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Published February 02, 2021
Members of the University of Wyoming community will have an opportunity to receive information and ask questions about COVID-19 vaccinations during virtual sessions Wednesday, Feb. 3, via WyoCast and YouTube.
The first session is set for 9-10 a.m. and the second from 5-6 p.m. Links to the sessions may be found at https://wyolinks.uwyo.edu/vaccines/.
Members of UW’s COVID Vaccine Team will present the latest information about vaccinations in Albany County and answer questions. UW employees and students are encouraged to submit questions beforehand by emailing email@example.com. Questions also may be submitted during the session via WyoCast; instructions on how to do so may be found here.
UW President Ed Seidel has granted employees an hour of release time to participate in one of the sessions. The scheduling of release time should be a collaborative discussion between employee and supervisor to ensure the effective and efficient operation of the unit.
Initial administration of COVID-19 vaccine to individuals in high-risk job categories at UW has taken place. UW is now working with Albany County Public Health and Ivinson Memorial Hospital (IMH) to administer vaccines to county residents who are in categories 1-3 of the Phase 1b priority schedule in the Wyoming Department of Health’s distribution guidelines. Right now, people who are 75 years of age or older are receiving the vaccine; Phase 1b also includes people 65 and older.
As of Friday afternoon, Albany County had administered 1,900 vaccinations, with 300 vaccines available for this week’s appointments. The county anticipates receiving another 500 doses of the vaccine next week and in each of the next several weeks.
Eventually, COVID-19 vaccinations are expected to be available to all employees and students, in accordance with the priorities established by the state Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
On Monday, the state released specifics on who will qualify during Phase 1c. The list includes people at increased risk of acquiring or transmitting COVID-19; essential critical infrastructure workers; and students living in college residence halls. While the Phase 1c priority group descriptions are now available, counties likely will not vaccinate Phase 1c groups until later in the year due to limited vaccine supply.
UW’s Department of Human Resources has established an online platform for employees to notify the university that they are at high risk and desire to receive the vaccine when it becomes available. All employees who are high risk for COVID-19, as defined by the CDC, are encouraged to self-identify in the university’s HCM system. Every active employee has been assigned a “Checklist Task” that steps them through the process of self-identifying. To find this task, employees should click on “Checklist Tasks” under “My Profile” in HCM, then “Current Tasks.” The system will then step employees through a few simple questions to identify how they fit the CDC’s high-risk definitions. Full instructions can be found in the “Self-Identify High Risk for COVID-19” Quick Reference Guide. If an employee is not high risk, no action is required with the assigned task.
Members of the UW community also should sign up for My Health Connection, IMH’s patient portal, to be notified when a vaccine is available. Those who have My Health Connection accounts will automatically receive updates regarding the vaccine. Those who don’t have My Health Connection accounts can create them by visiting IMH’s website.
All UW employees and students spending time on campus who receive the vaccine are still required to participate in the university’s surveillance testing program. That’s because, while the COVID-19 vaccine has been shown to be highly effective in preventing illness in recipients, it’s not known if those who receive the vaccine can still transmit the virus to others. And the vaccine will not cause recipients to test positive in UW’s testing program.
For more information about Albany County’s vaccine distribution plan, visit www.ivinsonhospital.org/vaccine.
Questions about UW’s COVID-19 vaccination plans should be emailed to COVIDVX@uwyo.edu. A UW vaccine webpage has been established at www.uwyo.edu/alerts/campus-return/vaccination, and it will be updated as information becomes available.