UW to Halt COVID-19 Testing Program at End of Semester

UW to Halt COVID-19 Testing Program at End of Semester

The COVID-19 random sample testing program will come to an end when the school year finishes at UW this semester. (UW Photo)

LARAMIE — The University of Wyoming Board of Trustees has adopted a COVID-19 plan for the summer, including an end to the university’s random-sample testing program.

Throughout this academic year, 3 percent of on-campus employees and students have been tested each week to monitor the prevalence of the virus at UW, with samples collected by UW employees and processed at the Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory. That program will end May 6, with voluntary testing available May 9-11 during finals week.

Diagnostic testing will continue to be available to students through UW’s Student Health Service. Employees can procure diagnostic testing and home test kits at local retail stores, pharmacies and health care providers.

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“Our testing program has been a tremendous success throughout the pandemic, and we express our deepest appreciation to those on our campus who have made it happen,” UW President Ed Seidel says. “We have now reached a point where surveillance testing no longer will be necessary. But it’s great to know that we have the capacity to restart it in the event of an extended surge in viral transmission in our community, as monitored by state and county health officials.”

As of Monday, there was one active case of COVID-19 among the UW community — an on-campus student. The prevalence rate in UW’s testing program in the past week was 0.8 percent.

In addition to ending its testing program, UW will sunset its public COVID dashboard and will no longer provide contract tracing efforts after the spring semester. Quarantine and isolation housing still will be available for students in the residence halls, but not in other UW-owned apartments or properties.

As has been the case since Feb. 21, masks are not required in UW facilities, except health care settings. And they’ll only be recommended if Albany County returns to a high COVID transmission level.

Masks continue to be required on UW Transit Service buses, in accordance with federal rules that currently are set to expire May 3.

UW continues to strongly recommend COVID-19 vaccination and boosters, which have been proven to be highly effective and safe — and effective in preventing severe illness and hospitalization, even with Omicron and its highly transmissible BA.2 subvariant.

UW’s only vaccination requirement — in accordance with a federal rule — is for employees of health care units, with religious and medical exemptions available.

UW’s summer COVID plan is informed by health and safety recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Wyoming Department of Health. The university’s COVID response may be modified based on the evolving environment and virus transmission.