Broadening Our Approach
COVID-19 remains with us, but unlike at the start of other quarters, we have effective interventions and treatments. Current dominant variants are also less severe—with fewer hospitalizations and deaths. With high vaccination rates, over 95% on campus, we are seeing more individuals take personal responsibility for their health and the health of others. As the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) guidance shifted oversight of the health and wellbeing of people back to individuals, the University's role is evolving to support personal responsibility. This shift allows DU to focus on other public health challenges like well-being, mental health, suicide prevention.
Public Health at DU
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SPIT Lab and Care Pod
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What Have We Learned From COVID-19?
To be a healthy community and effectively deliver on our mission, we must embrace the lessons we have learned over the last two years.
- If you have symptoms—get tested, stay home, and wear a mask.
- Quality science and data improve decision-making.
- Create social connections, knowing that relationships can sustain us during challenging times.
- Remember that we share a transformative purpose, and a shared sense of purpose can be a powerful source of belonging.
Indeed, these are only a few highlights, but these lessons empowered DU to retain the following resources for the benefit of our community:
- PCR tests are available at the DU Carepod free of charge to DU Community members.
- Vaccines and boosters for COVID-19 are available at our Health and Counseling Center (HCC)
- Students can access mental health services through the HCC, and employees have similar access through our Employee Assistance Program.
We continue these practices because we believe they demonstrate our commitment to community wellbeing. Like other benefits, we encourage our students and employees to utilize these benefits to keep our community healthy.
What To Expect
We will open the fall with no mandatory testing unless you are a close contact with someone who is COVID+ or if you are part of an official outbreak (5 or more connected cases within a specific group.) We continue to offer high-quality testing and results within 24-48 hours.
Our contact tracing team continues to follow positive cases, requiring isolation for any positives and testing for close contacts.
Isolation expectations have also evolved, recognizing that while COVID remains highly contagious, many individuals have managed isolation effectively. The University has a limited number of isolation beds and will use those for residential students who cannot effectively isolate themselves in their assigned residential space.
The DU public health team monitors our daily testing results, noting that city and state officials determined a COVID outbreak as five or more connected cases. When DU has an outbreak, DU’s public health team notifies the college or division (dean/division head), the provost (if an academic unit), or the Senior Vice Chancellor for Business and Financial Affairs (if an operational unit), and the specific unit lead, like a department chair or program leader.
The department or program leader helps the public health team identify the likely boundary of an outbreak based on connected roles, courses, or physical locations on campus to identify individuals within one or two degrees of separation from any of the five individuals who tested positive. Once identified, individuals within those boundaries wear a mask on campus and continue with required testing until two weeks after the last reported connected case has passed.
Public health will continue to use "Campus Access" status and its connection to doors to identify individuals who fail to comply with vaccination, testing, or isolation protocols. DU community members must monitor their access status to maintain good standing and avoid difficulties entering buildings.
As protocols and alerts have changed frequently over the last two years and in preparation for the fall 2022 quarter, the Public Health Team offers a protocol section of the website, FAQs for faculty, and an inventory of communication on DU's new Public Health Website.
Disinfection & Supplies
Classrooms are cleaned daily. Between classes, disinfecting supplies, including wipes and hand sanitizer, are provided in the classroom so that individuals can wipe their areas before class. In any situation, building coordinators and COVID-19 Access Managers can still submit a Disinfectant Material Request for their buildings. To receive disinfectant products from the Warehouse, building managers submit an online Facilities Work Request.
DU continues to utilize MERV13 filters in some buildings, and facility personnel have increased the ventilation rates and use of outdoor air as systems allow for proper operations.