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FAQs

For UWEC students and employees

Below please find some common questions and answers related to fall semester at UWEC.

Individuals who are not vaccinated should:

  1. Wear a mask indoors as well as outdoors where physical distancing is not possible. 
  2. Follow antigen testing protocols. Antigen testing is required once a week for non-vaccinated students and employees.

Individuals who are vaccinated should:

  1. Wear a mask indoors as well as outdoors where physical distancing is not possible. 
  2. Feel welcome to skip regular antigen testing.
  1. Wear a mask indoors as well as outdoors where physical distancing is not possible. 
  2. If you are ill for any reason do not come to campus.
  3. If you experience COVID symptoms, get tested for COVID, even if you have been vaccinated.
  4. If you test positive for COVID-19 or are a close contact of an individual positive for COVID-19, notify your supervisor or Human Resources.
  5. Follow your medical provider and public health department instructions on isolation or quarantine protocols.

If you get tested on campus (either Eau Claire or Rice Lake), we will automatically be notified of your completed test. For those who test off campus, we have created an easy-to-use online form that allows users to upload test results each week. 

If you are a student, upload your vaccine record now to Vaccination Upload eForm; employees should utilize MyUWPortal (navigate to the associated Tip Sheet for employees to help you find the upload function and review the process quickly). 

If you have lost your vaccination card or don’t have a copy, contact your vaccination provider directly to access your vaccination record. If you cannot contact your vaccination provider directly, contact your state health department’s immunization information system (IIS). You can find state IIS information on the CDC website. Vaccination providers are required to report COVID-19 vaccinations to their IIS and related systems. 

All vaccination records are shared with the WI Department of Health Services.

To learn more about scheduling an antigen test, click here.

This status is assigned by Student Health Service or the Antigen Testing Center when students report or a nurse observes the student has symptoms during a health appointment or an antigen test. The students are told to confine themselves to their room until the results of a PCR test are available. This status exists to ensure symptomatic students do not go to class, the dining center, or other common areas on campus.  

Yes, you will need to continue to test weekly until eight days after your final vaccination. That period allows your body to build up immunity and be fully vaccinated. At the Eau Claire campus, you can take advantage of free antigen testing at Hilltop Monday through Friday (7:30 a.m.-4 p.m.). At the Barron County campus, free antigen testing will take place at Meggers Hall, Room 150 every Tuesday and Wednesday (9 a.m.-2 p.m.) Once you have received your second vaccination shot, make sure to upload your record through the Vaccination Upload eForm

You will not test positive from the vaccination. The test looks for antigens, not antibodies, so you will be able to test until you are fully vaccinated. You will need to continue to test weekly until the eighth day after your final vaccination as your body will still be building up immunity. Once you have received your final dose, make sure to upload your record through the Vaccination Upload eForm.

If you had a positive viral test for COVID-19 in the last 90 days, you do not need to get tested as long as you do not have symptoms of COVID-19 and are not in a current isolation period. Ninety-one days after your positive test, your weekly testing requirement begins if you do not have a vaccination record uploaded to the database (Vaccination Upload eForm). 

Fully vaccinated people are not required to test unless they are symptomatic to preserve and allocate testing resources for those most vulnerable and most likely to become infected, which are individuals who are not vaccinated. Breakthrough infections occur when a fully vaccinated person tests positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Breakthrough disease occurs when a fully vaccinated person experiences symptoms of COVID-19 disease. According to the CDC, vaccines remain highly effective at preventing severe disease, and breakthrough infections and disease among vaccinated individuals remain uncommon. Most of the new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. are among unvaccinated people. Any student or employee can be tested on our campus or in the community for free. 

Going to the testing clinic to is not unlike going to your doctor’s office where you are in the waiting room with people who may be ill. Wearing a mask and following recommended precautions such as washing your hands regularly helps keep everyone safe in a shared environment like the testing clinic. 

Physical distancing will not be possible in all campus spaces. This is one of the reasons we strongly encourage all employees and students to choose vaccination. 

No. Effective August 1st, instructional and other spaces will return to full capacity, without physical distancing. This decision was made based on current public health guidance, strong vaccination rates on campus and in the broader community, and the decreased prevalence of COVID-19 in Eau Claire County. 

UWEC is dedicated to delivering in-person classes and other campus experiences, and therefore, physical distancing is not required as it was at the height of the pandemic. The CDC guidelines for Higher Education advise:  Multiple factors should inform the optimal implementation of layered prevention strategies by institutes of higher education. Ideally, consideration would be given to both the direct campus population as well as the surrounding community. UW-Eau Claire’s layered strategies include encouraging all employees and students to be vaccinated, offering testing and vaccinations on campus, providing contact tracing, requiring masks indoors on campus, and testing air quality and wastewater to look for proactive and reactive ways to mitigate the spread of the virus on campus. 

No, as of June 16th, 2021, the Blugold Protocol App is no longer to be used for symptom monitoring and vaccination registration. Instead, students are asked to upload their vaccination records by using the Vaccine Upload eForm. Faculty and staff should upload their vaccine documentation through MyUWPortal (navigate to Tip Sheet for instructions). 

No, the Blugold Protocol App is not being used during the fall semester. 

While it is true that most college students have mild illness and recover fully from a COVID-19 infection, they should still be vaccinated. Some individuals may suffer serious complications related to infection, including blood clot, organ damage, and death. Others may suffer with chronic fatigue or long-COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccines have been shown to prevent individuals from getting infected and from spreading the infection to others. Here on campus, fully vaccinated individuals are exempt from quarantine and antigen testing requirements. Having a fully vaccinated campus community is the best way for us to continue in-person classes and events.

Please be aware that the majority of employees and students have already received at least one shot and many more are fully vaccinated. At this time, all individuals — regardless of vaccination status — are expected to wear a mask while on campus. Students that have specific concerns related to health conditions should contact the Services for Students with Disabilities office and employees should contact Human Resources

UW–Eau Claire will offer primarily in-person classes during the 2021–22 academic year. Many of the University’s academic programs have essential in-person components. If you have a disability that impacts your ability to attend in-person activities, you may work with Services for Students with Disabilities office to explore possible accommodations; employees should contact Human Resources. Requests for remote participation will require a letter from your health care provider and approval will be contingent upon determining feasibility for each course with the course instructor. 

An individual is considered fully vaccinated 14 days after the second dose of a two-dose vaccine or the first dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The 14 days is the standard used by the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for vaccines with an Emergency Use Authorization or Emergency Use Listing. This currently includes vaccines manufactured by Oxford–AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech, Sinopharm-BBIBP, Moderna, Sinovac, and Johnson & Johnson. 

Individuals that are ill should not come to work or attend classes or events.   

  • Signage will include: 
    • Reminders to wash hands often
    • Wear a face mask
    • Physically distance where possible 
  • In partnership with the Public Health Department, we will be regularly testing waste traps for COVID in all buildings. 
  • Flushing potable water lines (both hot and cold) in buildings with reduce usage to ensure that integrity of water quality is maintained.  
  • Ventilation strategies:
    • We have reviewed all of campus’ Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems to ensure they are operating properly and are bringing in the maximum amount of fresh air possible.
    • We are adding increased HVAC capabilities to the W.D. McIntyre Library to increase our ability to bring in outside air in the winter.
    • We have implemented increased filtration to our HVAC systems in all buildings.
    • Our campus’ HVAC systems will start running at a minimum of 2 hours before buildings are opened and 2 hours after buildings close to maximize airflow at the times of occupancy. 
    • We are installing additional Carbon Dioxide (CO2) sensors and air purifiers for classrooms where air exchange cannot be increased by HVAC units (alone).
    • Restroom exhaust fans have been evaluated and are operating properly. 
  • On-campus testing will remain available at no fee.  
  • Easy-access and on-campus vaccination clinics will remain available at no fee. 

Each area on campus will need to consider their specific circumstances and risks, and make adjustments (additions) in their infectious disease control practices as needed.

Anyone who is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should get tested, whether vaccinated or not. Individuals who test positive and have COVID-19 symptoms should stay home until at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared and at least 24 hours have passed with no fever without fever-reducing medication and symptoms have improved. When they have no COVID-19 symptoms, individuals may return to campus based on the direction of the employee’s health care provider, once 10 days have passed since the positive test. Additional information on the timing of close contact with an individual who tested positive can be found on CDC Public Health Recommendations.

Unvaccinated individuals who have had close contact with someone positive for COVID-19 will quarantine at home.

While a 14-day quarantine continues to be the safest and recommended option, two additional quarantine options are now allowed for some people:

  1. Quarantine can end after Day 10 without testing if no symptoms have been reported during daily monitoring or quarantine can end after Day 7 if the result of antigen or PCR COVID-19 test is negative and if no symptoms were reported during daily monitoring.
  2. Vaccinated individuals who have had close contact with someone positive for COVID-19 are not required to quarantine with the exception of those who provide direct patient care. Vaccinated persons who do not quarantine should still monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days following exposure. If symptoms develop, they should immediately isolate, wear a face covering, contact their health care provider, and get tested.

Faculty are required to provide students the classwork needed to help them stay on track after missing multiple classes. Faculty are not required to contact other students in the class to quarantine as contact tracers working with the Eau Claire City-County Health Department will determine who needs to be contacted. 

If the nature of your job does not allow you to work remotely you can use leave balances, including sick leave, for quarantine. Employees are encouraged to speak to their supervisor if they have any questions regarding paid leave.

Relative to Fall Planning - If you have funding and your supervisor’s approval to travel, you do not need to submit a pre-approval request with the Firstsource Support Team. You do need to carefully review and continue to monitor the CDC guidelines for travel. Unvaccinated employees of UWEC should not travel on behalf of the University. The guidelines for International Travel will take some research on your part regarding not only the CDC guidelines but the guidelines for the country and in some cases the local expectations in that country.   

Currently, the guidelines for International Travel as well as for Domestic Travel have been updated last on June 10 (links will take you directly to the most up-to-date guidelines on the CDC webpage). 

If you have funding and your supervisor’s approval, please move forward with your planning for events both internal to campus, guests on campus, and external events, with the expectation that you will be able to operate as you did prior to COVID.   

Reminder: for summer events that are large or include guests, please continue to complete the request form https://www.uwec.edu/kb/article/studentstaff-forms-covid-event-exception-request-form/ 

Additional COVID-19 vaccine information and FAQs

To learn more about COVID-19 vaccines and how to schedule an appointment to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, visit our COVID-19 vaccine page.