The University of Colorado Boulder announced Thursday one of its employees has tested presumptive positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus. The employee is believed to have worked in limited areas of the Center for Community (C4C) building on March 9 between the hours of 8 a.m. and noon.
University spokesperson Deborah Mendez-Wilson said the case is presumptive and has been tested by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The test will still need to be verified by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
The university said it will close and disinfect any areas where it is confirmed the employee was present.
“We are already following public health guidance regarding additional cleaning and sanitation steps to prevent the further spread of the virus,” a university statement reads.
According to the statement, the Boulder County Public Health Department is currently finding those who have been in contact with the employee and asking them to stay home for 14 days and monitor symptoms per CDC guidelines.
CU Boulder announced Wednesday morning that all in-person classes on campus will be canceled effective Monday, March 16 through to the end of the semester.
A C4C employee, who spoke with the CU Independent on the basis of anonymity for fear of retaliation, said they are upset that “higher-ups decided that the virus was a big enough deal to make it so that all classes were to be done remotely, but decided to keep the C4C open throughout this event.”
“The C4C should have been one of the first locations to be closed off because a lot of students come through all day and are constantly touching things with their hands and eating,” the employee said. “It’s the one location on campus that many, many students are coming to, and to me it shows that while the higher-ups seem to care about the students’ wellbeing, they do not care a single bit about their employees that aren’t teachers (or) professors.”
Zora Waters, a senior computer science major and employee at the Laughing Goat in Norlin Library, said the positive test is “concerning,” but also feels the school is “doing okay at handling it and telling us what’s up.”
“I’m sad that classes are online because I’m a senior and it’s my last semester,” Waters said. “So, I’m worried about it messing up commencement. But I’m also worried about my job as most people here are.”
The university is still resisting a full closure of campus and said it is continuously monitoring the situation and “will take additional actions to protect the health and safety of our campus community as necessary.”
“Based on the current information available, we do not believe a campus closure is warranted,” a university statement reads. “We are continuously monitoring this evolving situation and will take additional actions to protect the health and safety of our campus community as necessary.”
Contact CU Independent Managing Editor Anna Haynes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CU Independent Breaking News Editor Noelle Videon contributed reporting to this article.