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UW-Eau Claire, Stout and River Falls all moving to virtual instruction after Thanksgiving break

Published: Nov. 12, 2020 at 12:43 PM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - 3 UW system campuses, UW-Eau Claire, UW-Stout, and UW-River Falls will be moving to online instruction following Thanksgiving break.

Campus leadership at each of the three schools said it was a couple of recent developments in the state that led to this decision.

“Governor Evers issued his order to asking people to please stay at home to the extent that they could. And then it was the next morning that I woke up to read the news that Mayo Clinic was full, and that Marshfield was full, and then later that day I heard that Sacred Heart was full. It was really those two things that tipped the balance,” explained UW-Eau Claire Chancellor Jim Schmidt.

Just weeks before the end of the semester, the three schools making the move to online instruction only starting Nov. 30.

Cassandra Plachetka is set to graduate from UWEC in December with a degree in nursing.

She agrees with the move.

“I think it’s a good idea. I think the university is following the city’s public health guidelines and overall I just think it’s a good idea,” said Plachetka.

While instruction will move online, Schmidt says the number of cases at the university has stayed relatively level.

That’s why UWEC says waiting a couple of weeks before making the move.

“This is allowing faculty a little more than two weeks to prepare to move the rest of their curriculum online. That does take time. It works so much better if they’ve been given some notice and if we can do this in a relatively thoughtful manner,” said Schmidt.

The campuses will remain open, including residence halls, libraries, food service and more.

However, campus leaders encourage everyone to stay on campus over Thanksgiving break.

If students or staff do leave, the university wants them to get tested at least two times in three days before returning to campus.

The chancellors hope to go back to in person learning by the beginning of the spring 2021 semester.

Three regional UW schools will be shifting to online classes after Thanksgiving break. This decision is an effort to help stop the spread of COVID-19 as area hospitals announced they are at 100% capacity.

UW-Eau Claire, UW-Stout and UW-River Falls will all be moving online, according to a joint statement made by all three chancellors.

The campus buildings, residence halls, library, internet access and food services will remain open for any students, faculty or staff who wish to remain on campus.

UW-Eau Claire’s statement and information can be read here.

UW-Stout’s statement and information can be read here.

UW-River Falls' statement and information can be read here.

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