University of Colorado Boulder Chancellor Phillip DiStefano is advising students to leave campus and go home if possible in an effort to combat a spread of COVID-19 cases on campus. A CU Boulder employee and student have tested positive for the coronavirus within the last week and Boulder County’s number of confirmed cases is at seven as of Monday.
“None of our decisions have been made lightly,” the chancellor said in an email Monday.
The university had until now resisted advising students to leave its residence halls, saying it would severely disrupt students’ housing. Just four days ago, DiStefano told CU’s Board of Regents it was “not possible to close the campus and entirely shut down our operations,” and at the time did not deem it necessary to close dorms.
As many students leave, the university will also begin transitioning all non-critical campus employees to work remotely by Wednesday. Work deemed critical for remaining on campus even in the face of emergency includes public safety, housing, dining and health services, on-campus technology, infrastructure and transportation service.
Those who are non-essential but cannot perform all necessary duties will be contacted by the university to work on paid administrative leave, according to DiStefano.
DiStefano also said in his email all non-essential research will be suspended until further notice and research spaces will be limited to only those who must be in the labs. By Wednesday, only the labs that “would be a critical risk of disruption, catastrophic loss, or animal negligence” will continue.
The chancellor is also advising campus instructors to consider postponing exams, quizzes and graded assignments scheduled for this week or to allow students the chance to make up an exam or quiz or turn in their graded assignments after spring break.
Contact CU Independent Senior News Editor Tory Lysik at firstname.lastname@example.org.