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Important COVID-19 updates   READ MORE »

Remote Teaching and Learning After November Break

Important updates regarding Fall 2020 semester

Given hospital capacity in our region and Governor Tony Evers' delivery of Executive Order #94, UW-Eau Claire has decided to move to remote teaching and learning beginning November 30 and for the remaining three weeks of the semester. Remote educational delivery will apply to all students at both the Eau Claire and Rice Lake campuses. Both campuses will remain open for those students, faculty and staff that need access to research and labs, the library, WiFi, dining service and residence halls.

The decision to switch to remote instruction does not reflect a significant rise in cases among UWEC students or employees, and it does not affect our operations for the spring 2021 semester.

Campuses will remain open

Even with remote instruction, both the Eau Claire and Rice Lake campuses will remain open. 

This means that: 
  1. All instruction will be remote. The Provost and College deans will work with faculty and instructors to assure that the transition to remote learning will be a smooth one for students.
  2. Students in internships, clinicals and field placements will receive communication from their programs about how these experiences will proceed following the November Break.
  3. EAU CLAIRE RESIDENCE HALLS WILL REMAIN FULLY OPEN. We welcome back those students who wish to be on campus for the remaining weeks after the November Break – all services will continue.
  4. Meals and meal services on the Eau Claire campus will continue. All meals will be in to-go containers.
  5. We will increase the antigen testing procedures on the Eau Claire campus for those who choose to return to campus by testing students, faculty and staff twice per week. This is to ensure the health and safety of all those who wish to remain on campus. More information on our testing plan will be available soon.
  6. Both campuses will be staffed at reduced levels to ensure all buildings are accessible for those who wish to stay on-campus over the holiday or return after the Break. Some service hours may be adjusted.
  7. Our virtual commencement will continue online in December for our graduating seniors.

Antigen testing required for students who plan to return to campus following November break 

New testing protocol

UW System is guiding our testing protocol to help reduce both campus and community spread across the state of Wisconsin. The goal is to spread the culture of responsibility, not COVID-19. This supersedes all previous communication about on-campus testing recommendations. 

We will follow this direction:
  1. Any student leaving our campus community for the Thanksgiving holiday with the intent of returning to campus after the Thanksgiving holiday be COVID tested once before they leave campus and tested an additional two times before they return into any classroom or congregated setting. Should they test positive, the protocols related to quarantining and isolation on each campus will still be required to be followed.
  2. If these standards cannot be met, students should not be allowed to return into any classroom or congregated setting following the Thanksgiving break.
  3. If you are NOT coming on campus, there is no need to test twice weekly. If you’re an employee who will be on campus at all or a student who will use our facilities even occasionally, you need to test two times a week.
  4. Only individuals who are not experiencing COVID-19 symptoms (asymptomatic) should utilize antigen testing at our multiple locations. If you are experiencing symptoms, previous protocols for PCR testing remain in place. For students, contact Student Health Services. For faculty and staff, contact your health provider.
  5. UW-Eau Claire is also working with local partners to offer free antigen testing to asymptomatic members of the Eau Claire community to help contain the spread of novel coronavirus.

We encourage all students, staff and community members to utilize our capacity in testing to protect themselves and their families this holiday season.

Learn more about free antigen testing for students, employees, and community members here 

Why we are moving to virtual teaching and learning

We know that our campus classrooms are among the safest places to be, and we’re proud of the work of the entire campus and our students for adopting safe practices, but we are also acutely aware of the impacts the disease is having on the Chippewa Valley Region in which we reside: Our students, faculty and staff live, work and play in this region. We are an important part of this community.

Two important pieces of information have impacted our decision regarding our return to campus after the November break:
  1. Hospitals in our region, including Mayo Clinic Health System and Marshfield Clinic, have reported 100% capacity.
  2. Governor Tony Evers’ Nov. 10th delivery of Executive Order #94, which encourages EVERYONE in Wisconsin to stay home, avoid gatherings and limit travel.  

These important facts — and consultation with and support from UW System President Thompson, our executive team, shared governance and student leaders — have all played a role in our decision to move to 100% remote educational delivery following the November break. 

We have also consulted with chancellors at UW-River Falls and UW-Stout to act as a region since we’re all impacted by the capacity of local healthcare providers.

11.12.20 Chancellor Briefing 



Will the Eau Claire and Rice Lake campuses be closed after the Fall Break?

No. Campuses, including research labs and libraries, will remain open and available to faculty, staff and students who need to remain on or near campus. The gym and fitness center on the Rice Lake campus are closed for antigen testing.

Will labs and research activities be available for faculty and students?

Yes, although faculty will not require in-person student participation at this time. All need to be able to make choices about their personal safety and comfort with these activities.

Will clinical, internship or field placements for students continue as we move to remote teaching and learning?

If you are participating in a clinical, internship or field placement, your program will be in contact with how to proceed with this part of your learning following the Fall Break.

Will the Library be open?

Yes. We view McIntyre Library as an essential service and will ensure students have access to the resources they need, including wi-fi for off-campus students who may need it. 

What about residence halls and dining facilities?

Yes. Residence halls and dining facilities on all campuses will remain open with modifications. Dining services will convert operations to carry-out only.

Will there be refunds for students who choose not to come back to campus?

Because our residence halls, food service, parking and student services remain open and available to our students, we will not provide refunds for students who decide not to return to campus after the November Break. For those who wish to get out of their residence hall contract for spring semester, please work with Housing and Residence Life on the appeal process.

How will textbooks be returned safely at the close of fall semester?

We encourage students to return textbooks by mail. A plan for physical textbook return is underway with safety precautions top of mind. Students on all campuses may ship books to Barnes & Noble at UW-Eau Claire. Log in to your account to print a shipping label.

Does this change mean we will not return for an in-person spring semester?

No. We plan to return for in-person teaching and learning for spring semester. We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation in the region. Information on the spring calendar will be shared in December.

Does this change affect December commencement plans?

No. Preparations for virtual commencement are underway and we look forward to celebrating this milestone with our graduates!

Will prospective students and families still be able to tour our campuses?

Yes. Campus tours will still occur.