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Eighteen Casper College athletes test positive for coronavirus, two teams quarantined
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Eighteen Casper College athletes test positive for coronavirus, two teams quarantined

COVID-19 Testing

COVID-19 Surge Team member Evan Scott sorts coronavirus specimen collection kits brought in by a courier on Sept. 4, at the Wyoming Public Health Laboratory in Cheyenne. The Surge Team members were brought on to help process the massive numbers of tests brought in to the lab from state wide health facilities.

Eighteen student-athletes at Casper College have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the school announced Wednesday, days after officials placed two teams in quarantine.

Three people associated with those two teams, which were not identified, tested positive last week; data posted to Casper College’s website on Sept. 11 indicated that four students overall tested positive last week.

The school, which declined to comment further, said athletes for both teams were quarantined “out of an abundance of caution,” though not all athletes were believed to have come into contact with the positive cases. In recent days, subsequent mass testing identified 15 students in quarantine tested positive.

Casper College spokesman Chris Lorenzen said he didn’t know if all 18 were on one of the teams or spanned both. The students that tested positive are still in quarantine, according to the news release announcing the cases. He said students were quarantining on campus and off of it, as appropriate.

Masks are required on Casper College’s campus and in classrooms.

While Casper College is certainly not the only educational institution in Wyoming to have had positive cases, the athlete outbreak there is likely one of the largest clusters — if not the largest — associated with a school here. The University of Wyoming had to pause classes after five students tested positive, and cases there continue to pop up, though officials have reopened campus again.

The school added that officials believe that quarantining and testing the students “effectively reduced the risk of spread” but that “ongoing monitoring and further testing will continue.” The school recently hired a coordinator to lead its “education, monitoring and any necessary response to the risks associated with COVID-19.” In conjunction with the Casper-Natrona County Health Department, the school has opened a new testing site at the fire station near Mike Sedar Park. It offers drive-thru testing.

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Education and Health Reporter

Seth Klamann joined the Star-Tribune in 2016 and covers education and health. A 2015 graduate of the University of Missouri and proud Kansas City native, Seth worked for newspapers in Milwaukee and Omaha before coming to Casper.

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