UW Drops Requirements for Masks, Distancing

Effective Monday, the University of Wyoming has dropped requirements for social distancing and the wearing of masks.

Annaliese Wiederspahn

May 24, 20212 min read

UW photo 9 2 20
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

Requirements for social distancing and the wearing of masks at the University of Wyoming have been lifted, following action by the Wyoming Department of Health.

Effective Monday, the university is only recommending masks and distancing for those who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19, continuing UW’s transition to a traditional fall 2021 semester.

UW’s Board of Trustees voted earlier this month to follow state Department of Health orders, which required masks in educational settings indoors when social distancing couldn’t be maintained. The agency removed that requirement for higher education institutions Friday.

The Board of Trustees’ and Department of Health’s actions followed new directions from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that people who are fully vaccinated can go without masks or physical distancing in most cases, even when they are indoors or in large groups.

A mask requirement remains in place for UW Transit Service buses in accordance with federal guidelines for public transportation.

UW announced earlier 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. The Board of Trustees voted March 26 to “fully reopen” the university “consistent with the health policy guidelines and directives of the state and federal governments regarding COVID-19.”

In concert with a directive from Gov. Mark Gordon, UW is not requiring employees or students to be vaccinated for COVID-19 — though they’re strongly encouraged to do so. Those who are vaccinated are required to report it — to allow the university to track overall vaccination numbers.

As of today, 2,045 of UW’s 2,928 full-time, benefited employees — 70 percent — have reported receiving at least one dose of the vaccine. Adding in non-benefited workers, 3,181 of 6,101 employees — 52.1 percent — have reported receiving at least one dose.

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 a vaccination document and uploading the picture here: http://patientportal.uwyo.edu, using the regular UW user ID and password.

For employees, a quick reference guide has been created to help record this information within HCM.

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Annaliese Wiederspahn

State Political Reporter