COLORADO SPRINGS — It's the first day of class for UCCS students, but not the first time there's been a threat of a virus on college campus. With the growing Monkeypox concern, local colleges and universities are bracing for potential Monkeypox cases and outbreaks on campus.
UCCS is working closely with El Paso County Public Health and the Colorado state health department to get a plan in place.
“Just to make sure we're on the same page with, how do we do testing? How do we do prevention? How do we do outreach? And what does treatment look like?,” said Stephanie Hanenberg.
Hanenberg is the Health and Wellness Assistant Vice Chancellor at UCCS, and she says students who live on a college campus are at greater risk of getting the virus.
“Because we have residential students, so sometimes they like to share clothes, or sometimes they might be on each other's bed, or they share drinks, and those are all ways you can spread Monkeypox” said Hanenberg.
Hannenberg says they’ll also be meeting with the Colorado Department of Higher Education, and local and state health departments in a week, to update the plan. Right now, they’re focused on educating students about Monkeypox and how it's spread.
“We’ve gone through a lot of trainings, we shared out links with the entire campus community and we are updating our website so that way everybody can be educated on it,” said Hanenberg.
UCCS is offering Monkeypox testing at the wellness center on campus. There have been zero positive Monkeypox cases, and school health officials have only tested one person on campus for Monkeypox. If someone does test positive, they do have isolation rooms that are for positive cases of Monkeypox and COVID-19.
For Gabriel Johnson, a freshman on campus, it's also comforting to know the university is providing guidance on the virus.
“It’s nice to know that we have somewhere to go, the wellness center, they're educating us too, so it's good to kind of know we have an outlet for that,” said Johnson.
Colorado College is also working closely with El Paso County Public Health. They're discussing preventative measures, and looking into education campaigns and treatment strategies.
Watch KOAA News5 on your time, anytime with our free streaming app available for your Roku, FireTV, AppleTV and Android TV. Just search KOAA News5, download and start watching.