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BOULDER, Colo. (KDVR) — The University of Colorado Boulder announced Tuesday that it will begin requiring masks in public indoor spaces on Friday, Aug. 13.

CU Boulder’s Pandemic Response Office said it made the decision due to the increasing rates of the COVID-19 delta variant.

CU Boulder said the mask requirement is temporary.

“CU Boulder will return to requiring masks in public indoor spaces regardless of vaccination status as of Aug. 13. Following updated public health recommendations, the campus will renew the required use of facial coverings in public indoor spaces,” shared CU Boulder on Twitter.

Read full letter from the university:

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

CU Boulder will return to requiring masks in public indoor spaces regardless of vaccination status as of Aug. 13, 2021.

Considering the increasing rates of the COVID-19 delta variant, this decision was made to support the public health and safety of our community and support a consistent in-person experience this semester. Campus officials have consulted regularly with local public health officials about the conditions in our community and support masking in educational settings as a means of maintaining the continuity of the campus educational experiences without changes in modality or capacity restrictions. 

This requirement is a temporary precaution during the delta surge to supplement CU Boulder’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement by providing a multi-layered approach to keep our community safe. The campus will continue to work closely with Boulder County Public Health as it considers public health requirements in the Boulder community. If Boulder County Public Health adopts any requirements or modifies the requirements described below, we will immediately inform you. 


  • All individuals must wear a face covering at CU Boulder when engaged in classroom instruction, laboratory work, academic advising or other activities in any publicly accessible indoor space on campus.
  • Activities performed in indoor spaces that are not publicly accessible (e.g., residence halls, private offices, controlled-access facilities, etc.) are not subject to this requirement, although public health officials strongly recommend all unvaccinated persons wear a face covering in both public and non-public indoor spaces whenever possible.
  • Masks will continue to be required on Buff Buses in line with Regional Transportation District practices.  
  • Anyone who feels more comfortable wearing a mask is encouraged to do so even in settings where masks are not required.


  • Children under age 2 and individuals who cannot medically tolerate a face covering are exempt from this requirement.
  • Individuals performing any of the following activities are exempt from the campus indoor face covering requirement while such activity is being performed:
    • Those who are hearing-impaired or otherwise disabled or who are communicating with someone who is hearing-impaired or otherwise disabled and where the ability to see the mouth is essential to communication.
    • Vaccinated instructional faculty who are engaged in an indoor instructional activity and are separated by at least 6 feet from the nearest person.
    • Vaccinated researchers who are engaged in laboratory work and are separated by at least 6 feet from the nearest person.
    • Individuals who are engaged in an instructional activity or laboratory work under circumstances where wearing a face covering would significantly impede their ability to effectively perform the activity or work, such as playing a musical instrument, vocal performance or where the ability to see the mouth is essential to communication (e.g., foreign language instruction).
    • CU Boulder’s Public Health Office will be responsible for determining which activities and work, as well as the circumstances under which they may be performed, are permitted under this exception. The Public Health Office will communicate on the exemption process later this week.
  • Individuals seated while actively eating during meals are exempt from this requirement.
  • Individuals who are asked to temporarily remove their face covering for identification purposes as part of a particular service requiring legal identification may do so.
  • Individuals who are actively engaged in a public safety role, such as law enforcement personnel, firefighters or emergency medical personnel, are exempt from this requirement.

We recognize the renewed mask requirement will be welcome news to many who are worried by the surge of delta variant cases, while others will be less supportive of this change. We encourage everyone in our campus community to display compassion for each other as we get through this next phase of the pandemic together. Thank you for taking care of yourselves and each other as we return to a more traditional on-campus experience for the fall 2021 semester

COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccination is the most effective way to protect you and your loved ones from COVID-19. If you have not completed the requirement, please submit your information online as soon as possible. The final deadline is Sept. 15.

As noted in our public health update message to campus on Friday, CU Boulder’s vaccine requirement for all faculty, staff and students allows us to continue fulfilling our academic mission while supporting health and safety. 

More information

CU Boulder will host a virtual Campus Q&A session from 4 to 5 p.m. this afternoon, where campus leaders will discuss plans for fall, share the latest information available regarding the delta variant and answer questions. 

Should you have any questions regarding the mask requirement or need additional information, please check for the latest information on the campus COVID-19 website or email the Pandemic Response Office

Thank you,

CU Boulder Pandemic Response Office