University of Wyoming taking steps to resume in-person classes for fall 2020

During a May 14, presentation to the UW Board of Trustees, acting president Neil Theobald outlined efforts to develop a plan for a resumption of on-campus educational experiences with the goal of presenting a detailed plan for the board’s consideration in late May or early June.

According to a press release, UW is developing a reopening plan that they believe will bring students back to campus safely and protect the health of the community to the highest extent possible.

At this point, there have been eight confirmed COVID-19 cases in Albany County, none of which have been connected with the university.

UW officials have estimated the cost of returning to in-person instruction, based upon the principles of the plan, at a total cost of $46 million for the fall semester. This includes $12 million for testing; $2.5 million for personal protective equipment; and $10 million for student financial aid.

In approving the preliminary outline on May 14, the Board of Trustees authorized UW’s administration to submit a request to the state of Wyoming for federal funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

The planning process is based upon five principles and standards:

-Keep the COVID-19 virus off of campus, to the extent possible.

This includes mandatory diagnostic testing during the fall semester for all students and employees, along with testing of student-athletes and Department of Athletics employees during the summer.

-Reduce the probability of transmission. 

This includes social-distancing measures in classrooms; converting residence hall rooms to single rooms; modifying the residential dining plan to facilitate social distancing; and use of masks or other personal protective equipment.

-Rapidly identify and contain cases.

This includes contact tracing, a quarantine policy and provision of space to quarantine students who test positive.

-Reduce environmental contamination by extensively cleaning and disinfecting UW facilities.

This includes hiring more custodians to increase cleaning of work spaces, common areas and high-touch surfaces.

-Provide clear communication and resources.

This includes providing up-to-date information about numbers of COVID-19 tests and cases, as well as health requirements and guidelines for people on campus.The outline presented to the Board of Trustees on May 14, may be viewed here.

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