By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Instead of convening for in-person classes on Aug. 24, the University of Wyoming will instead conduct a phased reopening plan for the fall semester.
Classes will begin as planned on Aug. 24, but they will all be held virtually for the first few weeks of the semester, and the student population in Laramie will be capped for the time being. By mid-September, some classes will go back to in-person instruction and more students will be allowed on campus, according to a release shared by the university.
In late September, all students will be allowed back on campus for in-person instruction for eight weeks of courses. After Thanksgiving break, classes will again switch back to online instruction.
“We understand that this is a significant change for our students and families, complicating decisions regarding travel and other issues,” President Ed Seidel said in the release. “However, this approach greatly increases the likelihood of our students having an opportunity for an on-campus experience in the safest manner possible, and avoiding an outbreak during the semester that would cause an even bigger disruption.”
All UW students and employees are being required to take free coronavirus saliva tests before returning to campus.
The university also is working to develop a comprehensive surveillance testing program that will involve employees and students on campus being tested twice a week during the semester. That program isn’t expected to be fully operational until Sept. 28, one of the reasons the semester will start Aug. 24 with all courses online.
Random-sample testing will take place Aug. 24 through Sept. 25 for students and employees who are on campus.