Can I require a mask to be worn in my private office?

The campus requires facial coverings or masks to be worn in all indoor public areas. Everyone who uses or visits a shared office space (including cubicles, huddle spaces, etc.) will need to be masked. Those who have private offices may wear masks and may request that visitors wear masks, including posting signage with that request if desired.

Can I designate my private office as a public space?

If another individual enters a private office, the office owner can decide that designation based on business needs. Examples may be advising, counseling or office hours.

If I sit in a group of cubicles, do I have to wear a mask?

Yes. If you are in a publicly accessible space and not in a private office, masks will be required.

In the mask exemption, does "controlled-access facilities" mean a locked building?

No. If any building, locked or unlocked, can be accessed via Buff OneCard by other university employees outside your department and/or the public, masks should be worn in all shared spaces. While working alone in a private office, a mask can be removed. Buildings with controlled-access include residence halls.

If a student or guest refuses to wear a mask in a public indoor space, can service be denied?

Yes. An option is to reschedule the service by suggesting an online meeting or moving the meeting to a larger room or outside. If a service is being performed, the service can be rescheduled when the area is empty or when the occupant will wear a mask.

Where can departments order disposable masks?

Departments can order disposable masks through the face mask order form for their reception areas, suites or other areas as needed for faculty, staff and students.

Can staff request Plexiglas or other barriers in their offices or cubicles?

Plexiglas or other barriers are not recommended in offices or cubicle spaces as this can restrict airflow and air exchange rates. Plexiglas and other barriers could be an option in open spaces such as reception areas.

What should an employee do when they have someone in their immediate household who is exhibiting cold/flu symptoms, even if they themselves are not?

Employee should track their own symptoms. The Buff Pass is not required but is an option to track symptoms. Employees should go to work as usual and consider additional mitigation practices such as wearing a mask, washing hands frequently, sanitizing their workspace before and after shift and maintaining social distance.

If you need to take care of a family member who is sick:

  • Request to work remotely. This is dependent on the unit’s needs, agreed upon work modalities, and the employee’s role.
  • Take sick leave.

If a person has had a known exposure to COVID-19 and been asked to quarantine by a Public Health official, they should stay home. COVID leave information can be found on the COVID-19 HR Processes page.

Can employees ask individuals to refrain from coming in if they are not feeling well?

Yes. A standard request for everyone to not come into the class/office if they are not feeling well would be allowable.

When can the supervisor tell an employee to stay home or go home?

When an employee’s illness or injury impacts the employee’s ability to perform the job or the safety of others. If the supervisor tells an employee to stay home or go home the leave should be coded as sick leave. If no sick leave is available, vacation or leave without pay can be used.

Am I eligible for COVID-19 leave if my child's school goes remote?

At this time, employees may be eligible for Public Health Emergency Leave (PHEL) that allows for sick leave to be used for childcare if a public official has ordered the closure of the school or place of care of the employee’s child and the employee needs to be absent from work to care for the employee’s child. If schools close in the future, there may be updated emergency leave guidance. COVID leave information can be found on the COVID-19 HR Processes page.

Do I need to isolate if I test positive for COVID? If so, for how long?

When you have a confirmed positive COVID-19 test result, connect with the Public Health Office (303-735-0017 or They will ask you about your symptoms, health concerns, possible exposures, and current situation. The case investigator will provide you with a timeline for isolation and recommendations based on your situation, as well as other resources as needed to support you and those around you.

What happens if I get exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19?

If fully vaccinated and you do not have symptoms, you do not need to quarantine or test and you are asked to monitor for symptoms for 14 days after an exposure. Masking when in indoor public places and testing day 3-5 from last exposure may be recommended (CDC recommendation). You should return to work on campus during your regularly scheduled time periods.

If unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, and you have been identified as a close contact you should quarantine and consider testing day 5-7 from last exposure. The length of time for the quarantine would depend on several factors and should be determined by a contact tracer. Contact tracers do ask about vaccine status and can help make appropriate determinations. Please contact the CU Boulder contact tracing team (303-735-0017 or Once you know how long you will be out of the office on quarantine, please let your immediate supervisor know.

If you do have symptoms, please isolate and get a COVID-19 test immediately, either by calling Medical Services to schedule a test or testing at a community testing site.

Why are you not requiring quarantine or isolation for employees who have or have been exposed to COVID-19?

Isolation and quarantine guidance is provided in alignment with CDC directives and based on vaccination status. Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 must follow isolation instructions provided by their public health official. Individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19 will be provided with guidance, resources and support from a public health official.

Do employees need to disclose their exposure to or diagnosis of COVID-19?

An employee who tests positive should receive resources from their county public health. We encourage employees to disclose the diagnosis with their supervisor to facilitate sick leave requests. Employees can also connect with to understand how to implement the directives from contact tracing. COVID leave information can be found on the COVID-19 HR Processes page.

Can a supervisor request a negative COVID-19 test for an employee to come back to work?

No. CU Boulder would not require testing for an employee to come back to work.

Will individuals who are not employees or students (contractors, POI, volunteers, etc.) be required to adhere to CU Boulder's vaccination compliance?

Departments are encouraged to share CU Boulder policies with non-employees but cannot ask or collect vaccination information.

Can I get vaccinated on campus?

The mobile vaccine clinic will be available on campus starting August 13. We also have vaccines available through Medical Services: you can schedule an appointment online through your MyCU Health portal. Vaccines are also available at various community locations, which can be found on Boulder County's Covid-19 Vaccines page.

An employee is fearful to return to the office. What resources do they have to request a fully remote work arrangement?

If a department is not offering remote or hybrid work options, an employee can work with ADA to document a personal medical condition that would require an accommodation. ADA is not providing workplace accommodations based on vulnerability and the decision to work remotely or hybrid is handled at the department level.

What if I am pregnant and do not want to return to work?

There is no longer a designation for vulnerable populations and individuals should work with supervisors on available options and make the right decision for themselves and their families.

Can an employee or department add more restrictions to the campus COVID-19 mandates? Restrictions such as limiting group sizes or requiring social distancing?

No. We are not restricting group size at this time or imposing social distancing. If you are uncomfortable, you can move your meeting to a larger space or outside.

Are the HVAC systems and buildings still equipped for COVID-19 mitigation?

Yes. Protocols put into place for COVID-19 mitigation within our buildings will continue. In addition, we will continue enhanced cleaning in public spaces.

What are my options for parking on campus?

Parking Services has published FAQ's on Fall parking.

What should instructional faculty do if students tell an instructor they have tested positive for COVID-19?

Encourage students who test positive for COVID-19 to notify Contact Tracing, Contact Tracing will confirm a positive result with public health officials and follow up with the student with next steps. Contact tracers will also notify those who have been impacted.

Contact Tracing will not confirm with faculty when a student has tested positive, even if a student has notified a faculty member of the situation.

Under no circumstances should instructional faculty notify an entire class when a student reports a positive case, nor should instructional faculty direct people to quarantine. Class instruction mode should remain the same.

Contract Tracing will recommend different actions for different students who have tested positive for COVID-19, depending on factors such as vaccination status, time elapsed since infection, etc. Please do not require students to provide a negative COVID-19 test result before they return to class.

Once close contacts are identified, public health staff will begin notifying people (contacts) of their potential exposure. This is done as quickly and sensitively as possible. Contact tracers call each contact to review information and provide the most appropriate quarantine guidance based on symptom status, exposure, vaccine status and other factors.

If you have been around someone who tests positive for COVID-19 and you are fully vaccinated and have no symptoms, you do not need to quarantine or be tested for COVID-19. However, you should monitor yourself for symptoms. For more information on current quarantine guidance, visit the quarantine section of the Public Health webpage. You are also welcome to reach out directly to Contact Tracing with any questions.

What do instructional faculty do if a student misses class or falls behind on assignments because they have been sick with COVID-19?

Please handle student illness or quarantine due to COVID-19 in the same manner that you would handle any other student absence for medical reasons, which means you should give students make-up work, make-up exams or assignment extensions according to your usual policy for students who are ill. Students should not be penalized for missing class due to illness or quarantine.

If you are teaching an in-person class, you are not required to teach the class remotely or give remote exams to students who are absent due to illness or quarantine, or to share your class notes or slides with these students. However, you may choose to do so if you wish. Many students have found that they fare better in a class if some accommodation is made along these lines. You may also use other practices for helping your students keep up with their work, such as giving a make-up exam when the student returns to class or having other students share class notes with the student who is absent.

What do instructional faculty do when someone in the classroom is not wearing a mask?

First, politely remind people of the mask requirement or point out nearby signage. If the student does not comply, follow the steps indicated in the required syllabus statement on COVID-19: “Students who fail to adhere to these requirements will be asked to leave class, and students who do not leave class when asked or who refuse to comply with these requirements will be referred to Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution.”

A student who is not able to wear a mask based on a documented disability must receive approval from the Office of Disability Services. If approval is granted, Disability Services will contact the course instructor to determine if the accommodation will fundamentally alter their course and whether necessary technology support is in place.

Do instructional faculty and their students have to wear a mask in the classroom? Are instructional faculty required to remove their mask while teaching if they are more than 6 feet away from students?

The baseline practice is that everyone in the classroom should wear a mask, including the instructor. All teaching and conference rooms are considered public spaces, so masking mandates that apply to public spaces must be followed. This includes classes where students work in small groups, where the classroom door is closed, and/or that are held during evening hours.

Vaccinated faculty are allowed to remove their masks in their classroom if they are at least 6 feet away from all other people in the room, but they do not have to remove their masks. Due to CU Boulder implementing a vaccine requirement, we have been able to work closely with Boulder County Public Health to implement modified masking protocols.

Instructors whose classes have particular instructional needs for students to go unmasked should work with their departments on requesting mask exemptions from the Public Health Office. Mask exemptions will be granted based on a clear and compelling need in alignment with public health guidance. Department approval is required.

Where can the current edition of the Academic Instruction Guidance be found?
What are the current vaccination rates?

Campus is reporting a high vaccination rate. The Health and Wellness team has verified that 95% of students who submitted their information received the vaccine and 96% of employees who completed the requirement have received the vaccine. For the latest vaccine requirement data for students and employees, please visit the COVID-19 dashboard.The dashboard continues to be updated as student and employee submissions of their vaccination information are verified. Students not in compliance will receive individual communications about fees and a registration hold. Employees will receive follow-up communications from Human Resources.

What is campus doing to keep classrooms safe? Has CU Boulder made our classrooms unsafe by returning to full classroom capacity?

While vaccination offers the greatest protection against transmission of COVID-19, many mitigation measures at campus facilities are continuing this fall as an added precaution. This includes the mitigation measures employed in all our campus buildings for heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) to maximize airflow, filtration and outdoor air. Enhanced cleaning measures are also continuing. With all of these precautions in place, our science team has endorsed returning classrooms to their normal, pre-pandemic capacities. Read more about infrastructure mitigation efforts and view a presentation by our science team on how the campus is approaching its sustainable response to the pandemic.