In hopes of containing the spread of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the University of Wyoming has canceled its spring break set for March 15-19, 2021.

Under normal circumstances, college students from all over the country flock to spring break spots in March such as Florida, Texas, Arizona, or even Mexico. But this year, students will be in class instead of partying it up on the beach. The week long spring break will be used for instructional days, according to a statement from UW Vice Provost Tami Benham-Deal.

The news of the spring break cancellation comes on the heels of recent Covid-19 case spikes throughout the state of Wyoming, including areas around Laramie and Albany counties. According to the Wyoming Tribune Eagle, UW's online Covid-19 dashboard indicated that the number of active cases at the university is 96, and of those 32 have been tracked to on-campus students.

The university had previously been working in accordance with a multi-phase reopening plan since the start of the fall semester after consulting with both government and health officials. UW moved on to phase three of that plan in late September which includes increased face-to-face instruction along with more precautionary measures and surveillance testing. For all undergraduate students, Covid-19 testing is required twice a week while graduate students are tested once a week on a mandatory basis.

As Thanksgiving break approaches, Benham-Deal also mentioned that all students will be tested the week before since the university does not intend to send students testing positive back home. For those that do test positive at that time, there is a contingency plan that is still being finalized. As for students that leave campus for Thanksgiving break, they will not need to return until the start of the spring semester for in-person instruction.

During the upcoming spring semester, 60 percent of the classes are planning to be face-to-face in a socially distanced setting. During the current fall semester, just 50 percent of classes were done in a face-to-face socially distanced setting.

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