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UW-Eau Claire, UW-Stout to encourage indoor mask wearing beginning Monday, UW-La Crosse recommendation goes into effect Wednesday

COVID-19 spread has reached substantial or high levels in Eau Claire, Dunn, and Chippewa...
COVID-19 spread has reached substantial or high levels in Eau Claire, Dunn, and Chippewa counties, according to the CDC.(WEAU)
Published: Aug. 5, 2021 at 3:09 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and University of Wisconsin-Stout are encouraging the use of masks indoors Monday, August 9.

According to releases by both schools, the expectation would apply to everyone regardless of vaccination status and face coverings or masks should be worn indoors on campus, including in vehicles.

The schools say that masks can be removed in private offices as long as nobody else is in the room. Additionally, masks are not expected to be worn outdoors. Capacity limits for events and classrooms are not changing at this time, and will go on as scheduled.

UW-La Crosse issued a similar announcement earlier this week, with the school’s recommendation going into effect on Wednesday, August 5. The school also says plexiglass is being reinstalled around campus. Work on the installation began Monday and will continue throughout the week.

UWL students are being encouraged to share their vaccination status to help the school with its planning discussions. Those who complete the survey will also be entered into a drawing for prizes and scholarships.

With Eau Claire, Dunn, Chippewa, and Barron counties all reaching substantial or high levels of COVID-19 transmission, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends indoor mask use by everyone regardless of vaccination status.

A map displaying COVID-19 transmission levels in Wisconsin for August 5, 2021.
A map displaying COVID-19 transmission levels in Wisconsin for August 5, 2021.(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Both campuses offer free COVID-19 testing on-site, and both schools are encouraging vaccination.

UW-Stout says they will release a more comprehensive guide to returning to classes for the fall semester in mid-August. In the meantime, COVID-19 data and information is available on UW-Stout’s website. UW-Eau Claire compiles data and information on its coronavirus update website.

The Eau Claire City-County Health Department and Chippewa County Department of Public Health are supporting the CDC guidance and offering weekly vaccination clinics in Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls. If you need information on receiving a vaccine or to schedule an appointment, you can visit Vaccine.gov.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services is supporting the CDC’s recommendations for mitigation of the spread of COVID-19, stating that vaccination and mask guidance are the best ways for the agency to respond to a growing number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations across Wisconsin.

CDC data dashboards are available on the CDC data tracker website. The DHS also has a COVID-19 data dashboard for Wisconsin on its website.

correction: A previous version of this story indicated masks were to be required on each campus, but a clarification from both universities said that the announcement today is not a mask mandate. Masks are optional, but expected to be worn indoors by everyone.

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