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Published June 09, 2021
University of Wyoming faculty, staff and students have played a key role in helping UW and the broader Albany County community achieve one of the highest levels of vaccination for COVID-19 in the state.
Led by College of Health Sciences Dean David Jones and School of Pharmacy Dean Kem Krueger, UW’s dozens of employees and volunteers have joined colleagues with Albany County Public Health, Ivinson Memorial Hospital and local pharmacies to administer thousands of doses of the vaccines in the county since late December.
The Albany County COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic team will hold its final walk-in clinic of the summer term Thursday, June 10, from 2-4 p.m. at the former National Guard Armory -- located at 2901 E. Armory Road, at the corner of 30th Street and East Armory Road. COVID-19 vaccines also are now readily available to the public at Walmart, Walgreens, Pole Mountain Pharmacy, Ridley’s, Stitches Acute Care, Laramie Pediatrics, Albany Community Health Clinic, Ivinson Medical Group, the Downtown Clinic and Family Physicians of Laramie.
As of Monday, 2,028 of UW’s 2,933 benefited employees -- 70 percent -- have reported being fully vaccinated -- two doses of either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines, or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Adding in non-benefited employees, 3,235 of UW’s 6,055 total employees -- 53.4 percent -- have reported receiving at least one dose of the vaccines.
In Albany County overall, more than 40 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated, topped only by Teton County’s 54 percent.
“I’m so proud and appreciative of the great work done by so many members of the UW community to administer these safe and highly effective vaccines,” UW President Ed Seidel says. “My sincere hope is that all of our employees who are medically able will choose to be vaccinated this summer. The same goes for our students, for whom we’re planning to expand an incentive and information program leading up to the start of the fall semester.”
Students and employees who aren’t in Laramie for the summer can go to https://vaccinefinder.org/search/ and learn where vaccines are available. They can even narrow the search to look for a particular type (Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson) in up to a 50-mile radius of the zip code they enter.
While vaccinations are not required for UW students and employees -- instead, they’re strongly encouraged -- students and employees must report their vaccinations once they’ve received them. This allows the university to track overall vaccination numbers. The information is not being used for any other purpose, except to enter those who’ve reported their vaccinations into a drawing for prizes. The university’s privacy protocols are being followed.
This week’s winner of a prize drawing among UW employees who’ve reported being vaccinated is Kelsi Goldfarb, Cent$ible Nutrition Program educator based at the UW Extension office in Cheyenne. She wins four tickets to a UW football game of her choice.
Goldfarb encourages all members of the UW community who are medically able to be vaccinated.
“Be strong for the generation before and after you,” she says. “Every vaccination makes a difference for the bigger picture.”
Names are drawn weekly for prizes from the total pool of employees who’ve reported being fully vaccinated. If you are unable to be vaccinated due to medical or religious reasons, you may contact Human Resources to participate in the drawing.
For employees, a quick reference guide has been created to help report vaccinations within UW’s HCM.
Students who receive their COVID-19 vaccinations should upload documentation to the Student Health Service patient portal as soon as their vaccine series is complete. This is as simple as taking a photo of your vaccination document and uploading the picture here: http://patientportal.uwyo.edu, using your regular UW user ID and password.
In addition to being in the running for prize drawings, UW employees who’ve reported being fully vaccinated are eligible for a personal day off. This vaccination appreciation day must be taken before Aug. 15. Employees will need to follow the standard processes for requesting time off, in collaboration with and approval by supervisors. The vaccination appreciation day will be tracked in this manner:
-- For salaried exempt employees, managers will track the day manually -- it will not be added to the HCM system, and it will be used in whole-day increments.
-- For salaried non-exempt employees, eight hours will be added to the Comp Bank and are to be used with normal Comp Bank rules established in the units. The hours will be prorated for part-time workers, if applicable.
-- For hourly non-benefited employees, the Payroll Office asks you to use the “Vaccine Appreciation Leave” time-reporting code; the hours will be prorated to their full-time equivalent status; supervisors will track usage entered by employees into the timekeeping system; and units will establish rules for use.
Separately, employees who experience reactions from the vaccines are eligible to use emergency sick leave with pay as described in the university’s COVID-19 leave policy.
As of Monday, the total number of active COVID-19 cases among UW students and employees stands at two -- both employees.
More information about UW’s COVID-19 response can be found at www.uwyo.edu/campus-return, which is being updated as information becomes available. Those with questions about testing and other COVID-19 issues may call (307) 766-COVD (2683) or email COVID19@uwyo.edu.