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Blugold Flight Plan Update: Dec. 17 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.

Students with nursing skills can earn tuition credit for helping fight COVID-19
UW System President Tommy Thompson announced earlier this week 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.

Davies Center will be only campus site for antigen testing in January
As the fall semester ends this week, students, faculty, staff and their dependents can continue to be tested using the free antigen tests available to all who do not have COVID-19 symptoms. Davies Center will be the only site for antigen testing on campus in January. Testing is available and encouraged for all UW-Eau Claire students who live off campus and for employees and their dependents aged 5 and older. Photo identifications are required at Davies for all who are seeking testing, and Blugold IDs are acceptable. The site in the Dakota Ballroom of Davies Center is open from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Access to Davies Center will be through the southwest service doors next to the loading dock to isolate the testing queue from the rest of the building. Registration is available online here.

Virtual commencement ceremony Saturday to celebrate 2020 graduates
To celebrate all graduates from this past spring and those graduating this month, UW-Eau Claire will conduct a virtual commencement on Saturday, Dec. 19, at 10 a.m. While the COVID-19 virus made the traditional commencement ceremony at Zorn Arena impossible this year, Blugolds will be able to come together through the university’s livestream channel to hear congratulations from Chancellor James Schmidt, Provost Patricia Kleine, faculty, staff and their fellow students. You can read more about this unique ceremony here, and you can find all you need to know about this year’s commencement on a special webpage.

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, Dec. 17)

Confirmed Cases of COVID-19
Worldwide: 74,880,819
United States: 17,425,857
Wisconsin: 444,798
Eau Claire County: 8,785
Barron County: 4,172
Wood County: 5,412

UW-Eau Claire COVID-19 Dashboard, updated daily

Look for the next Blugold Flight Plan newsletter on Jan. 7.

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