Dorms remain open, university officials recommend students return home

Western Colorado University leadership today announced an employee has tested positive for COVID-19. The announcement was made known on the university’s web site this morning. The announcement states the employee’s last known campus contact with students and faculty was in the Quigley building on Friday, March 13. The employee has already reached out directly to students with whom they interacted that day. 

During the week of March 9-13, the employee spent most of their time in Quigley when on campus. The employee experienced their first symptoms over spring break (March 16-20). Their symptoms have subsided, and they are self-quarantining at home. Western leadership have been in contact with this employee and are doing all we can to support them., the website states.

“This is the first confirmed case of COVID-19 at Western, but several other members of the campus community are self-quarantining based on COVID-19-like symptoms,” the website states. “Due to a shortage of testing, confirmed positive tests may significantly undercount the prevalence of COVID-19. As a result, and with Gunnison County seeing high coronavirus prevalence, we anticipate other confirmed or likely COVID-19 cases at Western will rise.”

Western administrators are strongly advising that all individuals who need not be on Western campus or in Gunnison County should either stay home or — if a student who has a healthier place to stay outside the county—leave now for their year-round residence. Residence halls remain open to students who have no better housing option, and we are closely monitoring conditions in occupied residence halls to support their health and safety. 

Other buildings are either closed or only accessible to essential individuals with key-card access. Enhanced cleaning procedures are underway on buildings that still require occupation. 

Additionally a standing public health order requires any student in residence hall or multi-unit apartment complexes who left Gunnison County Friday, March 13, or after to self-isolate for at least seven days upon return to Gunnison County. It also strongly recommends anyone who has left Gunnison County for more than a 24-hour period, even if they live in single-family housing, to self-isolate for seven days.