UW-La Crosse introduces new safety plan for returning students

Local News

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – UW-La Crosse implemented shelter-in-place restrictions to all residence halls and moved to online-only classes last week. Now, it looks to restart in-person with new guidelines in place. First News at Nine’s Hayley Spitler explains the eagles’ return safely plan and the negative test results needed.

UWL has released a multi-phase plan to resume in-person classes on October 5. Phase one is getting all 1500 students tested who stayed on-campus during the shelter-in-place quarantine.

UW-La Crosse Chancellor, Joe Gow said, “They’ll all be tested this week and that process is underway. If we have positive tests, we will need to move those students to isolation and the contacts around them to quarantine.”

For the other 1500 students who left residence halls during the online period, they’ll start returning next week. Before moving in, students will need to bring either a negative COVID-19 test result no more than 48 hours old, a positive test result from the last 90 days, or be tested on-campus. Residence hall students get a rapid result test at the cartwright center.

“We have three machines and we have a fantastic health center staff that is getting the samples and processing them,” said Gow.

As part of the ‘eagles return safely’ plan, those who test positive will need to isolate. The campus has 145 isolation beds.

Gow said, “There is a possibility that if we ran out we would have to ask people to do their quarantine or isolation elsewhere. That might be at home.”

Students living off-campus are encouraged to be tested for COVID-19 this week. The health department is hosting two mass testing events on campus at Mitchell Hall Thursday and Friday, as well as at Logan High School on Saturday.

Chancellor Joe Gow says the school’s police department is working with the city of La Crosse police to limit social gatherings off-campus.

“If we are going to get through this semester and have classes in-person and have people living in residence halls, then we are all going to need to wear our masks, maintain distance and not get together in groups,” said Gow.

UWL says no one is immune to the rules just as no one is immune to the virus.

In La Crosse, Hayley Spitler, First News at Nine.

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