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UWRF lifts shelter in place order and resumes hybrid classes

October 1, 2020

As of Monday, Oct. 3 the shelter in place order on campus at UW-River Falls will be complete. Interim Chancellor Connie Foster explained the next steps that will be taken in an email to students on Tuesday, Sept. 29. “ These efforts have allowed us to slow the spread of COVID-19 and our indicators are showing positivity rates at a much more manageable level,” said Foster. 

The email states that there will be a gradual return back to the original hybrid class system. Face-to-face classes can start on Monday, Oct. 5, however instructors are allowed an extra week of online only classes if they wish to do so. On that day all building hours will also be returning to what they were prior to the shelter in place order. 

There are also some new precautions being taken on campus once the shelter in place is officially lifted. There will be mandatory COVID-19 testing for students that live in the residence halls. The email read, “From Oct. 1-6, all students currently living on campus will be required to be tested before they can continue living in their residence hall room. From Oct. 7-12, students who chose to shelter in place somewhere other than in their on-campus room will need to be tested as a condition of their return to campus.”

In addition to these tests, students who live on campus will also now be required to go through a mandatory testing process every two weeks. Any students who are living off campus will not have to go through any mandatory testing before returning to campus, however testing will still be available to those students if needed. 

There have been some changes to the isolation and quarantine processes, including new spaces in campus buildings designated for isolation with no other non-positive residents. 

In relation to community spread and gatherings, Foster is prohibiting any students living on campus from attending indoor gatherings of more than 10  people and outdoor gatherings of more than 25 people. The email also included that there will be consequences for breaking these rules and may face disciplinary actions. 

The email also includes a section about students who are working at off campus jobs and steps to take to ensure safety. Foster encourages students to talk with supervisors with options if their jobs do not require face masks and also advises students to talk with supervisors if they work with populations that are vulnerable to contracting the coronavirus. 

There will be a virtual town hall for students, staff and faculty to attend taking place Thursdays Oct. 1 at 3:30pm. There will be a panel of administrators that will be answering these questions. Students and employees are encouraged to ask questions and state concerns about the new plans put in place following the lifting of the shelter in place. These concerns and questions can be sent to covid19@uwrf.edu.