Shift to Remote Learning Town Hall | Nov. 6, 2020

On Friday, Nov. 6, the campus community met to discuss the campus shift to remote learning that will begin on Nov. 16 and extend through the end of the fall semester. CU Boulder leaders discussed the recent announcement and answered questions at the virtual event which was open to students, faculty, staff and Buff families. 

Updated 11/18/2020

CU Boulder is transitioning to fully remote learning for the remainder of the semester beginning Monday, Nov. 16, ahead of the originally planned shift after Fall Break.  The final day for in-person/hybrid course modality will be Friday, Nov. 13. This move is being made based on the continued projected rise in COVID-19 cases in the Denver metro region, which on Wednesday, Nov. 4 led the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to shift multiple counties, including Boulder County, to Level Orange: Safer at Home - High Risk on the state’s COVID-19 dial.  Effective Friday, Nov. 20, Boulder County is subsequently shifting to Level Red: Severe Risk as cases continue to rise statewide.

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 accelerating the shift to fully remote learning

  • The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) on Nov. 4 moved Boulder County, along with others in the Denver metro area, to the more restrictive Safer At Home Level Orange (formerly known as “Safer At Home Level 3”) on the state’s COVID-19 dial, effective Friday, Nov. 6. Effective Friday, Nov. 20, Boulder County is subsequently being shifted to Level Red: Severe Risk.

    • The state has made these moves due to rising infection rates in the county and the larger Denver metro area.

  • While the move to Level Red dictates few operational changes for the university, based on the continued projected rise in COVID-19 cases in the Denver metro region, we are taking the following steps to provide additional flexibility for our students and their families:

    • Our shift to remote learning for the remainder of the semester was moved up to Nov. 16. 

      • The last day for in-person instruction this semester was be Friday, Nov. 13, providing instructors and students ample time to prepare for the shift to remote instruction for the remainder of the semester. 

      • This shift provides the opportunity for students living both on and off campus to return to their communities before the week of Thanksgiving if they desire to do so.

      • For students who have a demonstrated need to remain on campus, we will continue to provide on-campus housing and dining, including isolation spaces for students who test positive for COVID-19, for the remainder of the fall term.

    • We are supporting students who wish to leave campus earlier than previously planned by providing expanded on-campus testing starting the week of Nov. 9.

Boulder County Public Health Orders: 

  • Boulder County Public Health has multiple public health orders in place aimed at continuing to reduce the transmission of COVID-19, particularly among those ages 18 to 22 years within the city of Boulder. 

  • Continued participation in testing by our students is vital to identifying cases early and slowing the spread of COVID-19.

    • 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. 

  • 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. 

State of Colorado COVID-19 dial:

  • As of Nov. 6, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has moved Boulder County, along with others in the Denver metro area, to the more restrictive Safer At Home Level Orange (formerly known as “Safer At Home Level 3”) on the state’s COVID-19 dial. On Nov. 17, CDPHE announced that Boulder County will move to Level Red: Severe Risk, effective Friday, Nov. 20.

    • The state has made this move due to rising infection rates in the county and the larger Denver metro area.

  • Under Level Red: Severe Risk:

    • CU Boulder can continue to provide limited in-person instruction when necessary.

    • CU-sponsored indoor events are prohibited. 

    • The limit on CU-sponsored outdoor events remains at 75 people or 25% of venue capacity, though Boulder County Public Health orders prohibit spectators at sporting events, including intercollegiate athletics.

    • Informal personal gatherings are prohibited outside your own household. In residence halls, your household is considered your room or apartment unit.

  • While the move to Level Red dictates few operational changes for the university, based on the continued projected rise in COVID-19 cases in the Denver metro region, we have taken the following steps to provide additional flexibility for our students and their families:

    • Our shift to remote learning for the remainder of the semester moved up to Nov. 16. 

      • The last day for in-person instruction this semester was Friday, Nov. 13, providing instructors and students ample time to prepare for the shift to remote instruction for the remainder of the semester. 

      • This shift provides the opportunity for students living both on and off campus to return to their communities before the week of Thanksgiving if they desire to do so.

Academics

  • We will transition from our current in-person hybrid teaching mode of operation and move to a fully remote mode of instruction beginning Monday, Nov. 16.

  • Instructors are encouraged to communicate with their students immediately to provide specific information and guidance on how this shift will affect their courses.

  • Instructors are encouraged to consult with their chairs, directors and/or deans to resolve any logistical challenges associated with the transition to remote teaching.

  • Instructors are encouraged to visit the Center for Teaching and Learning and the Office of Information and Technology for pedagogical and technological assistance with remote instruction.

  • Shift to remote instruction FAQs for instructional personnel are available. The Nov. 5 e-memo from the provost 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. 

  • 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 saliva monitoring appointments

  • During this time, students living in university housing are asked to comply with local and state health guidance, including the prohibition of personal gatherings outside one’s household as outlined in the shift to Level Red: Severe Risk on the state COVID-19 dial. 

    • Wear a face covering when you leave your room or apartment.  

  • For students (other than those who are in isolation or quarantine) who want to return home for the rest of the semester be sure to review leaving for break information.

  • 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

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  • ll 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 and their families.

  • 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.

    • Effective Friday, Nov. 20, Boulder County is being shifted to Level Red: Severe Risk on the state COVID-19 dial, meaning personal gatherings outside one’s household are not allowed. 

  • 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 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.

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition

    • Tuition will not be adjusted based on the shift to remote learning. 

    • 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 shift to remote learning. Many of the services these fees support remain available to students, whether they are studying in person or remotely. Some of the fees are not actually tied to services offered, but support operations and buildings on campus.

Medical Care & COVID-19 Testing

  • On-campus monitoring testing will continue for all on-campus residents, and is also 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.

  • 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.

  • Free diagnostic testing is available at multiple community testing sites

  • 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

  • Boulder County’s move to Level Red: Severe Risk on the state COVID-19 dial, effective Friday, Nov. 20, means that indoor events are not allowed. 

    • Outdoor events under Level Red: Severe Risk are restricted to 75 people or 25% of venue capacity. However, current county public health orders prohibit spectators at sporting events, including intercollegiate athletics.

    • 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.

  • Under the state’s Level Red: Severe Risk category, personal gatherings are not allowed outside one’s own household.

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