COVID on campus

Chancellor James Schmidt extends mask mandate until late November


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

The percentage of students with an upload of their vaccine record has reached exactly 80%,  as of Oct. 11. This is 10 percentage points above the original goal of 70%. 

The week of Oct. 7 had zero new positive cases on campus and one off campus. This all according to the UW-Eau Claire COVID-19 Dashboard.  

In the state of Wisconsin as a whole, 54.4% of the residents have completed the vaccination series, meaning they have received their first and second dose of the coronavirus vaccine, according to The Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

Much like the numbers on campus, the national COVID-19 numbers are in a state of constant change. According to The Washington Post, daily reported cases and deaths fell by 10.1% and 6.8% respectively.

There also appears to be a dive in vaccination rates among political party lines. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 52.8% of the people in counties that went to Joe Biden in the election are vaccinated.

This is over 10 percentage points higher than those counties that went to Donald Trump, which level out at a 39.9% vaccination rate. 

According to the Eau Claire City-County Health Department executive summary for the county, 54.9% of residents have received the full vaccination series. This is more than 25% lower than the UW-Eau Claire vaccination rate.

The UW-Eau Claire community is a part of Eau Claire county as a whole. The two  are not disconnected. There is, however, a discrepancy in the vaccination rate among students and faculty and among the County as a whole.

“They’re  offering a lot of incentives for students to get vaccinated, I remember it was easy for me,” Claire Kidwell, a second year neuroscience student, said, when asked about the stark difference. 

Olivia Campbell, a fourth-year human resources management student, remarked on the generational gap. 

“I think the university pushes vaccination more than the regular public does, as a younger generation we’re more motivated to get the vaccine,” Campbell said.

Madeline O’Brien, a third-year public history student shared a similar idea. 

“I think it’s a generational thing,” O’Brien said. “Though it’s not the same for everyone, younger students are more likely to have grown up in a more science-positive environment and the campus itself feels more science positive.”

The university has established several incentives to encourage students to get vaccinated. 

There were prizes such as apple watches, ipads, gift cards, and even $1000 scholarships which were handed out from Aug. 2 through Sept. 20, according to the UW-Eau Claire Vax Game giveaway page.

More information about the vaccine can be found on the Center for Disease Control website.

If you think you have come in contact with an infected individual or are displaying symptoms, visit the Student Health Services page to make a testing appointment. 

Obadiya can be reached at [email protected]