Free KN95 masks, at-home COVID tests available as we return in-person Jan. 31

Jan. 26, 2022

Dear Lynx Community,

Thank you for your resilience during the first two weeks of the spring semester, as we shifted to remote learning/working to mitigate the impact and spread of COVID as infections rose here in Colorado and across the country. As we prepare to return to in-person learning on Monday, Jan. 31, we’re pleased to see the recent slowdown in COVID infections in the state. According to CDPHE last week, the state had a week-long decline in the percentage of tests coming back positive and the number of new cases. The cases are appearing to drop just as quickly as they spiked earlier this month.

Regardless, we all know that COVID-19 is not gone from our lives and we need to continue with what we know that works; getting vaccinated, wearing masks, and staying home when you’re sick. We want to stay safe and maintain in-person learning the rest of this semester. We are going to continue to focus on the following:

Booster shot requirement

As we prepare to return to in-person instruction, it is critical that we take every measure possible to slow the spread of COVID.

CU Denver requires a COVID-19 booster shot to be considered “fully vaccinated” to come to campus. Individuals are only required to get a booster if they are eligible (i.e. six months after previous Pfizer and Moderna vaccination or two months from Johnson & Johnson vaccination). Those currently eligible must get their booster shot by Feb. 1.

According to CDPHE, Coloradans receiving boosters are 2.4 times less likely to get infected with COVID-19 than people who only received two doses of Pfizer or Moderna or one dose of Johnson & Johnson.

You can schedule your free booster shot at the Health Center at Auraria or through other providers in the metro Denver area. Because most students, faculty, and staff have granted CU Denver access to the state COVID-19 vaccination database, for most people, no action is required to confirm your booster status.

COVID testing at CU Denver

As a reminder, COVID testing is free and readily available.

You can schedule same-day appointments at the 5th Street Garage. Results are typically available within 36 hours. On Monday, Jan. 31, from 8-11 a.m. and Tuesday, Feb. 1, from 12-3 p.m., you can get a rapid antigen test at Student Commons, Room 1401. Other sites for testing are available from your healthcare provider and COVIDCheckColorado.

KN95 masks and antigen at-home tests available starting Jan. 31

To help prevent the transmission of COVID via aerosols, CU Denver will provide KN95 masks — one of the most effective tools available — starting Monday, Jan. 31. We are increasing our inventory of KN95s and have a limited inventory currently, but continue to have single-use surgical masks available in every building.

We also have a supply of iHealth antigen at-home COVID tests, which may be picked up on campus beginning on Jan. 31. Priority will go to students, faculty, and staff who are regularly on campus. Antigen tests appear to have limited sensitivity to detect the Omicron variant so these tests should not be used for definitive conclusions about whether you have COVID. If you are symptomatic, please stay home, even if you test negative with an antigen test.

Students:

Students coming to campus may pick up a box of two self-tests and a KN95 mask at Lynx Central in Student Commons. Students living in residential housing may contact their front desk to request a box of two self-tests and a KN95 mask.

Employees:

School/College Faculty/Staff: Each Dean’s office has received masks and tests and will be in touch with its own employees when and where those are available.

Student/Central/Academic Service Employees: All other employees can pick up their mask and box of two tests at Lynx Central in Student Commons. Leaders of offices in Lawrence Street Center, 1380 Lawrence St., may contact Ali Medina to request tests and masks for their units.

At-home tests are also available through the federal government’s site at COVIDtests.gov.

Spring semester outlook for in-person instruction

Based on current trends, we have every expectation that CU Denver will continue the rest of the semester in-person. The key indicators informing any decision to go remote will be:

  • Hospital bed availability. To make sure that we can deliver care to the most urgent cases, it’s important that the state not exceed 2,000 beds for COVID patients on a single day.
  • Potential absenteeism of campus personnel. As we must ensure the safe and smooth operation of our campus, we will closely watch absenteeism in campus units as well as changes to K-12 and public transportation availability.
  • Public health guidance from CDPHE, CDC and other public health organizations.

Thank you, once again. Please continue to be safe.

We can’t wait to see everyone again on Monday.

Chris Puckett  
Managing Associate University Counsel & Co-Chair, Lynx Together Task Force 

Pamela Jansma 
Dean, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences & Co-Chair, Lynx Together Task Force