Updated 10/7/2020

CU Boulder is transitioning from our current remote teaching mode of operation and resuming in-person and hybrid in-person teaching on Wednesday, Oct. 14. This move is being made in conjunction with a pair of new Boulder County Public Health orders announced on Wednesday, Oct. 7, and that go into effect on Thursday, Oct. 8. 

Details of what this means for CU Boulder students, faculty and staff are below. Campus officials will continue to update this webpage as details emerge.

On this page:

Reasons for Returning to In-Person Instruction

  • The number of COVID-19 cases among students has dropped significantly from the surge in September. With the support of Boulder County Public Health, the campus is able to return to our original hybrid model of instruction that was in place at the start of the fall 2020 semester.

  • Our ability to return is thanks to the significant efforts of our students over the past few weeks to comply with public health orders, wear masks, physically distance and avoid public gatherings. 

Boulder County Public Health Orders:

  • Boulder County Public Health on Wednesday, Oct. 7 announced a pair of new public health orders aimed at continuing to reduce the transmission of COVID-19, particularly among those ages 18 to 22 years within the city of Boulder. 

  • The new orders, 2020-08 and 2020-09, replace Boulder County Public Health Order 2020-07, which expires at noon on Thursday, Oct. 8. 

  • The new orders provide new opportunities for loosened restrictions and greater opportunities for in-person social interactions as COVID-19 metrics continue to improve among this age group. 

  • Boulder County Public Health will assess the status of local COVID-19 metrics each Tuesday to make a determination of where we stand and what that means for adjusting the restrictions. On of Tuesday, Oct. 20, BCPH shifted to Baseline Level, meaning gatherings of up to 10 people are allowed for those in the 18-to-22 age group. This is the same guideline that currently applies to people of all ages in Boulder County.

    • On Oct. 26, the state issued additional guidance that requires any personal social gatherings to consist of people from no more than two households.

  • Our students’ ability to have greater in-person social interactions also depends on their continued participation in COVID-19 testing.

    • On-campus residents will continue weekly testing under our monitoring program. 

    • Our on-campus monitoring program is also now open to all off-campus students, as well as all faculty and staff. 

    • All students who left campus during the remote instruction period are strongly encouraged to get tested prior to returning, as noted in the travel guidance section below.

  • Students must also participate in contact tracing when contacted. This is a requirement of the public health orders, and is one of the best methods for protecting the campus and community from further spread of COVID-19. Students will not be penalized for participating in contact tracing in any way. 

  • Full details on the new orders are posted on the Boulder County Public Health webpage.

Academics

  • We will transition from our current remote teaching mode of operation and resume in-person and hybrid in-person teaching on Wednesday, Oct. 14.

    • We expect most classes to fully return to their original fall 2020 instructional modes by this date, with exceptions based on specific public health requirements and individual faculty requests, subject to department chair and dean approvals.

    • Students should check with their instructors for specific guidance on when and how they will transition back to on-campus learning experiences.

      • Faculty and students should communicate with each other about expectations and preparations for returning to in-person learning.

    • Faculty should consult with their chairs and/or deans to resolve logistical challenges associated with the transition back to on-campus teaching activities. 

    • Some faculty/departments/colleges/schools have asked to return to on-campus in-person teaching before Oct. 14.

      • Faculty should work with their departments/deans to ensure that any early return to in-person instruction is conducted in an orderly, effective and equitable manner, keeping in mind the needs and challenges of our students.

  • Students should consult with their professor or instructor with any questions on their course modality. 

  • Courses originally designated as remote or online at the start of the fall semester are continuing in their regular formats.

  • Return to in-person instruction FAQs are available. The Oct. 7 provost’s letter also provides information for instructional personnel. 

  • Resources and services for academic help are available.

  • Remote learning tips and resources for students are available.

  • The Office of Information Technology’s COVID-19 Resources webpage provides resources, guidance, and links to services and support to make remote teaching, learning and working easier.

  • The Writing Center is open to the campus community.

  • University Libraries resources and services remain open:

    • Check out books and other library materials using the contactless pickup service. Some materials are available only electronically via HathiTrust.

    • Librarians are ready to help with research and coursework. Reach out using Ask a Librarian–get live help on Mondays through Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., on Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and during weekends from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

    • Loaner laptops and Wi-Fi hotspots are available at no cost to students with demonstrated financial need. Please ask a faculty or staff member to complete this form on your behalf.

Research

  • Researchers and research-related activities are not impacted.

  • No requests are necessary related to previous return-to-research approvals.

Campus Operations

  • The CU Boulder campus remains open. 

  • The University Libraries are continuing contactless pickup and virtual services. Study spaces in Gemmill Library reopen on Oct 12; study spaces in the business library reopen on Oct 19.

  • The Rec Centers remain open by appointment only.

  • Staff who have been working on campus during this time should continue to report to work. 

    • Staff already working remotely will continue to do so unless instructed otherwise by their supervisors.

  • Student employees and work-study students should report to work as scheduled unless directed otherwise by their supervisors.

  • The Office of Information Technology remains open. The IT Service Center is available for call and email support from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday to Friday. Buff Techs provide in-person computer and device support by appointment only.

Residence Halls & Living on Campus

  • Residence halls, apartments and dining locations remain open with the current safety protocols in place, including the continued requirement to participate in weekly monitoring testing. 

  • During this time, students living in university housing are asked to comply with local and state health guidance. 

  • For students (other than those who are in isolation or quarantine) in the residence halls during this remote learning period:

    • As of Tuesday, Oct. 20, gatherings of more than 10 people among 18-to-22-year-olds continue to be prohibited in the city of Boulder. This restriction is subject to loosen or tighten in accordance with Boulder County Public Health Order 2020-08.

      • On Oct. 26, the state issued additional guidance that requires any personal social gatherings to consist of people from no more than two households.

    • Wear a face covering when you leave your room or apartment, do not have visitors or guests in your hall or room, and complete your weekly saliva monitoring appointment.  

  • For students (other than those who are in isolation or quarantine) who want to move out of the residence halls for the rest of the semester/academic year:

    • If a first-year student currently living on campus wants to be released from their housing contract, the student may petition for an exemption to the live-on requirement by submitting the Freshman Release Form in the MyCULiving portal.

    • Students should refer to their housing contract for further information on the process of early termination.

  • Residential students who are currently in isolation or in quarantine through the public health office must comply with the directives they have been given and may not travel without permission from Boulder County Public Health or the CU Boulder Public Health office.

Public Health Guidance for Traveling Home

  • All students are strongly encouraged to remain in Boulder in their local residences during the fall academic term to prevent the unintended spread of the virus to other communities.

  • Students should think through the risks of traveling home and ensure that the people they’ll be living with agree to allow them to stay. 

  • Students who are in isolation or quarantine are not allowed to leave without permission in accordance with public health guidance.

  • CU Boulder strongly encourages other students who wish to move home to get tested for COVID-19 and have a negative result before moving in order to help prevent spread of the virus to other communities. Students should complete the test two to three days before departure. There are multiple ways to get tested for free if you are asymptomatic.

  • Students who want to return to campus after being at home must contact their health care provider for testing if they are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms. 

    • For students who are not experiencing symptoms and are able to do so, we encourage them to get tested and receive a negative test result 24 to 48 hours prior to returning to campus. 

    • Otherwise, asymptomatic students are encouraged to visit one of our on-campus monitoring sites as soon as returning to campus.  

  • In conjunction with CU Boulder, state and local public health officials, additional health guidance for students who want to return home temporarily or permanently during this time includes:

    • Public or shared transportation, including air travel, is not allowed for students in isolation, quarantine or who have been identified through contact tracing as a close contact of a COVID-19-positive individual.

    • Students who live at specific addresses identified in Boulder County Public Health orders as stay-at-home addresses face additional restrictions on returning home that are outlined in the orders and must contact the CU Boulder Public Health office before leaving: 303-735-0017 or contacttracing@colorado.edu.  

    • If you are traveling: 

      • Wear a face mask and ride in the rear seat of the vehicle (if in a taxi or rideshare).

      • Where possible, keep a window open for the duration of the journey.

      • Handle your own luggage and wipe down your personal items after reaching your destination.

      • Use cashless payment options, if possible.

      • If using rideshare or other delivery service options for food or groceries, opt for contactless drop-off.

Isolation Spaces for Students Living on Campus

  • In order to meet community needs, we have expanded the number of isolation spaces that are available for on-campus residents to reduce community spread and care for our students. 

  • Isolation spaces are evaluated and considered by public health experts, and each space must have proper ventilation and a private bathroom or bathroom separate from those in use by residents who are not COVID-19-positive. 

  • In order to protect the privacy of students in isolation, residents will not be notified that isolation spaces are in use in their building.

  • We have worked to create dedicated isolation buildings. In limited cases, we may need to isolate students with COVID-19 in buildings where healthy students also live. Our students' health and well-being are paramount. In these instances, we will work with our health and facilities experts to take all possible precautions, including providing private or dedicated restrooms for students in isolation and ensuring proper ventilation for all spaces. 

  • Students who are in isolation spaces receive daily check-ins from Health and Wellness Services to monitor their physical health symptoms, as well as to provide support, including but not limited to food, supplies and mental health resources.

Living Off Campus

  • Off-campus students must comply with local and state public health orders. Wear a face covering when you leave your home room or apartment and do not exceed gathering limits in your apartment or house.

  • As of Tuesday, Oct. 20, gatherings of more than 10 people among 18-to-22-year-olds continue to be prohibited in the city of Boulder. This restriction is subject to loosen or tighten in accordance with Boulder County Public Health Order 2020-08.

    • On Oct. 26, the state issued additional guidance that requires any personal social gatherings to consist of people from no more than two households.

  • Off-campus students who are not subject to stay-at-home requirements may visit campus in line with the return to in-person learning requirements. The limitation on gatherings does not apply to work activities.

  • Off-campus students who are asymptomatic can take advantage of our on-campus monitoring testing sites.

Where to Study

  • Students who are not subject to stay-at-home requirements may study anywhere on or off campus, as long as they are alone and appropriately physically distanced from others.   

  • Students who are not subject to stay-at-home requirements may continue to reserve study space on campus if needed to access remote instruction or coursework (for example, in cases where a student needs a stable internet connection), or to study in between approved in-person lab, studio, or performance courses.

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition

    • Students who choose to take a leave of absence or withdraw from classes for the semester can work with the Office of the Registrar on the process for withdrawing or taking a leave of absence. Students receiving financial aid through CU Boulder should review the Office of Financial Aid's withdrawal policy and contact Financial Aid for individual questions.

  • Fees

    • There will not be fee reductions or refunds due to the temporary remote course instruction period that expires Oct. 14. Students will continue to benefit from services and support resources funded through fees. If the campus were to go fully remote for the remainder of the semester, students would receive a graduated refund for certain fees based on the timing of that decision. 

    • Students who go fully remote for specific health-related reasons and still have in-person courses should contact the Bursar’s Office directly.

  • Campus housing and dining: Students should refer to their housing contract for information on the process and financial implications associated with early termination. 

Medical Care & COVID-19 Testing

  • On-campus monitoring testing will continue for all on-campus residents, and is also now available to all off-campus students, faculty and staff who are asymptomatic. On-campus residents: please continue to complete your weekly test. If you have a clinical confirmed positive PCR test for COVID-19, you should not attend the weekly monitoring program while you are in isolation or for the remainder of the semester.

  • Students who live off-campus can utilize one of two walk-up sites for monitoring tests. These tests are for individuals who are asymptomatic and have no known exposure to COVID-19. 

  • Testing for students who are symptomatic, have been identified as close contacts through contact tracing, or who have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19 is available at the Public Health Clinic at Wardenburg Health Center

  • Faculty and staff who have been identified as close contacts through contact tracing will have access to testing at the Public Health Clinic at Wardenburg Health Center. Faculty and staff who are asymptomatic and have had no known exposure to COVID-19 can also use the on-campus walkup monitoring sites or the free drive-up testing site in east Boulder.

  • Free testing is available in the City of Boulder through at least Oct. 18.

  • Learn more about symptoms and testing.

  • Students experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should contact their medical provider or the Public Health Clinic at Wardenburg Health Center. For nights and weekends, Medical Services offers a 24/7 nurse line at 303-492-5101 that can recommend self-care options and assess whether someone needs to be seen by a health care provider.

  • Faculty and staff who are symptomatic should contact their medical provider.

  • Learn more about how you can help Protect Our Herd.

Events/Gatherings

  • The Boulder County Public Health shift to Baseline level for all 18-to-22-year olds, in accordance with Public Health Order 2020-08, allows for limited CU-sponsored in-person events on campus. 

    • However, our university moratorium on in-person, on-campus events remains in place until further guidance is finalized. Narrow exceptions to this are being made in the interim for events organized by Student Affairs to help support the health and well-being of our students and create opportunities for community among our students.

  • The campus is working with CU departments/units and students using the county and state public health recommendations to develop what CU-sponsored events will look like, and will provide more information soon.

  • As of Tuesday, Oct. 20, gatherings of more than 10 people continue to be prohibited for 18-to-22-year-olds in the city of Boulder. This restriction is subject to loosen or tighten in accordance with Boulder County Public Health Order 2020-08.
    • On Oct. 26, the state issued additional guidance that requires any personal social gatherings to consist of people from no more than two households.

Outbreak Status

  • CU Boulder remains listed on the state outbreak database.

  • The university is working with state and county public health officials to address the outbreak and follow any additional guidance.

Enforcement

  • Serious public health violations like hosting or attending a large gathering or breaking isolation will result in an interim 10-day suspension pending adjudication through Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution, with the presumptive result being suspension for the remainder of the semester.

  • Under Boulder County Public Health Orders 2020-08 and 2020-09, violators may face criminal charges and other penalties. 

Programs, Services & Support