COVID on campus

COVID-19 updates, fake health department placards and a vaccine update

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The news column “COVID on campus” posts relevant COVID-19 news every week for UWEC students.

As of 3 p.m. on Oct. 5, the current number of new positive COVID-19 cases rests at nine students. A total of 347 antigen tests were given, with a positivity rate of 2.6%.

According to the UW-Eau Claire COVID-19 dashboard, the cumulative number of positive COVID-19 student cases on campus now rests at 428, while cumulative staff cases rest at eight. There were 35 new positive, student-connected cases and four new staff cases.

Nine students were in isolation and another 31 were in quarantine on campus. As of 2 p.m. on Oct. 6, the amount of students in isolation has reduced to six and the number in quarantine is now down to 26 students.

Since last week, the number of positive cases at the Rice Lake campus has increased by one, raising the total to three COVID-19 cases. The Marshfield campus remains at zero cases. 

According to the Eau Claire County COVID-19 Information Hub, there are two establishments with potential exposures. Sports Page Bar may have had an exposure between 7 p.m. and 2 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 26. The other is Oliver’s Tavern, which experienced the potential exposure between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 27.

In other news around Eau Claire, there are reports of fake health department placards placed on local business’ doors over the weekend. According to the Leader-Telegram, these placards claimed the businesses were under quarantine.

The current belief of the health department is that the placards were part of a misinformation campaign regarding the new communicable diseases ordinances being considered this month by both the Eau Claire City Council and the Eau Claire County Board. 

The proposed ordinances in question would allow violators of patron capacity limits to be fined $200 by health officials. A public hearing on the ordinances will be held on Oct. 12 before voting continues the next day.

President Donald Trump reportedly returned to the White House on Monday, Oct. 5 after being hospitalized for an active COVID-19 case. 

According to NPR, Trump, after disembarking Marine One and approaching the White House, removed his mask as he faced the cameras and gave two thumbs up.

According to The Guardian, the White House blocked the Food and Drug Association from releasing new guidelines on the COVID-19 vaccine.

The FDA reportedly planned for vaccine developers to follow the patients in trials for the vaccine for at least two months before seeking emergency approval. 

The New York Times has a COVID-19 vaccine tracker to inform where trials stand in developing a vaccine.

There are 44 vaccines in clinical testing trials on humans currently, with an additional amount of upwards of 91 preclinical trials testing on animals. 

Five vaccines are approved for early or limited use, however none are approved for full use at this point. According to The New York Times, vaccine trials first started in March.

According to the New York Post, a number of participants in the leading vaccine trials have had side effects after receiving the vaccine being tested. Some of these side effects include body aches, exhaustion and high fevers.

Spierings can be reached at [email protected].