This final weekly update for the spring semester summarizes the campus shift to a mask-optional environment. Information will also continue to be shared on the campus COVID-19 information page.
Mask-optional starts March 7
The university announced on Monday, Feb. 28, that the CU Boulder campus will become mask-optional at 6 a.m. on Monday, March 7. Until then, masks continue to be required in all public indoor spaces, classrooms and laboratories.
Note: Masks will continue to be required after March 7 at the Wardenburg Health Center.
Why masks will be optional
In recent weeks, we have witnessed several encouraging trends with regard to COVID-19 transmission. These include a rapid decline in transmission on our campus, in Boulder County and across the state, as well as a significant decrease in COVID-19-related hospitalizations.
Additionally, we maintain a high level of vaccination, including boosters, among our students and employees. The latest state modeling estimates that 90% of Coloradans are currently immune to infection by the omicron variant through either vaccination, previous infection or both. And on Feb. 25, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its mask guidance, with Boulder County no longer classified as an area in which masks are recommended.
As we have since the start of the pandemic, we will continue to monitor COVID-19 metrics at the campus, local and state levels, in case changing conditions require that we reassess our protocols.
For those who prefer to continue wearing a mask
We recognize that members among our students, faculty and staff have different comfort levels in public spaces and that some members of our community have personal circumstances that would counsel in favor of continued masking. While wearing masks will soon be optional on campus, we encourage those who prefer to do so to continue wearing them, and we support their decision.
Properly fitted N95 or KN95 masks remain an effective tool for preventing transmission, especially in conjunction with vaccination. In fact, for those who want the extra layer of protection, one recent study noted that those who wear a well-fitting N95 or KN95 indoors are 83% less likely to test positive for COVID-19 than those who do not wear a mask.
We ask that everyone respects the choices of their colleagues and peers as our campus makes this transition.
Additional mask information
Our Campus Mask Guidance page has been updated to include frequently asked questions about the change to a mask-optional campus environment.
Buff Info liaisons are also available to answer questions. Buff Info liaisons can be reached at 303-492-INFO (4636), via live chat or email at firstname.lastname@example.org, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Reminder: COVID-19 vaccine booster reporting requirement
To comply with CU Boulder’s updated COVID-19 guidance, members of the campus community were required to receive a vaccine booster shot by Feb. 24 or will be required five months after receiving the final dose of the original series, whichever is later, or submit an exemption.
There are no predetermined medical exemptions for the COVID-19 vaccination booster requirement. However, individuals who previously received a COVID-19 vaccination can file a medical or moral/ethical exemption and still be in compliance with the university’s vaccination reporting requirement. Individuals who previously submitted an exemption do not need to take further action at this time and will be considered in compliance with current university vaccine reporting requirements.
Students, faculty and staff must upload proof of boosters or an exemption (if applicable) through the MyCUHealth portal.