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Blugold Flight Plan Update: Jan. 14 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.

University announces COVID-19 testing protocols for spring semester
Free, rapid-result COVID-19 testing is expanding to include all UW-Eau Claire students during the spring semester. About 3,700 students living in residence halls have been tested regularly since the start of the school year. Beginning Jan. 23, off-campus students also will be required to take an antigen test that provides results in about 15 minutes. Students living in university housing will be required to take an antigen test once a week during the spring semester while off-campus students will be tested every other week. Students at UW-Eau Claire – Barron County also will have access to antigen testing on the university's campus in Rice Lake. "Testing all students will allow us to identify COVID positive individuals as soon as possible so that they can be appropriately isolated and prevent further spread to the campus community," says Dr. Kimberly Frodl, Student Health Service medical director at UW-Eau Claire. During the spring semester, faculty and staff who work on campus will be tested every other week. To optimize university resources, all testing is moving to a new testing center in Zorn Arena. Tests for on-campus students were administered at McPhee Physical Education Center during fall semester while off-campus students, faculty and staff were tested at Davies Center. Since antigen testing started at UW-Eau Claire in September 2020, about 29,000 tests have been administered to students, with 659 positive cases, a positivity rate of less than 3%. You can find more details about the announcement on the university website.

McIntyre Library announces access to COVID-19 research database
You can access a wealth of information about articles in Proquest's Coronavirus Research Database, which is available thanks to McIntyre Library. The database contains articles, reprints and research journals, such as the Virology Journal and Annals of Intensive Care. If you have questions about the database, contact Kate Hinnant, associate professor and head of instruction and communication for McIntyre Library. 

Students with nursing skills can earn tuition credit for helping fight COVID-19
UW System President Tommy Thompson announced last month that students with nursing skills can receive a $500 tuition credit by helping fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Qualified students who are enrolled in the spring semester at a UW System school like UW-Eau Claire must work a total of 50 hours in a clinical setting such as a hospital, nursing home, long-term care facility or state or local health care facility between Dec. 1, 2020, and Feb. 1, 2021, to be eligible for the tuition credit. Students must meet health care licensure and certification requirements to be eligible for the credit, and they must work for a minimum of 50 hours to qualify. Interested students can connect with local agencies and employers through Handshake, the online job platform utilized by students in the UW System. After working the required hours, students must obtain a verification letter from their employer. Additional details on templates for employer letters will be shared with students in January. Letters will not be reviewed prior to the deadline of March 31, 2021, and the $500 tuition credit will be applied to student accounts near the end of the spring semester. The media release on the program can be found on the UW System website.

COVID-19 resources online 
If you want up-to-date information on COVID-19 and UW-Eau Claire’s response to the pandemic, visit the university’s COVID-19 Updates webpage, where you can find past editions of this newsletter, video messages from Chancellor Schmidt and important emails that have been shared with campus.

Vital Statistics
(as of noon Thursday, Jan. 14)

Confirmed Cases of COVID-19
Worldwide: 93,107,493
United States: 23,658,011
Wisconsin: 558,020
Eau Claire County: 10,179
Barron County: 4,886
Wood County: 6,399

UW-Eau Claire COVID-19 Dashboard, updated daily

Look for the next Blugold Flight Plan newsletter on Jan. 21.

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