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COVID-19 Updates and Resources

2021-22 COVID-19 Protocols

If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or have tested positive for COVID-19, please call the Western COVID Hotline at 970-975-0739.

Starting Monday, February 21, indoor masking will no longer be required on-campus.

We will continue to evaluate the mask requirement based on a number variables, including: vaccination rates, case numbers and transmission rates.

Here is what we need from everyone at this time:

  • Get vaccinated if you have not yet done so.
  • Submit your vaccination status or exemption. Students submit your documentation to StarRez, and faculty and staff, please send it to HR@western.edu.
  • Continue prevention measures such as hand washing, social distancing and sanitizing surfaces periodically.
  • Students, faculty and staff who are eligible should receive a COVID-19 booster shot by Jan. 31
    • Students please submit your full vaccination information to your StarRez portal.
    • Faculty and Staff will be notified soon of the process for booster documentation.

Western is hosting upcoming vaccination and booster clinics:

Vaccination clinics will be held in the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment bus in the Paul Wright Gymnasium parking lot during the following dates and times:

  • Jan. 14 – noon-5 p.m.
  • Feb. 4 – noon-5 p.m.
  • Feb. 25 – noon-5 p.m.

For information on other vaccination resources in our community, please check the Gunnison County website.

ALSO NOTE: Vaccinated individuals who are exposed to COVID-19 are not required to isolate unless they are symptomatic. Additionally, those who are vaccinated and contract the virus have been much less symptomatic and able to fight the illness more effectively.

COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Western will require students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated for COVID-19. Students, faculty and staff who are eligible should receive a COVD-19 booster shot by Jan. 31. Exemptions will be allowed for health, religious or other reasons.

For students, proof of vaccination or providing exemption requests will be handled through the StarRez system. Please have your vaccine record accessible when you begin the process.

To access the forms please log into StarRez and click the link on the right side of the page, “Submit Coronavirus Vaccination Record/Exemption.” From there, read the coronavirus information page, fill out your information and upload a picture of your vaccine documents. If you are requesting an exemption, you will be prompted to follow a separate set of directions.

For students under 18, you will be prompted to give your parent or family member one-time access to your account. If you choose not to give this one-time access, your parent or family member will be emailed a PDF that can be returned.

If you have any questions regarding this procedure or the COVID-19 vaccination requirement, please submit them via email to shotrecords@western.edu.

Spring 2022 Frequently Asked Questions

Remote or online learning refers to where instructors and students interact, engage, and discuss the course material via Zoom and/or Canvas. This can be done synchronously (in real time via Zoom) or asynchronously (not in real time, typically using Canvas). At this moment, we anticipate this mode of learning through January 21, and be back in the classroom on January 24.

Yes, if you choose not to return to your on-campus residence during the online learning weeks, we will issue you a $350 room & board refund. You will be allowed to return on Saturday, January 22, 2022.

To keep our campus safe, during these two weeks some of our on-campus facilities, e.g., Mountaineer Field House, Rare Air Café, and Mad Jack’s may have limited access. Additionally, per the new CDC standards, there will likely be higher rates of quarantine and isolation. To manage this, we will be asking students needing to quarantine or isolate to do so in place with their roommate(s).

Starting Monday, February 21, indoor masking will no longer be required on-campus.

Western aims at a full return to in the classroom instruction of January 24. To help us attain this, please submit your COVID-19 vaccination or booster records, or exemption, immediately. We will update the community on our return to the classroom and progress on the CDC standards on January 17.

Find a vaccination site nearest you at https://www.vaccines.gov/. Western will be hosting an on-campus vaccination clinic on January 14 from 12 – 5 p.m. in the Paul Wright Gym parking lot – please stop in if you are in the area.

Students – submit proof of COVID-19 vaccination or booster through your StarRez portal.

Faculty and Staff – Human Resources will be running a state database query for employee booster data, and will follow up with employees as needed thereafter.

Yes, if you have submitted an exemption previously, you need not renew nor submit an additional exemption for booster.

Western will be providing COVID-19 testing for symptomatic individuals and anyone wanting a test. We expect to evaluate our future testing procedures later in the spring term.

Yes, you may, though our preference is that you get your booster before arriving. Remember there are several options where to get a COVID vaccination or booster, including an on-campus clinic on January 14, 2022.

General Frequently Asked Questions

If you are a student experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or have tested positive for COVID-19, please call the Western COVID Hotline at 970.975.0739. Staff and faculty should contact Kim Gailey at kgailey@western.edu.

Gunnison County will update its information on its COVID-19 web page.

Gunnison County is currently using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data which also provides case counts over a weekly period. You can access that data here.

  • Regardless of vaccination status, if you are sick:
    • Off campus residents stay home and self-isolate.
    • Off-campus or on-campus resident, call Western COVID Hotline (970.975.0739)
    • Contact Gunnison Valley Health and get tested (see below for information)
  • If you are in contact with someone who is positive and you are vaccinated:
    • It is not necessary to quarantine.
    • Monitor yourself for symptoms.
    • If you become ill, follow the steps listed above.
    • Wear a mask, it is required.
  • If you are in contact with a positive and you are unvaccinated:
    • Stay home, self-isolate
      • If you are on campus and sharing a communal bathroom, you will be contacted to enter quarantine.
      • If you are on campus and living in a suite/apartment-style room, roommates will be contacted and you may or may not enter quarantine
    • Contact the Western COVID Hotline (970.975.0739)
    • Get a PCR test.

  • Contact (call or text) the Western COVID Hotline (970.975.0739)
  • COVID Response Team will:
    • Deliver meals.
    • Assist student with moving/transferring rooms as needed.
    • Provide resources to student regarding medical and mental health needs.
    • Contact professors, faculty, and Disability Services as needed.
    • Assist student in setting up a COVID-19 test.
    • In the case of quarantine, the COVID Response Team will track and assist with days quarantined, when students will be cleared, and serve as a point of contact during quarantine.
    • Assist Public Health with contact tracing.
  • The office of Student Affairs will assist students in contacting faculty & staff when needed.

COVID-19 testing

Where is testing performed?

Testing is from 12:30-1:30 Monday – Friday, closed on university holidays.

What community testing options are available?

  • Gunnison County Health and Human Services: call for an appointment at 970.641.3244.
  • Gunnison Valley Hospital. Purchase a self-swab PCR test for asymptomatic people who wish to get tested. Cost: $150.
  • Peak Family Medicine and Urgent Care. You can get a rapid PCR test. Insurance will be billed. Cost can range from $95-$315. Call 970.614.5055.
  • Crested Butte, Clarks Market Pharmacy. Send out PCR testing for $99. Call 970.349.6492 for an appointment.

If I’m vaccinated but don’t feel well, can I test?

Yes. Testing is available for vaccinated people who are symptomatic.

Will the university track who is testing?

Yes. Western will keep testing information on unvaccinated individuals to ensure screening occurs weekly.

Where can I sign up for testing?

Sign up for testing at StarRez.

Western COVID Hotline. 970.975.0739
Health and Human Services (HHS). 970.641.3244

What are COVID-19 symptoms?

COVID-19 symtoms may include but are not limited to:

  • Fever over 100.4
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Unexplained Chills
  • Unexplained Cough
  • Unexplained Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Unexplained Fatigue
  • Unexplained Muscle or body aches
  • Unexplained Headache
  • Unexplained Sore throat
  • Unexplained Congestion or runny nose
  • Unexplained Nausea or vomiting
  • Unexplained Diarrhea

Masks

Are masked required outside?

Masks are required in indoor public spaces. Masks are not required outdoors, however anyone can choose to wear a mask outdoors for their own comfort.

Should visitors wear a mask?

We ask that all visitors wear a mask in indoor public spaces. This includes indoor sporting events.

Are masks required in residence halls?

Residence halls are considered family living units. Therefore, masks are not required.

Do I have to wear a mask at Mad Jack’s or other dining situations?

If you are actively eating or drinking, you do not need to wear a mask. Please wear a mask if you are not eating or drinking.

Are faculty required to wear masks in the classroom?

Faculty may remove their masks to lecture as long as they maintain more than six feet of distance from students.

Why is Western requiring masks when state and local health officials do not?

Our goal is to maintain in-person learning for the social-emotional health of our campus, and quality of instruction for our students. Please refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations.

Other health protocols

Do I need to socially distance?

Social distancing of six feet is not currently required. Please continue to wash or sanitize hands.

Where can I track COVID-19 cases?

Gunnison County keeps track of cases and divides them into age groups. It has been determined that during the school year, 90% of cases in the 18-25 age group are Western students.

Do I have to screen and report my health status?

You should monitor your health and if you don’t feel well, please stay home. If you think you may have COVID-19, get a test. Please continue to wash or sanitize your hands.

COVID-19 exposure

If you believe you have been exposed to COVID-19, contact the Western COVID hotline at 970.975.0739.

If I have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, do I have to isolate?

If you are vaccinated and do not have symptoms, no. Please monitor your health. If you become symptomatic, please isolate and test. If you are not vaccinated, please isolate for 10 days and monitor your health.

Vaccination

Must I be vaccinated?

Western requires students, staff and faculty to be vaccinated; however, exemption requests can be submitted. Please submit your vaccination documentation or exemption request through StarRez. All faculty, staff and students who are eligible must receive a COVID-19 booster shot by Jan. 31, 2022.

Who can ask me about my vaccination status?

Faculty, staff and students should not ask others about their vaccine status. It is private medical information.

Quarantine

Where is quarantine and how long does it take?

If there is space on campus, quarantine will take place in Moffat Hall. Off-campus quarantine may occur at two different lodging properties.

The duration of quarantine is case specific, typically ten days and will be determined with the guidance of health professionals. The determination of duration is based on numerous factors such as time since symptoms were present, date of test and date of infection.

COVID-19 relief funding for students

The CARES Act provides funds to institutions of higher education to provide students with emergency financial aid grants to help cover expenses related to the disruption of university operations due to coronavirus. Details about this how this program works at Western Colorado University are available below.

Please remember that this information is subject to change given the fluid nature of this international crisis. Please check back frequently for updates.

Federal Reports

Required CARES Act Reporting

1.  Western Colorado University received and additional allocation from the Department of Education from Section 2003(a)(1) of the ARP to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

2. The total amount of the funds that Western Colorado University will receive pursuant to the Certification and Agreement is $4,148,043 of which $2,090,931 is to be utilized for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students. It is expected that Western Colorado University will be able to assist 2,000+ students with these funds.

3. As of the reporting date, Western Colorado University has issued $2,087,711 to 1,678 students.

How will students receive this money?

Western Colorado University has received an additional allocation from the Department of Education from Section 2003(a)(1) of the American Rescue Plan to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to those financially impacted by COVID.  Western Colorado University will be distributing these funds based on financial need as demonstrated through FAFSA and calculated Estimated Family Contribution (EFC).  Funds may be used by students for any component of their cost of attendance or for emergency costs that arise due to coronavirus, such as tuition, food, housing, health care (including mental health care) or child care.

Students with an EFC from 0 to 5846 with a COVID hardship will receive $2,000 total – $1,000 each semester (increased to $1,500 – Spring ’22);

Students with an EFC from 5847 to 14615 with a COVID hardship will receive $1,000 total – $500 each semester (increased to $1,000 – Spring ’22);

All remaining students with a COVID hardship will receive $500 total – $250 each semester (increased to $500 – Spring ’22).

The window to claim your HEERF Grant ended Tuesday, February 15th; however, if you are in need of financial support due to the impact of COVID-19, you must now complete the application found HERE.  The funding is limited and grants will be awarded on a first come, first served basis until funds are exhausted.  The HEERF Application Review Committee will communicate with you on the status of your application. 

If you have any questions, you can email cares-act@western.edu.

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