Below please find some common questions and answers related to summer session and fall semester at UWEC.
Q: What are UW-Eau Claire's guidelines for individuals who have not been vaccinated?
A: Individuals who are not vaccinated should:
- Wear a mask indoors and outdoors where physical distancing is not possible.
- Follow testing protocols. Antigen testing is required once a week for non-vaccinated students in campus housing.
Q: What are UW-Eau Claire's guidelines for vaccinated individuals?
A: Individuals who are vaccinated may:
- Continue to wear face coverings if they wish, but they are not required indoors or outdoors.
- Skip regular antigen testing unless you become symptomatic.
Q: What guidelines apply to all faculty and staff, whether they are vaccinated or not at UWEC?
- If you are ill for any reason do not come to campus.
- If you experience COVID symptoms, get tested for COVID, even if you have been vaccinated.
- 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.
- Follow your medical provider and public health department instructions on isolation or quarantine protocols.
Q: How do I schedule an antigen test at UWEC?
A: To learn more about scheduling an antigen test, click here.
Q: Will the Blugold Protocol App be used this Fall to monitor symptoms and register vaccinations?
A: No, as of June 16th 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).
Q: Will physical distancing be required in campus indoor spaces?
A: 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.
Q: Although I am fully vaccinated, I (or a household member) have a health condition that puts me (them) at greater risk of serious illness if I (they) contract COVID-19. I am not comfortable being around unmasked people unless I know they are fully vaccinated. What can I do?
A: Please be aware that the majority of employees and students have already received at least one shot and many more are fully vaccinated. You may continue to wear a mask if you wish. Students that have specific concerns related to health conditions should contact the Services for Students with Disabilities office and employees should contact Human Resources.
Q: I have a disability that puts me at greater risk of serious illness if I were to contract COVID-19 and I’m not comfortable being on campus. May I participate in my classes remotely?
A: 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.
Q: Can employees/students be required to wear masks?
A: Mask wearing can be encouraged but not required (except in clinical or health care, food preparation, youth programs or childcare settings, where masks may be required). This is based on national and local public health guidance, which states that mask wearing in response to COVID-19 is no longer necessary for people who are fully vaccinated. UW–Eau Claire expects that people who are not fully vaccinated will continue to wear face coverings indoors. In addition, anyone, regardless of vaccination status, can continue to wear a mask indoors or outdoors.
Q: I was vaccinated outside the U.S. Does this mean I am fully vaccinated after 14 days?
A: 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.
Q: If spaces are at full capacity, how will unvaccinated people be able to physically distance?
A: 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.
Q: What are the infectious disease practices that will be followed on campus?
- 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 if not vaccinated
- 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.
Q: What should I do if I am exposed to COVID-19?
A: 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:
- 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.
- 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.
Q: I am employed by UWEC and am required to quarantine, but my position does not allow me to work remotely. What should I do?
A: 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.
Q: Will I still be required to submit a pre-approval request if I am looking to travel on behalf of the University?
A: 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).
Q: Relative to Fall Planning, what are the expectation with respect to organizing events on campus?
A: 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/
Q: Can healthy college students skip the vaccine and just plan to recover from COVID-19 if they contract the virus?
A: 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, as well as from the requirement to wear face coverings. Having a fully vaccinated campus community is the best way for us to continue in-person classes and events.
Q: What happens to the records of vaccinations administered on campus?
A: All vaccination records are shared with the WI Department of Health Services.
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.