Published: Sept. 23, 2021

Weekly updates will be available at CU Boulder Today for at least the first six weeks of the semester. Information will continue to be shared on the campus COVID-19 information page.

High campus vaccination rate 

Most students have completed the COVID-19 vaccine requirement, and the Health and Wellness team has verified that 95% of students who submitted their information received the vaccine. Nearly all employees submitted their information, and 96% of employees who completed the requirement have received the vaccine. For the latest vaccine requirement data for students and employees, visit the COVID-19 dashboard.

All submitted information has been processed. Students not in compliance will receive individual communications about fees and a registration hold. Employees will receive follow-up communications from Human Resources. 

State of the Campus

The Road Back, a documentary released Sept. 22 as part one of Chancellor Philip DiStefano’s State of the Campus event, features interviews with members of the campus community reflecting on the campus response effort to COVID-19. 

In part two, released Sept. 23, DiStefano also addresses the pandemic and gives a look ahead to a year focused on student well-being, improving diversity, equity and inclusion, and continuing rigorous academic work.

COVID-19 testing

COVID-19 testing on campus is open to all CU Boulder undergraduate and graduate students through the Public Health Clinic.

  • Asymptomatic students: Schedule an appointment through the MyCUHealth portal.
  • Symptomatic students: You will need to meet with a provider to assess symptoms and provide the best care and tests for your situation. Symptomatic students can schedule an appointment through the MyCUHealth portal or seek a same-day appointment by calling the Public Health Clinic at 303-492-5432. In-person and telehealth options are available.

Asymptomatic faculty and staff may be eligible for on-campus Public Health Clinic testing based on certain criteria. Symptomatic faculty and staff are not eligible to be seen at the Public Health Clinic and should schedule an appointment with their personal medical provider.

Free COVID-19 testing is also available in several locations in Boulder County.

Low case number comparison 

Last year, from Aug. 24 to Sept. 25, 2020, the campus recorded 1,019 positive diagnostic PCR tests. This year, from Aug. 23 to Sept. 22, 2021, the campus recorded 57 positive diagnostic COVID-19 PCR tests

Campus mask requirement 

CU Boulder requires masks in public indoor spaces regardless of vaccination status. Read more about the temporary masking measure. Find more answers to frequently asked questions by faculty and staff.

If you see someone not wearing a mask, in most instances the person has forgotten or has an approved exemption. You can politely remind people of the mask requirement or point out nearby signage. Keep in mind that there are medical reasons that may prevent an individual from wearing a mask. The Public Health Office is the resource for requesting mask exemptions. Mask exemptions will be granted based on a clear and compelling need in alignment with public health guidance. All exemption applicants will need to complete a risk assessment conversation with the CU Public Health Office. A form is available for individuals and departments to submit exemption requests.

Campus infrastructure mitigation efforts

While vaccination now offers the greatest protection against transmission of COVID-19, many mitigation measures at campus facilities are continuing this fall as an added precaution. This includes the mitigation measures employed in all our campus buildings for heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) to maximize airflow, filtration and outdoor air. Enhanced cleaning measures will also continue. Read more about infrastructure mitigation efforts

Campus vaccination requirement 

The deadline for all CU Boulder students, staff and faculty to complete the COVID-19 vaccine requirement process was Sept. 15. 

Missed the deadline?

  • Students: Submit your information as soon as possible. You will have a fee assessed on your October 2021 bill as a “immunization and non-compliance fee”. Submitting your vaccination requirement now will not remove the fee. You will also have a hold on spring 2021 registration. Complete the requirement to have the hold removed.
  • Employees: Submit your information as soon as possible. Employees who do not complete the requirement will be subject to disciplinary actions, potentially up to and including termination. For faculty and staff in a merit-eligible position, future merit could also be withheld. Note: If you are on an extended leave of absence, you will be given time to comply when you return before disciplinary actions are considered. Consequences will begin in October.

Local COVID-19 vaccination opportunities

Medical Services is providing free COVID-19 vaccines to CU Boulder students, staff and faculty.  Drop-in vaccine clinics and appointments are available at Wardenburg Health Center. 

Appointments can be scheduled through the MyCUHealth portal. Medical Services is currently administering the Pfizer vaccine. 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. 

Updates to Buff Pass are now complete

The option to use the Buff Pass health questionnaire continues to be available to help you assess any symptoms you may be experiencing and next steps to take, if applicable. Visit the Buff Pass webpage to log in. To access the Daily Health Tracker click “Get Today’s  Buff Pass.” If you have not used the feature before, you will be prompted to update your contact information first.

Fall 2021 reminders

Student Emergency Fund

The fall 2021 application for the Student Emergency fund is open. The Student Emergency Fund provides support to CU Boulder students experiencing a crisis that could adversely affect their semester. The intent of the funding is to support students experiencing a temporary financial hardship as a result of COVID-19.

The funds are limited and not intended to provide ongoing relief for recurring expenses. Not all applications will be approved, even if a student meets the eligibility criteria.

Rec Center COVID-19 Protocols

Masks will be required indoors any time individuals are not actively engaging in sports, fitness or other recreational activities. Masks are recommended at all times for anyone who is not fully vaccinated.

Masks are required when:

  • Entering and exiting the building
  • At all customer services desks
  • In meeting rooms
  • Moving between fitness spaces or pieces of equipment
  • Spectating at sport games or practices

Masks are not required when:

  • Actively participating in recreational activities, sports or fitness
  • Eating or drinking
  • They impede necessary communication or instruction

Guest and visitor policies

At this time, members cannot purchase guest passes for visitors to use recreation facilities.

All campus tour participants, meeting attendees and event spectators over the age of 2 will be required to wear a mask at all times in the building.

Study spots on campus

Reserving study spaces is no longer required; however, you always have the option to do so if you so choose. Visit Find Your Study Spot for more information.

Boulder County indoor mask public health order 

Masks are required indoors in public spaces throughout the county. The public health order applies—regardless of vaccination status—to persons age two and up. This does not change the current mask requirement on campus. 

COVID-19 dashboard 

The COVID-19 dashboard has been updated for the fall 2021 semester. Diagnostic testing results will continue to be updated on the dashboard. In general, dashboard information is updated by 8 a.m. with results from the previous day of testing.

Follow Public Health Office guidance

Review information from the Public Health Office for students, staff and faculty members who will be providing in-person opportunities including classes, events, programs and other activities that involve gatherings of any size. Important reminders include:

  • Encourage students, staff, faculty and non-CU affiliates to stay home if they are feeling sick or have COVID-19-like symptoms.
  • Adhere to public health guidance and policies.
  • Opt to have events, programs and gatherings outdoors when possible.

What to expect if diagnosed with COVID-19

Employees: An employee who tests positive should receive resources from their county public health office. You can also connect with the Public Health Office on campus (303-735-0017 or We encourage employees to disclose the diagnosis with their supervisor to facilitate sick leave requests. Employees can also connect with to understand how to implement the directives from contact tracing. COVID-19 leave information can be found on the COVID-19 HR Processes page.

Students: When you have a confirmed positive COVID-19 test result, connect with the Public Health Office (303-735-0017 or They will ask you about your symptoms, health concerns, possible exposures and current situation. The case investigator will provide you with a timeline for isolation and recommendations based on your situation, as well as other resources as needed to support you and those around you.

Reminder: There are no isolation spaces on campus because COVID-19 vaccinations are widely available and CU Boulder has a vaccination requirement. COVID-19 vaccinations are the best way to prevent serious illness from COVID-19, including the delta variant. We also recommend all roommates discuss challenging topics and create a roommate agreement. In addition to having discussions with your roommate(s) in advance about how you’d like to handle illnesses (of any type), you can contact Contact Tracing for information on how to proceed if you feel you have been exposed to COVID-19. 

If a student notifies you of a diagnosis 

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

Case investigation and 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 the Public Health Office webpage for information on contact tracing, quarantine and other guidance.

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), through Live Chat or via email at, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. The university will extend these hours when needed.

 View prior updates