Common questions about coronavirus/COVID-19. Includes staying safe, recognizing symptoms, and getting healthcare.
One of the most dangerous aspects of the coronavirus pandemic is that people can be highly contagious even if they are not experiencing any of the symptoms listed above. So, the only safe approach is to assume that everyone who comes onto campus, including those who pass the daily health check-in, is contagious. That’s why wearing a face covering is vitally important.
This is one of those situations where teamwork is essential, and unless everyone consistently and conscientiously follows all the guidelines, a single contagious person can have a very harmful impact.
As we have all experienced, face masks are now part of our normal life to protect each other. We expect employees and students to wear a face covering as part of their daily attire when coming to campus. If you’re not able to purchase one, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (or CDC) has posted easy-to-follow webpage instructions for making a face mask and even a YouTube video that demonstrates an easy, no-sew method.
If you arrive on campus without a face covering, we will have one-time-use and reusable masks available. These will be available for pickup at multiple locations around campus including from health check-in stations, campus Ambassadors, schools and colleges, and in student service offices including Lynx Connect.
We have developed an online Safe Return training course that will be mandatory for everyone who will take classes, teach, or work on campus. The course describes the safe practices we are required to follow and reinforces that all people on campus are responsible for protecting each other.
As each building re-opens, we will institute a frequent schedule of cleaning and disinfecting high-use areas and frequently-touched surfaces, such as door handles, elevators, and countertops. More information on cleaning protocols can be found here.
We are instituting health check-in protocols that will require a daily attestation as to symptoms and a temperature check.
Each building will have a designated entrance and a designated exit to encourage one-way movement.
Room diagrams are being developed to facilitate adequate physical distancing in classrooms, laboratories, studios, study areas, student housing, dining areas, offices, and other locations.
To further minimize the risks of transmission, we plan to post signs guiding people to use the appropriate entrances and exits, observe any directional flows in hallways and stairwells, and abide by occupancy guidelines for common areas, elevators, and restrooms – as recommended by public health agencies.
To reduce the number of students, faculty, and staff on campus at any one time, we have carefully scheduled on-campus classes and work shifts for staff, faculty, and researchers. Although staff and faculty will be able to continue to perform many of their job duties remotely, there will be some offices/units that need to have an on-campus presence. We are asking central support units and schools/colleges to identify those units and work within the public health guidelines to plan for a safe, limited return.
All persons on campus must abide by safety protocols governing wearing cloth face coverings and maintaining 6 feet of distance from others at all times.
We are putting in place a contact tracing team that will follow up with individuals confirmed positive and those who have been in close contact (within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more) with them on campus.
Those who are experiencing coronavirus symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive should contact the Auraria Health Center for testing and guidance.
Anyone can get COVID-19, but the effects of the illness can be particularly severe for people in the following groups:
People in these groups should take extra precautions against COVID-19.
COVID-19 is thought to be spread person-to-person, primarily through close contact with someone who is infected. Research is showing that the virus can spread even when infected people are not showing any symptoms.
Stay at least six feet away from others when you go outside your home
Wash your hands often with soap and water
Wear a cloth face covering in public settings and when you are around others who do not live in your home
Clean and disinfect surfaces frequently
Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough, and wash your hands immediately afterwards
Most people who have COVID-19 will experience mild illness and can recover at home without medical care. Get rest and stay hydrated. Separate yourself from other members of your household as much as possible.
Stay home. Do not go out in public except to get medical care. If you have symptoms, you should be able to get a COVID-19 test through your health care provider or at the Auraria Health Center.
If you have any of the following severe symptoms, seek medical attention immediately:
Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
Inability to wake or stay awake
Bluish lips or face
Any other symptom that concerns you
Yes. One of the most important ways that we will protect against the spread of COVID-19 on campus is to do contact tracing for any known cases. That means that if an individual tests positive, they will be asked about their contacts with others while on campus, and those others will be informed that they may have come into contact with an infected person (while keeping the infected individual’s identity confidential). This allows potentially infected people to get tested and start quarantining.
If you test positive for COVID-19, inform CU Denver using this form.
You have been in close contact with someone if:
You have been within six feet of the person for 15 minutes or more
You live with the person
You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19
You kissed, hugged, or touched them
You shared eating or drinking utensils
They sneezed, coughed, or spit on you
Mental Health and Related Assistance for Students, Faculty, or Staff:
The Health Center at Auraria has counselors who can help with undue stress or anxiety, for no charge. Call (303) 615-9999 and schedule a consultation.
Colorado Crisis Services provides 24/7 free, confidential, immediate support for any mental health or substance abuse concern. Call 1-844-493-8255 or text TALK to 38255 to speak to a trained professional.
The Phoenix Center at Auraria provides free and confidential assistance to survivors of interpersonal violence (relationship violence, sexual violence, and stalking), as well as their friends, families, and concerned others. The full range of the victim services program will be accessible while the campus is operating remotely. Confidential appointments will be conducted via Zoom or telephone and can be scheduled here. The confidential helpline remains available 24/7 at (303) 556-2255.
The Real Help Hotline provides access to professional counselors who can provide immediate crisis counseling or help you find additional local resources It’s a free and confidential service and it’s available 24/7.
The Colorado State Employee Assistance Program (CSEAP) offers free confidential counseling session by appointment on a range of issues, from addiction to stress and grief. Call 1-800-821-8154 for questions or appointments.
See additional resources on our Human Resources page by clicking on the “Crisis/Mental Health Resources” tab.
You should quarantine—stay at home as if you were sick—for 14 days and watch for the development of symptoms.
The symptoms of COVID-19 generally appear 2 – 14 days after exposure and can range from very mild to severe. According to the CDC, common symptoms may include:
Fever or chills
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Muscle or body aches
New loss of taste or smell
Congestion or runny nose
Nausea or vomiting
Treat students like you would any colleague—first assume no ill intent and provide gentle encouragement and support for following safety rules. Most students will thank you for the reminder.
Willful or continued lack of compliance with safety directions is a violation of the Student Conduct Code that may lead to the student being barred from campus. You can report this kind of safety violation here. If you believe that the conduct is creating an imminent danger to yourself or others, call campus police at 303-556-5000, or call 911.
Gently reminding each other to follow safety rules is important. Assume that the other person is not acting with the intention to harm anyone and just needs some friendly encouragement. For example, if someone in your office is not wearing a mask, you could simply say, “Hey, here’s a mask,” while handing them a disposable mask with a smile. If someone gets too close to you, you can back away while saying, “Sorry, nothing personal, just trying to maintain my six feet!” Think about how you would like to be treated if you had forgotten to follow a safety rule.
If the person actively refuses to follow safety rules even after a gentle reminder, let his or her supervisor know or otherwise escalate it to the proper leadership authority. Continued failure to follow directions should become an HR issue, with consequences.
While it may seem odd, try not to hold in-person meetings even if you are all present. Instead, consider the Zoom meeting the “new normal” no matter where the attendees are. Remember that your goal is to reduce in-person time with others as much as possible.
We are asking faculty and students to conduct basic disinfecting of classrooms before and after classes. Each classroom will have disinfecting supplies in the space. We suggest that students be responsible for disinfecting their chair and desk while faculty be responsible for disinfecting the faculty area. Classrooms will also be cleaned and disinfected at the end of the day.
If you are alone in your office space with the door shut, you may remove your mask. If someone opens your door, you should put your mask back on.
We are currently preparing a form that will allow us to direct inquiries to the appropriate offices. We will update this FAQ with a link to the form shortly.
Please let us know about any concerns you have.
We will follow any state or local public health guidance that mandates complete or partial closure. In addition, we will use campus and community indicators to determine whether we need to take proactive steps to suspend on-campus operations for a class, office, floor, or building, or if we need to further reduce our on-campus presence as a whole. If the situation calls for it, we will be prepared to return to entirely remote classes and services.
Governor Polis issued a statewide mask mandate on July 16, and federal, state, and local public health agencies have been recommending for several months that people wear masks when in public. Studies are showing that masks reduce the risk that you will infect other people (remember, you may be a COVID-19 carrier even if you don’t think you are sick or have no symptoms), and more recent studies are showing that masks may protect the wearer as well.
The Auraria Campus and CU Denver have decided to require people to wear face coverings while outside on campus as well. It is easy to forget to put on a mask when moving between indoor and outdoor spaces, and it can be difficult to maintain 6-feet spacing even while outside, for example while walking on the pathways throughout campus. It is expected that cloth face coverings will be worn at all times on campus.
CU Denver is following guidance specific to higher education from the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment, the Colorado Department of Higher Education, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We are also consulting with the Colorado School of Public Health and local public health agencies and monitoring data on COVID-19 trends.
Current public health guidance recommends that higher education campuses screen for COVID-19 symptoms. The check-in station procedures in place now represent the most effective way for us to safely screen large numbers of people as they come on to campus. These procedures may be subject to change as public health guidance evolves.
CU Denver will conduct campus contact tracing investigations for all positive cases identified on campus. Investigations will be initiated and will generate a contact list of individuals who had close contact on campus with the affected individuals, in accordance with public health definitions. These individuals will be contacted and advised to self-quarantine and be tested. CU Denver will follow state guidelines for reporting outbreaks and will provide this information to the community.
Fear about coronavirus can lead to social stigma. For example, people may discriminate against individuals who have recently traveled or people of Asian descent. To reduce coronavirus-related stigma, get information from reliable sources such as the CDC, WHO, and CDPHE.
If you or someone you know has experienced discrimination, please reach out to the Office of Equity.
Campus and AHEC cleaning crews are responsible for cleaning and disinfecting common spaces, such as lobbies, elevators, bathrooms, and hallways. Individual units are responsible for cleaning unit proprietary spaces, such as conference rooms, before and after each use. It is a good idea for units to post cleaning logs so that space users can record when the room was last cleaned.
Individuals are responsible for cleaning and disinfecting their own workspaces, such as desk surfaces and computer keyboards. It is good practice to clean and disinfect your workspace when you come into work and when you leave at the end of your day.
More information about campus cleaning protocols can be found here.
You’re correct. But the medical-grade surgical masks or N95 respirators worn by hospital medical staff or emergency first responders are meant to protect them from very close contact with patients. You will be wearing a cloth face covering while maintaining 6 feet of distance from other people. Recent research has shown that this combination does decrease COVID-19 transmission.
Your cloth face covering protects not only you but others—your fellow students or co-workers, the people you pass in the hallway or who ride in an elevator after you have, and everyone else you encounter on campus. A person can be highly contagious without experiencing any symptoms, and your face covering will protect others from the virus particles that you might be “shedding” when you cough, sneeze, or breathe.
Another way to look at this is that everyone who wears a face covering is protecting you from contracting the coronavirus. It’s only fair that you do the same to protect them.
Do you have a question about how COVID-19 affects your studies or work at CU Denver?
Answers to the most common questions will be added to the FAQ section on a regular basis.