COVID on campus

UW-Eau Claire has a new testing site and system

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

COVID on campus is a running update on COVID-19 news for UW-Eau Claire students and will lay out relevant news every week to help keep the confusion at bay. 

This week, COVID on campus will cover UW-Eau Claire and Eau Claire County’s general virus status, as well as explain the state of COVID-19 testing at the university.

Testing for COVID-19 is now located in Zorn Arena. The past locations of McPhee Center and the Davies Center are no longer testing locations. 

Jodi Thesing-Ritter, the executive director of equity, diversity and inclusivity at UW-Eau Claire, said the two testing sites were at maximum capacity last semester.

“It was necessary to make this change because funding was available through this process,” Thesing-Ritter said. “We were selected from the UW system to use this process, so it didn’t make sense to have two different spots.”

The people who conduct the COVID-19 testing in Zorn Arena are with Rhino Medical Services, a Texas-based medical service.

Aleah Sauter, the site lead in Zorn Arena for Rhino Medical, said there are two kinds of “groups” who can get tested at Zorn. 

“Monday through Friday, either 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. depending on the day, is UWEC faculty, employees and students only,” Sauter said. “Tuesday evenings and the weekends we also do community members.”

Thesing-Ritter said partners of staff and faculty, as well as dependents, are also welcome to come to Zorn at the same time as community members — not during the times that faculty, employees and students would come. 

Testing on Saturday and Sunday is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and testing on Tuesday evening is from 4:30 to 8 p.m.

As of 5:15 p.m. on Feb. 2, there are no new positive cases among on-campus students, off-campus students or faculty and staff out of the daily tests given.

According to the UW-Eau Claire COVID-19 dashboard, there are now three students in isolation on campus, with another seven in quarantine. The dashboard defines quarantine as a measure to separate individuals who may have had contact with someone who is positive with COVID-19. 

Isolation is defined by the dashboard as a necessary measure if someone is displaying symptoms of COVID-19 and is awaiting test results.

As of 12:20 p.m. on Feb. 1, the information from the Eau Claire City-County Health Department said there are 12 new student-connected positive cases of COVID-19, as well as one staff or faculty case. 

This brings the cumulative total of positive student-connected COVID-19 cases to 1,002 cases since September of 2020, as well as the total number of faculty and staff-connected cases to 40. 

The Eau Claire City Council passed a mask ordinance for the city of Eau Claire on Feb. 2, only to take effect should the statewide mask ordinance end.

According to Wisconsin Public Radio, Eau Claire is not the only city that has anticipated the repealing of the mask mandate. Superior and Green Bay have also taken action to ensure that their residents continue to wear masks, should the Wisconsin mandate end.

To set up an antigen test at Zorn Arena, visit doineedacovid19test.com.

Spierings can be reached at [email protected].