Published: Feb. 11, 2021

Through the spring semester, campus officials are providing weekly updates through CU Boulder Today and weekly Campus Q&As.

Boulder County moves to Level Yellow: Concern

Boulder County shifted to Level Yellow: Concern on the COVID-19 state dial on Saturday, Feb. 6. Under Level Yellow: Concern, a personal gathering is limited to a maximum of 10 people from no more than two households. 

Reminder: A household is composed of one or more people who occupy a housing unit. On campus, your household is defined as you and your roommate(s). Off campus, household means your roommates and anyone who lives in a dwelling with you.

Learn more about what Level Yellow: Concern means for your campus experience.

Mobile testing begins Feb. 15

In addition to the established testing sites across campus, students, staff and faculty with a Buff OneCard can complete their COVID-19 monitoring tests at a new mobile testing unit that will begin operations Monday, Feb. 15. The mobile testing unit will set up in two locations each week. The mobile testing site will not be able to accommodate family/household member testing at this time.

Mobile testing locations and hours for the spring 2021 semester:

Monitoring testing hours and locations

Adjusted availability at four sites through Feb. 19

Students moving into the residence halls have appointments at designated testing sites according to their residence hall.

For faculty, staff and students (not a part of move-in for the spring semester) looking to complete their regular weekly COVID-19 monitoring tests, there are four sites with less availability through Feb. 19. This is to accommodate increased testing needs during spring semester move-in. Four sites will be available from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday, for general monitoring testing through Feb. 19. These sites include:

Faculty, staff and students can use the Sustainability, Energy & Environment Community (SEEC) testing location during this site’s current extended hours of operation, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday.

The SEEC, Village Center, Kittredge, UMC and Rec Center monitoring testing sites will resume 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. hours, Monday to Friday, starting Feb. 22.

These sites are for monitoring testing only, not diagnostic tests. Those seeking testing must bring their Buff OneCard and first complete their Buff Pass. Monitoring tests are free to CU Boulder Buff OneCard holders’ immediate family/household members. Buff OneCard holders must be present at the time of the test.

Proper mask use

  • The CDC published updated guidance on the use of masks.
  • A Q&A article with Jose-Luis Jimenez, chemistry professor and fellow at the Cooperative Institute for Research In Environmental Sciences (CIRES), explores the topic of proper mask use and answers questions about double masking.
  • Jimenez explains the fit of a mask is more important than the number of masks. Read more advice about proper facial coverings to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • Boulder County Public Health is not currently requiring or recommending double masking as part of the current public health order.

Virus variants

  • The Pandemic Response Office continues to monitor information regarding virus variants.
  • It is important for the campus community to continue to follow health and safety protocols to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and any variants. Please continue wearing facial coverings, following physical distancing guidelines, handwashing and all other prevention measures.
  • COVID-19 monitoring and diagnostic tests at CU are reliable for detecting SARS-CoV-2 regardless of the strain.

Testing requirements and expectations

  • A new webpage details information about the requirements and expectations for campus participation in the monitoring testing program.
  • Required testing: For students living in residence halls and Bear Creek and for employees who were required to participate in monitoring testing during the fall 2020 semester, the same requirement for weekly participation applies.
  • Testing expectation: Weekly monitoring tests are expected for all faculty, staff and students who are on campus at least once a week.
  • Incentives:
    • All faculty, staff and students who participate in monitoring testing will be eligible to receive incentives from weekly and monthly drawings. Items will include gift cards from a variety of vendors, Buff gear and gadgets.
    • No additional registration is needed to qualify. Through participation in the COVID-19 monitoring program and by using Buff Pass, students, faculty and staff automatically become eligible to receive incentives.

Buff Pass upgrades

  • Buff Pass has launched a suite of new features to improve the COVID-19-ready campus experience, including reminders of assigned testing days, individual monitoring test results and upgrades to the Herd Tracker. 
  • The Buff Pass is still the home of the daily health questionnaire, plus it gives users convenient access to campus information on COVID-19 and testing.
  • Test Results Center: Users will receive the results of their on-campus monitoring testing directly within the Buff Pass along with instructions on any necessary next steps. The availability of results is indicated by a red dot in the upper right-hand corner of the Test Results Center button. Buff OneCard holders will be notified via email when their test results are available, approximately 8:30 a.m. the day after the completion of an on-campus monitoring test. The email notification has a link to log in to Buff Pass to view your results.
  • Buff Pass will undergo an update on Thursday, Feb. 11, from approximately 5 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., and will be unavailable during that time period. This downtime is necessary to add accessibility updates and language translations to the service.

My assigned testing

  • Members of the CU Boulder community who are regularly on campus are expected to complete a weekly monitoring test. An assigned testing day is recommended in order to balance testing capacity throughout the week. If you are unable to complete a monitoring test on your assigned day, please complete your monitoring test on another day in the same week.
  • Reminders about monitoring testing began the week of Feb. 8

Herd Tracker improvements

  • This feature contains occupancy information for campus locations. Users can search a specific campus building and click the location tile for a detailed view, filter by day to see when locations are most and least visited and favorite their top-visited buildings for a more compact view.


On-campus administration

  • CU Boulder is administering second doses of vaccines this week to recipients identified according to the state’s current phase for eligibility. 
  • The state determines how many vaccines the university receives. As vaccine doses become available, the university will contact eligible faculty, staff and students.
  • The state of Colorado has not included higher education faculty in its rollout of vaccine-eligible populations under phase 1. CU Boulder has joined with other higher education institutions across Colorado to request higher prioritization from the state for in-person instructional personnel. 

Current and upcoming phases of eligibility

  • The state released an update to the phases of vaccine eligibility and a vaccine FAQ document (PDF).
  • Individuals in Phase 1A and 1B.1 are currently eligible to receive vaccines. Phase 1B.1 includes Coloradans 70 and older, as well as moderate-risk health care workers and first responders. Phase 1A includes highest-risk health care workers and long-term care facility staff and residents.
  • Individuals in Phase 1B.2 became eligible on Feb. 8. Phase 1B.2 includes Coloradans ages 65 to 69, as well as Pre-K-12 educators and child care workers in licensed programs. This does not include instructional faculty in higher education.
  • Phase 1B.3 includes frontline essential workers and Coloradans ages 16 to 64 with two or more high-risk conditions. Individuals in Phase 1B.3 are expected to be able to start getting vaccinated in early March, estimated by March 5.
  • Phases 2 and 3 do not have estimated dates of eligibility yet. View more details about the state’s vaccination phases.

Read more about vaccines at CU Boulder.

Building access

  • With the return to on-campus classes for the spring semester, the university will update its building access protocols to allow all CU students, faculty and staff Buff OneCard access to most buildings with scheduled in-person classes from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Friday, beginning Monday, Feb. 15. 
    • Most buildings on campus will continue to be locked and require Buff OneCard swiping for access. This is to support campus efforts to improve physical distancing and minimize the spread of COVID-19 while supporting building safety and security. This includes limiting population densities within buildings.
    • A few buildings may maintain slightly different hours based on class schedules and staffing.
    • 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.
    • CU affiliates needing special access to a specific building are asked to contact their building proctors, C-CURE operators or department chairs to request the authorization/access needed on their Buff OneCards. 
  • University Libraries, the Recreation Center and the UMC publish their respective hours on their websites.
  • Get building access information and see FAQs.

Weekly Campus Q&A

  • This week’s Campus Q&A featured discussions on remote learning, safety measures on campus, vaccines and more. A recording of the Feb. 9 session is available online.
  • The Campus Q&A on Tuesday, Feb. 16, will feature Chancellor Phil DiStefano, Provost Russ Moore and Chief Operating Officer Pat O’Rourke as panelists.
  • The Campus Q&As are held at noon each Tuesday and continue throughout the spring semester.


Campus Public Health Clinic open Saturdays

  • To meet the need for diagnostic testing and other services on Saturdays, the Public Health Clinic at Wardenburg will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Services include: COVID-19 diagnostic testing and in-clinic appointments for COVID-19-like symptoms.
  • To schedule an appointment, please visit the online scheduling portal. You may also call 303-492-5432 to schedule by phone.

Please note: monitoring testing is not conducted through the Public Health Clinic at Wardenburg.

Buff Pass reminder

  • Anyone coming to campus must complete the CU Buff Pass Daily form each day before coming to campus. The Buff Pass replaces the daily health questionnaire used during the fall 2020 semester.
  • Answers to frequently asked questions and contact information for support are available on the Buff Pass Information and FAQ webpage.

State COVID-19 resources

  • The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) launched the Get the COVID-19 Vaccine Facts campaign Jan. 19 to convey that the COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Video ads have been produced in English and in Spanish.

Spring 2021 semester

Contact information

  • Available from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, contact Buff Info via email or by phone: 303-492-INFO (4636).