A fresh dusting of snow covers the Flatirons and the University of Colorado Boulder campus. (Photo by Casey A. Cass/University of Colorado)

By Jason Gonzales, Chalkbeat Colorado

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The closure Monday of the University of Colorado Boulder’s campus for at least two weeks due to the spread of the coronavirus felt like an inevitable conclusion for some students and professors.

Senior Laura-Elena Porras, 21, said school officials had to know the culture that exists on and off campus. In her mind, the spread of COVID was always going to get out of hand, she said.


The latest from the coronavirus outbreak in Colorado:

  • MAP: Cases and deaths in Colorado.
  • TESTINGHere’s where to find a community testing site. The state is now encouraging anyone with symptoms to get tested.
  • VACCINE HOTLINE: Get up-to-date information.


“When you’re saying, ‘Your kids are going to be safe here.’ You can’t. You can only control so much,” Porras said. “You can control what’s happening on campus, but you can’t control the culture that’s already embedded in the Boulder community. There’s a lot of fraternities. There’s a lot of partying.”

The two-week break from in-person learning begins on Wednesday. It’s unclear whether the maneuver will slow the spread of the virus and allow for a successful return to campus. Around the country, short quarantines have slowed the spread of the coronavirus on some campuses that then have returned to in-person learning.

But, some experts say, a two-week pause can also lead to longer remote learning and even sending students home.

Either way, the closure awakens a fear among students and professors of whiplash, as they prepare to move back to remote learning while anticipating another possible switch back to campus in two weeks.

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Chalkbeat is a nonprofit news organization covering schools and education. The news organization believes education is a local issue, and roots its coverage in local communities. Chalkbeat reports from and about eight locations: Colorado, Chicago,...