Information about COVID-19
Colorado State University is closely monitoring and following COVID-19 guidance as outlined by public health experts. We are in daily communication with our Larimer County and Colorado Departments of Health and Environment. We are actively tracking and following federal guidelines outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including new guidance for COVID-19 pandemic preparedness planning and protocols for students, faculty and staff who are or have recently traveled.
The university has had protocols in place to monitor for the virus since January 14.
Fall 2020 Framework
May 290: Information about University planning for Fall 2020 semester.
May 26 update: All CSU events and activities that involve more than ten people are canceled by the Pandemic Response Task Force through June 1. The Pandemic Response Task Force is currently evaluating all events after June, based on the most recent public health guidance. The task force will communicate directly with event planners regarding the status of those events. If you are planning an in-person meeting, activity or event of any kind after June 1 and your event is not registered through the university’s events management system, you should email ucomm_covid-19@Mail.colostate.edu for more information about the status of your event.
Students: A link to the CSU CARES Act Emergency Aid application has been added to the Notifications section of your RAMweb homepage. If you have completed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 2019-2020 academic year, you may be eligible for additional aid through this application.
Recovery Plan Road Map
University COVID communications
CSU communications to students, faculty and staff regarding the university’s COVID-19 response.
Our best path forward is through a transparent, engaged process grounded in our land-grant commitment to access, success, equity, and excellence.
Pandemic Preparedness Team and Recovery Working Group members
Rams Take Care of Rams
In these unprecedented times, CSU is taking action to support students and engage in research and innovation. There are many ways to join us in these efforts.
April 28 update: All CSU events and activities that involve more than ten people are canceled by the Pandemic Response Taskforce through May 27. The Pandemic Response Taskforce is currently evaluating all events after May 27, based on current public health guidance. The taskforce will communicate directly with event planners regarding the status of those events. If you are planning an in-person meeting, activity or event of any kind after May 27 and your event is not registered through the university’s events management system, you should email ucomm_covid-19@Mail.colostate.edu for more information about the status of your event.
Effective Monday, March 23, all CSU operations will be online and virtual services.
What does this mean?
The university will be open—virtually. We will do our work by phone, email, Microsoft Teams or other online platforms unless the work must be performed in person. Supervisors should exercise common sense, flexibility and compassion to move employees to online and virtual work and also to identify any essential-in-person functions in their offices.
Essential in-person functions are those service functions that cannot be performed via email, phone, or other online platforms, including but not limited to: feeding and serving students who remain in the residence halls; caring for animals and plants under the university’s charge; performing physical maintenance and cleaning; using on-campus equipment that is vital to academic, research, or operations continuity; and conducting critical research tasks that cannot be done virtually.
The university is operating under Safer at Home guidelines. All university buildings are closed to the public at this time. The university observes social distancing, masks, and all other public health guidance on university grounds. Gatherings are prohibited on university grounds, including the Oval, and inside buildings.
Our fundamental mission is to educate our students and we are committed to preserving their educational access, opportunity and success for the remainder of this semester, regardless of circumstances.
Spring Break for students and faculty will be extended through Tuesday, March 24, with classes resuming Wednesday, March 25, as follows:
- Classes at all levels will be delivered online beginning Wednesday, March 25, through the end of the Spring 2020 semester.
- Individual academic units will follow up with their students regarding accommodations for accessibility issues, including online and computer access, internships, laboratory classes, and other special circumstances.
- In keeping with this decision, we are also advising the suspension or online delivery of off-campus educational programming and events (including in CSU Extension and Continuing Education) for the remainder of the semester.
Guidance for faculty on how to move classes online is available at the Keep Teaching link on Canvas.
Information and access for students to online instruction is at Keep Learning on Canvas.
ACNS – Academic Computing and Networking Services – has developed these resources are available to support routine work or academic function in response to the University’s decision to move courses online, as well as potential future University decisions to support additional social distancing measures to work remotely.
These services connect you with colleagues and students so that work and learning can continue uninterrupted.
For assistance or questions, please contact your department IT staff or the Central IT Technical Support Help Desk at (970) 491-7276 or via email at email@example.com. Please note: University closures may slow the Help Desk response time.
Following recommendations from public health officials, we have made the difficult decision to move the May Commencement ceremonies to December to allow all our graduates to share their achievements with their families in person. We will celebrate all CSU 2020 graduates with commencement ceremonies on campus December 18-20, 2020. The schedule for specific ceremonies will be forthcoming in the coming weeks and posted here.
Human Resources has developed an extensive list of frequently asked questions about leave and other employment-related issues around the University’s COVID-19 planning and decisions.
These FAQs are posted at https://safety.colostate.edu/covid-19-human-resources-faqs/, where state classified employees will also find guidance from the state of Colorado. HR will be updating the FAQs frequently as this situation unfolds. Check this link regularly for the latest information in response to your questions and changing conditions.
The Office of the Vice President of Research has developed a page offering guidance and resources for the Colorado State University research community to assist in planning for potential impacts and ensuring research continuity during the coronavirus outbreak. It defines critical research operations and steps that are being taken to ensure any impacts of the pandemic will be mitigated.
The page will be updated as frequently as necessary to keep current with the latest information from the University, health authorities, and funding agencies.
The University is reviewing and following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment on holding large events and gatherings.
April 28 update: All CSU events and activities that involve more than ten people are canceled by the Pandemic Response Task Force through May 27. The Pandemic Response Task Force is currently evaluating all events after May 27, based on current public health guidance. The task force will communicate directly with event planners regarding the status of those events. If you are planning an in-person meeting, activity or event of any kind after May 27 and your event is not registered through the university’s events management system, you should email ucomm_covid-19@Mail.colostate.edu for more information about the status of your event.
All scheduled face-to-face courses this coming summer will be delivered via remote learning. The status of field course experiences is undetermined at this time. More information from a March 27 update on summer courses from Provost Rick Miranda.
Students, these FAQs can help you with information about satisfactory/unsatisfactory grading, class withdraw, repeat/delete, changing your major and other academic policies that have been temporarily put in place in response to COVID-19 https://safety.colostate.edu/covid-19-academic-faqs-spring-2020/.
Concerns about exposure
Not everyone who is exposed to the virus will catch it, and some people who are infected with have only mild symptoms or no symptoms at all.
Symptoms of COVID include a new loss of the ability to taste or smell, fever, chills, cough and shortness of breath.
Other less common symptoms have been reported, including gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.
Symptoms usually develop two days to two weeks after exposure.
Anyone can experience a range of symptoms – from only mild symptoms to serious, life-threatening illness.
Older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness.
If you experience symptoms, follow this guidance from the CDC about what to do if you are sick.
If you believe you are ill, call your medical provider. CSU students may contact the CSU Health Network.
Call 9-1-1- immediately if someone is showing emergency warning signs of a serious COVID-19 infection. These signs include trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, or bluish lips or face.
Wellness and Prevention
If you want to know why the CDC recommends “social distancing,” this chart illustrates how quickly our healthcare system could be overwhelmed with people needing treatment if we continued gathering in large groups.
People who are considered to have had close contact with an infected person means they have had face-to-face meetings, shared a meal, or were in a confined space for minutes to hours.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines “close contact” for this coronavirus outbreak, based on research and what scientists know, as anyone who has been within 6 feet of a person infected with the virus for a “prolonged period of time.”
Examples include living with, sharing a health-care waiting room, or visiting for several minutes with someone with COVID-19, as well as having had direct contact with the infected person’s secretions – for example, being coughed on. A prolonged period of time is generally defined as several minutes.
Coronaviruses are generally passed from person to person through droplets from the nose or mouth when an infected person coughs or exhales, which land on objects and surfaces around the person, requiring close physical contact with a sneeze or other body secretion.
Who is at risk of contracting this strain of coronavirus? Public health officials take guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to respond to concerns about exposure. These professionals are part of a vast network of experts who share information about individuals who are experiencing symptoms and who may have been exposed to the virus. If there is a concern that someone has the virus, public health officials track down others who may have been in close contact with that person; those are the individuals who are believed to be at the highest risk of contracting the virus. That said, only a fraction of individuals with close contact with someone who is experiencing COVID-19 will also experience symptoms.
Public health efforts to track individuals with close contact are extensive and thorough.
What is “close contact?” This is a term with a specific public health definition, with parameters set by information health officials know about each specific illness or disease.
Public health departments determine who is at risk of illness based on factors specific to this coronavirus. These departments decide how many people are at risk of contracting the virus from someone they have had contact with, and they track down those individuals and notify them directly and provide advice.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has set guidelines that define “close contact” for this coronavirus outbreak, based on research and what scientists know, as anyone who has been within 6 feet of a person infected with the virus for a “prolonged period of time,” as well as those who have had direct contact with the infected person’s secretions. A prolonged period of time is generally defined as several minutes. People who are considered at risk often had meetings, shared a meal or were in a confined space for minutes to hours with an infected person. Coronaviruses are generally passed through droplets, requiring close physical contact with a sneeze or other body secretion.
While this virus is spreading through “community spread,” which means that there are cases where a close connection cannot be found, researchers looking at the spread of the virus do not believe that is common.
Many people who are exposed to the virus are likely to not become ill, or may only experience mild symptoms. The best advice for staying well continues to be wash your hands often with soap and water, cover your cough, stay home if you are sick, and avoid contact with individuals who are not well.
- Because multiple cases of COVID-19 are now confirmed in Colorado, public health officials are reserving the tests for those patients who need it the most – primarily those who are in a hospital so that doctors can determine how to treat them, and for health care providers.
- Concerned you have COVID-19? REPORT YOUR SYMPTOMS ONLINE. Reporting your symptoms online helps public health teams better understand and track the spread of COVID-19.
- If you have symptoms of COVID-19,click here to be redirected to the Larimer County COVID-19 data portal, and then report your symptoms by clicking the blue box labeled “Report Your Symptoms.” Symptoms can vary and may include fever, fatigue, cough and shortness of breath.
- Most people who get COVID-19 will not become seriously ill and only experience a mild illness and won’t need to see a doctor.
- If you are a CSU student and would like to speak to a healthcare professional about your symptoms or questions about COVID-19, please call CSU Health Network at (970) 491-7121 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. We will discuss your symptoms to determine whether you should seek medical care, answer your questions and offer advice about home care and isolation.
- If you are an employee and you are concerned that your symptoms are becoming serious, call your health care provider.
If your medical provider asks you to seek care, take these precautions to stop the spread of germs:
- Avoid using public transportation.
- Avoid contact with others and public places.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
- If soap and water is not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, contact your health care provider.
Larimer County Public Health provides drive-thru testing on Tuesdays and Fridays. Registration and screening are required. Learn more about Larimer County Public Health testing.
Follow recommendations to wear a mask:
- Wear a mask when you are outside of your home or yard
- These should be homemade cloth masks or coverings for the mouth and nose, not hospital-grade masks (due to short supply needed for medical workers)
- Public health experts want people to wear a mask to protect others, in case you are infected and contagious before showing symptoms
- Physical distancing is still extremely important. The mask that you are wearing does not necessarily protect you from others who may be ill, so you should still stay 6 feet away.
Key facts about coronavirus and COVID-19
Coronarviruses are a group or family of viruses that are actually very common and have been around – and infecting humans – for a long time. Most people will get a mild “common cold” from this family of viruses at some time in their lives – a runny nose, headache, cough, sore throat and fever. Sometimes, this is a virus that also causes pneumonia or bronchitis. These viruses spread from person to person just like other “common cold” viruses: through close contact, uncovered coughs and sneezes, and if the virus is on a surface and a person touches the surface and then touches their eyes or mouth.
The current outbreak that is being covered in the news is due to a newer virus strain in the coronavirus family. This newer strain – called COVID-19 — is causing a range of severity of illness in people, from mild infections to severe – sometimes fatal – infections that cause pneumonia. The first cases of this virus were found in one region in China in December. The first United States case was confirmed on Jan. 21.
- The university is following all guidelines and recommendations based on protocols outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- For information about COVID-19 in Colorado, visit the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
- Experts believe that the incubation period is up to 14 days.
- It is important to know that it is cold and flu season; please do not assume that someone who is sick or wearing a mask has coronavirus. Individuals may choose to wear a mask for a variety of reasons, and may wear one even when they do not have a respiratory illness.
- Share facts, not fear with this resource about COVID-19 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The situation regarding COVID-19 is rapidly evolving. It’s important to seek information from reputable sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html) and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/2019-novel-coronavirus).
To avoid the spread of all respiratory viruses including the flu, everyone should:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use hand sanitizer if water and soap is not available.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Remain at home if you are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or the corner of your elbow.
The university has cleaning and disinfecting protocols in place. If you want to take additional measures for your personal space, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/home/cleaning-disinfection.html and https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/home/index.html
University pandemic planning and recovery planning
At this time, there is limited testing being conducted by health care providers of individuals who have symptoms. Individuals who believe they have been exposed are not being tested by health officials, and even individuals with symptoms are not being tested by doctors and medical providers unless they are hospitalized and information is needed, or they are a health care provider.
The university has moved to virtual, remote operations, and most faculty, staff and students are no longer on campus, unless they are performing essential, in-person duties. Some residence halls remain open with a decreased number of students.
The university will support public health quarantine efforts, including protocols to quarantine any students who remain in University housing, if applicable.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Travel Advice and Warnings
General questions about COVID-19
CO-Help: 303-389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911
Answers in English, Spanish (Español), Mandarin (普通话), and more.
All university travel must follow CDC guidelines and be approved by the employee’s Dean or Vice President.
Domestic and international travel, such as travel for research, may be approved through collaboration with the Dean or Vice President in accordance with guidance from the Pandemic Planning Team, depending upon the destination, reason for travel and funding.
All travelers must fill out and submit this travel authorization form before traveling to receive approval.
If you are a student or employee and you have recently traveled to Colorado and Fort Collins from another state should self-monitor for 14 days.
Anyone who travels to Fort Collins from another country is required to self-isolate for 14 days before they visit before they may be on any university grounds. This includes international guests.
These expectations apply to both personal and business travel.
If you are experiencing symptoms, call your health care provider.
Avoiding stigma related to COVID-19
We ask CSU community members to support each other and reach out to members of our Ram family who may be worried about family and friends who are where COVID-19 outbreaks are occurring. Please remember the words of President McConnell in a recent university message – “We always care for one another, and Rams take care of Rams. I urge you all to make a special effort to reach out to these members of our community right now, ask what they need, and show that you care.”
Still have general questions not answered by these resources about CSU’s response? Submit a question.