COVID-19 outbreak at UW-Eau Claire

Local News

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – Just four days into in-person classes at UW-Eau Claire, 69 students have tested positive for COVID-19, but the university says everything is under control. First News at Nine’s Jonathan Fortier explains the situation and has a reaction from a student in quarantine.

“We are responding to every single case that we have, and we are doing our best to make sure we can mitigate this as best as possible,” said UWEC Vice Chancellor Warren Anderson.

After a surge of COVID-19 cases at UW-Eau Claire, Anderson took time Tuesday to say an increase on campus was not unexpected.

Anderson said, “We are seeing a spike in cases but every institution of higher ed that returned to face to face was expecting this. We have a number of processes in place to ensure that our students can remain safely on campus.”

Anderson is reminding students to follow the safety guidelines put in place by the university.

“There is a lot of things we have control over, wearing our facemasks, social distancing, not going to large gatherings, monitoring our health,” said Anderson.

On Sunday, the university reported 69 cases of COVID-19, and those positive cases came into contact with others, meaning a total of 184 students are in either quarantine or isolation.

UWEC junior and Sutherland Hall RA, Jenna Hanson, is one of the students in quarantine for 14 days after one of her floor mates tested positive for the virus.

Hanson said, “Since Sunday at noon, I haven’t been able to leave my room which hasn’t been terrible so far but this is day 3 so I’m just kind of hanging in there right now.”

“For me, it was completely out of the blue, no one had come to me saying, hey I’m not feeling well I’m going to get a test,” said Hanson.

With 52 of the cases being off-campus, Hanson says she has noticed her fellow students not following safety protocols put in place by the university.

Hanson said, “Overall, I would say the most frustrating part is I know the off-campus culture per say is very similar to what it always has been. There are still people going to bars, there are still people partying.”

Anderson says there is a system in place to reprimand students who do not follow the rules.

“All students by signing the Blugold Pledge understand that failure to adhere to the safety measures we have in place could result in disciplinary action up and through suspension,” said Anderson.

He is pleading with students to think before you put yourself and others at risk.

Anderson said, “We’ve all been in college and we know what it is like to want to go out to a party or to see our friends, we’re asking you to put the stress of COVID at the forefront of your mind for a limited time.”

In Eau Claire, Jonathan Fortier, First News at Nine.

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