COVID on Campus

Lifted mask mandate at UW-Eau Claire in effect

Bridget Maxwell

More stories from Bridget Maxwell


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

As of March 12, mask requirements were lifted from UW-Eau Claire. This change has left students with mixed feelings about this new policy. 

According to the Eau Claire City-County Health Department, this county is classified as “low” for COVID-19 activity. However, in the latest statistics for April 1, there has been a “concerning/worsened” change in comparison to the prior week. 

With a total of 56 new confirmed COVID-19 cases as of April 1, which is an increase of 3.7% from the week prior. 

According to ABC News, schools will see the same increase in COVID-19 because of the lifted mask mandate. 

Vaccines and boosters are still available through Student Health Services and local facilities, as well as free disposable masks. 

You should throw disposable masks away after every use, wash your hands before handling your mask, reusable masks should be washed after every use and your mask should be set somewhere clean when eating/drinking according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

KN95 or N95 masks are also available at the ASK Center which is located in Schofield Hall 230 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. 

Jaden Mikoulinskii, fourth-year student body president, said the decision to lift the mask mandate was not shared with herself or Vice President Justin Schilling. 

However, since this university is a part of the University of Wisconsin System, their decision was made with the other 13 universities. Therefore if one lifts a mandate, they all lift it, Mikoulinskii said. 

“At the beginning of the pandemic we learned it’s not just about us, we are wearing masks to protect others as well,” Mikoulinskii said. “Acknowledging it’s not about you, but it’s about serving as a positive member in the Blugold community.”

Students weary of the new policy should reach out to their professors and academic department heads with their concerns, said Mikoulinskii. And any concerns about the student center can be directed to the student government, Mikoulinski said. 

The newest information released by the CDC recommends that if you test positive for COVID-19, isolate for 5 days regardless of vaccination status. 

If symptoms have resolved by the end of the 5-day isolation, leaving home is fine. However one should continue wearing a mask for an additional 5 days. 

Masks are not enforced but rather encouraged, Mikoulinskii said, especially if you are around students, faculty or staff who are immunocompromised

Haley King, a third-year political science student, is immunocompromised and said she just wants herself and other students to be and feel safe. 

“I wish the university kept the mask mandate in place for longer because I know there are unvaccinated students who are now putting others at risk,” King said. 

According to UW-Eau Claire’s COVID-19 dashboard, around 88% of the student body is vaccinated. Vaccination is still available through the Student Health Service (SHS) by appointment. 

SHS offers the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Janssen vaccines and boosters. 

There is still on-campus testing available for students to register for at Hilltop Lounge Monday through Friday. 

For more information on COVID-19 or the newest updates can be found on the CDC’s website.

Maxwell can be reached at [email protected].