Last night, the City of Boulder issued a Stay at Home Order to curb the spread of COVID-19 and to protect the health, safety and welfare of all city residents. The order takes effect at 5 p.m. this afternoon and continues through 5 p.m. on April 10. We want to clarify guidance on what this order means for our campus and how it might affect us as we work to meet our ongoing academic and research needs.
While the city’s order designates CU Boulder as an essential business, our campus has already engaged in a number of efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus. Most significantly, CU Boulder implemented remote working and learning for its faculty, staff and students, and asked non-critical employees to work remotely as of last week.
On March 16, Chancellor DiStefano asked students living on campus to begin the process of checking out of the residence halls, if possible, and to move back to their permanent homes to reduce the total number of people on campus. Most of our students have done so, but hundreds of others who did not have the option of returning home are still living in our residence halls.
To meet their needs, and to ensure we continue to provide critical campus services, we are asking a small cadre of designated critical services employees – those who prepare meals, keep our facilities clean and provide other critical support services – to continue reporting to work over the coming weeks as the city order remains in effect.
Under the new order, our critical services employees will continue supporting our students and facilitating the work of faculty and their assistants who are maintaining the critical functions of our research labs and providing remote learning to our students. Recognizing what is needed to respond this emergency continues to change, supervisors should keep working with critical employees to determine appropriate work schedules and remote work possibilities to the greatest degree possible while still fulfilling our mission as an academic and research institution.
Though our campus is already operating within the spirit of this order to mitigate the spread of the virus, we remind our students, faculty and staff of the order’s specific social distancing requirements: to maintain 6 feet of social distancing, including while standing in lines, to frequently wash your hands with soap and water, to cover your coughs or sneezes, to not shake hands, and to regularly clean high-touch surfaces.
Furthermore, it is important to note that, under the order, travel is prohibited unless you performing essential activities like obtaining food or health care or are an employee performing essential duties and you are traveling to and from work.
We support these efforts to help control the spread of COVID-19. Thank you for observing the city’s Stay at Home Order while our city, state and country contend with this unprecedented global pandemic. We are grateful for the services our designated critical services employees provide and are committed to supporting our students and others who rely on us. Please stay current on all campus updates at colorado.edu/coronavirus.
Associate Vice Chancellor for Integrity, Safety and Compliance