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COVID Vaccinations Increase in UW Community

April 20, 2021
woman in mask preparing vaccine
Marcela Gramcko, a third-year UW pharmacy student from Caracas, Venezuela, extracts the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine into needles to prepare for vaccinations at the Albany County Vaccine Clinic. (UW Photo)

As COVID-19 vaccines continue to roll out among members of the University of Wyoming community, employees and students are reminded to report their vaccinations to allow the university to track overall numbers.

And those who’ve not yet been vaccinated are strongly encouraged to do so, as multiple options are available to receive the vaccine in Albany County, across Wyoming and around the nation.

As of Monday, 1,653 of UW’s 2,941 benefited employees -- 56.2 percent -- had reported receiving at least one dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines, with 50 reporting having received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. All of the vaccines have been shown to be safe and highly effective. There have been no reports of serious side-effects among those vaccinated at the Albany County Vaccine Clinic.

“As more and more of our students, faculty and staff are vaccinated, our ability to remove restrictions will increase, and our fall semester will have a great chance of being the pre-pandemic type of experience we all long for,” says UW President Ed Seidel. “I encourage everyone to join me as a fully vaccinated member of the UW community in utilizing this valuable tool to control the outcome of this pandemic.”

Incentives

As an incentive for UW employees, those reporting that they’ve been fully vaccinated through UW’s HCM will be eligible for a weekly drawing for a variety of prizes, including an iPad, AirPods and an Apple Watch from the University Store, as well as tickets to football and basketball games from the Department of Athletics and performances from the Department of Theatre and Dance.

Additionally, 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.

If you are unable to be vaccinated due to medical or religious reasons, you may contact Human Resources to participate in the drawing or the vaccination appreciation day.

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.

Walk-In Vaccination Clinics

The Albany County Vaccine Clinic is now offering walk-in vaccinations at the former National Guard Armory on Wednesdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. for those 18 and older (Moderna). Individuals age 16-17 can call the Vaccine Call Center at (307) 766-8222 to schedule a Pfizer vaccination appointment.

Individuals who have signed up for a My Health Connection account through Ivinson Memorial Hospital also still have the opportunity to self-schedule vaccination appointments.

Other options to schedule vaccination appointments in Albany County include Walmart, Walgreens, Pole Mountain Pharmacy, Stitches Acute Care, Laramie Pediatrics, Albany Community Health Clinic, Ivinson Medical Group, the Downtown Clinic and Family Physicians of Laramie.

Those who need assistance to travel for their vaccinations may request rides by calling UW Transit and Parking Services at (307) 766-7433. Requests should be scheduled in advance, if possible. Callers should indicate if the transportation is vaccination related and if any special accommodations are needed.

Reporting Vaccinations

While vaccinations are not required for UW students and employees, 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 the drawing for prizes. The university’s privacy protocols will be followed.

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.

COVID Case Update

As of Monday, the total number of active COVID-19 cases among UW students and employees stood at 27 -- 22 students living off campus, three students living on campus and two employees.

In spite of the increase in COVID-19 cases this month, the infection numbers and testing sample prevalence are far below where they stood at the same point in the fall semester. While the percentage of positive test results was .22 percent last week, the 13th week of the spring semester, that number is far below the 2.12 percent prevalence rate during week 13 of the fall semester.

UW announced March 26 that it’s proceeding with plans for face-to-face classes at maximum capacity this fall, along with face-to-face student engagement programs, in-person athletics experiences and the like. Additionally, the university announced last week that it would ease some COVID-19 requirements this summer -- including the wearing of masks outdoors -- as it transitions to a traditional fall 2021 semester.

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.

Questions specifically about the vaccine should be emailed to COVIDVX@uwyo.edu. A UW vaccine webpage has been established at www.uwyo.edu/alerts/campus-return/vaccination.

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