The University of Wyoming has extended its spring break by one week in response to concerns about the novel coronavirus COVID-19.
In a message to the UW community today (Thursday), Acting President Neil Theobald says a decision will be made later regarding whether face-to-face classes on campus will resume Monday, March 30. UW’s regular spring break starts at the end of classes Friday, March 13.
“The extended break is designed to provide time for faculty to better prepare for online-only teaching, should that be necessary,” Theobald says. “We will continually monitor the situation and make a decision about moving more fully to online classes.”
No confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported at UW, but the spread of the virus around the country — including the fact that Wyoming’s first case was reported Wednesday evening in Sheridan County — prompted the university’s action.
During the extended spring break, UW will remain open, although employees with chronic health conditions or compromised immunity are allowed to consult with their supervisors to possibly work from home. UW’s residence halls remain open for students who don’t leave for spring break.
At this point, no limitations are being placed on the ability of people who’ve traveled in the United States to return to campus, but Theobald notes that is subject to change based upon public health agency guidance and directives. Meanwhile, anyone who has traveled from Europe, China, South Korea or Iran should self-monitor and self-isolate for 14 days before returning to campus.
“We ask that you try to understand how difficult it is to make these decisions and request your patience as we seek to make the best decisions possible to keep everyone in our community healthy and safe, while also doing our part to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” Theobald says.
To see his complete message to the UW community, go here.