COVID-19, like the common cold, influenza (flu) and other respiratory diseases, can be transmitted person-to-person. Tips to stay healthy include:

  • If possible, get vaccinated. Updated COVID boosters will be available this fall. 
  • Make sure that you are getting enough rest, staying hydrated and eating nutritious meals.
  • Wash your hands and/or use hand sanitizer often.
  • Mask when recommended. Recommendations are available on the CDC website

COVID Vaccination and Boosters Flu Vaccination

Symptoms of COVID-19:

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness.

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Currently, the CDC lists the following signs and symptoms:

  • Cough
  • Fever or chills
  • Headache
  • Fatigue

  • Muscle or body aches
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Congestion or runny nose

  • Nausea or vomiting 
  • Diarrhea
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

The incubation period (the time between being exposed and developing symptoms) is 2 to 14 days, with about 50% of people showing symptoms around day 5.

Testing and treatment:

If you are experiencing symptoms (similar to a cold or the flu) or have had a recent exposure, test for COVID-19. COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses may look similar; your healthcare provider can recommend appropriate tests and treatments based on your circumstances. Testing and medical support are available through Medical Services and other local providers. 

  • At-home antigen test kits are available for purchase in the Apothecary.
  • PCR testing is available through Medical Services for students and asymptomatic faculty and staff.  Faculty and staff who are experiencing symptoms should consult with their health care provider for testing and treatment options.
  • AcademicLiveCare provides free telehealth urgent care support for students, faculty and staff.
  • Treatment options such as medications may be recommended. Contact your healthcare provider to determine what is best for you. 

What to do if you feel sick:

If you're not feeling well, stay home and contact your health care provider or Medical Services at 303-492-5101 for guidance.

  • Get tested
  • Recover at home away from others
  • Take care of yourself - stay hydrated and rest
  • Stay in touch with your doctor
  • Avoid public transportation
  • As much as possible, stay in a specific room

Staying home:

Prevent the spread of disease by staying home when unwell. This may mean missing class or work - communicating with your professor or supervisor as soon as possible is important. You are not required to share any test results or disclose details about your illness. Additional resources may include Student Support and Case Management and Human Resources.

  • COVID-19 isolation guidance from the CDC is available here - it includes a combination of staying home and masking to protect others. Current guidance (fall 2023) for most individuals includes isolating for at least 5 days from the start of symptoms and then masking when near others for an additional 5 days. Healthcare workers may have additional requirements. Your healthcare provider can help determine the isolation period that is appropriate for you.
  • The CDC provides additional information about protecting your health and traveling, including recommendations if COVID-19 positive, here
  • Clean your hands regularly - washing your hands for at least 20 seconds (try the Fight Song!) or using hand sanitizer when soap and water aren't available.
  • Cover any coughs or sneezes and dispose of used tissues immediately.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces.

If there are other people in your household, maintain as much distance as possible, wear a mask, and practice good hygiene - hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes, cleaning surfaces, and increasing ventilation (such as opening a window). Using a separate bedroom and bathroom are recommended if possible. Communicating about your plan is important and can help reduce potential conflicts.

Seek emergency help if:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin tone

Mental health support:

Navigating COVID-19 can be scary or overwhelming. Campus resources are available to support you, including:

  • CAPS
  • FSAP
  • Academic Live Care
  • Student Support and Case Management

Frequently asked questions

Individuals can request that another person wear a mask in a 1:1 setting, however, they may not require them to wear a mask.

Individuals can request that another person wear a mask, however, they may not require them to wear a mask.

In a mask-optional environment, you may request that students wear a mask. You may also choose to wear a mask for your own protection. You may not require students to wear a mask or ask them to leave if they choose not to wear a mask.

In a mask-optional environment, campus groups can recommend that participants wear a mask but cannot require it. Off-campus groups renting space on campus may choose to implement their own requirements. If an off-campus group requires masks, they would be responsible for enforcing that requirement.

In a mask-optional environment, individuals, including visitors to campus, make their own determination to wear a mask based on their comfort level.

Professors, instructors and individual offices can request that masks be worn but not require them.

Masks are not required, however, individuals can choose to wear them.

We will continue to track the evolution of this disease and work with campus, local and state health officials to ensure we are making the decisions that best protect our community. In particular, we would consider the transmission pattern of new variants, hospitalization rates and capacity of local hospitals in helping to make such a decision.

  • Students cannot request that an in-person course be taught to them remotely for reasons other than a documented disability that would require such an accommodation. Contact the Office of Disability Services for more information. 
  • You can choose to continue to wear a mask. 
  • Even if others are not wearing a mask, a well-fitted KN95 or N95 still provides protection.
  • For those who are both fully vaccinated/boosted and choose to wear a properly fitted N95 or KN95 mask, the chances of becoming infected with COVID-19 are extremely low.

  • If a department is not offering remote or hybrid work options, an employee can work with the ADA Compliance office to document a personal medical condition that would require an accommodation. 
  • In the absence of an ADA accommodation, any decision to work remotely or hybrid is a departmental decision based upon the nature of the employee’s work and the needs of the department.
  • If you have a medical condition that prevents you from being able to return to work, please contact ADA Compliance directly at Please be aware that you may need to provide medical documentation as a part of their process, so it is recommended you contact them as soon as possible to ensure they have time to assess your request prior to the return-to-work date.
  • Leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) may be a resource. Please contact Human Resources at to inquire if you would be eligible for FMLA and how FMLA can be used.
  • If you are experiencing other concerns or questions about returning to work, the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program is a free and confidential resource for employees, and we encourage you to connect with them to discuss your specific situation and navigate your options.