University of Wyoming announces 7 new COVID-19 cases

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — The University of Wyoming has announced seven confirmed cases of COVID-19 among its school community after it started the new school year online earlier this week.

None of the cases were on campus and included three employees and two students living off campus in Laramie, one student living off campus in Casper and one student living in Colorado, the Casper Star-Tribune reported.

The university began its fall semester online Monday with plans to return to some in-person classes by Sept. 7 before welcoming back all students by Sept. 28, officials said. Students will then finish off the semester remotely after the Thanksgiving holiday.

University officials have identified 68 confirmed COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began. More than 12,000 students and employees were tested as part of its reopening plan. There are currently 30 active cases related to the university, including 24 students and six employees. All live off campus.

University spokesman Chad Baldwin said the school has opted for a phased approach to build its capacity to test for the coronavirus and process samples. The contractor Vault Health is conducting the pre-return tests.

The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.