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Return to campus fall 2020 and other COVID-19 updates   READ MORE »

Returning to campus: Student COVID-19 strategy

Safely resuming in-person education

We are pleased to announce the return of in-person education at UW-Eau Claire for the fall semester, and have been hard at work creating guidelines and protocols to promote safety and well-being throughout the campus community. Please become familiar with the plan for daily life and educational interactions, all with a safety-first core mission.

A reimagined fall semester

  • In-person semester will begin on Wednesday, Sept. 2.
  • Students will remain in classes on campus through the end of the semester in December. We will continue to monitor health conditions in case this needs to change.
  • There will be minimal breaks, and class schedules will be set to make the most of the limited space in available classrooms.
  • Classrooms will be reconfigured to observe 6-foot physical distancing guidelines.
  • Potential use of nonacademic spaces like Zorn Arena and Davies Center to expand academic capacity by converting large spaces into physically distanced learning spaces.

A new app for your safety

We are introducing a new tool to track symptoms and establish on-campus capacity for COVID-19 testing of students. Mandatory use of a symptom tracking mobile app will promote safety for the entire campus community. This app will provide:

  • Daily log of temperature with university-issued thermometer.
  • A daily inventory of any symptoms potentially indicative of COVID-19.
  • The app will alert students when they should consider testing. Tests will be available for UW-Eau Claire students at Student Health Service. We are working to determine the best source for testing for students at our Barron and Marshfield campuses.
  • Campus visitors (strongly discouraged) will need to check in at a central location (TBD) to log symptoms and provide contact information should any future need for contact tracing arise.

Personal protective equipment

  • Face masks will be required for all students, faculty and staff.
  • All campus members will be provided with two high-density, double-ply face masks.
  • Masks are to be worn in classroom settings and other high-population or close-contact areas of campus.
  • These masks are to ensure everyone has at least some PPE, and you may decide to purchase additional masks to suit your situation. The university will not provide additional cloth masks.

Four mask designs were created and voted on by 4,553 campus survey participants. These are the two winning designs — stay safe in Blugold colors!

Masks final grey

Residence-hall living

Students living in residence halls will still be living with roommates — two to a room as applicable, except in suite-style halls. To ensure the safest possible move-in process possible, you will have the opportunity to drop off furniture and luggage before moving in and establishing residency.

  • Aug. 15-16 and 22-23 will be residence hall drop-off days.
  • Assigned arrival times will be determined by Housing and Residence Life, with belongings to be dropped off in assigned rooms without an overnight stay.
  • After the halls undergo another thorough cleaning, students can return to campus and begin living in their rooms Aug. 26.
  • Based on CDC recommendations for institutions of higher education, we will not require that residence hall students be tested for COVID-19 before moving in.
  • Any student testing positive for COVID-19 will be provided with accommodations for quarantine in Putnam Hall. Rooms will also be available for students needing quarantine on the Rice Lake campus.

Please note: Students with underlying health issues or risk factors that warrant extra precautions per the CDC should carefully consider whether returning to on-campus housing is safe for them.

Additional questions you may have

We have prepared answers to some anticipated questions, listed in the drop-down below. However, if you have questions that you do not see answered on the following FAQ list, please contact the Dean of Students office at 715-836-5626 or

UW-Eau Claire has engaged all parts of the university, as well as public health officials, to identify ways in which we can safely provide a distinctive, in-person education in the Fall 2020 semester. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

What summer 2020 study abroad or faculty-led immersions programs have been canceled?

The following summer study abroad programs have been canceled: China USAC, Chengdu; China, Globalization (faculty-led); China: Representing Cultures in Southwest China (faculty-led); Czech Republic (faculty-led); Italy June 2020; and three faculty-student collaborative research programs have been postponed until next year. 

What other university-related travel has been canceled?

All university-related travel has been canceled.

Are students with campus jobs still being employed?

The university will continue to employ students who wish to remain in their current jobs. Student employees are encouraged to contact their supervisors to communicate their plans. 

I’m currently signed up to attend an Admissions Office event (campus visit, admitted student day, etc.). Should I still plan to attend?

Please contact the Admissions Office at 715-836-5415 or if you have questions regarding your upcoming visit. We have resumed in-person visits with the health and safety of our visitors and campus community as our top priority. Per the CDC's guidelines, our group sizes will be small and all visitors will be required to wear a mask.

When will classes begin this fall?

Fall semester classes will begin on Wednesday, Sept. 2, with safety measures, symptom monitoring, and physical distancing requirements in place.

What steps will we be taking to prevent the spread of COVID-19?

All students, faculty, and staff will be required to wear face masks in all common areas of campus buildings. Masks are not required when residence hall students are in their rooms with their roommate or when faculty or staff are in their offices alone. Additionally, everyone will be required to self-report their temperature and symptoms every day using a mobile application (which is also accessible via web portal) that will automatically remind users if they have forgotten to report their symptoms that day. Failure to comply with this requirement can result in disciplinary action. The application will be available later this summer.

Do I have to be screened for symptoms every day?

All students, faculty, and staff will screen themselves every day and record their temperature and symptoms using a mobile app (which is also accessible via web portal). The university will provide thermometers for all students, faculty, and staff to facilitate the use of this symptom-monitoring tool. The app will alert students if their symptoms indicated they should be tested. Tests will be provided at Student Health.

How will we be testing for COVID-19?

Students will only be tested for COVID-19 if their daily temperature and symptom data indicate they may be infected. Testing is available at Student Health Service.

What if my roommate or I test positive for COVID-19?

In the event a student tests positive for COVID-19, individual rooms will be available in Putnam Hall. Quarantine rooms will also be provided for UWEC-Barron County students. ‘Isolation’ refers to someone who has tested positive living alone, while ‘quarantine’ refers to people who may have been exposed living alone until they know they are not infected.

When can I move into my residence hall?

Housing and Residence Life will give students a time to bring their furniture and luggage to their residence hall rooms without an overnight stay during the weekends of Aug. 15-16 and Aug. 22-23. This will minimize congestion and allow for more physical distancing during the move-in process. Then, students can return to campus and begin living in their rooms Aug. 26. 

Will any personal protective equipment (PPE) be provided?

The university will provide everyone with two high-density, double-ply, washable face masks at the beginning of the semester. As face masks require washing and care, students are encouraged to purchase additional face masks. Hand sanitizer will be widely available in all campus buildings.

How will we prevent visitors to the campus from possibly spreading the virus?

In general, visitors to campus will be discouraged this academic year, excluding prospective students and parents attending campus tours. Every visitor that comes to campus will need to arrive at a central check-in point, provide their name and contact information, have their temperature taken, and wear a mask before entering any campus building. This minimizes the risk of spreading the virus and also allows the university to contact those visitors if it seems probable they were exposed to the virus while on campus.

Will large gatherings like concerts, sporting events, or recreation activities take place this semester?

Many of these decisions rely on outside organizations and health officials for guidance, and shifting conditions may change what is feasible. You can continue to find the most up-to-date information on our COVID-19 Updates page.

For now, the university is cancelling all external requests to use university facilities for this academic year as we will be using those spaces for instruction. This will also reduce the number of people coming to campus who are not students or employees, thereby limiting the potential spread of the virus. Major events may seek virtual alternatives. Additionally, other large university events are being reconsidered, as our spaces hold fewer people when physical distancing is in place. If a university event does take place, members of the public will not be able to attend, though some events may be live streamed for public viewing.

Can I return to my family home/s and then come back to campus if they live outside of Eau Claire?

Students will be discouraged from travelling to any areas deemed hotspots for the pandemic, which will be based on timely public health data. Most university-sponsored travel is suspended, and students, faculty, and staff will all be encouraged to refrain from leaving the Eau Claire area.

What options are available for me if I have an underlying health condition and am not comfortable attending in-person classes?

Students with underlying health issues or risk factors that the CDC says warrant extra precautions should carefully consider whether returning to on-campus housing is safe for you. If a student determines the risk to their health is too great to return to campus, they can see if any classes they are interested in are available online.

When will I know my class schedule?

Physical distancing guidelines mean that our classrooms will all hold fewer people this semester, so the schedule is still being adapted to our current circumstances. Watch for new information in your e-mail and on the COVID-19 Updates page as the summer goes on.

Will tuition or fees be reduced because the semester will be different than a typical academic year?

Even with a pandemic changing how we operate, we aren’t changing what we do: providing high-impact learning experiences from faculty and staff whose expertise and passion drive students toward success. While all universities will look different this fall, UW-Eau Claire’s commitment is to fostering an environment where collaboration with instructors and engagement with peers help students gain empathy and critical insight on a host of subjects. Providing a Blugold education while doing all we can to keep our students, faculty, and staff healthy means the university will have additional costs to facilitate a safe environment. Tuition is set by the UW System Board of Regents and will remain at its current level to provide you access to the instructors, research mentors, and key support staff who empower you to explore your interests. Fee schedules are still being assessed and may change if some services will not be available in this fall; watch the COVID-19 updates page and your university e-mail for the most current information as the summer continues.

When is the campus reopening?

Campus tours resumed on June 1 with physical distancing and safety measures in place. Campus offices will begin reopening on Monday, July 6 at minimum staffing levels. Offices will be open at their fall semester staffing levels closer to the start of the semester.

How do I contact the Student Health Service if I have coronavirus-related questions?

Students should call the Student Health Service at 715-836-5360 if they have questions about the coronavirus and testing options. The health service staff can also do screenings over the phone. Please CALL the office and do not go to the Student Health Service in person if you are experiencing symptoms.

If I submit a coronavirus-related inquiry via email to, when can I expect a response?

If your inquiry has not already been answered in these FAQs, you can expect a response within one to two business days. Before you submit a question via, please be sure to review the responses to FAQs below and check earlier campus communications to be sure your question has not already been answered.

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