Published: Nov. 19, 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. 

New state dial levels; Boulder County shifts to Level Red: Severe Risk

Governor Jared Polis announced a revised COVID-19 state dial on Tuesday, Nov. 17. Certain counties, including Boulder County, will be at Level Red: Severe Risk beginning at 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 20. The newly defined Level Red brings additional restrictions for the entire county. These restrictions include, but are not limited to:

  • No personal gatherings of any size. Individuals may gather only with people from their own household or residence hall room.
  • Reductions in capacity for offices and gyms.
  • No indoor events.
  • No indoor dining at restaurants; curbside, takeout and delivery services are permitted.
  • Outdoor restaurant dining is limited to one household per table. All sales for on-premises alcohol consumption must end at 8 p.m.

The highest level of restrictions, now considered Level Purple: Extreme Risk, is what most people know as the stay-at-home level. No counties in Colorado have moved to Level Purple yet, and the decision to move to this level would occur if there are critical shortages of health care resources in the community.

Read more about this announcement in this email that was sent to all faculty, staff and students.

Spring 2021

  • Campus leaders will continue to discuss the projections for COVID-19 in Colorado with public health officials and monitor Boulder county’s status on the state dial to determine if the current plan for a combination of in-person and remote classes in the spring semester needs to change.
  • Any major updates will be communicated to faculty, staff and students via email, in CU Boulder Today, on campus social media and through additional virtual town halls as needed.
  • Campus leaders expect to have updated information to share in December.

Shift to fully remote learning began Monday, Nov. 16

  • Campus shifted to fully remote learning for the remainder of the semester, as of Monday, Nov. 16.
  • 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.

Expanded monitoring testing continues through Nov. 25

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 purple level of the state dial, also known as the stay-at-home level. 

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

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 opened Nov. 16 for study space reservations

  • The University Libraries is offering new in-person study options in Norlin Library for the remainder of the fall semester. 
  • The Gemmill and Business Libraries closed on the last day of in-person classes. However, as of Nov. 16, space is 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 online

Isolation space

  • As of the morning of Thursday, Nov. 19, the university had 24 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.
  • Also, the city of Boulder reopened testing at Stazio Ball Fields through Dec. 30.

Weekly COVID-19 update sessions

  • Every Tuesday at noon, campus leaders hosted a live COVID-19 update for faculty, staff, students and Buff families. These presentations were recorded and are available to view online. The last weekly update for the Fall 2020 semester was Tuesday, Nov. 17.


  • 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. 18:
    • 631 students have received educational interventions.
    • 39 students are on an active interim exclusion from campus, pending the adjudication of a conduct hearing.
    • 145 students have received the disciplinary status of probation.
    • 36 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