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Update: Coronavirus - March 13, 2020

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Jeremy Haefner

News  •
En Español: Actualización: Coronavirus - 13 de marzo de 2020

Dear DU Community,

This is a trying time for our country, and world, and I want to reiterate that we remain resolved to help keep you as safe as possible. This is also a time when we must come together as a community and help one another to stay calm, safe and move through the shock of recent global events. 

We are continuing to closely monitor the coronavirus pandemic and are in close touch with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and other health officials. We now do have community members who have chosen to self-quarantine, and who have been tested for the virus. No results have come in yet, and no one has been diagnosed with the virus. However, we do feel that it is a matter of time before that happens, and thus we want to short-circuit the spread of the virus as best as we can. This means that we are beginning to trigger some of our contingency plans for university operations, starting immediately. As always, our top priority remains the health and well-being of our community. 

University Classes and Operations

A sizable number of local K-12 school districts will be closing for extended spring break starting Monday, March 16. This creates a substantial challenge for employees with children. Because of this, along with the advice from our health officials that we exercise social distancing and limit gatherings, we are cancelling classes for Monday, March 16. This is not an easy decision to make as this impacts our students and faculty but given these circumstances it is best for the community.   

As we have previously stated, as of Tuesday, we will offer final exams online or remotely for the remainder of winter quarter. Following spring break, spring quarter will begin on March 30 with classes online until at least April 10. (A decision about the remainder of spring quarter will be made no later than March 31). Classes at the Sturm College of Law will be offered online or remotely beginning March 17. Online Interterm classes will continue as scheduled.

The campus will remain open during this time. 

Students Living on Campus 

Students will be receiving more communication from Housing and Residential Life staff so please follow the directions followed in those communications. This is the best way for us to keep students safe and informed. 

Student specific information can be found on the DU COVID-19 website.

When Your Child’s School Closes

If area schools close amid concerns about COVID-19, employees responsible for the care of their dependents can stay home with them. The expectation is that employees will work from home where operationally feasible. If work from home is not possible while caring for a dependent, sick leave should be utilized. If no sick leave is available, vacation time should be utilized. If no accrued vacation time is available, the employee will be on unpaid leave. As always, employees must notify their supervisor as soon as possible if they plan to be away from work. 

If you are unsure as to whether or not your job can be performed remotely, please discuss with your supervisor. While COVID-19 protocols are in place at DU, employees are asked to refrain from bringing their children to work. 

University Events

To help prevent the spread of coronavirus, we are implementing new event restrictions. No new events should be planned and events with 100 or more participants should be cancelled. In addition, Advancement has cancelled all planned events through April 10; undergraduate and graduate admissions will not be hosting large events for the foreseeable future; and the NCAA has cancelled the rest of the winter and spring seasons. We have cancelled club and intramural sports as well.

University Travel

With a limited number of exceptions, our current travel restrictions are as follows:

  • Both domestic and international nonessential travel for University-business is prohibited.
  • Athletic travel and club events are suspended.
  • Essential University-related travel should be booked through the Pioneer Travel and Expense System (Concur).
  • We are requesting that all individuals who travel for personal reasons from areas where there is a sustained outbreak self-quarantine for 14 days before returning to campus. This protocol applies to students, faculty, staff, and visitors. 

Social Distancing

Individuals are strongly encouraged to use social distancing to help prevent the spread of the virus. In addition to increasing physical space of at least six feet between individuals, some of the other ways to implement social distancing include staggering work schedules, decreasing social contacts in the workplace (e.g., limit in-person meetings, meeting for lunch in a break room, etc.), and limiting large work-related gatherings (e.g., staff meetings, after-work functions). 

Existing Health Conditions 

According to the CDPHE in conjunction with the CDC, people with preexisting health conditions are at higher risk to develop complications from a COVID-19 infection. They recommend that people at higher risk of severe illness should stay home and away from public places. 

Working at DU

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

Non-benefitted employees and those that have exhausted their sick leave may be eligible for up to four days of paid sick leave through the Colorado Health Emergency Leave with Pay (HELP). To be eligible, employees must be exhibiting flu-like symptoms and test for COVID-19. If you have any questions, please contact your HR partner in HRIC.  

When Employees Are Sick 

If an employee is feeling unwell (but able to work) with symptoms of cold, flu or fever they should work from home and call their health care provider if their condition worsens. Employees who are returning from a high impact area will need to self-quarantine for at least 14 days. Please check with your direct supervisor.  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.

Caring Community

We want to emphasize that this illness does not discriminate between ethnic groups and neither should you. The University of Denver is its people—all its people. Please treat every member of our community with care and compassion, especially during trying times like these. No member or segment of our community is at fault for this outbreak. The University remains committed to treating every member of our community with dignity and respect.

Support Resources

We recognize that this rapidly evolving situation can cause anxiety and emotional strain. If you would like to speak with someone: 

Students: Regardless of your status on campus, you can reach out to the Health and Counseling Center by calling 303-871-2205 or via email at The central office will connect you to any additional resources you may need.

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.

This is an evolving situation to which DU, public health officials, and government agencies are responding in real time, and the University may impose new requirements if warranted by changing circumstances. 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