Students & Families

Information for students and families on COVID-19 planning and preparedness.
In this Section

The health and safety of our faculty, staff, and students is our foremost concern.

Please refer to measures highlighted on the Campus Health & Safety portal that we must all take to ensure a safe campus environment as we continue to address COVID-19.

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COVID-19 Surge Testing

Free rapid-result COVID-19 antigen tests for off-campus students, UW-Stout employees, and community members.
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Student Open Forum

November 18, 2020
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Current Students FAQs

Is Spring semester virtual or hybrid?

At this time, we are still planning to offer a hybrid format for Spring semester.

How will classroom instruction be provided this Spring?

Our instructors have received specialized training and equipment in order to provide instruction that incorporates multiple delivery methods and can be adapted as needed. 

Our on-campus classroom and lab environments ensure social distancing and other safety protocols are established through a variety of methods including: 

  • hybrid in-person and online synchronous and asynchronous format for most classes 
  • limiting the number of students in classrooms and labs/studios at one time, while still ensuring exposure to hands-on learning
  • updating buildings and classrooms to include health and safety measures and resources, such as social distancing guides, hand sanitizer stations, protective barriers, etc.
  • providing access to and training regarding expected uses of personal protective equipment (PPE) in university spaces

Instructors will incorporate a variety of methods to foster student engagement across online/remote activities. We also continue to have support services for all students that include tutors, advisors, instructor office hours, etc.

You can learn more about the types of modalities for spring classes and our registration process for spring here.

Will my course schedule change?

Any changes will be driven by safety precautions. We conducted classroom density studies to inform our classroom occupancy capacity based on social distancing guidelines. You will be notified via email if any of your courses change modality offerings. The notification will include contact information for you to connect with an instructor or department chair, should you want to discuss the change.

What are the current add/drop and attendence practices?

Add/Drop
Regular session courses can be added via AccessStout during the first seven calendar days of the semester until (1/31/2021) and until (3/22/2021) for 2nd quarter. If a student adds a class after the first day of class, they may miss the instructor’s communication regarding classroom protocols (including cleaning, disinfecting, attendance policy, etc.). Students that add a class after the first day of class should contact the instructor prior to joining the class to understand the classroom protocol requirements.

Attendance
The attendance policy of each instructor is to be submitted in writing to each student at the beginning of the course. As is always the case, students are expected to communicate directly with their faculty member regarding any absence. The suspension of the current requirement for students to submit medical documentation to the Dean of Students office for absences of longer than three days remains in effect for the spring 2021 term. Previously, that documentation was required by university policy before instructors would be notified of the absence.

The Dean of Students office will only notify instructors for absences related to personal or family situations. Students should no longer submit documentation to the Dean of Students office for medical absences and instructors should not request medical verification for absences. This will help ensure compliance with the current guidance that asks individuals demonstrating flu-like illness to contact their clinic or doctor by phone before seeking medical attention. Depending on symptoms, students may be asked to self-isolate until they are symptom-free. Students are expected to follow through on all missed coursework in a timely manner and should return to class as soon as they are symptom-free or have been advised by a medical provider that they may return to class.

Our COVID numbers seem low. Why cancel Spring Break?

After reviewing feedback from all four governance groups and the Chancellor’s Cabinet, the decision has been made to cancel the 2021 spring break scheduled for March 13-21. Spring semester will begin as scheduled on January 25, 2021, classes will end on April 28, and evaluation week will end on May 5. Commencement will still be held on Saturday, May 8. A decision on whether the ceremony will be in-person or virtual will be decided and announced at a later date.

This was not an easy decision to make. However, it is necessary due to the current status of the pandemic, the inability to predict its course through early spring, and our responsibility to keep our university and local community as safe and healthy as possible.

We join UW-Eau Claire, UW-River Falls, and a growing number of other UW institutions in the decision to either cancel or postpone spring break.

We have done an exceptional job at keeping our campus safe and our spread of the virus extremely low. This decision is not a reflection of significant growth in positive cases among our students and employees; rather, it is based on a number of other factors, including the Governor’s recent executive order and the increase in positive COVID-19 cases in Menomonie, Dunn County, and throughout western Wisconsin. Conditions have strained the ability of our health care providers and public health officials to respond to the pandemic. We believe this decision will help stem the spread of the virus in the region.

What is the WDH Expsure Notification App?

Employees and students are encouraged to use the WI Department of Health Exposure Notification app to slow the spread of COVID-19. The app is available for download for free from the Google Play Store or can be enabled under settings on an iPhone. The app allows for an anonymous exchange of signals with other phones that are near it for at least 15 minutes. If someone who has the app tests positive for COVID-19, they can send an alert using the app to the phones with the signals. This will allow people who are close contacts to quickly receive care and avoid exposing others to the virus. Please visit this website for additional information.

What changes are implemented in Housing & Dining?

Housing and Dining

University Housing and University Dining are continuing to work closely with health and safety officials to ensure we meet the appropriate standards of safety for our students living in our residence halls and visiting any of our dining areas.

For updates on residence hall modifications, please visit the COVID-19 University Housing Updates site.

For updates on dining modifications, please visit the Guidance and Planning from University Dining for Fall 2020 site.

 

How can I keep my family safe on visits home?

The Stout COVID team put this web page together as a guide for students and their families as students return home for visits. It includes a high-level summary of CDC guidelines, advice for students from the American College Health Association (ACHA) about preparing for their campus departure, and UW-Stout break testing protocols: https://www.uwstout.edu/break-safety

 

How do I return my textbooks and/or laptop?

Textbook and Library Returns:

Textbooks and library items may be returned to campus by January 29, 2021, via the library book drop or mailed. If you have any questions regarding the return process, please contact 715-232-2492 or textbooks@uwstout.edu 

MAILING ADDRESS: 
University of Wisconsin-Stout 
Instructional Resources Service 
315 10th Ave E, 308 RSSLC  
Menomonie, WI 54751 

Laptop Returns: 

Students not planning on returning next term will need to return their laptop and accessories to the Technology Help Desk, 109 Sorensen Hall, on or before December 22, 2020.  

Students not in the surrounding area may opt to mail their laptop and accessories. The deadline for the return of equipment back to UW-Stout is January 4, 2021.  If you have any questions regarding the return process, please email estout@uwstout.edu.

Will I be required to wear a mask on campus?

Per the governor’s statewide mask ordinance and the UW System’s mask mandate, everyone on campus, with the exception of those who have a documented health reason that prevents them from wearing a mask, are required to wear masks indoors and outdoors when on campus, including in all settings. Exceptions to wearing masks include:

  • in the privacy of their residence hall room
  • when removing the mask to eat in a common area
  • athletic practices and competitions where masks are not required

Students will be provided with two cloth masks and in some student employment or other situations, disposable masks will also be provided. However, students are encouraged to bring additional cloth masks or other face coverings as well. For much more detailed information about the proper use and cleaning of masks, please visit our Health & Safety site.

Is a flu shot or COVID vaccine required?

At the present time, there are no vaccines that are mandated by UW-Stout.  

Although neither the flu shot or COVID-19 vaccine is required, they are highly encouraged to help prevent the spread of illness. Hand washing hygiene is also a critical component to helping reduce the spread of influenza and COVID-19, as is staying home when one is sick. Whether it is flu or COVID-19, our protocols remain the same. 

Residential and off-campus students may contact Student Health Services or a local provider to obtain a flu vaccine. Protocols for COVID-19 vaccines will be announced when available.

 

How will COVID-19 testing and tracing be addressed?

Standard Residence Hall Testing

Residence Hall students began antigen testing in the Sports & Fitness Center on September 14 as a condition of their residence hall contract. Residence hall students are tested every week. Residence Hall students who have a positive antigen test, will likely be referred for a confirmatory PCR test. 

We are not doing antibodies testing at this time because Public Health does not recognize the antibodies testing, as the exposure date of COVID-19 is unknown. 

At the present time, UW System has not secured spit tests. If a student has a medical reason to be exempt from the nasal test, they should provide medical documentation to Student Health Services indicating that they have a medical condition preventing them from a nasal test.

Off-campus students who are symptomatic can call Student Health Services to talk with a staff member. We have a web-based guide that is also available within the Connect App that students can use to monitor their symptoms and help determine whether they should seek medical advice.

There are no fees associated with the test that are passed on to the student. However, if there are follow-up health care costs, those are the responsibility of the student and/or their insurance.

Information regarding the next steps for reporting a positive test result can be found on the COVID-19 response flow chart.  

Due to HIPPA privacy laws, individual student test result information will not be shared with parents, instructors, or other parties unless a student has given HIPAA authorization and power of attorney for healthcare to their parents and provided those forms to Student Health Services.

Appropriate measures will be taken to ensure tracing and isolation measures are implemented. Students should also communicate directly with their instructors about any concerns regarding missing class.

The UW System is maintaining a dashboard reflecting positive COVID-19 case residence hall student test results and UW-Stout has a similar dashboard as well.

Off-Campus Student Testing

We are offering free rapid-result COVID-19 antigen tests and confirmational PCR tests to off-campus students, UW-Stout employees, and community members. The tests are being offered through a partnership between the UW System and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to help address the current surge in COVID-19 virus in Wisconsin. To pre-register for these tests visit this link.

What if I become ill? How do isolation and quarantine work?

Student Health Services is open to both off and on campus students during weekdays. Weekend care is available at Urgent Care at Mayo Clinic Red Cedar in Menomonie.

Any student living on campus who tests positive for COVID-19 will be required to move to a self-isolation room on campus until they have been cleared medically to return to their permanent housing assignment. Students may also return home for the self-isolation period if they so choose. If the student is residential student, they should communicate with Housing regarding their plans.

If a roommate of a residential student tests positive, the roommate will likely be moved to a self-quarantine area. Individuals in quarantine may choose to quarantine at home and should communicate with housing regarding their plans.

Individuals who are in quarantine are expected to remain in the room, with the exception of using the restroom or leaving for an essential reason, such as a medical appointment.

Off campus students will work with county public health if they are told to isolate or quarantine. We do not have quarantine or isolation spaces available for non-residential students.

At the present time, individuals who have direct exposure to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or travels to areas that are considered hot spots are required to self-quarantine upon returning to campus. Since any travel outside of the county is currently deemed a risk, students are encouraged to limit their travel to only essential travel and stay abreast of changing requirements about self-quarantine following any travel.  

As a general rule, students will not be required to quarantine if they go home for the weekend. However, they should be judicious and prudent in staying abreast of changing conditions and minimize travel whenever possible. 

Additional information about different guidelines for isolation or quarantine for residence hall students who test positive for antigen testing versus PCR testing can be found by visiting this site, which can also be accessed via the Housing COVID-19 site.  

Is the Recreation Center open?

The Health and Fitness Center is currently open. At this time, the facility is not open to community members and retirees.  

For further details and the latest updates regarding the Recreational Center, please visit the Recreational Center COVID-19 website.  

Future Students FAQs

How can students and parents stay informed?

Everyone:

  • Visit the COVID-19 website - It is updated daily.
  • Follow the official social media channels.
  • Send questions to: covid19update@uwstout.edu

Students:

  • Check your emails - The is the first way changes will be communicated to you.
  • Read the daily student e-newsletter, "Campus Life Today."

Families:

How have admissions policies changed due to COVID-19?

Due to COVID-19, many admissions policies are temporarily impacted. Please refer to our COVID-19 admissions information updates page for the most recent information.

Student Resources