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Published August 30, 2021
A total of 70 University of Wyoming students and employees have tested positive for COVID-19 in UW’s one-time testing program to start the fall semester, with the test positivity rate remaining consistent at just over 1 percent.
Also remaining consistent through a second week of testing -- for those who weren’t tested during the initial Aug. 18-22 testing window -- is the finding that 66 percent of students and 88 percent of employees said they’ve been vaccinated in an anonymous survey.
A total of 10,236 tests were performed for students and employees in the one-time testing program, with a compliance rate of 94 percent for both students and employees. The survey conducted in conjunction with the testing program reached 7,082 students and 2,102 employees, with 4,649 students and 1,846 employees saying they’d been vaccinated.
“We’re pleased with the high rate of compliance for testing and the fact that a relatively strong percentage of our community has been vaccinated,” UW President Ed Seidel says. “We will continue to work to encourage more vaccinations, as well as compliance with our indoor masking requirement, isolation and quarantine for those who’ve tested positive or had contact with infected people, and basic health guidelines such as staying home when you’re sick. The virus is very much present in our community, and the case numbers are likely to grow significantly if we don’t each do our part.”
The number of students who reported in the anonymous survey that they’ve been vaccinated continues to be larger than the number who’ve reported individually through the Student Health Service patient portal, but the gap is shrinking.
Also as of today (Monday), 4,144 individual students have reported receiving at least one dose of a COVID vaccine on the Student Health Service portal -- up from 3,727 one week ago (Aug. 23).
Also as of today, 2,200 of UW’s total 2,889 benefited employees -- 76 percent -- have reported through the HCM that they’ve received at least one dose of the vaccine. Adding in nonbenefited employees, some of whom are students, 3,442 of UW’s 6,170 total employees -- 56 percent -- have reported receiving at least one dose.
Students and employees are encouraged to report their individual vaccinations so that the university can track overall numbers. The information is not being used for any other purpose, except to enter those who’ve reported their vaccinations into drawings for prizes. The university’s privacy protocols are being followed.
Students who receive their COVID-19 vaccinations should upload documentation to the Student Health Service patient portal by taking photos of their vaccination documents and uploading the pictures here: http://patientportal.uwyo.edu, using their regular UW user ID and password. Alternatively, students can report their vaccinations by emailing photos of their vaccination documents to Student Health at email@example.com.
For employees, a quick reference guide has been created to help report vaccinations within UW’s HCM.
As of today, there are 83 active cases of COVID-19 among the UW community -- 55 students off campus, 21 students on campus and seven employees. Some of the on-campus students have decided to isolate at home before returning to UW. The case number total comes from results of UW’s campus testing program and external testing reported to UW’s COVID Hub.
Starting today, UW’s random-sample testing program resumes for both the vaccinated and unvaccinated. Under that program, on a weekly basis, a random sample of 3 percent of the UW community receives emails directing them to be tested. This diagnostic testing takes place at the Crane-Hill Dining Center. Employees and students can opt out of random-sample testing if they will not be on campus for the week; have been diagnosed with COVID within the last 90 days; or are sick or in quarantine.
At this stage, the university continues to highly encourage (but not mandate) the COVID vaccine for faculty, staff and students, in concert with a directive from Gov. Mark Gordon. Vaccines are widely available for free in the community, including the Pfizer vaccine, which has received full approval from the Food and Drug Administration for those 16 and older. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines also have been proven to be highly effective and safe.
COVID-19 vaccines are available for free 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.
UW is continuing its vaccination incentive program for students and employees, with weekly drawings for prizes continuing through at least the week of Sept. 27. To be eligible for the drawings, students must report their vaccinations to the Student Health Service portal and employees to the HCM.
The latest statistics on UW’s current COVID case numbers and vaccinations will continue to be available at www.uwyo.edu/alerts/campus-return/covid-dashboard.html.
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.