Respiratory Virus Guidance

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recently updated their respiratory virus guidance for common respiratory viral illnesses, including COVID-19, flu, and RSV.  Specifically, a 5 day isolation period is no longer recommended for COVID-19 infection but rather stay home and away from others while sick and you can return to school or work when at least 24 hours have passed and both of the following are true:

  • Your symptoms are getting better overall, and
  • You have not had a fever (and are not using fever-reducing medication).

Historically, DU has mirrored CDC recommendations for our students, faculty, and staff and we wanted to share what this will look like going forward.   

  1. DU's Respiratory Virus Approach: Starting on March 04, 2024, DU will adopt this new guidance based on the CDC's guidelines. There will no longer be the recommendation for 5 days of isolation for COVID-19 infection and as previously announced in the spring of 2023, no requirements for testing, quarantine, or contact tracing at DU.
  1. What new evidence has led to this updated Respiratory Virus Guidance
  • There are more and better tools and protection to fight serious respiratory illness.
  • Effective treatments are widely available.
  • Population immunity to COVID-19 is high.
  • Far fewer people are getting seriously ill from COVID-19.
  1. Further Recommendations: Many options still exist to prevent infections and DU encourages everyone to be aware of and utilize these strategies.


  • Stay current on flu and COVID-19 vaccinations, available at local pharmacies.  The HCC has free flu shots available for all students.
  • It is recommended adults aged 65 and older get a second annual COVID-19 shot this spring (2024).
  • Adults ages 60 years and older should talk to their healthcare provider about whether an RSV vaccine is right for them.


  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough and sneeze. Throw used tissues in the trash. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hands.
  • Learn and use proper handwashing techniques.

Clean Air

  • Bring as much fresh air into your living space as possible by opening doors and windows and/or using exhaust fans.
  • Use a portable high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) cleaner.
  • Where appropriate, move activities outdoors, where airflow is best.


  • Wearing a mask is an additional prevention strategy that you can choose to further protect yourself and others.

Physical Distancing

  • Avoid being near someone who has respiratory virus symptoms.
  • Avoid crowded areas where you may be unable to maintain physical distance.


  • Get tested quickly, particularly if you are someone who could benefit from treatment for respiratory viruses.


All of the prevention strategies described in this guidance can be helpful to reduce risk. They are especially helpful when:

  • Respiratory viruses are causing a lot of illness in our community.
  • You or the people around you were recently exposed to a respiratory virus, are sick, or are recovering.
  • You or the people around you have risk factors for severe illness.
  • You may not be aware of the things that can make others more vulnerable to serious illness. Using the core prevention strategies will provide a degree of protection regardless. If you are unsure about the health condition or risk status of those around you, the most protective option is choosing to use additional prevention strategies, like masking, physical distancing, and testing.

Staff and faculty should contact your health providers for information and support for self and families and follow applicable procedures for absence from work due to illness.

Students can receive care at HCC, including low cost COVID and Flu testing options.

Medical Coverage for International Travelers (New)

For international travelers, we launched a new and comprehensive medical insurance plan that covers most urgent and emergent medical issues for DU students, faculty and staff traveling internationally for DU business and/or academic-related programs. This will improve our travel record-keeping through an enhanced partnership with International SOS allowing DU to respond to emergencies and COVID-19 cases more efficiently.


Therese Mashak
Public Health Project Manager

Health and Counseling Center