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TIMELINE COVID-19 A year of working through the pandemic at CSU

Jan. 21, 2020

The first confirmed case of COVID-19 is reported in the United States.

February 2020

CSU researchers receive samples of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and begin investigating its origins by recreating a “wet market” environment in the university Level 3 biocontainment lab. read more

March 4, 2020

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet tours CSU’s Infectious Disease Research Center with Ray Goodrich, executive director of the Infectious Disease Research Center, and Alan Rudolph, CSU vice president for research, to learn more about CSU’s approach to researching a vaccine for the novel coronavirus. read more

March 9, 2020

The Fort Collins Coloradoan reports the first COVID-19 case is found in Larimer County.

March 19, 2020

President Joyce McConnell announces CSU will move all operations to online and virtual services on March 23. read more

March 20, 2020

Undergraduate engineering student and lab technician Labon Hillberry (left) and lab director John Mizia in the Rapid Prototyping Lab, work to support testing of a new disinfectant against COVID-19. read more

March 24, 2020

In the face of national shortages, CSU leadership, faculty and students come together to produce hand sanitizer for the campus community. The initiative expands to include help from two local businesses — Gilded Goat Brewing Co. and CopperMuse Distillery. read more

March 25, 2020

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis announces a statewide order for residents not to leave their homes except for critical activities to slow the spread of the coronavirus. “This is the season to stay at home to save lives,” he said at a press conference. The order is expected to stay in place until April 11.

April 16, 2020

Tony Vindell, a Ph.D. student in the School of Advanced Materials Discovery, tests lab gowns for strength, water repellency and flammability. CSU’s Smart Textiles and Nanotechnology Research Group, led by Associate Professor Vivian Li in the Department of Design and Merchandising, is performing a variety of tests on fabrics that could be used for the medical gowns. read more

April 26, 2020

Gov. Polis issues an executive order — “Safer at Home” – encouraging Coloradans to stay at home as much as possible. “We all have a personal responsibility to slow the spread of the virus and must find a way of living that is psychologically and economically sustainable for Coloradans,” he said.

May 11, 2020

In the lead-up to virtual graduation celebrations, CSU students pose for photographs on the Oval to celebrate their hard work. Students took the time to ensure they were wearing masks and practicing social distancing, something they continued throughout the year.

May 13, 2020

President McConnell sends a message and video to the CSU community answering COVID-19 recovery questions, discussing the Fall 2021 semester, budget projections and other topics. read more

May 21, 2020

Early work by CSU researchers testing and quarantining asymptomatic staff in skilled nursing facilities leads to statewide expansion of the program to protect the most vulnerable population from the virus. read more

May 28, 2020

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports COVID-19 deaths in U.S. reach 100,000.

May 29, 2020

Dr. Izabela Ragan, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Biomedical Sciences, says the research team she is on has shown that a relatively simple process can kill the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 in whole blood and plasma products. read more

June 3, 2020

While the CSU System maintains operations without the deep job cuts seen at other universities, thanks to prudent fiscal management and additional funding available through the federal CARES Act, eligible employees are offered a one-time voluntary retirement incentive. read more

July 16, 2020

Gov. Polis announces a statewide mask order. “Wearing a mask is an easy and highly effective way to significantly reduce the spread of COVID-19,” he said in a news release.

Aug. 17-21, 2020

The start of the 2020-21 academic year is like no other in the University’s 150-year history as students settle into residence halls. President Joyce McConnell, Provost Mary Pedersen, and Vice President for Student Affairs Blanche Hughes personally welcome families to campus.

Aug. 18, 2020

In a preview of how remote classes will be delivered during the year, Camille Dungy, renowned poet and member of the CSU English faculty, reads an original poem at the mostly virtual, socially distanced Democratic National Convention. read more

Sept. 1, 2020

CSU launches a social norms campaign encouraging health behaviors such as wearing face coverings, washing hands, maintaining social distancing and keeping gatherings small. read more

Sept. 6, 2020

Civil and environmental engineering faculty and students sample wastewater from one of 17 on-campus collection sites that are part of a targeted monitoring and testing program to manage CSU’s rapid response to COVID-19. read more

Sept. 28, 2020

The New York Times reports that coronavirus deaths pass 1 million worldwide.

Oct. 21, 2020

In response to growing stress and mental health issues among students, a mural of positive messages was installed in the Behavioral Sciences Building by members of the CSU chapter of Active Minds. The student club posted a mural made from 800 sticky notes in the window of the Behavioral Sciences Building. read more

Nov. 4, 2020

Not even the COVID-19 pandemic could stop the tradition surrounding the annual Bronze Boot Run. ROTC cadets from CSU and the University of Wyoming complete their annual game ball relay – this time from Laramie, Wyoming, to Canvas Stadium on campus. CSU captures the boot, winning the Border War football game 34-24. read more

Nov. 13, 2020

President Joyce McConnell and Larimer County Department of Public Health Director Tom Gonzales visit CSU’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratories. At the time, the lab had processed more than 60,000 COVID-19 tests, in addition to 95,000 veterinary cases, for pathogens such as rabies and tularemia. read more

Nov. 16-20, 2020

After all the challenges and uncertainties of the past year, CSU students graduating in 2020 received a very special gift before Fall Break: A week of glorious Fort Collins weather to celebrate their accomplishments with a ceremonial Commencement Walk on the historic Oval. read more

Dec. 11-18, 2020

The FDA endorses COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer-BioNtech and Moderna.

Dec. 14, 2020

Frontline health care workers at UCHealth in Colorado Springs become the first Coloradans to receive vaccinations against the coronavirus.

Jan. 4, 2021

Members of the CSU community begin to receive COVID-19 vaccinations from Larimer County. CSU Health Network employees who are seeing patients and CSU Police Department employees who are first responders are among the first to get the vaccinations distributed by Larimer County Public Health. read more

Jan. 14, 2021

CSU announces that routine COVID-19 saliva screening for all CSU students, faculty and staff who are regularly on campus or other university grounds will be mandatory for Spring semester. read more

Jan. 15, 2021

The World Health Organization reports 2 million people worldwide have died of COVID-19.

Feb. 4, 2021

The vast majority of people around the university are wearing face coverings, and wearing them properly, according to a recent study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. read more

Feb. 12, 2021

In a virtual town hall, President Joyce McConnell says CSU leaders are strongly advocating for college and university educators to be incorporated into the state’s phased rollout of the vaccine as soon as possible. She also outlines plans to expand in-person learning opportunities in Fall Semester. read more

Feb. 19, 2021

Members of the transport crew in Housing and Dining Services drive students who have been exposed to the coronavirus from their residence hall to the unit where they’ll be quarantining. HDS staff have worked hard to make those sudden relocations as smooth as possible, and students have expressed appreciation. read more

Feb. 22, 2021

The New York Times reports 500,000 Americans have died from COVID-19.

Feb. 22, 2021

As CSU scientists continue their research on four coronavirus vaccine candidates, investigators are developing a plan to collaborate with scientists at other universities to create a pan-coronavirus vaccine that could help in future pandemics. read more

March 10, 2021

CSU Health Network receives its first shipment of the Moderna vaccine and begins inoculating eligible employees with the limited supply. Student-facing instructors and staff become eligible under state guidelines March 19, exactly a year to the day after the University’s pandemic pivot began. read more