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Student updates and information regarding COVID-19

Details on the 2020-2021 academic year

Your health and safety are our top priorities. This page includes the latest information about COVID-19 protocols on our campus, important details regarding the fall and spring semester, and COVID-19 testing information. To stay in the know, please visit this page frequently.

Top updates

Free, rapid-result COVID-19 testing now available to all students

Free, rapid-result COVID-19 testing is expanding to include all University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire students during the spring semester.

Learn more about the testing process, the advantages of a rapid antigen test and what happens if you have a positive test in this short video. 

A reminder that if you are experiencing symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, do not go to the Zorn Arena Testing Site for the antigen test. Instead, call Student Health Service to schedule a PCR test. 

COVID-19 information and resources

Chancellor's Briefings for students, faculty, staff and families

Keeping the campus community safe

At its core, the Blugold experience relies on all of us being on campus together, in-person. And we know that it is the best way for each Blugold to experience all the amazing, transformational learning opportunities UW-Eau Claire has to offer. For this to happen safely during a pandemic, we must come together as a community and do what is best for the community as a whole. 

The Blugold Flight Plan outlines the simple, reasonable daily actions everyone can take to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus and remain together throughout the fall and spring semester.

The Chancellor Video Series shares updates on the 2020-2021 academic year and all we are doing to keep Blugolds safe on campus.

Additional reminders and policy information

The spring semester will include in-person instruction, remote learning and hybrid classes featuring a combination of in-person instruction and remote learning. The semester concludes with final exams ending May 14. The semester will not include a spring break in March due to the pandemic.

  • Students must wash or sanitize their hands before they enter the classroom.
  • Students must wear recommended cloth face coverings or disposable masks in the classroom.
  • Students may not reconfigure classroom layouts.
  • Students must not change or move seats during class.
  • Students must sit in assigned seats for possible contact tracing.
  • Students may clean their seating area with wipes from the Sanitizing Stations.
  • Students must stay outside the “instructor space” outlined on the floor unless presenting to the class.
  • Students must follow physical distancing guidelines when approaching an instructor before or after class.
  • Students must wait for classrooms to empty before entering.
  • Students must follow directions for navigating hallways and entering and existing classrooms.
  • Students must follow physical distancing guidelines when entering and exiting the classroom.
Office hour protocols

Instructors should be available for virtual office hours or student meetings throughout the semester.
In-person meetings must be in rooms of sufficient size to follow physical distancing guidelines.

All Blugolds should continue to use the Blugold Protocol app every day to monitor their health. Daily entry of your health status is required throughout the 2020-2021 academic year, including weekends and holidays. 

Note: Students who are not living in university housing and are enrolled in all remote-instruction classes with no plan to come to campus during the 2021 spring semester are not required to use the Blugold Protocol app or take part in the antigen testing. If students are involved in clinical placements, such as student teaching or nursing clinicals, or plan to come on campus for research or to access campus facilities, they must follow the Blugold Protocol app and take part in the required testing.

The Blugold Protocol app will alert you when you should consider testing. Blugold Protocol is available on both Google Play and the App Store. If you don't have a mobile device, you can use the desktop version by visiting this site

All campus members have been provided with two reusable cloth face masks to be worn at all times in classroom settings, campus buildings, communal spaces within residence halls and outdoors where 6 feet of distance cannot be maintained.

Please note that all outdoor recreation areas have been designated as “mask required zones.” Please observe this while on our courts, playing fields and common areas – at all times. 

This pandemic has taken quite a toll on our well-being — physically and mentally. With this academic year being so unusual, our health is of utmost priority. People may feel ashamed or afraid to ask for help when they need it, but we’re here to remind you: it's okay to not be okay. 

Our UW-Eau Claire Counseling Services Center offers a variety of mental health resources, including counseling and online resources related to coping during COVID-19. Learn more

The following safety measures have been implemented to ensure that we will not have to quarantine another entire wing in the residence halls. These have been determined in consultation with the Eau Claire City/County Health Department in order to provide a high level of confidence that there will not be community spread of COVID-19. 

Shower Separation

In order to ensure that there is always 6-feet of separation in an activity that can take longer than 15 minutes, every other shower will be offline. We know that this is an inconvenience, and will take some planning to get used to. But this is the single-most-important factor in ensuring an asymptomatic student couldn’t unknowingly spread the virus to a shower neighbor. 

Sign In/Sign Out of Communal Spaces

We are required to have students sign in and out of spaces in which they would likely spend 15-minutes or more of time – showers, kitchens, shared study spaces, and more. This increases our ability to do contact tracing if a positive case is discovered. Common spaces in Apartment and Suite-Style buildings will use sign-in sheets as well. We ask ALL students to make sure fellow students are always 6 feet apart in common spaces – if you see something say something. If they don’t comply, report it to the staff.

Single-Use Bathrooms Held for Quarantine

In locations where there are single-use bathrooms, we will reserve these for quarantine use, and for students who have a disability in most locations. These will be marked for students’ reference.

Disciplinary Action for Violation of Quarantine

When a student is quarantined or isolated the most important factors are time and compliance – getting the student quickly out of a communal location and into their isolated location, and having those students remain in quarantine, follow the rules, and comply with the needs of contact tracers who need to quickly identify other students who may be at risk for infection. We do not have the staffing resources to negotiate, argue or delay a quarantine order from a health authority, and it is the students’ (and their family’s) responsibility to promptly comply with quarantine expectations. They are endangering others to not do so, and students who violate quarantine or isolation can expect the potential for residence hall removal.

Report Needs Quickly

We ask that all students report needs quickly when and where they see them. See a garbage can overflowing, or a bathroom that needs a touch-up? Report it to your Resident Assistant or Hall Director right away. A couple of hours pass and it’s still there? Call the Housing Office at 715-836-3674. We know that the dining grab-and-go process is generating more food waste than is typical, and much of this gets disposed of in some common garbage cans. If you see these getting full, let the building staff know. And whenever possible, dispose of your food waste directly down the garbage chute. We have no shortage of garbage bags in your cleaning closets on each floor, so please use them as needed.

Hand Dryers

The disconnection of the hand dryers was done at the request of a large number of students and parents who were concerned about whether hand dryers can spread COVID-19. We are currently experiencing a supply chain issue with the ability to get paper towel dispensers in the bathrooms. If this supply chain problem persists we will analyze whether to turn the hand dryers back on.

Hilltop Riverview Café Seating

UWEC has been observing the flow of foot traffic as well as the dense population of students gathering in Hilltop Riverview dining facility since the start of the school year. To avoid students passing along the COVID-19 virus to their fellow students, the Facilities team will be removing furniture and eliminating seating from the common areas. 

A reminder that traveling to any areas deemed as hotspots for the pandemic is discouraged. Most university-sponsored travel is suspended, and students are encouraged to refrain from leaving the Eau Claire area.

In general, visitors to campus will be discouraged this academic year. 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.

Faculty will be emailing you with information about your classes. You’ll learn when you can be physically in class, if your instructor has changes to your schedule, and what you need to know about how to get the most from your classes. Only about 25% of our classes are totally online. That means most students will have a mix of online and in-person instruction this academic year. 

COVID-19 testing information

Eau Claire Campus

COVID-19 testing is free for all UWEC students at Student Health Service (by appointment only) if you have:

Student Health Service (SHS) 
Hotline for questions or to schedule an appointment: 715-836-5075 |
*Please CALL the office and do not go to the Student Health Service in person if you are experiencing symptoms.

Students may also choose to have their personal health care provider conduct the testing. 

In addition to Student Health Service, there are three sites all less than a mile from campus that offer COVID-19 testing by appointment:

Mayo Clinic Health System


Marshfield Clinic

Learn more about COVID-19 testing sites throughout Eau Claire

Marshfield Campus

Students experiencing the following symptoms should not hesitate to contact Student Health Service (SHS), Marshfield Clinic, or your primary provider as testing must be done: 

Student Health Service (SHS) 
Hotline for questions or to schedule an appointment: 715-836-5075 |
*Please CALL the office and do not go to the Student Health Service in person if you are experiencing symptoms.

Marshfield Clinic 
Nurseline for questions or to schedule an appointment: 844-342-6276  

There are additional options for obtaining a COVID-19 test by appointment. Stay tuned to your local health department for community testing events. You can also check the WI DHS page for community testing sites by county. community-testing.htm patient-resources/patient-testing

Rice Lake Campus

Testing is available at the locations listed below if you have: 

Student Health Service (SHS) 
Hotline for questions or to schedule an appointment: 715-836-5075 | 
*Please CALL the office and do not go to the Student Health Service in person if you are experiencing symptoms.

Care Here Clinic

Cumberland Healthcare

Marshfield Clinic Health System 

Mayo Clinic Health System

Prevea Health

If you test positive for COVID-19

All Blugolds who test positive for COVID-19 should inform Student Health Service, which is working closely with the Eau Claire City-County Health Department.

Quarantine vs. isolation

Those living both on and off campus who test positive may be required to go into quarantine if they have had contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19. Students will be provided with accommodations for isolation in Putnam Hall. Rooms will also be available for students needing quarantine on the Rice Lake campus. You must remain in your room in quarantine for a period of 7 to 14 days as directed by Student Health Service or City-County Health Department, and you should only leave your room for a medical appointment. You must wear a mask if you leave your room for a medical appointment. 

Isolation is required for students displaying symptoms who are awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test. Students in isolation must only leave their room for a medical appointment, and they must wear a mask to go to those appointments. Students who test positive for the virus must remain in isolation and await further guidance from Student Health Service and/or their doctor.