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Study abroad student tests positive for COVID-19

The following message was sent March 20 to all UW-Eau Claire and UW-Eau Claire – Barron County students, faculty and staff:


Dear faculty, staff and students of UW-Eau Claire, UWEC-Barron County and Marshfield,


Earlier this afternoon I learned that one of our study abroad students became the first Blugold to have a confirmed case of COVID-19.

The student, who was studying abroad when the virus was contracted, returned home and did not return to campus. UW-Eau Claire’s Director of Risk Management and Safety, Tim Boehnen, spoke with the student, who is in self-isolation and doing well at home with family. Tim also spoke to two other Blugolds who may have had contact with the student during their study abroad program, and both are doing well and self-isolating at home with their families. The student who tested positive and the fellow study abroad students did not return to Eau Claire County following their return to the United States, and they did not come in contact with any individuals on campus.

I want to reiterate the importance of social distancing and hygiene as we navigate what has become a very challenging time for us all. We must take the necessary precautions to keep ourselves and our families safe.

I also want to take a moment to thank Tim Boehnen, who is our institution’s liaison for our COVID-19 response. Tim is helping all of us stay informed during this time of great change, and like every member of our team, he is putting the needs of our students first.

As COVID-19 continues to spread across Wisconsin and more people are tested, we realize there is a chance other Blugolds may be affected by this virus. Please know that we are here to support everyone in our community, our students, faculty, staff and alumni. We will get through this together.


James C. Schmidt
Chancellor, UW-Eau Claire