UW to require masks through Sept. 20, vaccinations encouraged/incentivized

(Cheyenne, WY) – The University of Wyoming (UW) is proceeding with a traditional fall 2021 semester while taking steps to manage COVID-19 amid an increase in cases locally and nationally.

UW’s Board of Trustees has approved a fall semester plan that strongly encourages and incentivizes COVID vaccinations, and will require masks indoors through at least September 20th, under circumstances to be communicated to the campus early next week.

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Students and employees will also be required to be tested upon entry to the university, and must attend a mandatory education seminar on the virus.

The current weekly sample testing program will be expanded to both vaccinated and unvaccinated employees and students, with 3% of the population tested weekly.

The plan also provides for adjustments as circumstances change.

As approved by the trustees, the indoor mask requirement extends until at least September 20th, and does not apply to people alone in their offices or private spaces, and certain medical exceptions will apply.

President Ed Seidel also has some discretion to consider lifting the requirement in certain circumstances. At its September 15th meeting, the board will revisit the mask requirement by considering data including case numbers, testing prevalence and vaccine uptake.

“Our hope is that the indoor mask requirement will only be necessary for the start of the fall semester,” Seidel says.

“We will monitor the data closely between now and when the board revisits the issue at its September meeting.”

Details about the requirements for the educational seminar and one-time testing of all students at the start of the semester will be shared in coming days.

The fall semester plan is in line with the board’s March 26th vote to “fully reopen” the university “consistent with the state and federal governments regarding COVID-19.”

The fall semester will begin August 23rd with face-to-face classes at full capacity, along with face-to-face student engagement programs, and in-person athletics experiences.

For more information on UW COVID protocol, click here.

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