UWL puts all residence halls on lockdown, suspends in-person classes

The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse is putting all residence halls on lockdown and suspending all in-person classes until Sept. 28 at the earliest.

The move was announced by chancellor Joe Gow on Sunday and comes in response to a surge in covid-19 infections on campus. All in-person, undergraduate classes for Monday and Tuesday at UWL have been cancelled, but classes will resume in remote format on Wednesday, Gow’s statement said.

“Given the high number of positive test results among resident students in a variety of residence halls, and due to our isolation spaces approaching the point of being filled, we are expanding the Coate Hall ‘shelter in place’ restrictions to include all residence halls effective at 5 p.m. today until Sunday, September 27th at 5 p.m.,” Gow said.

Additionally, and effective immediately, face-coverings will be required both indoors and outdoors on all campus property, he added.

Student workers on campus had warned that a large campus outbreak was likely to happen for several weeks and have been calling for a public, virtual meeting with campus officials to air their concerns. 

“There are growing numbers of positive cases on and off-campus, including cases that have been confirmed through testing,” Gow’s statement said. “The University may not have enough isolation space available and residents remaining in the halls must weigh their own risks.”

All in-person study spaces, including those at Murphy Library, the Union and academic buildings will be closed until Sept. 28 and dining services will shift to carry-out meals only, the chancellor’s statement added.

“I share the disappointment and frustration of students, families, faculty and staff who had hoped we might enjoy the start to this fall semester together,” Gow said. “To those of you who have been following our campus-wide health protocols, I thank you for your awareness and dedication to protecting our UW-La Crosse community.”

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