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UW Gathering Guidelines

 Fall Return Web Page

General Information

  • Gathering guidelines apply to all UW sponsored events, regardless if hosted on or off campus.
  • Non-affiliated UW groups (outside individuals or organizations) who rent space or host events on campus must also adhere to gathering guidelines. This information will be provided to event planners through a web link when reserving space.
  • UW will establish webpage with information for event planners to determine what is allowed.
  • Requirements for gathering guidelines are informed by inputs from local and state level authorities; CDC guidelines; campus SARS-CoV-2 policies, and specific needs for UW. Gatherings must be in compliance with local and state orders as they change. Updates will be provided on the gathering guidelines website.
  • All event organizers must track attendance (at least names and contact info).
  • All event attendees can only include those included in the phased cohorts allowed on campus at that time.
  • Adherence to these gathering guidelines is the responsibility of the event organizers.

Please note:
As part of the 2021 Spring Campus Plan, in-person student events are not permitted during the “Limited Contact Period” from January 14 through January 31.

Indoor Gathering Guidelines

  • A maximum of 10 people when COVID capacity permits
    • A COVID capacity is defined as the maximum attendance allowance in a space as determined by designated campus officials. This new capacity is established by providing a minimum of six foot distancing between participants and egress within a particular room configuration.  This capacity is not calculated by square footage and is significantly lower than fire code capacity.
  • If the COVID capacity for a specific space/facility is less than 10, participation cannot exceed the designated COVID capacity for the room configuration.
  • The Wyoming Union is designated for non-instructional gatherings of UW-affiliated groups and UW community members only.
    • Tiers from the Wyoming Union “Priority Scheduling” process will serve to prioritize requests for limited space.
    • Unaffiliated groups may not reserve spaces within the Union for the Fall 2020 semester (weddings, birthday parties, etc.). Reservation requests should be directed to the Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center or the UW Conference Center if they are not being used for instructional gatherings.
  • Each space must be sanitized prior to a new group using the space. Designated campus custodial or event staff will be responsible for sanitization.
  • Events cannot be divided into smaller or rotating groups in close proximity to circumvent gathering guidelines. (i.e. an indoor event with 250 participants cannot cycle through the ballrooms in 5 groups of 50).
  • Limited custodial support may impact scheduling for weekend or afterhours use of space.

Catering and Food Services

General Information:

  • Catering and food guidelines are subject to change. Any changes will be added to the UW gathering guidelines.
  • Event organizers must follow existing policies regarding food service during events.
  • Self-serve options for food are not allowed (buffets, bars, platters, etc.).
  • Bulk containers for self-serve beverages are not allowed (carafes, bags, fountains, etc.).
  • “Bake Sales” or similar sales of homemade goods are not permitted.


UW Catering Food Service Offerings:

  • Individually-packaged food items for one person (boxed meals, etc.) will be provided to minimize additional labor for events.
  • There will be limited opportunities for UW Catering staff members to disperse food when following regulatory guidelines:
    • Bar set-up for buffets, bars, or platters where a table provides a barrier between food and patrons.
    • Order food from server who is wearing appropriate protection equipment such as masks and gloves.


 “Campus Carry Out” via Dining Service Locations:

  • Individually-packed items available for one person (boxed or bagged meals),
  • Bulk servings are not available for events (i.e. Panda Express Entrée Trays).


Approved Caterers:

  • Must be individually-packaged food items for one person (boxed or bagged meals, prewrapped items, etc.).
  • Approved Caterers will be required to sign a contract amendment to acknowledge these requirements. Approved Caterers will be temporarily removed from our catering list until the amendments to the agreement are received.
    • Approved Caterers must provide their current precautions to reduce the spread of COVID (masks, gloves, etc.) in writing as part of the amendment.
    • Adherence to these requirements are the responsibility of the Approved Caterer.
    • Approved Caterers found to be in violation of these guidelines will be removed from the Approved Catering list.

Outdoor Gathering Guidelines

  • A maximum of 10 people in outdoor spaces unless approved for an exception:
    • This limit includes all people present including staff, volunteers, participants, spectators, etc.
    • Groups of attendees seated or standing together must be limited to 6 or less, preferably of the same residence.
    • The number of people in any area must allow for adequate 6 foot distancing between seated or standing individuals/groups. This may reduce the potential capacity of outdoor spaces.
    • If the outdoor venue has a pre-determined COVID capacity set by UW, overall attendance cannot exceed the designated COVID capacity for outdoor space.
    • Participants in sporting events shall not congregate in groups larger than 12 individuals.
  • Prior to the event, staff, host/organizers, and event participants (not attendees) must be screened for symptoms of COVID-19. Those who exhibit symptoms, tested positive in the last 14 days, or had known exposure to COVID-19 in the last 14 days, shall not participate.  Logs of screening activity shall be kept and made available if needed for contact tracing.
  • All outdoor facilities or equipment for the event must be cleaned thoroughly, including high touch areas before and after each event, according to CDC guidelines for cleaning. Designated campus custodial or event staff will be responsible for sanitization. 
  • Any payment transactions should occur via contactless and non-signature payments. If not possible for the attendee, card and payment stations must be sanitized after each use and staff shall sanitize hands between payment transactions.
  • Signage must remind attendees not to enter if they have symptoms of COVID19, and the signage must be displayed at the entrance(s) of the event; signage must also be positioned on the event premises reminding separate parties to stand at least 6 feet apart.
  • Food service must be compliant with the guidelines above.
  • Event organizers are responsible for ensuring attendee adherence to these gathering guidelines and UW COVID-19 policy.



Further Considerations


When possible, event organizers are encouraged to:


  • Consider virtual or hyflex options for event attendance.
  • Limit the group size to the extent possible.
  • Limit any nonessential visitors, volunteers, and activities involving external groups or organizations, especially with individuals who are not from the local geographical area.
  • Consider using UW Catering for food service due to their extensive training and precautions.
  • Invite participants who are higher risk for severe illness to request accommodations or virtual offerings. Additional information regarding accessibility planning can be found on the Wyoming Union webpage.



Contact Info

Contact UW’s COVID-19 Response Team by calling  (307) 766-COVD (2683) or emailing

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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