the winter term as outlined in the communication dated Dec. 23. Review the detailed information here. Some highlights:
Note: All vaccination records must be verified within myhealth.du.edu. You must have proof of the following vaccinations or an approved exemption:
- COVID-19 primary series
- COVID-19 booster (ASAP & before Jan. 31)
- Flu vaccine
- Receive a negative COVID-19 test result from a DU testing site prior to your campus access being activated. Campus access will be activated 24-48 hours after your initial negative test result.
- Receive a second negative COVID-19 test result from a DU testing site taken on your assigned second test day. For your second test, you cannot test early and there is no grace period. For your second testing date, please consult Pioneer Web.
- After your second assigned test, test on or before your regularly assigned schedule date to maintain campus access.
We know omicron has created travel disruption, increased anxiety and new uncertainties. We are determined to promote a safe and engaging learning environment and to build upon all we have learned since March 2020.
We are grateful our community has responded so responsibly and reliably as we rose to numerous challenges along the way. We know you will continue to do so and we promise to remain agile to meet the needs of our community.
If you have any questions or concerns, we invite you to attend one of next week’s town halls or to contact COVIDCoordinator@du.edu. Until then, please enjoy the rest of the holidays. And here's to a very happy and healthy 2022.