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UW Researchers Find Major Impacts Due to Political Division

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

The polarization between the two major political parties has far-reaching impacts on American life, University of Wyoming researchers have found.

A paper by researchers from UW and five other universities who looked into all the impacts of political polarization was published in January in the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing of the American Marketing Association.

The study concluded the impacts go far further than most had expected, touching even on mental and physical health, said Dave Sprott, dean of the UW’s College of Business and one of the paper’s authors.

“I think we’re all aware of how political polarization has affected our elections and system of government, but the impacts go far beyond the political arena,” he said. “Ultimately, polarization harms mental and physical health, financial welfare, relationships and societal interests through its impact on psychology, marketing and public policy outcomes.”

The researchers referenced previous studies that suggested political polarization in the United States is more pronounced now than in the past, at least among members of the nation’s major political parties, with Democrats significantly more likely to identify as liberal and Republicans as conservative.

Additionally, those questioned for the studies indicated they believe the parties ideologies overlap less now than they did in previous years, and the portion of people who hold extreme political opinions is increasing.

Research also showed that political identities, such as Republican, Democrat, liberal or conservative, help determine people’s behavior, attitudes and perceptions.

Those identities can be reinforced by people selecting social groups with shared belief systems, consumption of media that only align with those beliefs and even creation of a “group-specific shared reality,” the researchers wrote.

From a public policy standpoint, political polarization makes it more difficult for elected officials to effectively govern, the paper asserted. This is due to a number of factors, including a lack of trust in scientists in policymakers and prevalence of misinformation.

“For instance, as society has become increasingly polarized, politicians’ objectives diverge and their animosity toward the opposition grows, thereby reducing opportunity for compromise,” the researchers wrote. “Partisan incivility is a major reason for failed dialogue: Uncivil exchanges result in disagreement and greater polarization regardless of the evidence presented.”

This political polarization is reflected in the marketplace, as consumers connect with brands that they perceive reflect their values and beliefs.

“In effect, activist consumers will increasingly expect brands to help spur social change, and will be more likely to respond to brand actions through a political lens,” the researchers wrote.

For example, they noted that the expressions of support for former President Donald Trump by the CEO of Goya Beans, a Latin food company, resulted in liberal consumers boycotting the company’s products and conservatives promoting them during 2020.

Similar situations arose for companies including My Pillow, Home Depot and Chick-fil-A when their corporate leaders expressed support for conservative causes.

Even when companies aim to be apolitical, the nation’s polarized environment increases the chances that they will be viewed as being political, the researchers said.

“As the population becomes more polarized, initiatives that were previously viewed through an apolitical lens may be viewed as favoring one political identity over another, as a polarized population is more likely to view corporate actions through a political lens,” the researchers wrote.

Ultimately, according to the researchers, consumer welfare suffers because of political polarization in these areas:

Finances: With political positions influencing decisions, people may sacrifice wages, lose out on jobs, make suboptimal purchases and disregard opportunities to save. For example, research has found that employees accept lower wages to work for politically like-minded entities, and people may select higher-priced products or ones that offer less-functional value.

Relationships: Polarization has the potential to prevent neighbors or colleagues of opposing parties from developing friendships. This ultimately deprives individuals of intellectual diversity, among other things.

Health: Obstruction of social relationships stemming from political polarization can cause both mental and physical harm. Additionally, “the politicization of coronavirus prevention techniques has seemingly slowed their adoption and obscured dissemination of scientific facts, thereby amplifying the spread of a deadly disease.”

Societal interests: For instance, beliefs relating to global warming, affirmative action, wealth inequality and gun control often tend to reflect individuals’ political affiliations rather than a deliberate processing of relevant information that results in evidence-based decision-making.

“In addition, the broader negative impacts of these policy areas on society as a whole have the potential to harm individual mental and physical health over the long term,” according to the researchers.

The researchers suggest a number of potential measures to limit the effects of polarization, including reducing the spread of misinformation, using messaging techniques to try to bridge the different values of liberals and conservatives and limiting the length of political campaigns.

At the same time, the researchers acknowledge that some level of conflict is good and natural for society, and that polarization has been shown to increase voting and political participation.

“Future research should consider the possibility that while political polarization can be harmful, there may be silver linings and reasons for hope,” the researchers concluded, suggesting inquiry into “what types and levels of societal conflict result in positive versus negative outcomes.”

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Central Park Five Member to Speak at UW for MLK Event

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

One of five youths falsely accused of raping a woman in Central Park in the late 1980s will be the keynote speaker for the University of Wyoming’s Martin Luther King Jr. Days of Dialogue event.

Yusef Salaam, a member of the group dubbed the “Central Park Five,” will discuss the case and his work at 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 9 through a virtual presentation for the university.

The Martin Luther King Jr. “Days of Dialogue,” which begins Feb. 8, is in its 17th year at the university. The event is designed to celebrate the continuing impact of King’s life, according to event co-directors Erin Olsen Pueblitz and Melanie Vigil.

“The MLK DOD tradition is intended to expand institutional and community awareness about issues of diversity and social justice, to foster an inclusive community, and to empower individuals to act in solidarity with Black lives and marginalized communities,” they said in a statement.

Salaam was 15 at the time he and four other Black and Latino teenage boys were wrongfully convicted of raping a white woman jogging in Central Park in New York City in 1989.

He served six years and eight months in a juvenile facility before the five men’s cases were overturned in 2002.

After members of the group spent up to 13 years of their lives behind bars, unidentified DNA from the Central Park jogger case, unlinked to any of the five, was finally matched to a convicted murderer and serial rapist who confessed to the crime.

The convictions of the boys, now men, were overturned.

In 2014, the five received a multimillion-dollar settlement from New York City for the injustice.

Since his release, Salaam, now 47, has committed himself to advocating and educating people on the issues of false confession, police brutality and misconduct, press ethics and bias, race and law and the disparities in the U.S. criminal justice system.

Salaam received a President’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016 from then-President Barack Obama and was awarded an honorary doctorate of humanities from Anointed by God Ministries Alliance and Seminary in 2014.

Salaam was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Innocence Project, a nonprofit legal organization that is committed to exonerating individuals who it claims have been wrongly convicted, in 2018.

He currently resides in Atlanta and is a motivational speaker.

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UW, Colleges Launch Collaborative Effort To Improve Wyoming’s Economy

in News/Economy/Education/University of Wyoming
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By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily

The University of Wyoming and the state’s seven community colleges are launching a collaborative effort to better prepare Wyoming students for the state’s evolving economy and encourage entrepreneurship, officials announced Monday.

Gov. Mark Gordon, in a news conference with UW President Ed Seidel and presidents from the state’s community colleges, announced the launch of the Wyoming Innovation Network, a joint effort by all the schools to focus more on Wyoming’s economic needs.

“The economic challenges Wyoming is facing are going to require us to develop and deploy innovative solutions,” Gordon said. “It is critical to have this coordinated effort from our state’s institutions of higher education.”

Under the WIN program, community colleges and UW will work to align courses to prepare students for industries that will need skilled workers in the future, such as tourism, advanced manufacturing and digital technology, Gordon said.

He added by working together, the schools will also help students become entrepreneurs and help make Wyoming more attractive to new businesses by making sure they have access to a skilled workforce.

“Our goal is a unified effort that will help launch this economic development as well as strengthen our economy and help our workers succeed here in Wyoming,” Gordon said.

The initiative will also look at ways to increase the availability of higher education to students who might not be otherwise able to access it, perhaps through digital means, he said.

The effort will require the UW and community colleges to develop closer relationships with private industry, Seidel said, both to determine what skills employers need and to seek financial support for the effort.

Seidel and the presidents of the community college have already formed a working group which will meet regularly to determine how to move forward with items such as making educational programs align and making sure community college students have access to the university.

Darren Divine, president of Casper College, pointed out the university and community colleges are already working along those lines, such as with the development of a bachelor’s degree in applied science and the bachelor’s of science in nursing.

In addition, a program announced Monday will allow community college students to know exactly how their college credits will apply should they attend the UW, Divine said.

“The community colleges and the university are very cohesive and aligned more now than ever before,” he said. “This new effort will enhance Wyoming’s ability to meet the challenges created by our current economic environment.”

There will be a cost connected to the effort, Gordon said, but he said his direction to the presidents was to look at what could be done and then perhaps look to sources other than the state for at least part of the funding.

“Then comes the part of how do we raise the funds,” he said. “We’ve got to reach out to the private sector. That’s something that Wyoming is going to have to do more of. We can’t depend entirely on the (legislative” block grant, on what the Legislature does.

“What is important here is a new direction in a way to collaborate among our institutions, to work from the ground up,” he said. “As money comes its direction, as it proves its worth, then more investment will result in more success.”

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Fans to Again Be Allowed at UW Athletics Events

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

After nearly two months, the University of Wyoming is allowing fans back at its athletics events.

Beginning Thursday, a maximum of 2,000 fans will be allowed to attend events held at the Arena-Auditorium and a maximum of 170 fans will be allowed in the UniWyo Federal Credit Union Sports Complex.

The newest attendance guidelines for University of Wyoming Athletics events were approved by the Wyoming Department of Health as they follow the department’s public health orders governing COVID-19 and gathering sizes.

These guidelines apply to all UW Athletics events for all sports.  Attendance guidelines may change based on future coronavirus-related public health orders issued by the Wyoming Department of Health.

Single-game tickets for the remaining games will go on sale to season-ticket holders at 10 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 25, and will go on sale to the general public at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 27. 
 
University of Wyoming students will not be allowed to attend any UW Athletics events prior to Feb. 1, per UW coronavirus guidelines that place students in a limited contact period as they return to campus for the spring semester. 

This will be the first time fans have attended a UW athletics event since early December, when Gov. Mark Gordon issued stricter health orders due to a rising number of coronavirus cases in the state.

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UW Prepares For Spring Semester In Midst of COVID

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

With the start of the spring semester just one week away, University of Wyoming students returning to campus are reminded that a limited contact period begins Thursday and extends through Jan. 31.

Additionally, students and employees are expected to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance upon returning from winter break, including reducing nonessential activities for up to 10 days and being tested for the coronavirus three to five days following their return to campus.

The semester will begin with two days of online-only instruction Jan. 21-22, and face-to-face classes will start Jan. 25.

For students living on campus, the residence halls will open Tuesday, with students arriving on assigned dates between then and Jan. 24.

Students living off campus should take a coronavirus test before returning to in-person classes or activities on campus.

During the limited contact period, students are allowed to attend in-person classes, participate in work and worship engagements and be outside but are expected to limit their in-person contacts to people living on the same floor of a residence hall or the same apartment/residence.

“These measures are necessary to give us a chance to be successful in providing a safe face-to-face engagement on campus amid the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. Cases are on the rise again in Wyoming and across the country, and it is important we do our part to mitigate that spread,” UW President Ed Seidel said. “We’re very hopeful that, with vaccines being administered to targeted populations now and wide administration expected by this summer, our fall semester will be much more in line with pre-pandemic practices.”

As was the case during the fall semester, UW will continue measures throughout the spring to limit the spread of COVID-19, including a rigorous testing, quarantine and isolation program, requirements for face protection and physical distancing and limits on gatherings.

Students, faculty and staff coming to campus or returning to work will be required to participate in UW’s surveillance testing program, using UW’s laboratory-developed, saliva-based tests.

Students not returning to campus at any time during the semester will not be required to participate, but need to receive testing exemptions. Students living on campus, working on campus and taking in-person classes are automatically included in the testing program and will receive emails to schedule their tests once the semester begins.

Undergraduate students who are part of the surveillance program will be tested twice per week. Graduate students and employees will be tested once per week.

UW employees and students will continue to be expected to use the COVID Pass tool daily to self-screen for coronavirus-like symptoms. Those who are noncompliant with the testing requirements will receive a “red” flag similar to an individual with symptoms, restricting access to campus.

The spring plan approved by the UW Board of Trustees calls for a semester that includes 10 weeks of in-person instruction, a three-day spring break and five weeks of fully online classes to conclude the term.

In addition to the abbreviated March 31-April 4 spring break, no classes will be held on Presidents Day, Feb. 15.

Starting April 5, all classes will move to online delivery, with the final day of classes May 6 and finals week will take place May 10-14.

The university is working with the Wyoming Department of Health and Albany County Public Health to make coronavirus vaccines available as soon as possible to mitigate transmission of the virus and allow the other preventative measures to be more effective.

It’s uncertain when all students and employees will have access to the vaccine.

As a result, the move to online-only course delivery following spring break follows the same rationale for the decision to go online during the fall semester following Thanksgiving break: to help minimize the risk of coronavirus transmission that would be caused by students leaving campus and then returning.

While close to 40% of UW courses currently are slated to be delivered fully online in the spring, up from the historical figure of 15%, about 60% are planned to include in-person components during the Jan. 25-March 30 period.

The in-person classes will continue to be held in classrooms that are arranged to meet physical-distancing requirements, along with enhanced cleaning measures.

Under the plan, the university continues to track and monitor a set of key indicators of coronavirus prevalence on campus to support data-based decision-making. These include the total number of symptomatic cases among students and employees, testing sample disease prevalence, capacity for isolation and quarantine and hospitalizations.

Since the pandemic began, UW has reported a total of 1,865 cases of COVID-19 among its employees and students, with 1,846 people recovered.

As of Thursday, there are 19 active cases: one on-campus student, nine off-campus students and nine employees.

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No Fans Allowed at UW Cowboys Games Until at Least Jan. 25

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Fans won’t be allowed to attend any University of Wyoming sporting events until at least Jan. 25, according to a recent announcement from the university.

The limits follow the most recent Wyoming Department of Health orders, which limits gatherings of more than 10 people, the university said.

Only a limited number of family members of student-athletes and coaches, along with essential personnel working the events, will be allowed to attend events through Jan. 25, the announcement said.
 
These guidelines apply to all UW Athletics events.
 
The initial public health order affecting UW Athletics events, as well as many other public events throughout the state, was originally set to expire on Friday, but Gov. Mark Gordon left the order in place through Jan. 25.

UW stopped allowing fans at athletic events in December, after Gordon and state health officer Dr. Alexia Harrist issued new health orders, which included a statewide mask mandate and limitations on both indoor and outdoor crowds.

The order limiting gatherings does not apply to religious facilities, funeral homes, residential buildings or grocery stores. Nor does it apply to retail businesses as long as patrons remain at least six feet away from one another. 

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UW Acquires Medical Facility For COVID Testing, Vaccine Distribution

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

The University of Wyoming purchased a medical facility adjoining the campus where coronavirus confirmatory testing and the eventual administration of the virus’ vaccine will take place.

The purchase was made possible through the use of federal CARES Act funds.

The acquisition of the Mountain View Medical Park building at 2710 Harney St., for the appraised value of $8.4 million, also consolidates the university’s land ownership on the northeast end of campus and provides space for UW’s WWAMI Medical Education Program and other future health sciences and related program needs.

The purchase includes the 31,255-square-foot, two-story building and 5.12 acres. The current tenants of the facility, medical and dentistry offices for several local firms, will remain in the building under existing leases that extend for two more years.

UW already is putting the facility’s unused space to use for its coronavirus confirmatory testing, with plans to administer the coronavirus vaccine there to members of the UW community when it becomes available.

“We appreciate the governor’s allocation of CARES Act funding to make this purchase possible and address some immediate needs related to the pandemic,” UW President Ed Seidel said. “The acquisition also will provide long-term benefits for the university due to the location, it’s surrounded by UW-owned property, and our need for future space for our programs.”

In fact, UW has been leasing space in the building for the WWAMI (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho) Medical Education Program to use for instructional activities.

College of Health Sciences Dean David Jones said the facility could be a home to other programs envisioned in the college’s long-term planning.

“While this purchase will meet an immediate health care need, we’re excited about the opportunities it presents for the future,” Jones, who oversees sample collection for UW’s rigorous COVID-19 testing program, said. “It’s a wonderful facility in a great spot for us. We deeply appreciate the governor’s quick action to take advantage of a great opportunity.”

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UW Survey Shows Wyoming Residents Approve Of University’s Path To Success

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

A large majority of surveyed Wyoming residents believe that the University of Wyoming provides a strong undergraduate education, prepares students to participate in the state’s workforce and is an appealing place for Wyoming students to attend college, new survey results show.

Additionally, 64% of Wyomingites surveyed believe the UW is spending its budget wisely and 60% say the university does an excellent or good job responding to the needs of the state, according to the biennial election-year survey conducted by the Wyoming Survey and Analysis Center.

Asked to rate the university the same way students are graded, 31% of respondents gave UW an “A” and 37% offered a “B” rating, with the average of all responses equating to 3.10 on a scale of zero to 4.0.

This year’s statewide telephone survey of 614 Wyoming residents was conducted in October, with cellular and landline phone numbers randomly selected to ensure equal probability of selection for all Wyoming residents. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

“We’re delighted that the people of Wyoming regard their state’s university highly,” UW President Ed Seidel said. “We intend to do everything we can to build on that foundation and increase our educational and research excellence, as well as our level of service to the state, during a time when the state needs us perhaps more than ever.”

UW received particularly high marks in the survey for the quality of education students receive.

Of the respondents, 23% rated UW’s performance as excellent an “providing an excellent undergraduate education,” with 45% rating it good (68% combined, up from 64% two years ago).

Asked to rate UW’s performance in “educating young people to participate in Wyoming’s workforce,” 19% said it was excellent and 42% said good (61% combined, 1 point higher than two years ago).

Asked “How well do you think UW appeals to Wyoming students and their families as a desirable place to attend college?,” 26% responded excellent and 61% said good (87% combined, up 2 points from two years ago).

Just 7% said “fair” and 1% said “poor.”

Asked if UW has steadily improved during the past several years, 60% expressed agreement (down 2 points from two years ago).

The percentage of those who believe UW is spending its budget wisely is 63% (up 6 points from two years ago), and 69% agree that UW and the state’s community colleges are working together to provide high-quality education for Wyoming students (down 2 points from two years ago).

Most of the survey respondents, 86%, didn’t have a degree from UW. Of those who did, 49% rated the quality of their UW educational experience as excellent and 43% as good (92% combined). Asked about the relevance of their educational experience, 43% rated it excellent and 44% good (87% combined).

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UW To Refund Some Fees To Students Due To COVID Impact

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

The University of Wyoming is going to disperse partial refunds to full-time students due to the impact of the coronavirus.

Each full-time student taking classes on the Laramie campus will receive a total of $141.17 credit to their UW account for fees that were previously charged for athletics, music/theater and recycling because the pandemic largely eliminated the opportunity to attend events and receive those services.

“The fall semester was unusual in so many respects, and the student experience was altered by being unable to attend in-person athletics and cultural events,” Vice President for Student Affairs Kim Chestnut says. “We’re happy to be able to provide this refund in recognition of the fact that students didn’t receive what they normally would for these particular fees they pay.”

The university limited many events and activities, such as all of the athletic events, due to the pandemic. UW also operated on a phased opening system over the previous semester, meaning students were allowed to return to campus in waves.

By phase four, though, the university moved all of its classes online for the last few weeks (some classes were already fully online for the semester) to prevent the continuing spread of the virus.

The UW coronavirus rules have required everyone on campus to wear face coverings except when in private spaces, maintain physical distancing, use the COVID Pass tool, submit to regular coronavirus testing and to implement enhanced cleaning measures across campus.

Testing, contact tracing and isolation/quarantine remain an important part of the phased return plan.

Classes began as planned on Aug. 24, but were all held virtually for the first few weeks of the semester, and the student population in Laramie was capped for a time.

By mid-September, some classes went back to in-person instruction and more students were allowed on campus.

On Wednesday, the university announced plans for the spring semester that included 10 weeks of in-person instruction, a three-day spring break and five weeks of fully online classes to conclude the term.

To mitigate the impact of possibly infected students returning to campus from across the country, the plan includes a “limited contact period” for students Jan. 14-31.

During that period, students will be allowed to attend in-person classes, participate in work and worship engagements, and be outside, but will also be expected to limit their in-person contacts to people living on the same floor of a residence hall or the same apartment/residence.

While close to 40% of UW courses currently are slated to be delivered fully online in the spring, up from the usual figure of 15%, about 60% are planned to include in-person components during the Jan. 25-March 30 period.

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UW Spring Semester Plan Approved By Board Of Trustees

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

The University of Wyoming Board of Trustees on Wednesday approved a plan for the spring 2021 semester that includes 10 weeks of in-person instruction, a three-day spring break and five weeks of fully online classes to conclude the term.

The semester will begin with two days of online-only instruction on Jan. 21-22, and face-to-face classes starting Jan. 25.

Following an abbreviated spring break that will run March 31-April 4, all classes will move to online delivery, with the final day of classes set for May 6 and finals week to be held May 10-14.

Working with the Wyoming Department of Health and Albany County Public Health, UW will implement an emergency shift to fully remote instruction and student programming with limited in-person operations, or to take other actions, if warranted by major changes in conditions.

To mitigate the impact of possibly infected students returning to campus from across the country and beyond, the plan includes a “limited contact period” for students Jan. 14-31. During that period, students will be allowed to attend in-person classes, participate in work and worship engagements, and be outside, but will also be expected to limit their in-person contacts to people living on the same floor of a residence hall or the same apartment/residence.

As was the case during the fall semester, UW will continue measures throughout the spring to limit the spread of the coronavirus, including rigorous testing, quarantine and isolation programs, requirements for face protection and physical distancing and limits on gatherings.

“Based upon our experience in the fall semester and our testing program, which is one of the most advanced in the nation, we are confident that we can be successful with an on-campus experience in the spring semester,” UW President Ed Seidel said. “But our success depends upon compliance with our testing protocols and other requirements. We’re counting on all members of the UW community to do their part.”

The university intends to make coronavirus vaccines available as soon as possible to mitigate transmission of the virus and allow the other preventative measures to be more effective. However, it’s uncertain when students and employees will have access to the vaccine.

As a result, the move to online-only course delivery following spring break follows the same rationale for the decision to go online during the fall semester following Thanksgiving break this semester.

“We reinstituted a spring break in response to many requests by our students,” Seidel said. “We would have liked to plan for a full semester of in-person instruction but, considering the uncertainty about the timing of the vaccine and about the extent of the pandemic at the end of March, we think it prudent, at this point, to not bring students back after spring break.”

Additionally, no classes will be held on Presidents Day, Feb. 15.

While close to 40% of UW courses currently are slated to be delivered fully online in the spring, up from the usual figure of 15%, about 60% are planned to include in-person components during the Jan. 25-March 30 period.

The in-person classes will continue to be held in classrooms that are arranged to meet physical-distancing requirements, along with enhanced cleaning measures.

“We expect the spring semester will look much like the fall semester and, as a result, we understand it will present difficult circumstances for many of our students,” Seidel said. “Our spring plan puts a particular emphasis on student emotional health and well-being. We are dedicated to making sure they have the support and services they need to be successful.”

Students, faculty and staff coming to campus or returning to work will be required to participate in UW’s surveillance testing program, using UW’s laboratory-developed, saliva-based tests.

Students not returning to campus at any time during the semester will not be required to participate, but they need to receive testing exemptions.

For students moving into UW’s residence halls, coronavirus testing will be required the morning of their move-in date. For students living off-campus who plan to participate in on-campus activities, testing will be required the first week of classes beginning Jan. 25.

Students who return early to campus for university-sanctioned activities will be required to test upon arrival.

For employees who are returning to work after being away from campus, testing will be required the week before their return to on-campus work.

Those returning directly after the winter break will be tested during that week and self-isolate as much as possible until a negative test result has been received.

Employees who plan to work from home or fully self-isolate on campus throughout the semester will not be required to take part in surveillance testing.

Undergraduate students who are part of the surveillance program will be tested twice per week, while graduate students and employees will be tested once per week.

UW employees and students will continue to be expected to use the COVID Pass tool daily to self-screen for coronavirus-like symptoms. Those who are noncompliant with the testing requirements will receive a “red” flag similar to an individual with symptoms, restricting access to campus.

Under the plan, the university will continue to track and monitor a set of key indicators of COVID-19 prevalence on campus to support data-based decision making. These include the total number of symptomatic cases among students and employees; testing sample disease prevalence; capacity for isolation and quarantine; and hospitalizations.

There are no automatic actions to be triggered by hitting certain indicator thresholds, but UW will continue to coordinate closely with state and local authorities to assess conditions in the community and determine appropriate interventions.

Since the pandemic began, UW has reported a total of 1,812 cases of COVID-19 among its employees and students, with 1,797 people recovered.

As of Wednesday, there are 15 active cases: two on-campus students, 10 off-campus students and three employees.

With the end of the fall semester last week, only a small number of students remain in UW’s residence halls, and many traditional-age students who were living off campus in Laramie have returned to their homes around the state, the country and beyond.

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