COVID on campus

CDC provides new mask guidance

Timothy Spierings

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

UW-Eau Claire once again found no new cases of COVID-19 infections among those tested at its new testing location at the McPhee Center yesterday.

As of 3:45 p.m. on April 27, there were no new positive cases of COVID-19 among the 182 on-campus students, 139 off-campus students and 24 staff and faculty members tested.

According to the UW-Eau Claire COVID-19 dashboard, there have been 44,373 tests given since Jan. 23. In that time, 75 tests have come back positive.

There are currently no students living in isolation or in quarantine. The dashboard has a new statistic regarding the total number of students tracked previously who were then cleared, which rests at 2,112.

The Barron County data reports no new positive cases of COVID-19 among the four weekly student tests and six staff and faculty weekly tests given. 

As of 3 p.m. on April 26, the information from the Eau Claire City-County Health Department said there are four new positive student-connected cases of COVID-19 as well as one new staff and faculty case. 

Since September of 2020, there have been a cumulative total of 1,122 positive, student-connected cases of COVID-19. There has also been one new staff and faculty-connected case, which brings the cumulative total to 48 cases.

Up to 75.8% of staff and faculty at UW-Eau Claire are currently vaccinated, which translates to 988 people. Vaccination for staff became available on March 3. Additionally, 33.7% of students are vaccinated, which translates to 3,294 people. Vaccination for students became available on April 5.

In national news, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a statement yesterday stating that people who are fully vaccinated do not need to continue wearing a mask outdoors. 

According to The Washington Post, this change comes with the stipulation that as long as that fully vaccinated person is not in a crowded area, it is fine. 

The CDC said officially that fully vaccinated people can:

  • Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
  • Visit with unvaccinated people (including children) from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
  • Participate in outdoor activities and recreation without a mask, except in certain crowded settings and venues
  • Resume domestic travel and refrain from testing before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel
  • Refrain from testing before leaving the United States for international travel (unless required by the destination) and refrain from self-quarantine after arriving back in the United States
  • Refrain from testing following a known exposure, if asymptomatic, with some exceptions for specific settings
  • Refrain from quarantine following a known exposure if asymptomatic
  • Refrain from routine screening testing if asymptomatic and feasible

The Washington Post said the uptake in vaccines has slowed due to vaccine hesitancy in rural communities as well as issues with transportation and lack of health service. Reportedly, the changed guidance is supposed to encourage others to vaccinate.

In Eau Claire County, there have been a total of 11,450 positive cases of COVID-19 infections, according to the Eau Claire County Information Hub. There have also been a total of 51,386 negative tests for COVID-19. 

There have been a total of 107 deaths due to COVID-19 in Eau Claire County, which is one more death since last week. Three-hundred-and-ninety-two cases of COVID-19 infections have resulted in necessary hospitalizations, which is 3.4% of all the cases reported. 

There are currently 98 active ongoing cases of COVID-19 infections, which is nine more cases than last week. Additionally, there have been a total of 11,264 cases that are fully recovered at this time.

Spierings can be reached at [email protected].