COVID-19 Shuts Down Classes At CU-Boulder

Despite the best-laid plans of officials and the fervent hopes by all parties that it wouldn’t be a disaster, Jesse Paul at the Colorado Sun reports the return to class at the University of Colorado’s flagship Boulder campus has not gone well:

The University of Colorado Boulder is moving to remote learning for at least two weeks amid a coronavirus outbreak that has sickened hundreds of people on its campus.

Starting on Wednesday, all classes will be held virtually until at least Oct. 7.

“I know this situation is extremely difficult, and I wish, as I know we all do, that our circumstances were very different,” Chancellor Phil DiStefano wrote in a letter to the campus community on Monday. “The next two weeks are about more than our ability to see each other in person. The risks to our broader community are too great, and COVID-19 spreads too easily, for any further noncompliance with public health measures to go without immediate consequences.”

CU Boulder isn’t the first college campus in Colorado to have its reopening plans disrupted by an outbreak of COVID-19. Colorado College in Colorado Springs was forced to do the same after cases exploded soon after the beginning of the fall semester in August. CU’s outbreak is also not unique among major national universities who have had to take emergency steps backward after trying to reopen their campuses for the fall semester.

Students are being allowed to remain in their dorms at CU, and that’s good since sending them home would only serve to spread the infection from the student population in Boulder to their families across the state and nation. Although college-age people have a very low mortality rate from COVID-19, as a disease vector into more vulnerable populations these outbreaks on college campuses are an ominous sign with winter looming.

All of which should serve as additional confirmation that anyone telling you the COVID-19 pandemic is either over or overblown is a fool, and here on the state’s leading political blog we assess the political fallout from that foolishness–being, as it is at least in our state, the exclusive domain of Republicans. We are a long way from out of the woods, and whether due to youthful stupidity or a misguided political agenda someone tells you it’s okay to let our collective guard down, it’s very, very important that we not listen to them.


21 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. RepealAndReplace says:

    But didn't President Trump promise us it would be gone by Easter? 2020? 2021? 2022?

  2. kickshot says:

    It's critically important that administrative salaries be paid and wealthy alumnae be entertained.

    Much more important than ….

  3. 2Jung2Die2Jung2Die says:

    I'm too busy/lazy to hit the Google right now – does anyone have info about the Board of Regents' role in what sounds like allowing this situation to move ahead despite extremely predictable consequences?

    • kickshot says:

      Board Authorization and Responsibilities


      The University of Colorado was authorized on November 7, 1861, by act of the Territorial Government. Events during the next 15 years, including the Civil War, delayed the Act's realization. Upon Colorado's admission into the Union on August 1, 1876, the university was declared an institution of the state, and the Board of Regents was established under the Constitution as the university's governing authority. Forty-five students began classes on September 5, 1877.

      The board is charged constitutionally with the general supervision of the university and the exclusive control and direction of all funds of and appropriations to the university, unless otherwise provided by law.

      The Board of Regents consists of nine members serving staggered six-year terms, one elected from each of the state's seven congressional districts and two from the state at large. The members select their own chair and vice-chair. Before July 1, 1973, the board was made up of six regents, all elected from the state at large.



  4. Tazistan JenTazistan Jen says:

    But this doesn't fix the problem at all.  They aren't getting it in class.  They are getting in the dorms and frat houses and parties. 

    • Tazistan JenTazistan Jen says:

      And I am not blaming the kids at all.  It's the University who should have realized that dorms and frat houses are a terrible idea in an epidemic and that kids would go to parties.  They wanted their tuition and so they pretended a bunch of stuff wasn't true when it was quite apparent from the beginning.

      • DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

        And I don't think the blame for that lies on the Republican politicians. I think the blame for that lies primarily on the schools and secondarily on our political leaders – who are Democrats.

        • kickshot says:

          Can you name some names and or just what the roles were/are?

        • 2Jung2Die2Jung2Die says:

          But the Board of Regents is majority Republican.

          • JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

            And for the most part, the Regents set GENERAL guidelines to be implemented on the basis of the judgment of campus administration personnel.

            There is plenty to blame about the decisions and their consequences.  Decisions which appear to be best now may, with additional knowledge in the next days, weeks, months or years, be superceeded by better decisions.

            I am highly convinced we all need a bit more humility, a bit more mercy towards others making hard decisions, and certainly more fairness or justice in recognizing problems on ALL sides, not just on the ones we want to bash. [of course, I could be wrong about that.]

            • 2Jung2Die2Jung2Die says:

              Just to be clear, I don't want to bash the Regents until I know what they did or didn't do in advance. That was the gist behind the 1st comment I made on this thread (#3 on the list), and I asked if anyone had info because they're the most direct governing body over the CU system.

            • DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

              You are right and I was too quick to lay blame. I was responding to the Pols approach of every problem, including this one, is solely the fault of the Republicans. But I did the same thing in response.

              So yeah, as you said, plenty of blame to go around. 

              • kickshot says:

                We've had enough experience w/this pandemic by now that naming names is a project that is bound to fall short of completeness.

                Broadly I blame anyone who is ant-mask and pro-crowd.

                Specifically I start w/Dump, Pence, Navarro, Kudlow, McEnany, deSantis, Kemp, Abbott, Doucy, other red state govs and then I get into the Fox hosts like Hannity, Carlson, Ingraham, Perero (or whatever).

                Far from exhaustive.

      • notaskinnycooknotaskinnycook says:

        And now the kids are stuck on campus. They can't go to class, they can't go home. I read somewhere yesterday that they're playing musical dorms to get a couple of buildings to isolate those who come down with the virus.

    • kickshot says:

      The other choice is to send them home (or somewhere) where the virus is contained even less.

    • JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

      We (or at least I) don't have any certainty about where students, staff and faculty are getting infected.  In some circumstances, there have been announcements about "spreader" events.  But for the most part, the time table for testing & getting results, the variations in contact tracing, and the lack of generally available knowledge (often in order to guard personal data) means we have only generalized ideas about patterns of contagion. 

      The state's confirmed or suspected "outbreak" criteria are ludicrous — two or more people who have COVID within a 14 day period. Depending on setting, that can be residents, staff, or visitors/customers, who have symptoms after being around someone with a positive from a PCR or serology test, or have a positive test, or who died and had COVID listed on the certificate.  Surveillance testing is inconsistent.  Personal testing is confounded by access, personal choices to get a test, and false positives and false negatives. 

      In short, policies are being driven by imperfect data. Influenced by multiple, sometimes incompatible interests. And made by varying sets of people with widely varied backgrounds and competence.

  5. gertie97 says:

    Let's see. Campus with dorms and off-campus frats. Local bars. Lots of booze. Add 18-24 year-olds. What could possibly go wrong?

  6. spaceman65 says:

    This is precisely why my CU senior opted out of classes this semester.  This was completely predicted and expected.  I feel for the kids who had no choice.  This one is on the CU administration and its delusional optimism.

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