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KUNC is here to keep you up-to-date on the news about COVID-19 — the disease caused by the novel coronavirus — Colorado's response to its spread in our state and its impact on Coloradans.

Northern Colorado Universities Roll Out Strategies To Reopen Student Housing

Amanda Andrews
On-campus student housing at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley.

While K-12 schools work on hybrid learning models for the fall, Colorado’s major universities are creating plans to keep students healthy in on-campus housing.

This summer the University of Northern Colorado, Colorado State University and the University of Colorado Boulder have rolled out strategies to slow and prevent the spread of COVID-19 when students return for the fall semester.

Pre-return preparation

Moving back into dorms at CU and CSU will include certain safety measures before returning to campus. All Boulder students are required to take a coronavirus test within the last five days and receive negative results to fully move back. Students returning to Fort Collins are encouraged to self isolate for two weeks before move-in.

Move-in day

Depending on their scheduled time and day, students can move back to campus as early as Aug. 14 through Aug. 20 at UNC, and Aug. 17 through Aug. 21 at CU and CSU. Each university has created an online system to schedule moving in with no more than two family members to avoid crowding. All first year students at UNC are required to live in on-campus housing if they’re under 21. No more than 15 people will be allowed in the CSU residence halls at a time, and UNC families have a maximum of 30 minutes to move-in. Students with all online classes can petition to live at home at CU and UNC.

Cleaning and social distancing

For students living and attending classes on-campus, universities are working to limit student interaction. Boulder students will attend classes in cohorts and live with people in their same college. The small groups are aimed at controlling any outbreaks while maximizing classroom instruction.

Housing is somewhat less strict at CSU and UNC. Students' roommates are not limited by major, but guests aren’t allowed in dorms and visits are restricted to open areas where masks are required. Additionally, all three universities have committed to an increased daily cleaning schedule for all shared areas. UNC will clean community restrooms every two hours, and CSU will clean common areas twice a day.

Testing and quarantine plans

Each university has created its own plan to isolate students, conduct testing and use contact tracing in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak on campus. Currently, UNC students can access coronavirus testing and tracing through student health services, but isolation plans are still developing. CSU plans to test all students who will live in university housing within the first weeks of the semester. They have also set aside private rooms in Corbett Hall to isolate sick students and provide meal delivery services. Meanwhile, CU, the largest university in the state, has contracted with the Millennium Harvest House Hotel to isolate sick students. CSU and CU have also collaborated with Larimer and Boulder County health departments, respectively, to contact trace any coronavirus cases.

Altered tuition or fees

Students taking classes entirely online in the fall might have the option to petition to live at home. Under the current plan, UNC students won't receive a refund on their housing deposit if they petition, and first-years are expected to return to campus in the spring. CU students will have a prorated housing fee since all courses go remote after November 25 and dorms will be cleared. Similarly, CSU students will have fixed tuition and variable parking pass options to better fit hybrid class schedules with all classes going remote after November 30, but dorms will remain open.

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  • School districts across the state are working toward phased reopenings for the upcoming school year. Initial plans include hybrid and remote learning options until students can safely return to the classroom. KUNC has compiled a list of Colorado school districts' evolving plans for the fall.