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Blugold Flight Plan Update: March 18 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.

Gov. Evers announces FEMA vaccine clinic to be held at UW-Eau Claire in April
A mass vaccination clinic for COVID-19 will open April 8 in Zorn Arena on the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire campus to serve thousands of people in the Chippewa Valley. The federally supported clinic announced Thursday by Gov. Tony Evers is being coordinated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) along with state and local partners. Wisconsin has committed to providing at least 3,500 weekly vaccine doses from the state’s allocation for the site, and up to 7,000 first doses weekly based on supply. This is the second mass vaccination clinic site to open in the state and will have the capacity to vaccinate 1,200 people per day. Zorn Arena has been providing weekly antigen testing and vaccination clinics, and will transition vaccination operations to the federal government. The mass vaccination clinic is a joint effort among the Eau Claire City-County Health Department, UW-Eau Claire, Wisconsin Department of Health Services, the state of Wisconsin and FEMA Region 5. “FEMA and our federal partners are committed to expanding vaccine access to communities across the state of Wisconsin,” said Kevin M. Sligh, acting regional administrator, FEMA Region 5. “This new site in Eau Claire will provide safe and effective vaccines to northwest Wisconsin and be a critical resource in the fight to end this pandemic.” You can read more about this important initiative here.

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.

State Department of Health Services expands groups eligible for vaccine
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services announced last week that individuals 16 and older with specific medical conditions will become eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine beginning March 29. A page on the DHS website provides a complete breakdown of the medical conditions that would make a person eligible to receive the vaccine beginning March 29. The announcement by DHS aligns with the recommendations provided by the CDC.

UW-Eau Claire to hold vaccine clinic for 100 eligible Blugolds at Zorn Arena
An invitation-only vaccine clinic will be held from 3:30-5:45 p.m. Wednesday, March 24, at Zorn Arena. A group of prioritized eligible faculty, staff and a small number of eligible students have been invited to receive the first dose of the vaccine. Due to the scarcity of the vaccine, a limited number of eligible Blugolds will be able to take advantage of this clinic. Antigen testing will not be available Wednesday afternoon to accommodate the temporary vaccine clinic. The UW-Eau Claire team continues to work closely with the City-County Health Department to determine when vaccines can be available for all faculty, staff and students. As Information about COVID-19 vaccines continues to evolve, an excellent source of information about eligible populations and how individuals can make a vaccine appointment at area health care providers can be found on the Eau Claire County COVID-19 website. A page detailing the vaccination phases and a link to setting up an appointment with your health care provider can be found here.

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

Off-campus students should use Eau Claire address for antigen testing
Students living off campus are required to take an antigen test every other week this semester, and students should use their local Eau Claire address when registering for a test. Students living off campus can register to take an antigen test in Zorn Arena during the week or on the weekends. Off-campus students can take advantage of the testing available from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays or during the week by registering here. All students are reminded to bring their Blugold ID and a phone on which they can access email to their testing appointments at Zorn Arena. 

State vaccine assistance hotline available for Wisconsin residents
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services created a toll-free hotline, 844-684-1064, to provide personal assistance and give answers related to COVID-19 vaccines. The hotline staff is in place to help callers find vaccine locations, answer questions about the different types of vaccines and register for an appointment. A number of vaccine-related resources can be found on the DHS COVID-19 webpage.

Students can receive tuition credit for work in state health care organizations 
UW-Eau Claire students who worked in Wisconsin health care organizations have until March 31 to register to receive a $500 tuition credit. The program was 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 program.

Vital Statistics
(as of noon Thursday, March 18)

Confirmed Cases of COVID-19
Worldwide: 122,117,834
United States: 30,301,478
Wisconsin: 627,060
Eau Claire County: 11,466
Barron County: 5,637
Wood County: 7,194

UW-Eau Claire COVID-19 Dashboard, updated daily

Look for the next Blugold Flight Plan newsletter on March 25.

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