Gillette College Extends Spring Break in Light of Coronavirus Threat

The Technical Education Center at Gillette College

Northern Wyoming Community College District (NWCCD) announced Thursday night the both its Gillette and Sheridan campuses will extend their regularly scheduled spring break from Monday, March 16 through March 19, per a release from NWCCD.

Beginning at the close of business on Friday, March 13, Gillette College, Sheridan College and all its campuses will be closed for classes and activities through Sunday, April 5, according to the release. Residence halls will also be closed with the exception of a few extenuating circumstances.

As of now, the campuses hope to resume normal operations on Monday, April 6. 

According to NWCCD President Dr. Walter Tribley, the extended break will allow NWCCD employees to prepare alternative methods of instruction as needed, assess the severity of the outbreak, and attempt to minimize impacts to local healthcare providers.

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“At this time, we are hopeful that a three-week period with most of our campus population off site will help reduce the severity of the spread of COVID-19,” Tribley said. “We also hope this move would ultimately help us get back to normal operations sooner rather than later and reduce the impact on local healthcare infrastructure.”

Wyoming confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on March 11 in Sheridan County, with one faculty member and student in self-quarantine due to potential exposure, according to Sheridan County public health officials.

At NWCCD’s Risk Management Team meeting tonight, Debra Haar, nurse manager for Sheridan County Public Health, agreed with the college’s decision to attempt to minimize the spread of the virus in Wyoming through this measure.