This evening, UW-River Falls announced a move to remote learning for two weeks and a shelter-in-place plan for all on-campus residents.
We did this because the rate of COVID-19 transmission has increased to a level where the university, in collaboration with Pierce County Public Health, needs to respond.
We understand you may have questions and concerns. Our hope is that this email can help answer some of those questions and concerns.
Shelter in Place: What does it mean?
As Chancellor Connie Foster shared Friday evening, UWRF students living in residence halls are being asked to do the following:
- Stay on campus
- Don’t go home
- Don’t go to work, if possible
- Don’t leave campus for unnecessary trips
- You may leave your room and go outside
- You still can get meals in the University Center
- You must follow guidance already provided regarding quarantining or isolating
Will the residence halls remain open?
Yes. The residence halls will remain open to all current residents, and we strongly encourage you to remain in your residence hall.
Even if you have left campus for the weekend, you will still have access to your residence hall.
Overall, continuing to live in your residence hall may protect the health and safety of other UWRF students, your loved ones and the larger River Falls community.
Daily life in the residence halls: How will it change?
All university and Residence Life community standards and guidelines remain in effect. That includes requirements to cooperate with testing and tracing protocols.
You should still wear a mask outside your own room and practice physical distancing.
Do not have guests in your room, and do not visit other residence halls. Only those who live and work in the residence hall are allowed.
Access to laundry, kitchens, and common areas will remain the same at this time.
Overall, residence-hall resources may be limited during this time. We recognize the need for mail services, especially during this time. The Hathorn Mail Center will be closed this weekend. We will communicate as soon as possible how we'll safely distribute mail in the coming two weeks.
What expectations must be met while living in the residence halls?
Your individual actions will help lead to UWRF’s overall success in containing COVID-19. Follow all guidance provided by UWRF, including:
- Continue to abide by all university and Residence Life community standards and expectations.
- Continue to live in your residence hall but limit contact with others.
- Socialize only with those who reside within your specific wing/floor/pod community while maintaining distance and wearing face coverings.
- Avoid contact with others outside of your immediate community.
- Be more vigilant than ever: Wear your face covering. Wash your hands. Watch your distance from others.
- Sanitize surfaces that you are near and touch before and after use.
- Use only the bathroom designated for your specific wing/floor/pod community.
- Do not stay off campus where you could potentially spread the virus to family or friends.
- Do not attend gatherings or parties.
Should I take a COVID-19 test?
UWRF strongly encourages students to take COVID-19 tests. Those identified as intermediate or close contacts are required to follow testing procedures outlined by the Contact Tracing team. Learn more about testing and schedule a test.
What if I want to leave the residence halls?
During this time, UWRF residence halls are not closing.
If you move out of your room and take your belongings, this will not terminate your residence hall contract. Students may submit a Contract Termination Request, although approval isn’t guaranteed. Requests will be reviewed on a rolling basis as time allows.
If I choose to leave, will I receive a refund for housing?
No. The residence halls remain open and accessible to residents. UWRF cannot guarantee refunds for those who choose to leave their residence hall.
Overall - your behavior as a member of the Falcon Family matters. With the recent growth in positive cases of COVID-19, we've seen its impact to our entire community and the UWRF student experience.
By following health protocols, you're doing something important – you're protecting our community and our ability to fully engage on campus during this shelter-in-place period.
We care about your safety and well-being. Please take care during this time.
University of Wisconsin – River Falls Department of Residence Life