COVID-19 Update: Normal start to the semester and booster requirement


Dear members of the UCCS community,

I hope you had a restful and safe winter break. Welcome back! 

As we begin the new year, I want to take a moment to acknowledge the impact that the wildfires had on our fellow CU campuses. Hundreds of faculty, staff and students from CU Boulder, CU Denver and the CU System office were impacted by the most destructive fire in state history. Our Colorado Springs community knows well the impact of wildfires and we know there will be many months, if not years, of rebuilding. Our thoughts are with those who were affected. Please see CU President Todd Saliman’s message about ways that we could assist those impacted.

As I celebrated the new year, I also reflected on the year that passed. I am so proud of the many ways our campus community has responded to the challenges of COVID-19. We haven’t had a single case of COVID transmission in a UCCS classroom to date. I give all the credit to our phenomenal faculty, staff and students of our Mountain Lion community. Thank you for wearing your face coverings while on campus, staying home when you are sick and continuing to exercise social distancing when appropriate. This helped us successfully navigate the fall semester — and I know we can do it again.

Now, COVID-19, and specifically the Omicron variant, continues to spread rapidly through the United States. In Colorado, experts say that case counts should peak in the near future. Based on these projections, our strong campus response to the pandemic so far and current guidance from our local public health officials, I want to share the following decisions.

  • Our spring semester will begin as planned, with in-person classes starting on Tuesday, Jan. 18 with a few more precautions. More information on the increased precautions will be provided soon.
  • A COVID-19 booster shot will be required for all eligible students, faculty, and staff beginning Jan. 18 through a revised attestation process. Boosters have been shown to significantly increase immunity against the Omicron variant. Over the next week, you’ll receive further details on how to comply with the new booster requirement. For now, if you haven’t received your vaccination or booster yet, we strongly encourage you to do so unless you are seeking an exemption. If it has been less than six months since your last COVID-19 vaccine, you will be required to get the booster within one month of eligibility. Check the CDC website for details about vaccine-specific eligibility.
  • Routine COVID-19 testing will continue for residential students.While we do not have capacity to routinely test the entire campus population, there are many other testing options available. All Coloradans can sign up for the free Rapid At-Home COVID-19 testing program offered through the state of Colorado. We will continue to explore other options for our campus community.
  • Surgical or KN95 masks are recommended to better protect yourself and others. Due to the highly contagious nature of the Omicron variant, public health experts now say that you should upgrade from cloth face coverings. We plan to provide surgical masks at locations across campus, just as we did throughout the fall semester. We’ll also evaluate the availability of KN95 masks, which are in short supply. In the meantime, we strongly suggest that you double mask when indoors.
  • Staff should work remotely through Jan. 14, if possible, to reduce the density of people on campus. Please speak with your supervisor to determine if this is appropriate for your role.

Other updates:

  • Residence halls and dining facilities will remain open as previously scheduled. Details about the move-in process will be communicated directly with residents.
  • Some campus events may change formats or capacities. We will provide information on any restrictions or changes to our large campus events. 

Mountain Lions, I know we’ve had some hard years. But I am hopeful that 2022 will bring us more stability, more connectedness and more joy. Please keep an eye out for more information in the coming days — and thank you for your continued efforts to keep our campus Mountain Lion Strong.



Chancellor Venkat Reddy's Signature
Venkat Reddy
UCCS Chancellor