COVID on Campus

A look back on a semester in the middle of a pandemic

Oludare Obadiya

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December 15, 2021
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The news column “COVID on campus” posts relevant COVID-19 news every week for UWEC students.

Students at UW-Eau Claire are running full steam into a week to be filled with plenty of schoolwork as finals are just beginning. 

This offers a chance to look back on what students and faculty have experienced and navigated through this most recent semester while in the midst of a pandemic.

As of Dec. 13, the vaccination rate of UWEC students stands at 83.3%. Meaning this amount of students has uploaded proof of a vaccine record to the university, according to the UW-Eau Claire COVID-19 dashboard. 

Right at the beginning of the school year on Aug. 30, the vaccination rate of students was a little over 50% for a total of 4,909 students, according to the dashboard. This is nearly 3,000 fewer than where it stands today. 

The dashboard states that there were 60 COVID-19 tests done on students who reside on campus the week of Dec. 14. One of these tests came back positive. The 90 off-campus students and 20 faculty that were tested all came back negative. 

The highest recorded period of positive tests this semester was between Sept. 10 and Sept. 13 which combined for a total of 22, according to the dashboard.

There have been 1,487 positive student cases since September of 2020, states the dashboard

On a national level, The Centers for Disease Control says that the seven day moving average for COVID-19 cases has increased by 37.3% from the week prior. As of Dec. 8, the total number of positive reported COVID-19 cases in the United States has reached 49,458,520. 

The CDC also notes two of the variants of the virus, the Omicron and Delta variants, are now classified as variants of concern. The overwhelming prevalence of the Delta variant over the Omicron variant was also noted. 

On a more somber note, the CDC also mentions on their website that up to this point, there have been a total of 790,766 total COVID-19 deaths in the United States since tracking began. 

The Wisconsin Department of Health Sciences lists the total number of confirmed COVID-19 deaths in the state at 9,381 as of Dec. 13.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Sciences, Eau Claire County accounts for 142 of these mortalities. 

The state of Wisconsin has had over 900,000 positive cases of COVID-19, according to the Department of Health — about 1% of the positive cases end in mortality. 

According to the CDC, rural populations tend to lag behind in vaccination rate when compared to micropolitan, small metro, medium metro and large metro populations. 

Regarding travel during the holidays, the CDC still continues to harp on the same protective  measures that have been encouraging in the past. 

The CDC says people should not travel if they feel sick or have been exposed to COVID-19. The only exception to exposure is if you have been fully vaccinated or have fully recovered from the virus within the past 90 days. 

More information about COVID-19 can be found on the CDC website. 

Obadiya can be reached at [email protected]