Published: Jan. 29, 2020

CU Boulder is closely monitoring the emerging global public health concern involving COVID-19 (also known as the novel coronavirus). A central webpage is available for the latest updates relevant to the university community.

The university is taking proactive and prudent measures to ensure the health and safety of the community in accordance with the guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“While the CDC considers this a serious public health concern to monitor, the immediate health risk to the general public is currently considered low in the U.S.,” said Gloria Brisson, senior director of medical services at CU Boulder.

As of Jan. 29, 2020, there are no confirmed cases in Colorado.

Updates Jan. 31:

University-related travel to China update for faculty, staff and graduate students

  • As of Jan. 30, 2020, university-related travel to China for research or other purposes is restricted and requests for travel to China will require additional review and approval through the Concur system. Travel to China previously approved is now also required to go through this second level of review. Those previously approved for such travel will be contacted through email from the Office of the Provost. The travel review does not impact those traveling from China. The utmost consideration on approval or disapproval of travel will be the health and safety of CU Boulder’s faculty, staff and students. For more information, please contact the Office of the Provost.

Education Abroad status

  • CU Boulder has suspended Education Abroad-sponsored programs to China for the spring 2020 semester based on the travel advisories from the U.S. Department of State. Anyone with questions about Education Abroad programs may contact the Education Abroad office.

At CU Boulder, staff will continue to monitor information provided by the CDC and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. It is the general practice for patients who visit Medical Services (Wardenburg Health Center) to be screened for travel-related illness.

“Since it is also cold and flu season, it is best to practice healthy habits, including frequent hand washing, covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, avoiding contact with people exhibiting cold- or flu-like symptoms and getting a flu vaccination,” Brisson said.

Information about coronavirus on the Medical Services webpage will continue to be updated as new information is made available.

Tips for Staying Healthy

The risk coronavirus poses to the general public in the United States is considered low as of Jan. 29, 2020. The CDC identifies influenza (flu) as a far greater threat at this time, especially for college campuses. People can protect themselves and others from the spread of illness by practicing these healthy habits:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick, especially if they are exhibiting cold or flu-like symptoms.
  • Stay home if you are sick. Avoid contact with others except when seeking medical care.
  • Contact your medical provider if you have any questions or health concerns.
  • For students, Medical Services offers a 24/7 nurse line and can provide advice and recommendations: 303-492-5101.

Coronavirus Health Facts

Symptoms: Fever, cough, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

For the majority of confirmed cases, symptoms have been mild and resolved after several days.

When to contact a healthcare professional:

  • If you have traveled to China within 14 days and are experiencing a fever and lower respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, chest pain)
  • If you have had recent contact with a coronavirus case and are experiencing a fever or lower respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, chest pain)
  • If seeking medical care and you suspect coronavirus, call ahead and let the medical office or emergency room know about your symptoms and any recent travel. 

Recent travel with cold symptoms should not trigger significant concern. Symptoms that seem to be worse, including cough and fever, are more likely to represent flu than coronavirus at this time.