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Residence Life Fall 2020 Guide

Living on campus is an important part of the college experience, and we know it will directly contribute to your overall success. We remain committed to providing you an excellent housing experience as we plan for our residence halls to reopen this fall and we are excited you have chosen UW as your home-away-from-home.

However, we want to make you aware of the following changes.

We have been working to create a plan that will promote physical distancing and align with guidance from the University of Wyoming, local and state health officials.

Due to the inherent risks community living will present, it is necessary for us to adjust our procedures to adapt to the ongoing pandemic. You and your family need to review these changes in detail together so you can plan accordingly and understand what life on campus will be like for the foreseeable future.

As the world continues to learn more about COVID-19 and how it spreads, our office will continue to adapt, amend, and implement new processes in order to protect the residential community.


Before Arriving On Campus | How We Are Housing Students | How We Are Feeding Students

How We Will Keep Our Communities Safe | Quarantine & Isolation Plan | UW Plan for a Campus Pause 



Here at UW, we are committed to creating a safe campus. Before arriving on campus we encourage students and their guests to visit the University of Wyoming's Campus Return page and review all the information listed below.

  • Conduct a Self Check of COVID-19 Symptoms as outlined by the CDC as you prepare to come to campus. If you need to adjust your move-in plans please contact our office.

  • Adhere to all University of Wyoming and state COVID-19 policies, protocols, and guidelines to ensure the safety of our community.

What to Bring 

All students will receive a face covering from the University, but we still encourage residents to bring the following items with them upon moving into the Residence Halls.

  • Face Coverings

  • Thermometer

  • Hand Sanitizer

  • Antibacterial Hand Soap

  • Cleaning Supplies (Lysol, Clorox Wipes, etc)


The following housing model was designed to take into account local, state, and federal recommendations for health and safety. This model is intended to reduce risk, while still maintaining a sense of community and connection among students.

  • All residence halls and houses will be reduced to approximately 65% capacity, comprised mostly of single rooms with one resident per room.

    • Includes Downey Hall, White Hall, Orr Hall, McIntyre Hall, Crane Hall, two floors of Hill Hall, and the Tobin House.

    • Some larger rooms (triples and quads) in Tobin House and Crane/Hill, as well as three double rooms per floor in the Washakie Halls, will house two students to meet student requests.

  • All community spaces will be reduced in occupancy, with 6 feet of social distancing taken into account.

View the Room Rates for Fall 2020

  • All UW Apartments communities will be at regular capacity, with no reductions in occupancy per unit.

    • Includes: Bison Run Village, River Village, Spanish Walk, and Landmark Communities

  • Apartments Community Center will be reduced in occupancy, with 6 feet of social distancing taken into account.

  • Rates for the UW Apartments communities will not change for the 20020-2021 academic year.

View the full list of rates

Desk Operations

  • Most desk procedures will remain unchanged, with the addition of new safety protocols.

  • No equipment/resources will be checked out at the desks with the exception of vacuums and tools.

    • Staff will wipe down vacuums and tools before check-out and upon return.

  • At the end of each shift, staff will wipe sanitize the front exterior door handles and elevator buttons (if applicable).

View desk hours and contact information


The dining operation's primary objective is the health and safety of our diners. The Wyoming Department of Health and Center for Disease Control has adjusted recommendations for dining operations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Outlined here are changes in dining operations to decrease the risk of virus transmission within our establishments. These guidelines are based on the most restrictive conditions and are subject to change based on adjustments to public health regulations and operational needs.

Washakie Dining Center

  • Hand sanitizer stations will be placed at the entrance.

  • Diners and employees will wear face coverings in the dining hall during meal service.

  • Signage reminding patrons of social distancing will be placed throughout the dining hall.

  • Plexiglass barriers will be placed at the card swipe stations and in front of any station where diners may be within 6 ft of culinary staff.

  • Culinary and service staff workstations will be placed 6 feet apart.

  • Contactless card swipe will be utilized at entrances and cash sales will not be available.

  • Commuter plans will not be sold fall semester and use of dining hall by outside patrons will be limited to guest passes provided to residential diners.

  • Meal periods will be breakfast, lunch, and dinner with extended hours.

  • To decrease crowding at lunch, the meal period will be split into two with diners being assigned to a lunch period based on their class schedule.

  • Service will be pickup only with no sit-down dining available in the Dining Center. Additional seating will be provided outside and in the lower level of Washakie Center; this seating will be distanced based on public health orders.

  • Surfaces will be sanitized frequently during service and the dining hall will be closed between 9:30-10:30 and 2:30-4 pm for cleaning and complete surface sanitizing. An electrostatic sprayer will be used to ensure we are able to sanitize all contact surfaces between mealtimes.

  • Five platforms will be accessed by choosing a menu-based line at the entrance of the facility, lines will be socially distanced from each other with stanchions and marked with 6ft floor decals.

  • Meals will be served in to-go containers.

  • Each line will lead to a building exit creating an orderly one-directional flow through the dining room.

  • Many food items will be prepackaged to increase the speed of service. Diners may take these packaged items directly without being served. This process has been cleared through the Albany County Health Department.

View Dining Plan Rates

View the Fall 2020 Meal Schedule


Campus Dining

  • All dining locations are planned to open with a few exceptions.

    • The Gardens, Fujisan, and Los Vaqueros will remain closed.

  • Retail dining operations will open on a staggered basis.

  • Hours of operation for all retail dining units will be adjusted to improve staffing and allow time for cleaning.

View Campus Dining Hours and Menus





Resident Safety Protocols

  • All students and hall staff are required to wear face coverings in common spaces (i.e., all spaces outside their room, restroom or office).

  • Social distancing of six feet or more between people in groups is required.

  • Only four people are allowed in the elevator at a time.

  • Residents are encouraged to regularly clean their own spaces, sanitize surfaces, wash face coverings, regularly wash their hands, and maintain social distancing at all times.

  • Residents will be asked to limit travel and should quarantine for three days if they travel outside of Laramie overnight, per CDC guidelines.

  • Residents are allowed no more than three people in their room at one time, with appropriate social distancing and masks in use.


Staff Responsibilities

  • All professional and student staff are expected to follow all guidelines and procedures outlined in this document, including safety protocols, guest policy, etc.

  • Role modeling proper safety behavior is expected – masks, social distancing, hand washing, sanitizing surfaces, etc.

  • Staff may be asked to occasionally perform additional sanitization duties to aid the custodial team.


Guest Policies

  • In addition to our standard guest policy outlined in the RLDS Policies & Procedures, residents are allowed to have guests that also reside in the same community.

    • Residents are not allowed to visit other hall or house communities.

  • Off-campus students, family members, or other friends are not allowed to visit residence hall or house communities, including overnight (this excludes opening and move-in).

    • If an off-campus guest arrives at the Residence Halls they may wait in the lobby until the resident meets them.

    • For in-hall/house guests, the overnight guest policy is to be followed (no more than three nights in a 14-day period).






  • Quarantine: a procedure used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Quarantine helps prevent the spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms (CDC, 2020).

  • Isolation: a procedure used to separate people infected with COVID-19 and those who are symptomatic from others who are not infected. Anyone sick or infected should separate themselves from others by staying in a specific isolation space and using a separate bathroom, if available (CDC, 2020).


Quarantine Procedure

  • If students think they have been exposed to COVID-19, or are notified they have been exposed, they will be required to quarantine following University guidelines.

    • Efforts will be made by staff to decrease the need for students to leave their rooms during this time – i.e. delivering meals, offering support resources, etc.

    • If symptoms develop during quarantine, students should call Student Health, their doctor, or other local healthcare facilities (Urgent Care, Stitches, Ivinson Hospital, etc.) for further guidance.

    • Procedures for how long to quarantine, when to test, and when to end quarantine will follow university guidelines.

    • If students test positive for COVID-19, they will be moved into alternative housing for quarantine.

    • Apartments residents will quarantine in their own units, when able to do so.


Isolation Procedure

  • Students that test positive for COVID-19 or are showing symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, etc., will be required to move into alternative housing to isolate.

    • Meals and other support will be provided to students while in isolation.

    • Procedures for how long to isolate, when to re-test, and when to end isolation will follow university guidelines and CDC recommendations.

    • Students will be checked on daily by their Residence Coordinator.

  • Once students test negative and/or are deemed to no longer pose an infection risk to others, they will be allowed to move back into the residence halls/houses per university guidelines and CDC recommendations.

  • Apartments residents will move to alternative housing to isolate if they reside in a space with a shared bathroom.





Below provides an outline of the campus operational changes during a pause, the guidance provided to all students, and the living environment for residence halls and on-campus fraternity and sorority houses.

Student “pods”:

As an organizing structure, the University is using the concept of pod living to help capture the immediate members of a student’s living environment. For students living in a house/apartment in Laramie, their pod would be the other house/apartment members. For those living in a fraternity or sorority house, a student’s pod is the other live-in chapter members. For students living in the residence halls, pods are all other members on the same floor of the same building (e.g., White Hall, 2nd floor is one pod). Students will then be guided to engage exclusively with their fellow pod members during a University designated pause.

Pause operational changes:

In addition to the general guidance, Student Life & Housing operational changes include:

  • No in-person on-campus meetings with advisors, tutors, staff, or peers.

  • No on-campus visits unless to Student Health Services, Washakie Dining, or Residence Life offices for those living in the residence halls.

Residence Halls:

  • Pods are all other members on the same floor of the same building.

  • Pods will be groups of approximately 24 students, there will be shared bathrooms, shared laundry, and a shared central common space.

  • No other guests or visitors will be permitted on the hall floor, only pod residents.

  • Pod residents are able to engage with other pod members while wearing masks, social distancing, and participating in the bridge testing program located in the Wyoming Union.

  • Students may participate in outdoor activities such as hiking and biking with 1 to 2 fellow pod members and must wear masks and use proper physical distancing. 

  • Students should not visit local stores such as Walmart or downtown businesses unless to pick-up needed medication or supplies.

  • Students are permitted to attend and participate in religious activities while adhering to all UW COVID-19 guidelines.

  • Students who have jobs or other off-campus responsibilities are being allowed to leave for those duties.

  • Should a pod member test positive, all the other pod members would also need to quarantine for 14 days minimum. Bridge testing will continue, providing members the opportunity to test weekly to identify COVID-19 status. If additional members test positive or become symptomatic, the quarantine will continue.

  • Some toiletry supplies will be available at the hall desks.

Guidance for UW Apartment Residence and off-campus students:

  • Students are to only be in contact with members of their immediate household (pod).

  • Outside activity guidance: students can go outside but are not to engage with people outside of their household (pod).

Washakie Dining Center

  • Washakie Dining would provide meal service to students on meal plans only.

    • Students would pick meals up in Washakie with reinforced messaging about social distancing.

    • Students would be asked to take their meals back to their room or eat outside with proper social distancing.

    • In the event that a pod needed to be quarantined, meals would be delivered to all students in that pod. 

  • All retail dining would be closed.

Fraternity and Sorority Life (FSL):

  • 9 chapter houses on campus, 6 Fraternities, 3 Panhellenic Sororities each of which has a live-in house director. Chapter houses vary in size from 11-36 members. Chapter house ‘pods’ include shared laundry and bathroom services.

  • Notice to chapters about Pause Status: the campus-wide notice will be followed by an FSL communication to Chapter Presidents, Housing Corporation, and House Managers.

  • Once a pause is announced, all those living in the house must return to the residence.

  • No other guests or non-resident members will be permitted in the house other than the house director and professional (not student) kitchen staff for the chapters with commercial kitchens. Chapters that do not have formal kitchens will permit members to use their communal kitchen 1 at a time with a commitment to properly clean and sanitize spaces between uses.

  • Each chapter is a pod where members of the pod are able to engage with other pod members while wearing masks, social distancing, and participating in the surveillance testing program.

  • Should a chapter member test positive, all pod members would need to quarantine for 14 days minimum, in the chapter facility. Surveillance testing will continue, providing members the opportunity to test weekly to identify COVID-19 status. If additional members test positive or become symptomatic, the quarantine will continue.

Testing Priorities:

  • During a pause, testing priority will be given to those living on campus in the residence halls – students and staff. Scheduling and testing will still occur daily and residents will need to continue to sign up and attend their testing times. 

  • Testing will be made available as soon as possible for close contacts with those who test positive in an on-campus pod.


  • Student Affairs Support: Residence Life and Dining Services along with Student Health Services and the Dean of Students Office will continue on-campus services. Other services in the division, including Campus Recreation & Wellness, University Counseling Center, and the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership (CSIL), will shift to virtual support and programming.

  • Academic Support: Students will still be able to access tutoring and advising services virtually. 

Meeting Basic Needs:

  • On-campus mail service in the halls and apartments will continue.

  • For students needing support in accessing groceries or prescriptions, the following resources could be helpful:

    • Safeway – grocery delivery options ($)

    • Walmart – grocery pickup and delivery options ($)

    • Interfaith – community food pantry with delivery options

    • UW Food Pantry – see Dean of Students website – with options for pick-up of groceries during hours of operation

  • Custodial operations will continue for all on-campus operations that remain open to the public.

  • UW’s Information Technology may have additional laptops available if a student is not able to access computers during the pause.

  • The University Store can arrange for on-campus delivery of items or for pick-up on the lower level of the Union.

Students living in the residence halls or FSL housing should be encouraged to have a “COVID-19 bag” prepared in the event that they need to be moved to isolation or quarantine housing. For recommendations click here

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