BOULDER, CO — The University of Colorado Boulder is moving all its classes online early, officials announced Thursday. The shift was originally set to begin after the Thanksgiving break on Nov. 25, but now it will move all students to 100 percent remote learning on Nov. 16, the university said.
"While the surge of COVID-19 infections in the Denver metro area is concerning and it will take a substantial community-wide effort to bend the curve of infection back down, today’s announcement does not change our plans to offer in-person and hybrid learning experiences in spring 2021," university officials said in a statement released Thursday afternoon.
To support students who are preparing to return home for Thanksgiving, the university is expanding on-campus COVID-19 testing starting the week of Nov. 9, officials said. All on-campus students are required to continue with their weekly monitoring testing.
Students living in residence halls can remain on campus through Nov. 25, officials said.
"We will continue to provide on-campus housing and dining, including isolation spaces for students who test positive for COVID-19," the university said.
"These additional steps do not impact researchers and research-related activities."
The early move to remote learning comes after Boulder County announced a shift to 'Level Orange' on the statewide COVID-19 Dial. New cases of COVID-19 among Boulder County residents in the past two weeks is 312.1 per 100,000, according to the county's public health dashboard. Safer at Home Level Orange begins at 175 cases per a population of 100,000; Stay at Home begins at 350 cases per 100,000.
The five-day rolling average of daily cases among county residents is 98 cases per day, which is higher than any other time except the University of Colorado Boulder surge since the start of the pandemic, public health officials said.
CU Boulder is set to host a virtual town hall for students, faculty, staff and Buff families at 11 a.m. on Friday, to discuss the announcement and provide a forum for asking questions, officials said.
"We continue to be grateful for your flexibility, patience and commitment as we’ve adapted together to an ever-evolving pandemic and worked to provide the best possible learning experience for our students," the university's statement read.
"We will get through this as Buffs together."