Conceptual photograph of a doctor holding and looking at a test tube while testing samples for presence of coronavirus (COVID-19).

As the new school year has gotten underway, Western has updated its Covid-19 guidelines around monitoring, testing, and isolation.

In two Sept. 12 emails to campus, Dean of Students Gary Pierson laid out the new guidance for Western:

We continue to monitor the latest developments regarding COVID-19 and have created this list of recommendations for the fall semester. At this time, Western is following CDC, State, and County guidance. We are currently using a personal responsibility approach to managing the pandemic.

Personal Responsibility is a public health practice designed to empower individual decision-making:

  • Monitor your symptoms and take precautions as needed.  
  • Test if you become symptomatic. 
  • Get vaccinated and boosted if able. 
  • Wear a mask if you are not feeling well, if you are recovering from COVID, or simply if you choose. 
  • Be respectful of individual choice when members of our campus community continue to wear a mask. 

Immunocompromised or high-risk individuals should engage individual protections as needed to maintain your health: 

  • Engage in practices such as masking, distancing, and personal hygiene to take care of yourself.  
  • If you fall in one of these categories, you are encouraged to test early and treat early.  
  • Contact a health professional for additional guidance.  

We also are aware that people will become sick and text positive for COVID-19. Here are the recommendations we ask you to follow if you test positive, become symptomatic, or are exposed to COVID.

If you test positive or become symptomatic, regardless of vaccine status:

  • Report your symptoms or positive test using the COVID Reporter in the StarRez Portal
  • Isolate for a full five (5) days (symptom or positive test date is counted as day zero).   
  • Do not go to class. Contact faculty for missed classes/coursework as per your syllabi. 
  • Avoid unnecessary travel on campus and around the community. If you must leave isolation, wear a well-fitting and high-quality mask. 

After five (5) days: 

  • If you are symptom free (including fever) or your symptoms are resolving, you no longer need to isolate. 
  • If you have a fever without using medication, or your symptoms are not resolving, continue to isolate until you are fever-free for 24-hours with no medication and your symptoms are resolving. 
  • Continue to wear a well-fitting and high-quality mask around others for five (5) additional days once leaving isolation.   

Additional recommendations if you live on-campus:

  • Stay in your room and avoid contact with others as much as possible.  
  • Wear a well-fitting and high-quality mask when using shared restrooms or picking up food at Rare Air/Mad Jack’s. 
  • Use the ‘to-go” option at Rare Air/Mad Jack’s and eat outside or in your room.  

If you have a roommate: 

  • Wear a well-fitting and high-quality mask in your room whenever possible. 
  • Contact Residence Life if you or your roommate(s) would like to be moved to a temporary location. 

If you had a recent confirmed or suspected exposure to an infected person:

  • No movement or quarantine restrictions are in place for individual with suspected exposure.
  • Wear a mask for ten (10) days around others.
  • Test on day 5, if possible.
  • If you develop symptoms, stay home and get tested.
  • You can still develop COVID-19 up to ten (10) days after you have been exposed, take precautions and watch for symptoms. Visit this CDC webpage to learn more about what to do if you were exposed.

Western’s COVID recommendations are based on CDC and Gunnison County recommendations.

For additional information and resources, visit Western’s Public Health webpage. If you have additional questions or need further assistance, please contact the Office of Student Affairs at 970.943.2011.

COVID Testing Update

Western will have available a limited number of over-the-counter COVID-19 test kits for symptomatic individuals. For more information, please contact the Office of Student Affairs at 970.943.2232. In addition to the limited number off on-campus tests, tests can be acquired for free at one of the following locations: