UW ending random COVID testing program

WYOMING – Wyoming’s flagship university is ending its random-sample COVID-19 testing program this summer, solidifying the state’s move to the endemic phase of the pandemic more than two years after it arrived in the Cowboy State.

The University of Wyoming Board of Trustees adopted a new COVID-19 plan for the summer semester at a meeting earlier this month. That plan includes ending the random-sample program.

Throughout the academic year, 3 percent of on-campus employees and students have been tested each week to monitor the virus’ prevalence at UW. The program will end May 6 but voluntary testing will be available May 9 through 11 during finals week.

Diagnostic testing will continue to be available to students. University employees can procure diagnostic testing through various providers.

“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 said. “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 the start of the week, there was just one active case of the novel coronavirus among the UW community – an on-campus student. The prevalence rate in the university’s testing program throughout last week was 0.8 percent.

The university will also sunset its COVID dashboard. Quarantine and isolation will still be available for students in the residence halls but not in other university-owned apartments or properties.

Masks are not required anywhere but on UW Transit Service buses, in accordance with federal rules, which are set to expire May 3.

The university’s response could be altered based on evolving environment and virus transmission.