In the midst of the fall season, with temperatures starting to drop, COVID-19 cases are starting to rise at the University of Colorado Boulder.
According to the university’s COVID-19 Ready Dashboard, a total of 1,012 COVID tests have been completed this month and 38 have had positive results as of Nov. 10. Throughout the semester, there have been 7,323 tests and only a total of 158 have been positive, which is low compared to last year’s recorded cases.
Even though 96% of reported students at the University of Colorado have been vaccinated for the virus, breakthrough infections are possible.
The New York Times’ national cases dashboard shows that Colorado had over 7,500 new confirmed cases on Nov. 8, which is a higher daily rate than most states at this time. 62.2% of the population has been vaccinated in Colorado.
Other than COVID, there are other illnesses going around. Strep throat, mono, the flu and other common colds are all more common in the fall.
Health and Wellness Services recommends that students continue to wear masks, wash hands frequently and stay home when they are sick to prevent the spread of COVID and other cold-like symptoms.
“On-campus testing is open to all CU Boulder undergraduate students and graduate students through the Public Health Clinic [at Wardenburg],” said Joshua Lindenstein, assistant director of Strategic Communications at the university.
Asymptomatic faculty and staff may be eligible for on-campus Public Health Clinic testing based on certain criteria. Symptomatic faculty and staff are not eligible to be seen at the Public Health Clinic and should schedule an appointment with their personal medical provider.
Because of the vaccine, the University is not providing on-campus options for quarantining. Instead, it is up to students to quarantine properly and get a test if they are showing symptoms or were exposed to COVID-19.
“In my opinion, not having quarantine dorms defeats the purpose of quarantining because the people quarantining are allowed to use the bathroom, which should mean that those who use that bathroom have been exposed,” said Allison Doak, a freshman who lives in the dormitories.
“I think that it would be good to give the option [to quarantine] to students especially for students who are high risk or didn’t have a chance to get the shot,” Doak added. “But it isn’t completely necessary since some rooms have connected bathrooms and the vaccination rate is very high.”
It is still important to follow the post-exposure steps of quarantining and testing, along with other daily protocols like mask-wearing and washing your hands.
“We do not see classes going fully remote again in the near future,” Lindenstein added. “However, our campus remains vigilant in the fight against COVID-19 as the virus and pandemic evolve.”
The university said they continue to partner with local and state public health officials to guide policy and requirements, as well as to work with the campus’ Scientific Steering Committee to ensure their decision-making is data-informed.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 should get tested whether they are vaccinated or not. Students can schedule a telehealth and testing appointment online on the MyCUHealthportal.
Students who may have been exposed, but are fully vaccinated, and do not have symptoms of COVID do not need to be quarantined but should continue to wear a mask in public areas and get a test 5-7 days after the exposure. Those who are not fully vaccinated, need to be tested and quarantined until they have the results.
If someone has symptoms, they should isolate and get a COVID-19 test immediately. If students or faculty have any questions about quarantining, they should call or email Contact Tracing at 303-735-0017 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Addison Luetke at email@example.com.