COVID-19 Emergency Procurements Update

To support University operations during March-December 2020, the PSC established blanket exceptions to CU Procurement Rules for COVID-related emergency purchases. With the stabilization of world supply markets, the need for/frequency of true COVID-related emergency purchases has been reduced. Therefore, effective 01/15/21, the PSC has returned to handling emergency procurements according to the Procurement Rules. For more information, visit the PSC COVID Supplies Procurement website

CU Boulder is not purchasing any items in bulk at this time. Some supplies are still available as detailed below.

  • Janitorial cleaner (disinfectant)—bulk (does not include lab-equipment-specific cleaner)

    • To request this item, please contact your building proctor. 
  • Janitorial cleaner (multipurpose)—bulk (does not include lab-equipment-specific cleaner)

    • To request this item, please contact your building proctor. 

  • Gowns (disposable)

    • This item is not being ordered in bulk. Please proceed to Marketplace to order.

  • Hand sanitizer—bulk

    • This item is not being ordered in bulk for department/office use. Please proceed to Marketplace to order.

  • Hand sanitizer dispensers

    • This item is not being ordered in bulk for department/office use. Please proceed to Marketplace to order.

  • Wipes and wipe dispensers

    • This item is not being ordered in bulk for department/office use. Please proceed to Marketplace to order.

  • Masks (disposable, N95, and reusable)

    • To request disposable masks, please contact your building proctor. 

    • To request N95 masks, verify they will be for medical/emergency personnel, then contact Environmental Health and Safety at

    • Find information on how to get your reusable Buff face mask here.

  • Plexiglass

    • To request a plexiglass solution, please submit a work order here. Please contact your building proctor if you require a plexiglass solution in your workspace.

  • Signage

    • To request a COVID-related sign, please submit a work order here. Standard sign packages have been placed throughout campus. If you require specialized COVID-related signs, please contact your building proctor.

  • Spray bottles (empty)

    • This item is not being ordered in bulk. Please proceed to Marketplace to order.

  • Thermometers

    • This item is not being ordered in bulk. Please proceed to Marketplace to order.

Frequently Asked Questions 

  1. I am not sure what type of personal protective equipment (PPE) is right for my office/department. Where can I find information to help me select and use PPE?

    1. Please review the COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Guidelines and Recommendations document, and/or contact CU Environmental Health and Safety ( if you need more assistance.

  2. Do departments/buildings need to purchase their own PPE, hand sanitizer and other cleaning products to sanitize office and classroom spaces?

    1. No. The university has purchased a base package of these supplies that includes: two reusable cloth masks for each of our faculty, staff and students; hand sanitizer stations and refills for all main building entrances and high-traffic areas; disposable wipes for every classroom; and spray bottles of disinfectant cleaning solution for office spaces. We are still working to develop distribution processes for these items.

  3. Can I get more information about cleaning guidance for the campus?

    1. More information is forthcoming as our Facilities Task Force Cleaning Subgroup continues to work out details. However, here are a few key points:

      1. The university has ordered hand sanitizer and refills for high-traffic areas and all main building entrances. The task force will contact building proctors to determine placement. 

      2. We have ordered disinfecting wipes for all classrooms so instructors and students can clean the surfaces they will use during a given class period, e.g., desk, chair or lectern. Custodial staff will disinfect all classrooms each night.

      3. Facilities Management will continue enhanced cleaning and disinfection of high-touch surfaces and general cleaning of common spaces in all nonresidential buildings. (Full Facilities Management cleaning and disinfecting protocols)

      4. Spray bottles of cleaning/disinfecting solution and paper towels have been provided to building proctors for use in offices, labs and areas not routinely serviced by custodial staff.

  4. What if I am a member of a lab already receiving cleaning and sanitizing products? Do I need to change the way I request my supplies?

    1. No. The process set up during the summer to support lab safety will continue through the end of the current academic year (Spring 2021). Please continue to use the current process. For questions, please contact Colisse Franklin at

  5. I have seen notices about the "college" purchasing and supplying PPE. Is this correct or does each department need to purchase its own supplies?  

    1. You will need to speak with your college leadership and determine their plan for purchasing and supplying PPE and how your department fits into that plan.

  6. Do we need to purchase our own cleaning supplies or will we continue to rely on the janitorial staff in our building to obtain the disinfectants?

    1. Facilities Management custodial services will continue to service buildings with an increased focus on disinfecting and sanitization. You may contact your building proctor for cleaning supplies that are available for office/department use as needed to augment custodial services.

    2. Individual offices or departments may identify additional cleaning supplies or desire additional products such as small bottles of hand sanitizer for office spaces or service counters. Those items are not part of the campuswide base package, and units or departments will need to order them through CU Marketplace.

    3. If you have cleaning supply purchasing questions, you can contact for support.

  7. I need help understanding how to request COVID supplies on Marketplace.

    1. Please visit the PSC CU Marketplace How-to: Requesting COVID Supplies website for more information.

  8. I see the university has hand sanitizer and wipe dispensers and stations. Can I request one of these for my office or department?

    1. No. Due to high demand for these products, the university was able to buy only enough or strategic locations such as building entrances and other high-traffic areas. The Facilities Task Force Cleaning Subgroup is working with proctors to determine specific needs and placement for each building. We recommend you search Marketplace or use a procurement card to buy these items for your office. 

  9. I’d like to buy masks for my college/department/office. Do you have any recommendations?

    1. The university purchased 80,000 reusable face coverings for students, faculty and staff so it can provide each person two styles. One will have a CU logo on it, and the other is either black or gray. We recommend using the masks the university provides and refraining from buying smaller quantities. 

    2. The CDC advocates using a face covering when we're unable to maintain 6 feet between people. The university decided on styles made of two layers of material (cotton and polyester) for added barrier thickness and comfort.

    3. The university decided against face coverings like neck gaiters and scarves, which are usually made out of a much more porous material. Although any type of face covering might meet the intent of local face covering ordinances, most do not likely meet the intent of the CDC for reduction of aerosolization of the coronavirus. Therefore, the PPE Task Force does not recommend these types of products for distribution by CU Boulder. Additionally, we cannot guarantee that this would be an approved product to be covered by any COVID-19 funding sources.

  10. What if a person forgets a mask or is a visitor who did not bring one?

    1. A stock of disposable masks will be provided to building proctors and managers to support faculty, staff and students who may forget, lose or damage a mask. 

  11. Can I reimburse faculty and grad students if they purchase their own PPE equipment such as masks, wipes and hand sanitizer?

    1. The Procurement Service Center (PSC) is not dictating how reimbursements are handled for individual PPE purchases. This would be a department-to-department decision.

  12. Can I buy these items for our faculty from my local King Soopers/Target with my P-card?

    1. Yes, this is allowed. For more information: Procurement card rules have been temporarily modified to allow for purchases necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic—including purchases that would normally be made through a mandatory price agreement supplier such as Staples.

  13. Can I purchase or reimburse people for thermometers? 

    1. Yes. You can purchase thermometers for office use.

    2. PSC is not dictating how reimbursements are handled for individual COVID-related purchases. This would be a department-to-department decision.

  14. Can my department, division or work unit purchase a PPE item that is not in the approved COVID-19 PPE Guidelines and Recommendations (approved 07/23/2020)?
    1. Yes. However, the individual department, division or work unit will cover the cost. The following considerations should be taken into account when considering such a purchase:

      • CU Boulder is following CDC guidance regarding the type of face covering to be used on campus. It does not recommend any clear face mask alternatives to cloth face coverings.

      • The CDC recognizes that wearing cloth face coverings might not be possible in every situation or for some people. Adaptations and alternatives should be considered whenever possible to increase the feasibility of wearing a cloth face covering. While a clear face mask is suggested as an alternative when working with people who are deaf or hard of hearing, or in disciplines whose teaching or clinical practices require that the instructor’s mouth be visible to all students, it is not considered an alternative to a cloth face covering for normal use.

      • The campus has a limited number of clear face masks available for departments whose teaching or clinical practices require that the instructor’s mouth be visible to all students. If a college, department or office chooses to purchase and use clear face masks for normal activities, they are responsible for the acquisition, expense and validation of the alternative face covering. The campus cannot provide support for clear masks for normal use.

      • CU Boulder has a limited supply of clear face masks available for unique situations that address a campuswide requirement (ADA, etc.), however, this supply is not intended for individual departments, divisions or work units.

      • It is not known whether face shields protect others from the spray of respiratory particles. The CDC does not recommend use of face shields for normal, everyday activities or as a substitute for cloth face coverings.

      • For more information on CDC guidance on face coverings, visit