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Update: Coronavirus - March 11, 2020

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Jeremy Haefner

News  •
En Español: Actualización: Coronavirus - 11 de marzo de 2020


Dear DU Community,

As the challenges presented by COVID-19 continue to change rapidly, the University of Denver’s top priority remains the health, safety, and well-being of our community. We are also, of course, committed to our mission to prepare students for lives of purpose. With these principles in mind for all of our decisions, our actions regarding COVID-19 are guided by recommendations from local, state, and federal officials while taking into account the needs of our community. As you likely know, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic earlier today. We are implementing the following action steps which are consistent with many of our peer institutions across the country:

  • Today we are announcing the cancellation of in-person final exams, which begin on Tuesday. We will, instead, move to remote or on-line exams. We are asking that faculty remain lenient with students for in-class instruction through the few remaining days of the term.
  • The Provost will be in touch shortly with the faculty about support for offering online exams and courses, and faculty, in turn, will communicate directly with their students. We are asking faculty to be generous implementing course substitutions, and in particular, for graduating seniors.
  • Additionally, the University will move classes online, including at the Sturm College of Law (beginning Tuesday, March 17) until at least April 10. 
  • The on-line Interterm classes that were scheduled for Spring Break will continue as planned. The in-person Interterm classes are cancelled.
  • The University is not closed. As this situation evolves, we will continue to evaluate our University operations as we closely monitor the impact of COVID-19 on our community. We will be in touch with staff as there are new developments. 
  • Additional information will be provided shortly by the Dean of the Morgridge College of Education to families with students at the Ricks School for Gifted Children and Fisher Early Learning Center.
  • Decisions about whether or not we will continue online instruction for the remainder of the Spring term will be made no later than March 31. 

Here is a summary of the proactive steps the University is taking along with some additional information to protect your health.

Spring Break

We strongly encourage students who can go home for spring break to do so. Students with medical conditions should plan to go home, if at all possible for the break, since it will be difficult for us to maintain an appropriate level of care. Students should pack their non-essential items into University-provided boxes before they leave so that the residence halls can be thoroughly cleaned over the break. When students depart for spring break, they are advised to take all materials necessary for remote education. This would include items such as laptops, textbooks, notebooks, essential papers and other equipment. Students are also advised to take valuables and indispensable items. Students will definitely be receiving more communication from Residential Hall staff so please follow the directions followed in those communications. This is the best way for us to keep students safe and informed. 

For those students who must remain on campus during spring break, the residence halls will remain open as usual. There will be additional information coming soon about dining. 

We realize that many individuals within our community are planning to travel over spring break and we are asking you to be prepared to be flexible regarding your travel plans. Please follow all travel alerts—both domestic and international—closely. Students, please discuss your travel plans and share your detailed itinerary with your families and emergency contacts. 

International Travel

All non-essential international travel for University business is prohibited. We are requesting that all individuals who travel for personal reasons from areas where there is sustained outbreak to self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival before returning to campus. This protocol applies to students, faculty, staff, and visitors.

Domestic Travel

All non-essential faculty, staff and student out-of-state travel for University business within the United States is strongly discouraged. We are requesting that all individuals who travel for personal reasons from areas where there is sustained outbreak to self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival before returning to campus. This protocol applies to students, faculty, staff, and visitors. 


At this time, DU has not cancelled University-sponsored events. Governor Polis will be reaching out to the Colorado venue community tomorrow, asking that protocols be developed for large-scale events. We are currently reviewing all events with more than 100 participants and as we continue to monitor the current situation, we will re-evaluate and provide frequent updates and additional guidance. 

The NCAA has announced that upcoming championship events, including the Division I Ice Hockey and Gymnastics tournaments, will include only athletes, families of athletes and essential staff. 

Staying Healthy

Please continue using everyday guidance for preventing illness. Because the symptoms of COVID-19 are the same as influenza, if you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider immediately. Older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions, such as heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at a higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19. Please consult with your health care provider about additional steps you may be able to take to protect yourself.

The University has provided additional hand sanitizer stations across campus and the facilities staff has refilled existing ones. Dispensers are near main entrances and/or nearby elevators. Facilities staff are cleaning with disinfectant products in alignment with best practices from the Colorado Department of Health, in addition to increased cleaning of handrails,  doorknobs, and other high touch areas. They have also made cleaning kits available for students to use in residence halls.

When Employees Are Sick

If an employee is well enough to work, but has symptoms of illness, they should work from home wherever possible. Similarly, employees following post-travel guidelines or other quarantine and isolation protocols may need to stay away from work for a specific period of time.

While COVID-19 protocols are in place at DU, managers are asked to exercise as much flexibility as possible, allowing employees to work remotely when needed and where operationally feasible. Employees who feel they need to work remotely due to health or travel related restrictions should contact their manager as soon as possible to seek approval.

When sick, employees should follow normal call out procedures in their divisions. Employees should also record their time away from work when sick in Pioneer Time per normal practices. If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or difficulty breathing, contact your healthcare provider immediately. Call your healthcare provider before showing up so that their office can take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed.

If you have any questions, please contact your HR partner in HRIC.

Support Resources

As we cope with this health outbreak in the midst of the pressures and rigor of academic responsibilities, it is important to remember that the University has support resources for faculty, staff and students during this time or anytime.

For students: Regardless of your status on campus, students have the resources of the Health and Counseling Center by calling 303-871-2205 or reaching out via email at This central office will connect students to any additional resources needed.

For faculty and staff: SupportLinc is DU’s Employee Assistance Program for you and your immediate family members. All requests for information or assistance through the SupportLinc program are free of charge and completely confidential. You can contact SupportLinc anytime, around-the-clock. To get started, call 1-888-881-LINC [5462], or log in to the SupportLinc website or eConnect® mobile app (iOS/Android) with the username universityofdenver.

Inclusive Community

This illness does not discriminate between ethnic groups and neither should you. The University of Denver is its people—all its people. We are committed to creating and maintaining a community in which everyone is treated with dignity, decency, and respect. We will not tolerate any unlawful discrimination, harassment, or gender-based violence of any kind. When the University becomes aware that a member of the University community may have been subjected to or affected by discrimination, harassment, or gender-based violence, the University will take prompt, appropriate action to enforce the Discrimination and Harassment Policy. The University enforces this Policy pursuant to the University’s Office of Equal Opportunity & Title IX Procedures.

We will continue to re-evaluate and update our guidance as needed. In the meantime, please review DU’s COVID-19 website for ongoing updates to frequently asked questions and other important information.


Jeremy Haefner