DENVER – CU Boulder and the University of Denver announced Thursday all classes would be switching to remote learning as cases of the novel coronavirus continue to rapidly increase throughout the Denver metro region.
The last day of in-person learning for CU Boulder students will be Friday, Nov. 13, according to a letter from the provost posted on the university’s website. From their part, DU said it would start transitioning students from in-person/hybrid learning starting Monday, Nov. 9. Remote learning for both schools will start on Nov. 16 and will last through the remainder of the semester.
“Unfortunately, our location in a city with a high rate of positivity has resulted in an increase of cases on campus in the past two days. We believe it is prudent to take precautionary actions so that we can continue to promote the health and safety of our community,” reads a letter from DU’s provost. CU Boulder officials said the shift to remote learning will provide students both on and off campus with the opportunity to return home before the week of Thanksgiving, adding the campus will be expanding on-campus COVID-19 testing starting the week of Nov. 9 Both schools said students living in residence halls could continue living in their residence halls and engage with others while following all safety guidelines to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus until Nov. 25.
CU Boulder officials are encouraging students get tested 48 to 72 hours prior to leaving the city but added all on-campus students are still required to continue with their weekly monitoring testing.
On campus housing and dining will continue at CU, including isolation spaces for students who test positive for COVID-19, university officials said in the letter.
The switch at CU does not impact researchers and researcher-related activities, officials said, and staff work modes will not change during this time unless otherwise directed by a supervisor.
“While the surge of COVID-19 infections in the Denver metro area is concerning and it will take a substantial community-wide effort to bend the curve of infection back down, today’s announcement does not change our plans to offer in-person and hybrid learning experiences in spring 2021,” reads the letter from CU’s provost.
Thursday’s announcement does not really impact athletics at CU, officials told Denver7 via email.
The school will host a virtual town hall for the CU Boulder community will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 6 where students, teachers, families and staff can ask questions about the changes. You can access that town hall here.
At DU, dining halls will remain open through the end of the term and the Anderson Academic Commons will retain its current hours of operation and services until Dec. 4. Outdoor locker and curb-side checkout will continue, university officials said.
The Coors Fitness Center/Ritchie Center will remain open following protocols shared by DU school officials on Oct. 30. Any adjustments to the Fisher Early Learning Center and the Ricks Center for Gifted Children will be communicated directly with families and staff, they added.
By 4 p.m. Thursday, Colorado State University had yet to update its guidance on what the rest of the fall semester would look like. Currently, classes at CSU are being delivered through mix of online and remote learning.
Earlier Thursday, Gov. Jared Polis said Colorado had broken a new record with 3,369 new positive cases of the novel coronavirus and 894 hospitalizations for confirmed cases of COVID-19.
“I really hope and trust that that’s a wake-up call for Coloradans,” Polis said. “We cannot afford a November that is like October.”
State Epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Herlihy, who joined Polis at the Thursday news conference, warned the state could exceed their existing ICU bed capacity in late December if Coloradans do not change their current habits.
Polis emphasized Coloradans need to do three things during November to reverse the trends: Only interact with people in your own household, keep proper social distance of at least 6 feet, and wear a mask.