Weber State University announced they were expanding in-person attendance in their event guidelines on Jan. 27 until the end of spring break on March 15 per Governor Spencer J. Cox’s new health guidelines released on Jan. 22.

Winter sunrise at Weber State University on January 29, 2020.
Winter sunrise at Weber State University on January 29, 2020. Photo credit: WSU

WSU said throughout the month of February, they will work with pre-selected event organizers and venue coordinators to test their ability to expand the number of people who can safely attend events on campuses while following local health guidelines. Guidelines have previously stated counties that were rated moderate or high risk of transmission of COVID-19 could only have 10 people at an event while wearing masks and social distancing. WSU will be increasing that number from 10 to 50 on a trial basis.

“Our goal is to conduct these test cases and evaluate the protocols in place, with the hope that we might be able to allow more and larger events to be held in person later in the spring semester,” Director of Public Safety Dane LeBlanc wrote in the email announcement to WSU students and staff.

As of Jan. 27, 2021, Weber State had a reported total of 545 cases in students on campus since Jan. 1, 2020. In an effort to keep the case count low, there will be a number of factors resulting in the decision for WSU to host an event with these new guidelines.

These factors include COVID-19 transmission rates in local counties and on the campus, the venue capacity, whether the event is indoors or outdoors, if the activity is WSU-sponsored or an external, third-party event and the nature of the event, such as dances or high-respiratory activities.

“By piloting these test runs in the coming weeks, we hope to develop guidelines for an eventual phased-in approach to hosting more events at Weber State, while minimizing the spread of COVID-19 in our community,” LeBlanc said.

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