10,000 tests of UW students, staff turn up 61 cases of COVID-19
Of the University of Wyoming's 61 positive cases, 46 are still active.
August 21, 2020
Testing of more than 10,000 University of Wyoming students and employees ahead of the fall semester turned up 61 cases of COVID-19, the school announced late Thursday afternoon.
Of the 61 positive cases, 46 are still active, which is an increase of eight since Monday, the school wrote in a news release. Fifteen patients have recovered.
Of the 46 active cases, two are students who were living in campus residence halls. They have since been moved to isolated housing. Ten students who were in close contact with the two are now in 14-day quarantine.
Another eight are UW employees who live off campus. The final 36 are students who live off campus — and mostly outside of Laramie, the school said.
“The pre-return testing has been helpful in giving us a strong start to the semester from an epidemiological standpoint,” UW President Ed Seidel said in a statement. “This, combined with the testing protocol we’ll use during the semester, gives us the best opportunity to have a successful semester with some in-person experiences.”
The university's fall semester is scheduled to begin Monday. Officials had initially planned to begin in-person classes then but decided last week to change to a phased approach. Under that model, in-person education will begin for some on Sept. 7, with all students returning by Sept. 28.
The school opted for a phased approach to build its capacity to test and process samples, UW spokesman Chad Baldwin told the Star-Tribune earlier this week. The school plans to test all students and staff twice a week for the time being.
"As we have seen across the country, many of our peers are having to pivot to online environments because of infection outbreaks,” Seidel said in a statement. “We believe we have one of the best programs in the nation to monitor and intervene to limit the virus spread, so we can continue to offer a strong on-campus program."
A third-party company, Vault Health, is conducting the pre-return tests.
The university plans to move online the week of Thanksgiving through the end of the semester.