COVID on campus

Approaching holidays cause concern for case increase at UW-Eau Claire


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

This week on the UW-Eau Claire campus, there continue to be no new COVID-19 cases recorded for all faculty, staff and on and off-campus students.

As of 7:40 a.m. on Oct. 19, 187 COVID-19 tests have been taken on campus, with a 0% positive case return. This update shows a lower test number, compared to the previous week where the maximum number of students tested was 302, according to the COVID-19 Dashboard.

The percentage of students who uploaded a vaccination record has reached 80.7%, as of Oct. 19. This continues the upward trend of the university’s goal for 70% of students vaccinated.

In the city of Eau Claire, the average report of daily COVID-19 cases is 51.1 as of 9 p.m. on Oct. 12, according to the City of Eau Claire Situation Report #113.

Eau Claire County currently has a total case rate of 14,907, with 386 new cases in the past seven days.

According to the COVID-19 Wisconsin Summary Data, the seven-day average of positive cases is 2,158. 

In Wisconsin, there are currently 16 critically high counties with COVID-19 activity, as of Oct. 13. Eau Claire County is listed in the “very high” category — compared to the neighboring Chippewa county that is listed as “critically high.”

For Wisconsinites, the rate of COVID-19 vaccination is split near the middle, with 57.4% of residents receiving at least one dose of the vaccine and 54.7% of residents completing the vaccine series.

Students on campus recently participated in the annual Homecoming week for 2021, where many of the events were held in-person since the last homecoming two years ago in 2019.

Alee Erickson, a fourth-year geography and American Indian studies student, was concerned with the recent social gatherings resulting from the university Homecoming events and football game. 

Erickson said she wishes that the university still offered hybrid course adjustments for students who are currently in isolation. She is grateful for having courses in person once again, but there is still a need for accommodations as COVID-19 cases continue to exist in Eau Claire, she said.

“I don’t have any classes that provide an alternative online option for any student who may be in quarantine or at home for different illnesses,” Erickson said. “COVID-19 still definitely exists and there are still students in quarantine every week, whether it’s because they test positive or their roommate test positive.” 

UW-Eau Claire has resumed fully in-person classes since the beginning of the fall semester in September, according to the UW-Eau Claire COVID-19 Updates website. 

The first in-person announcement was released by UW System President, Tommy Thompson and chancellor statements from Wisconsin universities in Feb., the Spectator wrote. 

As Halloween approaches on Oct. 31 and student gatherings are bound to occur, Erickson said she hopes students think of their community members at risk while they gather — if they decide to do so.

“I’m sure students will be gathering in large quantities, but hopefully they are doing so safely and they’re vaccinated,” Erickson said. “One of my friends is hosting a Halloween party, but they are requiring proof of vaccination to enter. So there are ways you can gather safely.”

For more information on the UW-Eau Claire COVID-19 records, follow along with the university dashboard for daily updates. 

Nelson can be reached at [email protected]