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Protecting our wellbeing this fall

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Jeremy Haefner

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Message highlights

  • While on-campus COVID positivity rates are quite low, local rates are increasingly high.
  • DU students and employees over 18 years old and six months (Moderna and Pfizer) or 2 months (J&J) past their last dose are eligible for their booster shot. 
  • Even if vaccinated, if you are exposed to COVID-19 or taking care of a family member who tested positive, you may wish to connect with your supervisor on working from home temporarily. 
  • Proof of flu vaccination or filing an exemption is due by Dec. 15.
  • When ill—with COVID or any other illness—work with your supervisor on a plan that supports your wellbeing and allows for rest and recovery.  


Dear faculty and staff,

Despite the continued and unfortunate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Denver has weathered this fall quite well. Our on-campus positivity rate continues to be very low (less than 1%), even as local conditions grow increasingly concerning (7% positivity rate in Denver and 9.5% in Colorado).

Without question, DU’s low rate of positivity is owed to our high rate of vaccination. Thank you to those who are able and have received your vaccination for your contribution to this community’s wellbeing.

New CO Public Health Recommendations--Seek Your COVID-19 Booster

The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) issued a new health order on Wednesday, followed by an Executive Order signed by Gov. Polis yesterday, expanding its recommendation of booster shots for all those:

  • Who are 18 years of age or older and;
  • Who are six months past their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or two months past their initial Johnson and Johnson vaccination and/or;
  • Who work or live in higher risk environments—such as schools and universities, like DU.
  • I encourage all eligible DU community members to seek out their COVID-19 booster shot at the many convenient locations across the city, such as pharmacies or doctor’s offices. 

Remote Work after Exposure or While Caretaking

I also want to recognize that this ongoing crisis continues to present conflicting demands and difficult choices for us all. Even if vaccinated, if you are exposed to COVID-19 or taking care of a family member who tested positive, you may wish to connect with your supervisor on working from home temporarily.

You may recall that each area has developed remote work guidelines in accordance with the University’s policies. Please work directly with your supervisor and division leadership regarding flexibility in these complex circumstances; supervisors are urged to remain as agile as possible. We also offer unlimited COVID testing for all DU students and personnel, so if you are concerned about exposure, but not yet due for your routine test, please don’t hesitate to visit the SPIT Lab.

Non-COVID Illnesses and Wellbeing

Finally, I want to recognize that we are also in the midst of cold and flu season. If there is any silver lining to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is the importance of taking care of ourselves and our wellbeing.

Prior to the pandemic, “minor” illnesses were not always treated as cause enough for rest. We now live in different times. Supervisors are urged to encourage all employees who are not feeling well to remain home to recover—even if confirmed negative for COVID. I also want to remind everyone to receive and upload proof of their flu vaccine or file an exemption by December 15.

It’s been an incredibly challenging time in all our lives, mentally and physically. If we can take away from this collective experience a lifelong commitment to taking care of our physical and mental wellbeing, and encouraging others to do the same, we will have made a truly positive change in our culture.

I hope everyone remains healthy and well throughout the rest of fall. Details about the return to campus protocols for winter term will be shared in December, so that we have a clear understanding of current conditions here in Denver, and around the country and world at that time. Winter quarter begins on January 3, and the spring semester for the Sturm College of Law on January 10.

Take good care,

Jeremy Haefner