As CU Denver kicks off a semester unlike any before, administrators are working diligently to keep the campus community safe, healthy, and informed about the status of COVID-19 on campus.
In the spirit of transparency, the university has launched an online COVID-19 dashboard on the Coronavirus website and accessible on the Safe Return website. The tool lists the number of tests given, new positive CU Denver cases on campus, five-day average of positive cases, and utilization of quarantine space. Dashboard metrics were selected based on public health best practices, data availability, and the unique nature of the CU Denver campus. The dashboard also links to “Caution Metrics” created by Denver Public Health to monitor the COVID-19 epidemic in Denver and the Denver region.
Factors tracked in the dashboard will be used to determine whether CU Denver needs to phase down on-campus operations, as many other campuses across the country have already had to do. “Should this happen, we are prepared to pivot our operations quickly and efficiently, and we will inform you of any changes via university email and the university website,” Chancellor Michelle Marks wrote in a campuswide announcement. Campuswide weekly COVID-19 updates will continue to go out on Thursdays and will be included in CU Denver News, campus’ weekly Tuesday e-newsletter.
Testing Available for All Students, Faculty, and Staff
The week of move-in, CU Denver began asymptomatic testing of nearly 400 residential students, staff, and contractors in its residence hall, Lynx Crossing. Now, CU Denver is broadening access and providing asymptomatic testing to students, faculty, and staff who are coming to campus, in an effort to stop potential outbreaks before they start. The testing is in partnership with COVIDCheck Colorado, a social benefit enterprise of the Gary Community Investment Company.
For a fee of $10, faculty and staff will have access to an online platform where they can schedule an appointment for an asymptomatic test at many of COVIDCheck Colorado’s sites across the Denver metro area. Testing results should be available in 72 hours or less.
CU Denver sent an invitation to students with on-campus/hybrid courses inviting them to receive a free asymptomatic test. A test site will open on Wednesday and Thursday, August 26 – 27 from 8 a.m. – noon, at the North classroom atrium. Only those who have previously signed up will be able to be tested.
Asymptomatic testing will continue at Lynx Crossing Residence Hall in September and students living in this location will be tested every two to three weeks, free of charge, for the first part of the semester. In addition, all residents in Lynx Crossing have their own bedrooms, and quarantine units are available for students who test positive.
Contract Tracers Helping to Prevent Transmission
To further efforts in reducing community transmission, COVID-19 student case investigators have been hired to join a dynamic team of contact tracers on the Auraria Campus. Collectively this team will work to prevent COVID-19 transmission on campus by remotely isolating sick individuals and placing exposed individuals in quarantine. They will also provide education about isolation and quarantine procedures and physical and mental health resources to cases and contacts.
For more information about the university’s COVID-19 preparations and health and safety protocols, visit CU Denver’s Safe Return page. For recent announcements, visit CU Denver’s Coronavirus and Safe Return Updates page.