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Update on Safer at Home

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Jeremy Haefner

News  •

Dear DU Community,

Today I’m writing to share what we know so far about how Colorado’s new Safer-at-Home Order will impact the University of Denver and you.

As you are probably aware, Colorado’s Stay-at-Home Order expired several days ago, and the state has entered a new Safer-at-Home phase that is designed to allow some businesses to begin to slowly reopen while still limiting the spread of COVID-19. Importantly, Mayor Hancock’s current order for Denver is more restrictive, and requires Denver residents to stay at home until Friday, May 8. An update on Denver’s order is expected soon.

I want to begin by stressing that your health is our first concern. This means that if you are immunocompromised or caring for someone who is—or if you have other health issues that make you particularly vulnerable to COVID-19—you will not be required to return to campus once we begin slowly bringing employees back.

Gov. Polis made clear that during the Safer-at-Home phase, which continues until at least May 26, Coloradans are highly encouraged to continue to practice behaviors that will help minimize the spread of COVID-19, such as remaining at home as much as possible, wearing a face mask when around other people, observing physical distancing, limiting social interaction, and taking care of vulnerable populations.

As you may know, Gov. Polis also recently signed an executive order that extends the suspension of in-person instruction at all public and private elementary and secondary schools until the end of the 2019–2020 school year.

Given the state’s most recent orders and guidance, and Denver’s current situation, here’s what we can expect over the next few weeks:

  • Next week we will share with the DU community our detailed plan for a very gradual and phased return to work for up to 50 percent of our employees. This will go into effect only once Denver’s restrictions are lifted.
  • The plan will put in place numerous safeguards for ensuring a healthy work environment, including a very slow, gradual return, physical distancing both within buildings and outside of them, temperature checks outside every building before entering, face coverings for everyone on campus, and other protocols.
  • We will decide about summer conferences, camps, events, and Newman Center performances by no later than May 15.
  • As previously announced, we will decide about undergraduate and graduate commencement ceremonies by no later than May 15.

We continue to keep our COVID-19 website up to date with critical health-and-safety information. You’ll also find more information about Colorado’s Safer-at-Home Order here.

I am so grateful for the excellent work you continue to do under such stressful circumstances and wish you and your loved ones a peaceful weekend.

Jeremy Haefner