ROCK SPRINGS – Revisions to the COVID-19 protocols are up for approval at the next Western Wyoming Community College Board of Trustees meeting on Oct. 19.
At the Sept. 21 meeting, the board approved to extend the face covering mandate until Oct. 19. It was decided that it would be reevaluated at the next board meeting.
According to the meeting’s agenda, the college’s positive case numbers have been low. The highest total was on Aug. 27, 2021, with 11 positive cases.
For the students living in the residence halls and athletes, surveillance testing began on Sept. 20.
Western has been providing vaccine clinics on campus over the past two months.
However, they have been suspended by county and hospital health partners following low demand.
The school’s performing arts department has recently asked to have theater students be treated like athletic teams, with regular testing to allow performers the ability to not wear face coverings.
In the agenda it states, “After seeking updated feedback from students and employees, as well as membership of the COVID-19 task force, there is no college consensus on how to best move forward. It is my opinion, as the College President, that it is time to relax the mask mandate and see how well individuals do with keeping themselves and others safe from the COVID-19 virus.”
College president Dr. Kimberly Dale is also suggesting that certain revisions be made to the face covering mandate.
Dale is suggesting that face coverings should be required in spaces when social distancing can’t happen such as: classrooms, including laboratories and clinicals; college vehicles; small office spaces; theater events and performances; as well as the children’s center staff if they are not fully vaccinated.
The agenda states that, “Face coverings are strongly recommended for all other areas where social distancing cannot occur.”
Dale is recommending that the new expectations for the wearing of face coverings, if approved, be followed through the rest of the fall semester. They would then need to be reevaluated prior to the spring semester.
Western continues to support vaccinations, as well as regular and ongoing testing and isolation when symptoms or exposure occur.