By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
With half of its volleyball team quarantined after either testing positive for or being exposed to the coronavirus, Eastern Wyoming College in Torrington has canceled four volleyball games scheduled for later this week.
Tami Afdahl, a spokeswoman for the college with campuses in Torrington and Douglas, said as of Tuesday, two players of the 20-member team have tested positive for COVID, while eight others are in quarantine, awaiting test results.
Across the campus, which has no requirement for the use of facemasks, Afdahl said more cases have been seen.
“We have 7 active cases, 5 on the Torrington campus and 2 on the Douglas campus,” she said.
The team had been scheduled to play in a tournament at McCook Community College in Nebraska on Friday and Saturday. The games will not be rescheduled. A game scheduled for last week was also canceled because the team was exposed to COVID.
While EWC does not require the use of facemasks, it is recommending that students who have not received the coronavirus vaccine wear face coverings while on campus. Meanwhile, the board of directors for Goshen County School District No. 1 is to meet this week to discuss adopting a mask mandate for students in grades K-12.
Schools across Wyoming are working to set facemask policies as the state’s infection rate continues to climb. Over the weekend, the state saw more than 1,000 new laboratory-confirmed cases of coronavirus, leaving Wyoming with more than 3,500 active cases.
The debate has been vigorous in some communities, with Cheyenne schools deciding against a mandate after several lengthy meetings that saw constituents arguing with school board members. So far, only schools in Jackson, Laramie and Sheridan have adopted mask mandates.
As of Monday, Goshen County had 73 active cases of coronavirus and four COVID patients in its hospital. Statewide, hospitalizations have spiked to levels not seen since mid-December, with 195 COVID patients in hospitals across the state.