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Blugold Flight Plan Update: April 1 edition

This weekly newsletter contains important information about UW-Eau Claire’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and offers Blugolds details on how to access key resources and assist others on our campuses and in our communities.

All UW-Eau Claire students will be eligible for vaccine on April 5
Gov. Tony Evers announced this week that everyone in Wisconsin age 16 and older will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine beginning Monday, April 5. That is great news for all Blugold students, who will be able to be vaccinated before the spring semester concludes. More than 10,000 students on campus will soon be eligible to receive the vaccine, so now is the time for you to review your options and put a plan in place to be inoculated. UW-Eau Claire and the Eau Claire City-County Health Department, with support from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, will open a mass vaccination clinic at Zorn Arena on April 8. Registrations for the vaccine clinic at Zorn Arena will be open next week, and you can visit the city-county website today to review several local vaccine providers in Eau Claire.

Campus antigen testing moving to McPhee Center beginning on Monday
Beginning next Monday, all COVID-19 antigen testing on campus is moving to McPhee Physical Education Center to allow Zorn Arena to be used for the FEMA-supported mass vaccination clinic that opens April 8. Antigen testing for UW-Eau Claire faculty, staff and students will be from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday. Only people being tested will be allowed to park in the McPhee Center parking lot with no permit required. University personnel with Faculty and Staff parking permits are asked to park in other UW-Eau Claire parking lots where their permit is valid or Chippewa Valley Technical College parking lot P8 directly across University Drive from the McPhee Center parking lot.

Some students eligible to take advantage of Wisconsin FoodShare program
UW-Eau Claire students enrolled at least half time and meet specific criteria can now participate in the Wisconsin FoodShare program and receive assistance to purchase groceries during the pandemic. The provision loosening federal restrictions on students was included in the recently passed COVID-19 relief bill. “Many young adults have struggled to find or keep jobs during the pandemic, and that loss of income has made it harder to afford basic necessities like food,” said Wisconsin Department of Health Services Interim Secretary Karen Timberlake. “By providing these benefits, we will help eligible students avoid hunger so they can focus on finishing their educational programs. Their success enriches our state as a whole.” Read more details about the Wisconsin Department of Health Services announcement.

Tuition credit for students working in state health care organizations extended 
UW-Eau Claire students who worked in Wisconsin health care organizations have until May 22 to register to receive a $500 tuition credit. UW System extended the deadline for students to take advantage of this program, and UW System President Tommy Thompson announced students who work in a Wisconsin health care organization and COVID-19 vaccination sites in the spring are eligible to earn the credit. Students who work in a similar situation from May 22 to Aug. 31 will be eligible to take advantage of a summer tuition credit. The program is open to UW System students who met health care licensure and certification requirements for their work between Dec. 1, 2020, and Feb. 1, 2021. Learn more about the expanded program.

FEMA-supported vaccine clinic to open at Zorn Arena next week
A mass vaccination clinic for COVID-19 will open April 8 in Zorn Arena at UW-Eau Claire to serve thousands of people in the Chippewa Valley. The federally supported clinic was announced by Gov. Tony Evers in March. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), UW-Eau Claire, Eau Claire City-County Health Department and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services are working together to conduct the clinic. You can read more about this important initiative here, and watch your campus email and this newsletter for details about the operating hours and the registration process in the coming days.

Blugolds reminded to follow spring-semester travel guidelines
UW-Eau Claire students, faculty and staff are reminded that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends avoiding nonessential travel. UW-Eau Claire encourages people not to travel outside their communities, but if they must, they should use good judgment to protect friends, colleagues and the university community. If you leave the local community to travel to another location that has more than transient exposure to people of unknown virus status, you should quarantine. More than transient exposure would include: attendance at a large social gathering like a wedding; going to a sporting event; in crowds at bars, restaurants, etc.; taking public transportation such as planes or buses; or traveling on a cruise ship. Upon return, you should get an antigen or viral test three to five days after travel, and stay home and self-quarantine for seven days after travel. Testing is available in Zorn Arena in Eau Claire and the UW-Eau Claire – Barron County gymnasium in Rice Lake. Even if you test negative, stay home and self-quarantine for the full seven days. If you don’t get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel. For more details, see information from the CDC for those who return from travel.

Vaccine detail added to updated version of Blugold Protocol app
The new version of the Blugold Protocol app is now available in both Apple and Android app stores.  Please go through the update process to ensure you have the latest version, and as a reminder, all Blugolds are expected to update the app daily throughout this semester. Students enrolled in remote-instruction classes who will not visit campus this semester are exempt from using the app this spring. If you have any technical questions regarding the Blugold Protocol app, please contact the LTS Help Desk at 715-836-5711 or helpdesk@uwec.edu.

Vital Statistics
(as of noon Thursday, April 1)

Confirmed Cases of COVID-19
Worldwide: 129,892,438
United States: 31,190,867
Wisconsin: 636,908
Eau Claire County: 11,598
Barron County: 5,681
Wood County: 7,239

UW-Eau Claire COVID-19 Dashboard, updated daily

Look for the next Blugold Flight Plan newsletter on April 8.

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