Students concerned with UWEC COVID-19 protocol

‘I ended my 14-day quarantine and have not once been contacted by the university’

Grace Olson

More stories from Grace Olson

Student speaks
November 17, 2021
Patricia+Kress%2C+a+physician+and+medical+director+for+SHS%2C+said+the+emails+and+phone+calls+have+been+overwhelming%2C+but+they+are+starting+to+catch+up.

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Patricia Kress, a physician and medical director for SHS, said the emails and phone calls have been overwhelming, but they are starting to catch up.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues across America, students at UW-Eau Claire have concerns with the Student Health Service and COVID-19 protocol. 

Students have been asked to track their symptoms through the Blugold Protocol app, as well as record their temperature every day and disclose if they have come in contact with any COVID-19 positive cases. 

Maja Semac, a third-year elementary and special education student, said the app was helpful to track symptoms, but she encountered issues during her quarantine.

I ended my 14-day quarantine and the app told me that I should be contacted by someone from the health services in Eau Claire,” Semac said. “But my app has not updated, and it still keeps on counting quarantine days and I haven’t once been contacted by the university.”

Patricia Kress, a physician and medical director for SHS, said the emails and phone calls have been overwhelming, but they are starting to catch up.

“They (SHS) also will have a phone bank set up and staffed with more people to handle the calls,” Kress said. “We are working hard on getting calls and emails handled in a much more timely fashion.”

Rachel Hamele, a second-year broad-field social studies and education student, has also had issues with the Blugold Protocol app. 

The Blugold Protocol app has been easy enough but it didn’t always indicate if it had recorded my symptoms, sometimes it glitched out and closed the app,” she said.

Hamele said she understands it is a new app and since then has seen improvements in the app.  

Hamele said she had to quarantine in Towers Hall because of a possible exposure in the bathroom. 

She said she wishes there was more preparation in regard to laundry services, a meal plan for non-traditional diets and a counseling service available for those in isolation before the quarantine begins. 

“I feel like counseling services reaching out would make a huge impact for students, especially folks on campus for the first time,” Hamele said, “because they may not have support systems in place to help them in this tough time.”

Semac also said she is hesitant to get her books due to two recent outbreaks at the bookstore. 

“I’ve been apprehensive to go and get the rest of my textbooks, because I don’t want to be quarantined because of that either,” Semac said. “It’s ridiculous the university has had two outbreaks at the bookstore and they haven’t changed their procedures.”

Hamele also has some concerns while on campus. She said she feels administration is trying their best to be proactive, but wishes fellow students would follow COVID-19 more closely. 

“People have forgotten about the distancing dots in Hilltop and (are) relaxing on other measures meant to make sure we are safe,” Hamele said. “I wish other students would realize not following guidelines doesn’t only affect them, it has a huge impact on the community if a large population doesn’t listen.” 

Kress said students should be tested if they have any symptoms, or a fever and should quarantine if they have come in close contact with any positive cases.  

Olson can be reached at [email protected]