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Feb. 6 Update: Novel coronavirus campus update

The following message was sent Feb. 6 to all UW-Eau Claire and UW-Eau Claire – Barron County students, faculty and staff:

In keeping with our commitment to provide ongoing updates regarding the novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV outbreak, we wanted to ensure our campus communities are aware that the first case of 2019-nCoV in Wisconsin was confirmed yesterday, Feb. 5. An adult Wisconsin resident who recently traveled to China was tested at UW Hospital, and the state Department of Health Services and the Centers for Disease Control confirmed the individual is the 12th person in the United States to have the virus. The individual, whose symptoms were mild, is in isolation at home and doing well, according to media reports and a Department of Health Services press release. State health officials said the risk to the general public in Wisconsin is very low.

A UW-Eau Claire team (including staff from Risk Management and Safety, Student Health Service, Housing and Residence Life, the Dean of Students Office, and the Center for International Education) continues daily communications with the Eau Claire City-County Health Department about developments with the coronavirus to ensure the campus communities at UW-Eau Claire and UW-Eau Claire – Barron County are informed and taking proper precautions.

As an unfortunate outcome of the novel coronavirus outbreak, there have been a spread of misinformation and instances of xenophobic behavior directed at people of Asian descent around the world. We remind our campus communities that this type of racist behavior is antithetical to our mission of equity, diversity and inclusion. The coronavirus is not tied to any specific group of people, and all Blugolds should welcome and support all students, faculty and staff.

We remind students, faculty and staff that at this time of year, the spread of influenza continues to be a danger. Precautions to prevent influenza infection, including frequent hand-washing, also are recommended for prevention of the spread of the novel coronavirus. (See detailed prevention information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.) A Housing and Residence Life campaign including posters, social media posts and digital screen messages encourages hand-washing and other precautions among students. Please also make use of extra hand sanitizer that has been provided in common areas throughout both the Eau Claire and Barron campuses as a readily accessible precaution.

Inadvertently, in the past we did not provide the contact for Wood County Health Department. For students, faculty and staff at our Marshfield location, here is contact information to discuss your symptoms if you think you are at risk for the novel coronavirus:

  • Students, faculty and staff at UW-Eau Claire Marshfield campus: Wood County Health Department, 715-421-8911 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, or 715-421-8700 after hours and on weekends (leave name and number with dispatch and a county public health professional will call you to do an assessment).

We will continue to provide updates as any new information regarding the novel coronavirus becomes available. Please also review our previous messaging below if you have not had a chance to do so.