Resources and Updates Related to COVID-19 (Coronavirus)


Last updated March 26, 2020 

About this Page

This page will inform the Western Colorado University community on relevant updates regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus). More detailed information on many different topics is available on the Your Questions—Answered page.

If you have symptoms:

- Submit the Gunnison County Self-Report Form
- If symptoms worsen later, call the Gunnison County Health Hotline at 970.641.7660. 
- If you are a Western student, notify Dr. Abel Chavez. If you are a Western faculty or staff member, notify your supervisor.

March 26 Update

Second positive case

Today, campus leadership learned that a second member of the Western community tested positive for COVID-19. This student lived in off-campus housing with a roommate unaffiliated with Western. They had returned to the Front Range for spring break and first noticed symptoms on March 18. The student, whose symptoms are improving, will complete their self-quarantine period on the Front Range.

Upon learning of their positive diagnosis, this student notified a faculty member, who then communicated relevant information to Western leadership. Faculty and classmates of this student were notified of the situation, and extensive sanitation measures were taken in the buildings accessed by the student.

Executive order from Gov. Polis

On March 25 Governor Polis issued an executive order requiring all Coloradans to stay at home. Western’s services fall into several of the exception categories listed in the Governor’s order, so the university continues to operate through remote instruction and minimal on-campus personnel.


Summary of Previous Updates

First COVID-19 case at Western

The first positive case of COVID-19 in the Western community was confirmed on March 25. We anticipate other confirmed or likely COVID-19 cases at Western will arise. View the latest numbers on the Western COVID-19 case summary spreadsheet

Minimizing prevalence on campus

Campus buildings are either closed or only accessible to essential individuals with key-card access. We have also enhanced cleaning procedures on buildings that still require occupation. We encourage all members of our community to practice vigilant hygiene and social distancing to the greatest extent possible. 

Gunnison County public health orders

The law now requires any student in residence hall or multi-unit (3+) apartment complexes who left Gunnison County Friday, March 13 or after to self-isolate for at least 7 days upon return to Gunnison County. 

Anyone who has left Gunnison County for more than a 24-hour period, even if they live in single-family housing, is urged to self-isolate for 7 days. 

View more Gunnison County health alerts on the Public Health Orders tab of the county COVID-19 page.


Western curriculum will be delivered remotely for the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year.

March 23-27 will be designated as Reading & Study Week to allow students and faculty to better prepare for the new distance-learning format. No classes will be held during this week.

Dr. Abel Chávez emailed students and families directly about Reading & Study Week, distance-learning preparation and campus housing move-out procedures. Contact Abel with questions, or find answers in this page’s Student Resources section.

2019-20 academic year events and activities on campus are canceled, including Spring Fest, Preview Day, Women at Western weekend and Commencement.

Travel and campus housing

Western-sponsored and -associated business travel, including field trips, is suspended. Anyone who has traveled to a CDC Level 2 or 3 country (including all of Europe) is required to self-isolate for 14 days before accessing campus.

Campus housing remains open to students for whom it is their best option. 

How to help

The Western Colorado University Foundation has relaunched the Western CARES (Critical Aid Relief Emergency Support) Fund. The fund will support students who need assistance with anything from internet access, to housing, to transportation. If you are inspired to support our students with a donation, please give at this link.



Do you have a question on a topic not listed here? Check out the Your Questions—Answered page!