Fellow Bears: 

When students returned to campus and classes began more than nine weeks ago, the COVID-19 positivity rate in Colorado was around 2%. Since then, the number has gradually been increasing, and is currently at 6.88%, which is above the state’s 5% threshold for virus management. Based on what we know today regarding trends in our county and state, it is probable that Weld County’s Safer at Home status will be changed to Orange (Level 3) in the very near future.

In the past few days, it has become clear that we face an increasing prevalence of COVID-19 cases in our county. We must act quickly and decisively to slow the virus’s spread and keep our university community – and our neighbors and friends in Greeley and surrounding areas – as safe as we possibly can. Our actions including wearing masks, practicing social distancing, and limiting group events and close contacts remain critical to our community's well-being. 

As Weld County’s Safer at Home status is downgraded, we should expect changes to our operations. While we do not yet know when these changes will take effect, we do know how the change in status and guidelines will restrict our work. With those guidelines in mind, I wanted to share the changes to our operations that will come when the county moves from Safer at Home Yellow (Level 2) to Safer at Home Orange (Level 3) to provide as much time to plan as possible. We will continue to communicate impacts and the timeline for their implementation as soon as we receive guidance from the state. 

 Our in-person and hybrid classes will be capped at 25 people. Faculty have prepared for this possibility and will reach out to students to share instructions and information for classes that have been held in-person or have a hybrid component this semester. Virtual/online-only courses will have no changes. 

  • Dining facilities will be limited to 50 individuals at one time and Grab-and-Go options will continue to be made available. 
  • Office density must reduce from 50% occupancy to 25% occupancy. Staff members will receive more information from their supervisors and/or building managers regarding next steps. 
  • Campus Recreation Center would be limited to 25 people per room, further reducing capacity. Virtual programming will continue. Club/intramural sports may only take place outdoors in groups less than 10. 
  • Athletic practices will continue in accordance with NCAA guidelines. 
  • Residence halls will remain open as they are now. 
  • Indoor events are capped at 25 participants. Outdoors, events can be no larger than 75. 
  • UNC still plans to follow the original academic calendar following the Thanksgiving break in Safer at Home Orange (Level 3). These plans may change if the virus progresses. 

We will continue to monitor the situation and share information and guidance with the university community as changes in public health orders occur. 

Next Steps for Faculty and Staff    

Faculty, instructors, and staff who have been teaching in-person classes should implement their contingency plans for remote instruction. You will receive an email from Provost Anderson shortly with additional information.  

Moving Forward  

UNC will continue to offer our students resources and opportunities in-person and virtually, as appropriate, and will communicate any updates, changes, or concerns to you.  

  • Watch for continued weekly communications and updates. We have created the COVID-19 Weekly Digest and the Spring Operations website to consolidate campus guidelines, safety measures, facilities information, and additional resources for the fall semester. 
  • Check UNC’s COVID-19 website for health alerts, announcements, and news. Information about the status of COVID-19 on campus as well as news from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment can be found at unco.edu/coronavirus.  

I am deeply grateful and so proud of how our community of Bears has risen to the challenge of keeping our campus safe and healthy. As we take these significant steps to address the current situation in Weld County and Colorado, I am confident that we will continue to care for each other by following these important health and safety guidelines. 

Rowing, Not Drifting, 

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Andy Feinstein