Updates on COVID-19 to faculty and staff

March 3, 2020

Dear colleagues:

As the news regarding the respiratory disease COVID-19 (coronavirus) continues to change, we’re writing with important updates on how the university is preparing for any disruptions to our normal operations. First, a reminder that at this time, there remain no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the university or anywhere in Colorado.

Our primary concern is the health and safety of our community. A cross-campus team is meeting regularly to share information and plan for the possibility of the virus affecting the CU Denver | Anschutz community, either here or abroad. Pandemic plans, for student housing and overall university function, are being updated in case they need to be activated. 

Information and Resources

We remain committed to keeping the university community informed as circumstances evolve, and will continue to update the CU Denver COVID-19 website regularly. This site provide resources from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) , as well as contacts in human resources, international affairs and occupational health for issues related to COVID-19.

Protecting Yourself

Here’s how to protect yourself against coronavirus, flu, and other respiratory viruses, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health (CDPHE):

  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds or more with soapy water or, at a minimum, alcohol-based sanitizer, which may be less effective than soap and water.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your inner elbow shirtsleeve.
  • Get your flu shot and stay up-to-date on other routine immunizations.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces such as desks, keyboards, doorknobs, handrails, etc. 

Preventing workplace exposures

The CDC has developed interim guidance to help prevent workplace exposures to COVID-19 (and other acute respiratory illnesses), as well as planning considerations if there are more widespread, community outbreaks of COVID-19. Visit the CDC website for  recommended strategies for employers to use now.  These include actively encouraging sick employees to stay home, separating sick employees, emphasizing hygiene, cleaning surfaces, advising employees on travel, and additional measures.

Our Facilities Management team is reviewing with janitorial staff the protocols for cleaning surfaces and is preparing to deploy additional hand sanitizer stations as needed.

International Travel

Worldwide, the locations with confirmed COVID-19 cases is changing frequently. The university’s International Risk Management Committee is closely monitoring the guidance of the CDC and  U.S. Department of State for international travel. The committee and the provost will review all upcoming global education programs to consider whether they will continue or be cancelled, as well as countries that may need to be added to the high-risk destination list for employees.

We maintain a list of known travelers to and from affected areas and are regularly in touch to discuss their plans and re-entry to work after any period of required quarantine.  Employees who have traveled to an affected region should contact the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) for guidance, and the CU Denver | Anschutz Human Resources team at 303-724-9686 for any return-to-work requirements.


As the COVID-19 virus continues to evolve here in the United States, please be aware that traveling domestically could now carry potential risks. Even a location not currently experiencing an outbreak could suddenly be declared a high-risk area, resulting in heightened exposure to the virus and barriers in returning home. If you do plan to travel, plan for contingencies in case you are not allowed to travel back to Denver.

Countering social stigmatization

Finally, we’d like to ask you to please help us prevent stigmatization by becoming familiar with the facts about COVID-19 and supporting community members with compassion and kindness. Visit the CDC website for information on countering social stigmatization associated with COVID-19.

Thank you for your support and patience as we continue to navigate this evolving situation.

Dorothy Horrell's signature

Dorothy Horrell


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