Photo caption: Dr. Jeffrey Janot, professor and chair of UW-Eau Claire's kinesiology department, teaches a class at McPhee Physical Education Center. Chancellor James Schmidt has extended the face mask requirement for indoor spaces on all University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire campuses. (Photo by Shane Opatz)
The face mask requirement for indoor spaces on all University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire campuses has been extended through the end of the year, Chancellor James Schmidt said on Tuesday.
All employees and students, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear masks in all campus buildings through Dec. 31.
In making the announcement, Schmidt thanked students, faculty and staff at campuses in Eau Claire, Rice Lake and Marshfield for all they have done to keep everyone safe against COVID-19 during this semester’s return to in-person classes. He praised their efforts to help create a “community of immunity on campus” to mitigate the ongoing pandemic.
“While this semester has been successful thus far, our pandemic emergency response team agreed when we met Monday that we must continue to keep our guard — and our masks — up to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus,” Schmidt said.
A total of 94% of UW-Eau Claire faculty and staff have been vaccinated, and nearly 83% of students have received the vaccine.
Schmidt encouraged all faculty and staff to receive a booster vaccination shot to help avoid breakthrough COVID-19 cases in people who have been vaccinated.
Employees and students who have not provided proof of vaccination must continue to test once a week. The cumulative antigen testing positivity rate for campus has been less than 1% for the past month.
“Though the pandemic has been exhausting for all of us over the past 18 months, my spirit has been lifted by the excitement I see every day on campus,” Schmidt said. “From engaging in a spirited discussion in a classroom to socializing with friends over lunch at Davies Center to attending a performance at Pablo Center, our pandemic protocols are helping us find joy together.”