Updated: November 12, 2020 01:08 PM
Created: November 12, 2020 01:00 PM
Three University of Wisconsin regional campuses are shifting to online instruction following Thanksgiving break due to COVID-19.
According to a release from the university system, following the announcement of 100% capacity at area hospitals and Gov. Tony Evers' executive order urging Wisconsinites to stay home, UW-Eau Claire, UW-Stout and UW-River Falls will all shift to online instruction following Thanksgiving break.
"We all had high hopes of returning to campus after the fall break to continue our in-person classes," said UW-Eau Claire Chancellor Jim Schmidt. "But with these two pieces of important information within a 24-hour period – it was a literal game-changer. Governor Evers' recommendations to help mitigate the virus includes advising folks to stay home because – in his words – the crisis is urgent. In the spirit of public good requested by the governor we need to pull together to help keep as many people safe and at home during the remainder of the semester."
"The health and safety of our faculty, staff and students are of the utmost importance," said UW-Stout Chancellor Katherine Frank. "However, we live, work and play in our communities. When we have hospitals at full capacity, a sudden spike could overwhelm our local health care system, and we have to do whatever we can to prevent that."
"Together as Western Wisconsin's three regional campuses we all believe this is the right decision," added Chancellor Connie Foster, UW-River Falls. "President Thompson encouraged us to work together as a region in making this decision, and we chancellors agree that this is the best approach."
The release goes on to say that students and staff who stay on campus for critical research and lab work will be allowed in the campus buildings, residence halls and libraries. Food services and internet access will also remain.
"We have a duty to respond to the governor's call to protect our state, and with making this move we're doing just that," said Foster.
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