Published: Nov. 25, 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. 

Surveillance monitoring testing available for immediate family/household members 

From Monday, Nov. 23, 2020, to Friday, Jan. 8, 2021, CU Boulder faculty, staff and students with a Buff OneCard can bring their immediate family/members of their household to participate in the campus surveillance monitoring program. All participants must be asymptomatic and arrive at the testing site accompanied by their CU Boulder affiliate/Buff OneCard holder.

From Nov. 23 to 25, the following locations are open:

From Nov. 30 to Jan. 8, there will be four sites that will be open Monday to Friday. All testing sites will be closed from Dec. 24 to Jan. 3. During the open period, the hours of operation for all sites will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.:

The surveillance monitoring tests are free. Again, Buff OneCard holders must be present at the time of the test and have their Buff OneCard with them.


If the laboratory finds signs of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) in the household’s sample(s), information will be sent to the CU Boulder cardholder’s email address. There will not be a notification if the laboratory has not found signs of a SARS-CoV-2  infection.

About surveillance monitoring

The surveillance monitoring program involves a saliva-based polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, test that looks for signs of SARS-CoV-2 among asymptomatic individuals. The test is not diagnostic and cannot medically determine if a person is positive or negative for COVID-19. 

Boulder County remains in Level Red: Severe Risk 

Boulder county remains at Level Red: Severe Risk on the revised COVID-19 state dial. 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. The decision to move to this level would occur if there are critical shortages of health care resources in the community.

For Boulder County to move from Level Red: Severe Risk to the less restrictive Level Orange: High Risk, the community needs to reach certain metrics for 14 consecutive days:

  • A positivity rate of 15% or less in the county.
  • 175 to 350 cases per 100,000 residents in the county.
  • No greater than a 25% increase in the county’s referral hospitals, or no more than two new COVID-19 hospital admissions per day in the county.

Read more about the Nov. 20 shift to Level Red in the campus email that was sent to all CU Boulder 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.

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. 

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.
  • 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.
  • Data from Buff Pass provides information that helps the Medical Services team identify possible outbreaks on campus. Knowing about potential cases in close to real-time will help inform steps that may be needed to curb the possible spread of COVID-19, such as testing, isolation or contact tracing. The Medical Services team will receive notification of Buff Pass submissions that have positive answers.
  • If your supervisor is incorrect or not listed in the drop-down provided, and you are an employee, please reach out to your HR liaison to make sure your supervisor is correctly updated in the HR system.
  • 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. 
  • Remaining tents will be removed by Monday, Nov. 30.
  • Students can continue to reserve indoor study spaces via the Find Your Study Spot webpage

Building access

  • With the shift to fully remote learning for the remainder of the semester building access is changing after Nov. 25. 
  • All CU affiliates will maintain general access via Buff OneCard to the Engineering Center, CASE Building and SEEC from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. This access provides students the use of these facilities for study space and use of computer labs through the end of the semester.
  • Prior access preferences established on Buff OneCards for students, faculty and staff will remain in place. Students, faculty and staff who normally have weekend and after-hours access to specific buildings will still have access to those buildings. 
  • On Nov. 20, there was a CU Boulder Today story about the shift in building access

Norlin Commons study space 

  • The University Libraries are 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 Tuesday, Nov. 24, the university had 15 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 free 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 Tuesday, Nov. 24:
    • 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