Coronavirus Response Updates

Coronavirus Response Updates

Denver Seminary’s COVID-19 FAQs   |  Who should you contact with questions?

We continue to monitor carefully the rapidly changing landscape of information, response and recommendations related to the Coronavirus and COVID-19. We are resolved to utilize knowledgeable and reliable sources, including governmental agencies, scientific and research-based studies, medical professionals, and fellow educators. With that in mind, Denver Seminary following the guidelines as set in the State of Colorado's Stay at Home Order.  

March 19: We have decided it is in the best interest of our community to postpone the 2020 Commencement. Learn more.

Please review the following updates from March 17, 2020:

  • All Denver Seminary classes will be held online and via Zoom through the end of the 2020 Spring semester. No in-person classes will be held on the Denver Seminary campus for the remainder of this semester.
  • The classroom building and chapel are closed until further notice. 
  • The student center and library are closed. Online library resources will still be available. (See the FAQs below for more information.)
  • Denver Seminary will continue normal operations. However, all employees for whom being on campus is not necessary in order to conduct day-to-day responsibilities are working remotely.
  • Denver Seminary is closed for visitors, including family, friends, and vendors until further notice.
  • On-campus housing will remain open for residents.
  • All on-campus events are cancelled until further notice though it may be possible to host a meeting via Zoom. 

We continue to monitor the State's recommendations to determine when we will reopen our business office on campus. All staff will be given a minimum of one week's notice so they can make necessary accommodations. 

Students, faculty, and staff will receive emails from the appropriate Denver Seminary community member when necessary. Email subject lines will note that this is a priority. Please regard these emails as a priority, and students, please check your DenSem email at least daily.

We actively monitor the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) website, and the Tri-County Health Department website for updated information.

If you have questions or concerns, please reach out to the appropriate contact:

Students: Kristy McGarvey, interim dean of students, 303.357.5842
Faculty: Lynn Cohick, provost/dean, 303.762.6900
Staff: Wendi Gowing, director of HR, 303.762.6887
Admissions: Amy Carr, director of admissions, 303.762.6888

Symptoms of COVID-19 include: coughing, fever, and shortness of breath. If you are experiencing symptoms, seek medical help immediately from a health care facility or private physician. If you are experiencing symptoms, do NOT attend classes or other events and do NOT come into work. Please err on the side of staying in or staying home. Students or employees should not return to classes or work until they have been free of fever and other symptoms, without the use of fever or symptom-reducing medicines, for at least 24 hours.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is the coronavirus?

The coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new coronavirus that was first detected in China and which has now been detected globally. Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases. The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

If you are experiencing symptoms, seek medical help immediately from a health care facility or private physician.

CDC recommendations if you have symptoms

How serious is the coronavirus?

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), this is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation and CDC will provide updated information as it becomes available, in addition to updated guidance.

CDC is aggressively responding to the global outbreak of COVID-19. The CDC notes that the risk is higher for older populations as well as those with underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and lung disease.

Our posture is one of caution, responsibility for the well-being of the community, compassion for others and faith. We ask that you adopt this same posture in deciding how to personally respond to the current situation. Cautious but not fearful, trusting in the Lord and acting responsibly, these are the attributes we seek to model.

Are there confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Denver Seminary community?

As of March 26, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Denver Seminary community. We will share relevant information about cases within our community if this changes. 

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has the most updated information cases in Colorado on their Fast Facts page

How does COVID-19 spread?

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
-Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
-Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
(These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.)

Can someone spread the virus without being sick?
People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest). Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Can it spread from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects?
It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

How easily does the virus spread?
The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in some affected geographic areas.

What are current recommendations from the CDC to help prevent the spread of COVID-19?

-Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
-Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
-Stay home when you are sick.
-Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you do not have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow. Do not sneeze or cough on your hands.
-Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces daily in household common areas (e.g., tables, hard-backed chairs, doorknobs, light switches, remotes, handles, desks, toilets, sinks).
-Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
-If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

Will classes or events be canceled at Denver Seminary?

All Denver Seminary classes will be held online and via Zoom through the end of the 2020 Spring semester. No in-person classes will be held on the Denver Seminary campus for the remainder of this semester. Though we realize this may be a disappointment for those expecting an in-person class experience, the Seminary is committed to providing every student the quality educational experience you’ve come to expect from us. Our faculty and staff are well equipped to successfully utilize these alternative learning platforms. There will be no disruption or change for students already enrolled in online courses.

All on-campus events are cancelled until further notice though it may be possible to host a meeting via Zoom. We are in discussions about Commencement-related events and will notify the community as soon as a decision is made.

All meetings with staff will be held via Zoom, or, for staff remaining working on campus, in locations that afford for appropriate social distancing.

Are the Denver Seminary offices open? 

Denver Seminary will continue normal operations. All employees for whom being on campus is not necessary in order to conduct day-to-day responsibilities are working remotely.

The classroom building and chapel are closed until further notice. Only those faculty and support staff who need to utilize the technology in designated classrooms in order to teach via Zoom will be allowed to use the classroom building.

The student center and library are closed.

We continue to monitor the State's recommendations for reopening our business office. All employees will be given a minimum of one week's notice to ensure they can make necessary accommodations. 

What if someone in my household contracts COVID-19. How do I protect myself and others from getting it?

The CDC provides recommendations for taking care of your home, your family members or roommates, and yourself if someone becomes infected. Read more here. If you live in Campus Housing and you or your roommate becomes infected, please contact Dee Maier, housing coordinator, for more information, 303.762.6923.

I am planning to travel. Is this safe? Are there any restrictions?

Due to the quickly changing updates and the number of cases in the local community, we no longer deem it necessary to have employees inform HR or the Provost of any upcoming travel, or students to inform the Dean of Students office. Please feel free to reach out to the appropriate contact with questions regarding potential travel plans if you are concerned about its impact on your academic or professional responsibilities. The best advice on upcoming travels is to watch the CDC guidance.

However, if you or anyone with whom you have had close contact contracts a presumptive case of COVID-19, faculty and staff, please report this to Human Resources and students, please report this to the Interim Dean of Students. Per our Communicable Diseases policy, we still want to know and be aware of any potential contacts. There will be no Denver Seminary sponsored travel until further notice.

Can I access the Denver Seminary library?

The library is closed until further notice. Due dates for materials already checked out will be extended, and fines will not accrue. Items on hold will be held for pick up when the library reopens. All conference room reservations have been canceled. As always, electronic resources are accessible online through the library website and Moodle. For assistance with electronic resources, please contact Charlotte Nutter.

Is Student Housing still open?

Student Housing is still open to residents. The community room, playground and workout rooms are closed. 

We strongly encourage you to not enter one another’s apartments, as staying in our own homes is part of the current protocol being recommended in communities throughout the country.

If you have a maintenance request, you will receive a phone call prior to a staff member coming to your apartment. You must take this call and participate in a health screening before staff will be able to provide service to your apartment. Please do not let anyone who does not live in your home enter if you are showing any symptoms of any illness, COVID-19 related or not.

Please diligently follow the current social distancing guidelines; remain a minimum of 6-feet apart and avoid gatherings, whether you are inside your home or outside.

 Laundry rooms are being disinfected daily. However, please practice guidelines for sanitation and wipe down all washing machine and dryer faces and door handles whenever you use the appliances. If sanitizing materials are not available in the laundry rooms, please use your own. Folding tables have been removed from the laundry rooms to minimize shared surface areas. Please fold your laundry in your apartments.

Is Denver Seminary holding its May Commencement Ceremony?

We have decided it is in the best interest of our community to postpone the 2020 Commencement. We hope to hold our Commencement ceremony in August so that together we can celebrate your hard work, your dedication, your perseverance, and your commitment to engaging the needs of the world. We will share more information here as we have it. 

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