Published: Nov. 12, 2020

Through the fall semester, campus officials are providing weekly updates, including dashboard stats and items of note on positive cases, isolation, contact tracing, mitigation measures and more. 

Shift to fully remote learning begins Monday, Nov. 16

  • Campus will shift to fully remote learning for the remainder of the semester, beginning on Monday, Nov. 16.
  • The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) on Friday, Nov. 6, shifted Boulder County to the more restrictive Safer at Home Level Orange on the state COVID-19 dial. While the move dictates few operational changes for the university, based on the projected rise in COVID-19 cases in the Denver metro region, the shift to remote learning will provide additional flexibility for students and their families, including students who wish to move home prior to Thanksgiving.
  • Students living in residence halls may remain on campus through Wednesday, Nov. 25. The campus will continue to provide on-campus housing and dining, including isolation spaces, for students who test positive for COVID-19.
  • A virtual town hall was held on Friday, Nov. 6, to discuss this announcement. A recording is available.

Expanded monitoring testing began this week

Campus health and safety policy update

  • Chancellor Phil DiStefano approved a change to the campus COVID-19 Health and Safety Policy to address allowable research activity in the event that Boulder County is placed into the red zone of the state dial, also known as the stay-at-home level.

New health order applies to events, restaurant dining, athletics

Boulder County Public Health (BCPH) announced today that the Board of Health approved Public Health Order 2020-10, which will go into effect on Saturday, Nov. 14, at 12:01 a.m. and end on Dec. 14, unless extended. The goal of the order is to protect individuals when they’re in the community by reducing opportunities for gathering, which increases the likelihood of transmission.

Beginning Saturday, the following requirements will apply to every person while in Boulder County, in addition to the Safer at Home Level Orange–High Risk requirements:

Household mixing limited

  • Personal gatherings (private or public) are limited to 2 households with no more than 10 people.

Indoor event size limited

  • Limited to 25% capacity with up to 25 people (reduction from 50 people limit).
  • Individual events may not use more than one room or designated activity or area to increase the capacity for attendees at the event beyond the 25-person limit.
  • While separate events may occur in separate rooms in the same venue, such rooms or designated activities or areas must have separate exits, entrances and restrooms to prevent intermingling between event groups.
  • Requirements for outdoor events and sponsored gatherings remain the same as outlined under the Safer at Home Level Orange.

No spectators at sporting events

  • This applies to CU Boulder athletic events. See the athletics section below for more information.

Limited households at restaurants

  • Indoor dining is limited to one household per table.
  • Outdoor dining is limited to 10 people per table.

The order also includes a recommendation for businesses and organizations—to the extent possible—to direct employees to work remotely. This recommendation aligns with current university operations, and CU Boulder employees should continue with their current work mode (in-person or remote) unless instructed otherwise by their supervisors.

Read the news release from BCPH and read the full language of the order.

Public Health Clinic open Saturdays through Nov. 21

  • The Public Health Clinic at Wardenburg will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays through Nov. 21. 
    • Public Health Clinic services, including COVID-19 testing, are available for students who may be ill or experiencing symptoms of the flu or COVID-19. Schedule an appointment for COVID-19 testing online or by calling 303-492-5432.
    • Other Medical Services departments, including the pharmacy and primary care, will remain closed on weekends.

General COVID-19 testing information

  • All students, faculty and staff can participate in the campus monitoring program for COVID-19. Read more about locations and times. This is a free program available to students, faculty and staff.
  • On-campus residents are required to participate in monitoring, as are certain employees.
  • Those who complete their weekly COVID-19 monitoring test will be entered for a chance to win $100. Three prizes will be given each week.
  • On-campus residents who do not participate in monitoring could be subject to student conduct sanctions. Students should contact the Public Health Clinic at Wardenburg to schedule a diagnostic test if they:
    • Have a monitoring test that indicates the possibility of COVID-19.
    • Are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
    • Have had a known exposure to a person with COVID-19 (recommendation is to wait to test until five to seven days after exposure).

Buff Pass replaces daily health form

  • All CU Boulder students, faculty and staff have been sent invitations to transition from the current Daily Health Questionnaire to Buff Pass
  • Students, faculty and staff complete their Buff Pass health check-in every day they plan to be on campus.
  • Answers to frequently asked questions and contact information for support are available on the Buff Pass Information and FAQ webpage.
  • Supervisors who need to report an employee out of the office due to possible COVID-19 symptoms, confirmed illness or close contact with a probable case can click on the link under the Buff Pass menu to share information with the campus contact tracing team, or contact Employee Relations for assistance. 
  • Log in at


  • The next CU Buffs home football game is Saturday, Nov. 21, at 8 p.m. against Arizona State at Folsom Field. 
  • The game will be televised nationally on ESPN2.
  • The Pac-12 Conference is not allowing general fan attendance at games this season. Due to the latest public health orders from BCPH, family members/guests of players and football staff will likewise not be allowed at this game. 
  • Fans should cheer on the Buffs from home, and avoid parties and large gatherings in Boulder, in accordance with local public health guidelines.
  • Tailgating is not permitted anywhere on the CU Boulder campus at this time. 
  • Register your virtual tailgate through the Alumni Association for the chance to win prizes and connect with other Buff fans on game day.

Exposure notification service available in Colorado

  • CDPHE launched its statewide COVID-19 exposure notification system in partnership with Google and Apple. 
  • Three days after the launch, more than 585,000 Colorado residents had activated the option on their personal devices. If you haven’t already done so, you can turn on the option to receive alerts via your smartphone.
  • When users enable the service, their smartphones share anonymous tokens with other users through the phones’ Bluetooth technology. If another user tests positive for COVID-19 within a 14-day period and chooses to upload their results, users at risk of infection will receive an alert of potential exposure.
  • Tokens are not associated with any phone number, name, location or IP address and they change every 15 minutes to add an extra layer of anonymity.
  • Learn more about CO Exposure Notifications at the Add Your Phone webpage. 

Campus tents update

  • Due to a reduction in use and colder weather, staff began removing some of the outdoor tents around campus on Nov. 6. 
  • Through Nov. 30, tents will remain open for use at Parking Lot 360, the Buff Plaza, Visual Arts Center Plaza, Dalton Trumbo Fountain Court, Center for Community (C4C) and Wolf Law Building.
  • Students can continue to reserve indoor study spaces via the Find Your Study Spot webpage

Norlin Commons opens Nov. 16 for study space reservations

  • The University Libraries will offer new in-person study options in Norlin Library when CU Boulder shifts to remote learning for the remainder of the fall semester. 
  • The Gemmill and Business Libraries will close on the last day of in-person classes. However, beginning November 16, space will open in Norlin Commons—located on the east side of Norlin Library next to the sundial—for students to use weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Students can reserve a study space here

Isolation space

  • As of the morning of Thursday, Nov. 12, the university had 56 beds in use of the 555 beds available for on-campus residents in need of isolation space. 

Community testing sites in Boulder County

  • The Boulder County free testing site is now at the Boulder County Fairgrounds in Longmont. Testing is available for anyone who would like to be tested, and individuals do not have to have symptoms to be tested.
  • The city of Boulder plans to reopen testing at Stazio Ball Fields Nov. 12 to Dec. 30.

Weekly COVID-19 update sessions

  • Every Tuesday at noon, campus leaders host a live COVID-19 update for faculty, staff, students and Buff families. Each update begins with opening remarks and then time is reserved for viewers to ask questions. These presentations are recorded and available to view online. These sessions are scheduled to continue through Nov. 17.
  • The city of Boulder provides a weekly community update on Thursdays at 10:15 a.m. More information about the city’s weekly updates is on the city’s website.

Spring 2021

  • Operational updates announced Oct. 22 for the spring term address academic calendar dates, academic instruction modes, expanded on-campus social programming, residence life and isolation spaces, public health guidelines, the launch of Buff Pass and enhancements to our student engagement and support model.


  • The COVID-19-ready dashboard displays information regarding students who have been, or are currently, under investigation based on reports of public health order violations. The investigation data is updated once per week. 
  • As of Wednesday, Nov. 11:
    • 571 students have received educational interventions.
    • 32 students are on an active interim exclusion from campus, pending the adjudication of a conduct hearing.
    • 135 students have received the disciplinary status of probation.
    • 39 students are on an active interim suspension, pending the adjudication of a conduct hearing.

Whom to contact

  • For campus technology issues or concerns, call the Office of Information Technology at 303-735-4357 (5-HELP).
  • For health questions, contact your health care provider or Medical Services at 303-492-5101 (24/7 nurse line available for students) for advice and recommendations.
  • For mental health questions or concerns, call Counseling and Psychiatric Services at 303-492-2277 (24/7 support available for students).
  • If you are experiencing trauma related to a crime or relationship, please call the Office of Victim Assistance at 303-492-8855 (24/7 support available for all students, faculty and staff).
  • For faculty and staff, call the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program at 303-492-3020.
  • For families, New Student & Family Programs will be happy to assist you. Call or text 303-492-4431 or email
  • For employment and payroll questions, call Human Resources at 303-492-6475.
  • Have additional questions about how COVID-19 affects your studies or work with CU Boulder? Use LiveChat at or submit your question via the ask a question form.
  • For students who need assistance or who may be in crisis, please contact Students of Concern at 303-492-7348,, or visit the Students of Concern Team webpage