Published: Aug. 12, 2021

This is the first edition of the COVID-19 weekly update for the fall 2021 semester. Weekly updates will be included in CU Boulder Today for at least the first six weeks of the semester. Information will continue to be shared on CU Boulder's COVID-19 webpage.

Masks required in public indoor spaces on campus 

CU Boulder will return to requiring masks in public indoor spaces regardless of vaccination. The requirement takes effect Friday, Aug. 13, 2021.

Considering the increasing rates of the COVID-19 delta variant, this decision was made to support the public health and safety of our community and support a consistent in-person experience this semester. Read more about this temporary measure.

Campus leaders hosted a Campus Q&A on Tuesday, Aug. 10, to answer questions about this requirement and plans for the fall semester. A recording of the Q&A session is available.

Contact tracing

CU Boulder’s Public Health Office will continue to provide COVID-19 case investigation and contact tracing this year. Any person who tests positive on campus will have an investigation conducted within one day. Based on case investigation and contact tracing, the Public Health Office will provide guidance on quarantine and isolation as well as any classroom management, if appropriate.

Please follow official public health guidance provided by the Public Health Office or local authorities; do not create your own. Visit CU Boulder Health and Wellness’ Public Health page for information on contact tracing, quarantine and other guidance. 

Mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinic on campus Aug. 13 to Sept. 10

CU Boulder students, staff and faculty can receive a free Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine through one of the following mobile clinics on campus. The majority of clinics will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Appointments are not required. Masks are required when inside the bus.

  • Aug. 13, 16, 17, 19 and 20 at 1669 Euclid Ave.
    • Note: The mobile vaccine clinic will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 13.
  • Aug. 23, 24, 26 and 27 at 510 30th St.
  • Sept. 7, 9, and 10 at 1669 Euclid Ave.

Additional vaccination clinic options can be found at Boulder County's "COVID-19 Vaccines" webpage and Colorado’s “Find out where you can get vaccinated” webpage. 

COVID-19 vaccination requirement

The deadline for all CU Boulder students, staff and faculty to complete the COVID-19 vaccine requirement process is Sept. 15, 2021. Only vaccines that are approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) will meet the CU vaccine requirement.

 There are two ways to complete the vaccine requirement:

  • Proof of vaccination
  • Vaccine exemption

How to complete the requirement:

Note: Those who complete their requirement by the deadline will be entered into a drawing. Click the instructions above to learn more.

Students, staff and faculty will not get immediate confirmation that proof of vaccination or vaccine exemption was successfully submitted. However, faculty and staff will receive an email stating the COVID-19 vaccination requirement was completed after the submission is verified. Students will receive an email stating they have completed their requirement only when all vaccination requirements are complete. In either case, the process of verifying records and sending confirmation of receipt may take 7–10 business days.

Fall 2021 reminders

Case investigation

Case investigation and contact tracing will continue on campus.

COVID-19 testing

COVID-19 monitoring testing ended Aug. 6. Diagnostic testing is available through Medical Services.

Campus facilities

Enhanced cleaning protocols remain in place for the fall semester, including supplying classrooms with disinfectant wipes. We are continuing with mitigation measures for heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) that maximize airflow, filtration and outdoor air.

Building access

Campus building access will emphasize safety and building security while still providing convenient access for students, faculty, staff and visitors. 

How to Stay Informed

The Buff Info team is available to answer questions on a wide variety of topics related to CU Boulder and help faculty, staff, students and parents connect with the appropriate campus office for additional information or assistance as needed.

Buff Info liaisons can be reached at 303-492-INFO (4636) or via email at, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. The university will extend these hours when needed.

 Frequently asked questions

Why is the vaccination requirement deadline after the semester starts? Will that cause a surge in cases?

Vaccinations have been widely available for months, and there are multiple opportunities to get vaccinated on campus in August in order to give everyone the ability to get vaccinated long before the requirement. The requirement deadline is the standard deadline for all CU Boulder vaccines and is the date for submitting your proof of vaccination; everyone is encouraged to get the vaccine as soon as possible.

With the population increasing in Boulder county as part of move-in, a surge in cases is possible. The mask requirement is a supplemental measure to help mitigate that possibility.

What do I do if I see someone not wearing a mask in an area they should? 

You can politely remind people of the mask requirement or point out nearby signage. Please do not force anyone to wear a mask. There are necessary exceptions in place. The best way to prevent COVID-19 spread is to get the vaccine; masks are a supplemental measure to help ensure we can maintain in-person operations.

How many people on campus have been vaccinated? How many have submitted exemptions? Why are exemptions allowed?

The COVID-19 dashboard will be updated with the available information about completion of the vaccine requirement. Exemptions are part of all campus vaccine requirements.

Why are vaccines required if we still need to wear masks? Does that mean the vaccines don’t work?

The most effective tool against serious illness from COVID-19––including the delta variant––is vaccination. Masks are a supplemental tool. 

I’d like to put up a sign near my office about masks. Is there one available?

Yes. Mask signs are available for download.