New Dashboard Tracks COVID-19 on Campus

Aug. 21, 2020 @ 10:05 a.m.

Dear CU Denver community,

Nearly a week into this unusual semester, I’m writing to let you know how things are going so far and to share with you a new way you can track how we’re doing.  

Between 1,000 and 1,350 students, faculty, and staff have been passing through the health check-in stations each day. Because they’re arriving having already taken their temperature and completed their pre-return training and daily attestations, the lines have been minimal. In addition, we’ve tested 384 students and staff at Lynx Crossing residence hall during move-in.

We have recently added new testing options for asymptomatic members of our community. We believe that our testing, isolation, and contact tracing capabilities will enable us to identify infected members of our community (those with symptoms and without) and reduce the risk of the virus.

We know that you’re eager to hear how, specifically, we’ll be tracking the prevalence of COVID-19 on campus. In the spirit of transparency, we’re pleased to share that we’ve launched a COVID-19 dashboard on the Safe Return website

The dashboard includes metrics on COVID-19 on campus and in Denver. It lists the number of tests we've given, new positive CU Denver cases on our campus, seven-day average of positive cases, and utilization of quarantine space. (Students, staff, and faculty with COVID-19 who have not been on campus are not listed as a case.) The dashboard also links to “Caution Metrics” in the Denver region. We selected the dashboard metrics based on public health best practices, data availability, and the unique nature of the CU Denver campus.

We will share weekly status updates on Thursdays and reprise them via CU Denver News on the following Tuesday. The updates will include dashboard highlights and a general summary of items of note regarding positive cases, isolation, contact tracing, and mitigation measures.

We will be closely monitoring the factors tracked in our campus dashboard to determine whether we need 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. 

We owe the safety and smoothness of our return to campus this week largely to the efforts of the Safe Return Team, led by Kelly Hupfeld, Alana Jones, Paul Teske, and Chris Puckett and comprising more than 100 faculty and staff. This team worked tirelessly since April to ensure a flexible return to campus that keeps our community safe, ensures our students’ ongoing success, and innovates for the future. We are so grateful for their work.

I’d like to close with a final note of thanks to all of you for protecting yourselves, each other, and our community by following safety protocols on campus and taking appropriate measures off campus. This week your courtesy and respect for others has been evident in the short check-in lines, ubiquitous face coverings, and adherence to directional signage we’ve been seeing. With your help, we will continue to meet the ongoing challenges of COVID-19 and pivot as needed to maintain health and safety while continuing our academic mission.

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Michelle Marks

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