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COVID-19 campus update: March 26, 2020

This twice-weekly newsletter contains important information about UW-Eau Claire’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and offers Blugolds details on how you can access key resources and assist others on campus and in the community.

Blugolds Respond

As millions of people, businesses and organizations respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is no surprise to find Blugolds responding to the call. Steve Kriesel, a 1995 graduate, is president of Torpedo Bags, a Minneapolis company that produces bags for musical instruments. Kriesel, with support from another Blugold, Pat Hull (’94), is in the process of realigning production to produce CDC-approved masks for health care workers. “Steve and Pat are the epitome of The Power of AND that so defines UW-Eau Claire,” said Kimera Way, president of the UW-Eau Claire Foundation and executive director of University Advancement. You can read the story here.

Dining Delivery

Following Gov. Evers’ “Safer at Home” initiative that took effect Wednesday morning, the decision was made to close Marketplace and Davies Center. The food service team is working directly with staff in Housing and Residence Life to ensure that students who remain on campus are receiving meals, which can now be ordered online and delivered to the main lobby of each residence hall. Hats off to all those who are finding solutions and new ways to serve our students. 

Student Participation Requested

UW-Eau Claire faculty and staff have been working hard to prepare to interact with students the rest of the semester in an online environment. Students should watch their university email and check Canvas for learning activities that will be posted by instructors on or before Thursday, April 2.  Instructors may ask students to participate in an online discussion, send an email or take a brief quiz. This “check-in” day will help test the new learning environment, allow students the chance to reconnect with instructors and get a preview of what to expect the rest of the semester. 

Campus Call Center

The Eau Claire City-County Health Department established a call center in Brewer Hall this week. The center began taking calls Wednesday as the public is invited to call the center with questions about COVID-19. The center will take calls from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. weekends. If you have a question, you can call 715-831-7425.

Phenomenal Philanthropy

The UW-Eau Claire Foundation established the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund just a week ago, but the response has been amazing. As of this morning, 261 members of the Blugold community have donated $40,225 to support students affected by COVID-19. Hats off to all who have stepped forward to support students! As you can imagine there are thousands of students affected in different ways by the pandemic, so please consider contributing to this fund.

Barron County Resources

Students at UW-Eau Claire – Barron County who need to utilize the campus food pantry or check out a laptop are encouraged to email Gary Wheeler in the Solution Center for assistance. Buildings on the Rice Lake campus are closed to the public, but faculty and staff may use keys to access their work areas. Though the university library is closed, students, faculty and staff can still access resources through the UWECBC Online Portal. Everyone connected to UW-Eau Claire – Barron County is reminded they can support local businesses in the Rice Lake area by accessing take-out food and delivery options listed on the Wisconsin Restaurant Association webpage.

Virtual Recreation Rocks

For Blugolds looking for a little mental recreation and a chance to get their competitive juices flowing, the Recreation and Sport Operations team has the perfect solution. Whether you are a fan of Madden 2020 on Xbox One or Super Smash Bros. on Nintendo Switch, registration opened today for eight different eSports leagues. Students can go to imleagues.com/uwec to register for their favorite league. Registration is open through noon on Thursday, April 2. Students who have questions about registration or other rules of the road may email competitive sports coordinator Garrett Larson.

Vital Statistics
(as of noon Thursday, March 26)

Confirmed Cases of COVID-19

  • Worldwide: 495,086
  • United States: 69,684
  • Wisconsin: 585
  • Eau Claire County: 6
  • Barron County: 0
  • Wood County:

For the latest information about UW-Eau Claire’s response to COVID-19 and related resources, visit the university’s university’s COVID-19 Updates webpage.