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FAQ: Critical Service Employees
- How do I know if I am a critical services employee?
- I am a critical services employee. What childcare options are there for me?
- I am a critical services employee, do I need to have a mask?
- Will the university provide masks for critical services employees to use while working on campus?
- Do I need to wear a mask at all times while at work?
Your department in coordination with Human Resources determines which positions are critical services positions. Your supervisor will tell you if you have been designated a critical services employee. This is based upon the following criteria: Critical services are functions and duties that must be done on campus and cannot be deferred during an emergency; these duties must be performed continuously or resumed quickly following a disruption.
- Provide public safety services to campus including police, emergency management, environmental health & safety, fire safety and coordinating with other external public safety agencies for services.
- Provide for adequate housing, food, health and wellness services for campus residents.
- Ensure the ability to notify, message and maintain the regular flow of information with campus affiliates and the public.
- Maintain, protect, repair and restore critical on-campus infrastructure including university technologies, communications infrastructure, transportation systems and physical structures on campus.
- As determined by the VC for Research and Innovation on-campus activity needed to protect integrity of research.
- As determined by the Provost, on-campus activity needed to support the core academic mission.
Critical services employees may qualify for child care services available during this time. Most of these options will require parents to provide their critical employee letter provided by your department. If you are a critical services employee and did not receive a critical employee letter, please contact your supervisor or department HR office.
Child care options:
If you have regular child care that is remaining open for critical employees, you can provide the critical employee letter to the facility/care provider and continue using the service.
If you do not have regular child care or your child care has closed, you can register with the Colorado Emergency Child Care Collaborative. This service will assist parents in finding emergency child care that meets their needs. You can also check with the YMCA of Northern Colorado at https://www.ymcanoco.org/ to register directly for Boulder and Longmont programming.
If you have school-aged children who are engaging in distance learning, you may contact the Boulder Valley School District (you do not need to live in or attend Boulder Valley School District) for emergency child care. See the BVSD Emergency Childcare Flyer.
CU Boulder Human Resources does not administer these programs and cannot answer program-specific questions. Please visit the websites for contact information and additional details.
- On April 17, 2020, Gov. Jared Polis issued an executive order requiring employees of critical businesses and critical government functions to wear non-medical cloth face coverings while at work. Specifically, critical workers, when interacting in close proximity with other employees or with the public, are required to wear non-medical cloth face coverings that cover the nose and mouth while working, except where doing so would inhibit that individual’s health.
- Nothing in the governor’s order prevents critical workers from wearing a more protective face covering if that type of PPE is required due to the nature of the work performed.
- The governor’s order lasts for 30 days, unless extended by further executive order.
- Some critical services employees, based on the requirements of their job duties, already are utilizing masks or other personal protective equipment like gloves, and should follow the guidelines and requirements of their individual departments.
- The CU Boulder Office of Emergency Management is working with various campus departments to coordinate acquisition of reusable cloth masks, as well as disposable masks, to ensure access to them for all critical services employees who have been authorized to work on campus, including those who do not have a cloth mask or the ability to make one at home.
- Campus distribution of masks will be handled by the Distribution Center. Supervisors whose critical services employees need masks are asked to submit requests via webform.
- While the campus does have a supply of disposable non-medical masks for critical services employees currently, demand for masks everywhere is high, and orders for new reusable masks are currently back-ordered. In light of this, critical services employees who have their own cloth masks are encouraged to wear these at work, making sure to wash them frequently. Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Colorado Mask Project have tips for making masks out of household material and proper wear.
- Contractors performing work on campus should supply masks for their employees.
- The governor’s April 17 executive order referenced above specifies that “where workers interact in close proximity with other employees or with the public to wear medical or non-medical cloth face coverings that cover the nose and mouth while working, except where doing so would inhibit that individual’s health.”
- In light of this language, employees should wear face coverings in public and common areas of campus spaces. Discretion can be used in private offices or if working alone outdoors, though campus recommends erring on the side of caution if you expect the possibility of interaction with other employees, students or the public.
Know Where to Go
- CU Boulder COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Updates and Resources
- COVID-19 Personal Resources Guidebook
- Research and Innovation COVID-19 Resources
- Distribution Center and Mailing Services
- Benefits and Retirement
- Travel & Procurement Updates Related to the Coronavirus
- Parking Services for Critical Service Employees