UW reports first COVID case on campus - Casper, WY Oil City News
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UW reports first COVID case on campus

Brendan LaChance, Oil City

The University of Wyoming is reporting its first case of COVID-19 within the university’s campus.

According to a release issued on Friday morning, the case involves an employee of the university who apparently contracted the virus off campus.

The individual has not been on campus since July 2 and has been self-isolating since July 3, according to the release. The patient is recovering at home and “there is little campus exposure risk,” said the release.

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Known contacts have been notified and officials are working with the Wyoming Department of Health.

“I think we all knew it would be just a matter of time before COVID-19 was detected among the UW community,” President Ed Seidel said in the release. “We have taken proactive steps to minimize the spread of the virus on campus, and we would ask everyone now to be even more vigilant.”

Last month the university released information on its plans to start classes this fall, with special protocols and schedules for the the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Under the plan, UW would maintain a 15-week semester, with classes beginning Aug. 24 and ending Dec. 4.,” they said in a release last month.

“Students would not return to campus after Thanksgiving; all courses would move to fully online instruction beginning Nov. 23, and final exams would take place through distance technologies. The two-day midsemester break and three days before Thanksgiving would be converted to instructional days.”

In today’s release, the university said all employees and students are required to wear face coverings while on campus or when conducting business or activities off campus. People alone in offices or residence hall rooms are excepted.

The release says a number of UW students of college age are among the 39 positive cases in Albany County, none were reported to be living in UW housing or working on campus.

The Latest Statistics from the Wyoming Department of Health:

What to do if you are feeling sick: In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Casper-Natrona County Health Department says that people who are feeling sick or exhibiting symptoms should contact their primary physician.

If you do not have a primary care provider, and live in Natrona County, please contact the COVID-19 hotline, operated by the Casper-Natrona County Department of Health. The line is open Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm 577-9892. Hotline services are intended for Natrona County residents and may not be able to provide specific information to persons calling from out of county.

Officials ask that you please do not self-report to the Emergency Room. Persons experiencing problems breathing should call 9-11.

For general inquiries and non-symptom related questions about COVID-19, please contact the Casper-Natrona County Health Department via email: covid@cnchd.org

  • Practice Social Distancing by putting distance between yourself and other people. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home if you’re sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.

A list of area closures attributed to COVID-19 are available here.