Temporary situation could become permanent depending on outbreak status.
On the heels of a virtual explosion of COVID-19 cases among CU Boulder students, school officials have decided to put all classes online to try to get on top of the outbreak.
As of September 18, there were 765 cases of COVID-19 confirmed, and the campus isolation units were 68% full.
Starting on September 23, classes will be remote for undergraduate, graduate, and law students at CU. Currently, the plan is to keep classes online for a minimum of two weeks with the possibility of an extension depending on how many cases continue to be confirmed.
"At the moment this is a temporary situation, but it could become permanent if we continue to disregard public health guidelines,” Chancellor Philip DiStefano said.
During this remote time period, students are asked to stay in their housing units, and staff who are working remotely are encouraged to continue to do so. Operations will continue uninterrupted.
Chancellor DiStefano says that COVID-19 guideline enforcement will continue, and students who violate isolation orders could face suspension. In the past few weeks, student parties and large gatherings have been reported, leading campus to start cracking down on violations.
"Any serious public health violations by students, like hosting or attending large gatherings or breaking isolation guidelines, will result in an immediate 10-day suspension pending adjudication through Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution. More than a dozen students already received notices of such over the weekend," said the chancellor in a statement.
You can view the entire statement here.
Beginning Wednesday, Sept. 23 we will operate under temporary remote-only instruction for all undergraduate, graduate and law classes for a minimum of two weeks. pic.twitter.com/aX98U9cKWT— CU Boulder (@CUBoulder) September 21, 2020
CU Boulder isn't the only university experiencing COVID-19 cases. The other large universities in the Denver area and Front Range are also reporting rising cases.
According to Chancellor DiStefano, if the school can't get a handle on the outbreak, it may mean that classes will be remote for the entire semester.
"And so to the members of our campus community who haven’t been abiding by public health guidelines, let me be clear one more time: It is your responsibility to follow these protocols as someone who lives in the Boulder community and is part of this university," Chancellor DiStefano said. "Practicing physical distancing, wearing face coverings and avoiding gatherings—24/7, on and off campus—are the only way we will keep our broader community safe enough to return to an in-person campus experience. This may be the last opportunity for our campus to bend the curve of infection and return to in-person instruction before we are forced to move to remote operations for the remainder of the semester."
Anyone that is part of the CU Boulder system, or anyone interested in the steps CU is taking, is encouraged to visit the school's COVID-19 webpage, which has been updated with additional details, for more information.
What do you think about CU's COVID-19 response? Are you on another campus that is seeing rising cases of coronavirus? Let us know in the comments below.