Denver County along with 15 other counties in Colorado are moving to level red, effective this Friday, November 20th. Level Red used to be the highest level on Colorado’s dial and would have triggered a stay-at-home order but state officials have pushed back the threshold that counties need to qualify for a lockdown by adding an even higher status — Level Purple (presumably an homage to the Rockies’ incompetence in the last couple of years).
So what does this mean for the University of Denver and Denver Athletics?
According to the Denver Post, indoor events, which were capped at 25% capacity, are not allowed. That essentially eliminates home basketball, volleyball, and hockey games. However, Denver Hockey, scheduled to open play in Omaha at the NCHC Pod on December 2nd, will be able to proceed as scheduled. If Denver moves to all virtual classes and off-campus learning, though, Denver Athletics could elect to cancel all winter sports.
The percentage of Colorado tests in the 15 counties coming back positive over the past seven days is 12.59% — well above the recommended 5% goal. The high positivity, along with hospitalizations, means the transmission of the disease is increasing and that the rise in new cases is not simply due to more testing.
DU is at level orange which means: 20-30% reduced building occupancy, no gatherings over 10 people, many in-person activities moved to remote during the pause and evaluate period, higher levels of quarantine and isolation, continual evaluation whether to adjust to hy-flex and/or fully online learning. winter holiday begins after final exams December 1-4 with classes resuming Monday, January 4th. If Denver County or University of Denver status remains unchanged or worsens, the impact on athletics could lead to travel restrictions, event cancellations, or even season cancellations. No formal timeframe was assigned to the Red Level designation but this status is usually reviewed every several weeks.
🔶 ALERT LEVEL UPDATE: November 5
Positivity rates for COVID-19 have increased on state and local levels. In partnership with our broader community, the @UofDenver is raising its alert level to orange.
— University of Denver (@UofDenver) November 5, 2020
Basketball can start no sooner than November 25th. The hockey season starts on December 2nd and volleyball conference play starts on January 31st at Hamilton Gym.
Denver Athletics is not prepared to make a statement at this time regarding changes or cancellations to the existing schedules.
Top photo of status dial from CDPHE