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UWRF updates COVID protocols

October 14, 2021

Now that students have been back on campus for a little over a month, the campus has been working to adjust the policies to accommodate the safety of UW-River Falls students and staff. As the campus moves forward with making the best judgments to keep the community safe, students should expect frequent updates and policy changes regarding COVID-19 on campus.

In a recent update from Chancellor Maria Gallo, as of Sept. 24, there will be more frequent testing for some groups on campus. Beginning Monday, Sept. 27, unvaccinated students living on campus are required to be tested weekly. Unvaccinated students who commute to campus or spend weekly time here will be required to be tested once every two weeks. Vaccinated or unvaccinated, all students who show symptoms of COVID-19 are urged to get tested immediately. Symptoms indicating a test include cough, fever, aches, new loss of taste or smell, shortness of breath, congestion, or vomiting and diarrhea. These testing protocols will be mandatory through Nov. 26. 

As of Oct. 4, UWRF is at a 65% vaccination rate. Once vaccinated, students can upload a picture of the vaccination card to be removed from the weekly testing obligation. Students can upload information to the COVID Portal linked in the Protect the Nest page. After uploading proof of vaccination, students’ names will be entered in the drawing for big prizes picked by the University. The proof of vaccination entry for the drawing has been extended to Oct. 31.

As of Oct. 14, UWRF has now reached a 70% vaccination rate amongst students and an 85% vaccination rate amongst staff according to an email sent from Chancellor Maria Gallo. 

Additionally, there is now a link on the Falcons Forward website to schedule a COVID testing appointment at Hagestad Hall. Under “Campus and Community Testing,” students will be directed towards a link to choose a date and time to get tested. After selecting the time, there is a short form to fill out that takes about 30 seconds. Appointments may be canceled up to one hour before the scheduled time. Since the testing procedure takes just a minute and the results come in under 15 minutes, there are 48 available slots per day. Scheduling is available from 8 a.m. to 3:50 p.m., Monday through Friday. Tests are now administered by the nurses working in Hagestad Hall. The test consists of a five-second swab in each nostril. 

 Since students came back to school, the common cold has also made a comeback. While continuing to wear masks indoors, students should also remember to wash hands frequently and keep a safe distance of six feet away from others when possible. Since some symptoms of the common cold match up with some symptoms of COVID, it is best to get tested when there are any symptoms or concerns. With the autumn season here, it’s important to know the difference between symptoms of illness and seasonal allergies as well. Common allergy symptoms include sneezing, runny or congested nose, and itchy eyes, nose, and/or ears. If any of these are accompanied by other symptoms such as a cough or fever, a COVID test should be taken immediately.

Each community must work together to stay safe and protect each other, so UWRF is working hard to provide COVID-19 resources.

For any COVID-19 related questions, students can email covid-19@uwrf.edu or call 715-425-4000. 

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