Chancellor's Communique

Stay Safe This Holiday Season, 12-17-20

Dear students, faculty and staff,

As we prepare to break for the holidays, I want to call your attention to the escalating number of COVID-19 cases caused by the new omicron variant and continued spread of the highly transmissible delta variant in Colorado, around the U.S. and across the globe. 

In Colorado, we surpassed 10,000 COVID-related deaths on Wednesday, and 1,261 people are currently hospitalized with suspected or confirmed coronavirus. While 84% of those hospitalized are unvaccinated, breakthrough cases continue to infect those fully vaccinated.

Now is clearly not the time to let our guard down, particularly as many of us plan to travel and gather with others over the coming weeks. 

The good news is that, nearly two years into this pandemic, we know precautions including masking and distancing work to prevent spread. 

Also, early evidence suggests booster doses of both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are likely to substantially increase protection against the new omicron variant. Current data show protection increasing dramatically after a third dose. 

We have taken the right steps since the beginning of this pandemic. Now, it is as important as ever that we do all we can to sustain our progress and safeguard the health of our community.

  • Get your COVID-19 booster shot, if you haven’t yet done so.
    • You are eligible for a booster if you completed the two-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccine series at least six months ago, or if you received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago. All Coloradans 16+ are eligible for boosters, and details are here.
    • It is likely that our campus will soon mandate boosters for students and employees, so taking this step now will ensure you are protected and prepared.
    • You can schedule through UCHealth My Health Connection, another medical provider or any vaccine provider.
  • If you are traveling, ensure you know what protocols are in place at your destination. Follow CDC travel guidance and familiarize yourself with requirements of your airline or other mode of travel. Be prepared for uncertainty: be ready if you are unable to return as planned or as public travel requirements or campus return protocols shift. Do not travel if you may be sick with COVID-19, or if you may have been exposed. 
  • You are strongly encouraged to get tested for COVID-19 five days after return from travel, and to monitor for symptoms. Consider getting tested if you have been in the company of visitors or in large groups.
  • Submit a self-report form if you have COVID-19 symptoms, test positive or may have been exposed,whether on campus or off. Our contact tracing team will follow up with support and guidance.
  • Plan ahead and take precautions as you get together with family and friends. Find tips from the CDC for celebrating safely this holiday season.
  • Know that circumstances are changing by the day, and stay informed. Protocols in place now could look quite different tomorrow, the next day or next week. Continue to monitor your CU Anschutz inbox, as we will share any changes to university plans or protocols via email.
  • Don’t forget your flu shot. Make your appointment by calling the Campus Health Center at 303-724-6242. Students, employees and household members age 3+ are eligible. You can find flu vaccines at other area providers here.

We are closely monitoring conditions in our state and our community, and we will keep you apprised of any changes to campus protocols. Check your inbox for future updates.

Thank you for all you have done to keep #CUAnschutzTogether. Please ensure you continue to take precautions as you gather with friends and loved ones this holiday season. 

Enjoy the time away to relax and recharge. I look forward to working alongside you as we ring in a healthy, productive new year.

Don Elliman


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