Students walking apart from each other near the Rec Center on campus.


While young people are less likely to experience severe or life-threatening complications from COVID-19, you play a critical role in minimizing the spread of the disease. Here are some important factors to consider to help control the spread of COVID-19.

How does it spread?

COVID-19 spreads primarily from person-to-person through close contact. However, it can also remain active in water droplets in the air from coughs or sneezes or by touching infected surfaces. Following guidelines for social distancing (staying 6 ft. minimum away from others), staying at home except for essential activities and practicing good hygiene are the only way to help our communities control the spread of this virus and limit the strain on our healthcare workers.

But what if I’m not sick?

Many people who are infected and at risk of infecting others may have mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. Because it is difficult to tell if you are infected without proper testing, it’s important to follow all guidelines, even if you don’t think you’re sick. You could still be infecting people around you, including your friends, family or other loved ones, who may be at risk for developing more serious complications.

Can I still hang out with a small group of close friends?

No. All gatherings of individuals of any size for any reason outside of your immediate household are banned with Colorado's Stay at Home order effective on March 26. This order is in place to help minimize the spread of the virus and has strict guidelines for what is and is not allowable. 

But what if we’re outside?

The virus spreads the same way, whether you’re indoors or outside. Colorado's Stay at Home order requires everyone to stay at home, unless you’re outside to perform essential activities like grocery shopping, medical care or participating in outdoor recreation at a legally-mandated safe distance of six feet or more from other parties. Outdoor gatherings of any size are not allowed. CU Boulder’s Fitness Court and basketball courts are closed at this time. Recreational fields will remain open for personal exercise only — no group activies are permitted. 

If you choose to exercise outside, you are required to follow social distancing guidelines of staying six feet or more from others. Stay in your neighborhood or local area whenever possible. Try to go outside during less busy times (early mornings are best). One way to tell how much foot traffic is in an area is to look at how many cars are parked in lots or along the streets. If you decide to go for a walk or hike on a local trail, take care to avoid unnecessary contact with rural communities. These communities are more vulnerable to the virus and the impacts of limited healthcare resources. If you must stop at a rural town or business, maintain social distancing and keep your interactions brief.

Be safe, not selfish

While we may be feeling stressed about our relationships, boredom levels or other life events, it’s important to keep things in perspective. Staying at home isn’t just about protecting yourself, it’s also about protecting all of our loved ones, our healthcare workers and other people in our communities. 

Take a moment to remember who you are staying home for. This could be a parent, grandparent, friend or someone you may not even know. Identify a list of people that are worth staying home for and remind yourself of how much they mean to you before you make plans to go outside. We are all in this together, and we need your help to keep all of our communities healthy and safe. 

Need inspiration for things to do at home? Student Affairs has compiled a number of virtual activities for you to enjoy. 

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