ROCK SPRINGS — Western Wyoming Community College’s (Western) mask mandate underwent a few more changes ahead of the spring semester.
Students, staff and visitors will now only be required to mask up following a positive test or if they feel it is necessary. The college will take an approach of strongly recommending face coverings rather than requiring them.
The Board approved the new protocols in a unanimous vote.
“At this time, administration believes it is the role of each individual to take personal responsibility for his/her health by practicing CDC safety protocols in our battle against COVID-19. This includes the use of vaccines or vigilant use of face coverings. We also believe it is the role of each individual to respect choice, space and protection of others,” Western President Dr. Kim Dale said.
Here’s a breakdown of the new protocols:
“Administration is recommending to the Board that the current face covering mandate:
A. be expanded to include an additional five days for a student or community member who is returning to campus following a positive test and five days of isolation. (Per the CDC’s updated guidance issued on 12/27/2021, a person who tests positive regardless of vaccination status must stay home for five (5) days. If the person has no symptoms or symptoms are resolving after five (5) days, the person can leave the house and return to work but must continue to wear a mask around others for five (5) additional days. If the person has a fever, the person must continue to stay home until fever resolves.);
B. continue in the Children’s Center for staff if they are not fully vaccinated, as children under the age of 5 are not eligible for vaccines
C. immediately expire in all other areas, and face coverings become strongly recommended for those who are unvaccinated, are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, or in areas where social distancing cannot occur.”
Dean of Students Dr. Dustin Conover said that towards the end of the fall semester, COVID-19 cases had dropped off.
“It’s becoming impossible to police a face covering mandate. Our college has done a really, really, wonderful job. I’m proud of the work we’ve done over the last two years,” Dr. Dale said.