Student message - Pointers standing tall

March 26, 2020

Dear students, 

We are living in extraordinary times. The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we are living our lives and interacting with each other.

While you have received many emails from us about all the changes going on at UW-Stevens Point, this communication is not about more changes – it's about you. On behalf of the entire UWSP administration, faculty and staff, I'm writing to express our sorrow for the upset this has caused. While we work to keep everyone safe and healthy, adjusting to new information coming in every day, it is not lost on us that your college experience has been disrupted. 

Our hearts go out especially to our seniors. You have worked so hard for years to earn your degrees, and it is your right and our privilege to celebrate your accomplishments in a ceremony in front of your friends and family. This year, graduates will receive their diplomas through the usual process: by mail four to six weeks after the semester ends, and we will offer you a commencement opportunity in late summer if the virus situation allows. You may also walk in the December commencement.  But we recognize that some of you may not be able to participate in these ceremonies as you already will have started the next phase of your lives.

Your final semester is special for so many reasons, socially and academically. Being unable to create those memories and hug your friends goodbye is a disappointment none of us imagined a few weeks ago. Whether this is your first or final year at UW-Stevens Point, spring held promise of theater and music performances, athletics competitions, art and research symposiums, field trips, time with friends on campus, hikes through Schmeeckle Reserve and much more. 

I am so proud of the resilience you have shown throughout this difficult process. The COVID-19 situation has disrupted your lives and your education, and you have demonstrated nothing but understanding and compassion as you have adapted to the new order. While times are trying, I want to assure you that we can overcome this, and we have complete confidence in you and your will to persevere, to succeed. You will complete the next semester, and you will go on to do great things in the world. 

Our Pointer family is strong. We have been impressed by the creativity and ingenuity of students and faculty, who are supporting each other and finding new ways to connect.  Next week begins a new way of learning for all of us. We encourage you to embrace the challenge, but also to reach out should you experience difficulties or if you can offer help to a fellow student. While you may not see us in person, all of us – the administration, staff, faculty, dean of students, student health service, counseling center and academic advisors– are available to help. Call us if you need us. We are here to help you succeed and provide you with the education you expect. Together, we will get through these extraordinary times.  Be kind, be compassionate, be supportive.

With great respect, 

Chancellor Bernie Patterson

Attackers taking advantage of COVID-19 by launching scams.

March 26, 2020

Students, Faculty, Staff,

The UWSP Police Services and Information Security Office departments have received information that members of the UW community have received fraudulent phone calls about COVID-19 testing. The fraudster knew that our community member was associated with a UW institution, and stated that they needed to be tested for COVID-19 right away. Our community member was threatened with being jailed if they did not agree to the testing. This unsolicited phone call was an attempt to steal money and gather sensitive personal information. 

Please be aware that these scams are on the rise, and do not give out personal information on the phone or by email. The ultimate goal of these scams is to get credit card information. Currently, there isn't a cure for COVID-19 and no home test kits. If you receive a phone call regarding COVID-19 regarding testing or treatments, hang up and block the number. If you receive an email regarding COVID-19 testing or cures, delete the email and do not click on any links or attachments. Report all incidents to the UWSP Police Services departments and/or the UWSP Information Security Office. 

Some examples of COVID-19 scams include: 

  • Treatment scams: Scammers are offering to sell fake cures, vaccines and advice on unproven treatments for COVID-19
  • Supply scams: Scammers are creating fake shops, websites, social media accounts and email addresses claiming to sell medical supplies currently in high demand, such as surgical masks. When consumers attempt to purchase supplies through these channels, fraudsters pocket the money and never provide the promised supplies.
  • Provider scams: Scammers are also contacting people by phone and email, pretending to be doctors and hospitals that have treated a friend or relative for COVID-19, and demanding payment for that treatment. 
  • Charity scams: Scammers are soliciting donations for individuals, groups and areas affected by COVID-19.
  • Phishing scams: Scammers posing as national and global health authorities, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), are sending phishing emails designed to trick recipients into downloading malware or providing personal identifying and financial information. 
  • App scams: Scammers are also creating and manipulating mobile apps designed to track the spread of COVID-19 to insert malware that will compromise users' devices and personal information.
  • Investment scams: Scammers are offering online promotions on various platforms, including social media, claiming that the products or services of publicly traded companies can prevent, detect or cure COVID-19 and that the stock of these companies will dramatically increase in value as a result. These promotions are often styled as "research reports," make predictions of a specific "target price" and relate to microcap stocks, or low-priced stocks issued by the smallest of companies with limited publicly available information.
If you think you are a victim of a scam or attempted fraud involving COVID-19, you can report it without leaving your home through several platforms. Go to:

Campus message - Please heed governor's 'Safer at Home' order 

March 24, 2020

Dear faculty, staff members and students,

To slow the spread of COVID-19, Gov. Tony Evers has announced a "Safer at Home" directive for the entire state. His goal – like ours – is to protect the health and safety of our communities and health care workers. "Folks need to start taking this seriously," Evers said today.

Beginning at 8 a.m. Wednesday, March 25, and until April 24, all non-essential businesses must close. Nonessential travel is prohibited, and individuals should stay home. Residents may continue to buy food, essential supplies and tend to health needs.

I join the governor in urging our students and employees to heed this directive. To those who may feel they are not in a high-risk category because they are young or healthy, think about your parents, grandparents, mentors and others in your communities. Follow precautions, including social distancing of six feet or more, to slow this pandemic.

Many of our faculty and staff members already are working from home, so not that much will change on our campus. The governor gave higher education institutions latitude to continue operating and offering distance learning, which UW-Stevens Point will begin March 30.

Here's what has changed in recent days:

  • Most campus buildings are now locked. Faculty and staff members with keys may access their buildings temporarily to facilitate distance learning and to pick up materials needed to work remotely. See an updated building list.
  • Those who need access to buildings who do not have keys may contact University Police at 715-346-3456. Please bring your driver's license or UWSP ID for entry.
  • Those who can work remotely are doing so. They continue to serve the university via phone and email, and many are using Zoom for meetings.
  • A limited number of employees will continue to work on campus to provide security, custodial services, essential business services, select student services, such as Residential Living and dining, childcare, essential research and animal care.
  • Students who live on campus will continue to have access to their residence halls and DeBot Dining Center. In addition, computer labs are available in Albertson Hall and the Noel Fine Art Center.

This is an unsettling time for all of us, particularly employees who cannot work remotely. Please see the work-related FAQs on our COVID-19 information site or contact human resources to learn about options, including the 80 hours of COVID-19 leave, announced by UW System last week.

While social distancing and remote work prevents us from standing shoulder to shoulder, please stand united in our commitment to each other. Take care of yourself. Be kind and please give extra attention to colleagues and students who need you.

Stay healthy,
Bernie

Bernie Patterson
Chancellor 

Employees who can work remotely should do so

March 22, 2020

With Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers' urging the public to stay home as much as possible, UW-Stevens Point has moved into phase 3 of our telecommuting plan:

Work remotely. As the situation warrants, all employees who canwork remotely should do so. Discuss in advance with your supervisors. Department supervisors, work with directors and vice chancellors to determine minimal staffing levels, if needed, to handle varied circumstances and communicate to your customers. 

If your job requires campus equipment, resources or onsite presence, or if working remotely presents challenges, please talk discuss this with your supervisor.

For employees who continue to come to campus to fulfill their job duties, ensure you maintain social distancing of at least six feet from others. Wash hands frequently and cover coughs and sneezes. Stay home if ill.

Use Zoom or other technologies for meetings. Please see IT resources outlined in Campus Announcements March 18-20 or here for various work-related information. Note that face-to-face gatherings cannot exceed 10 people, per the governor's emergency order.

Gov. Evers on March 21 reminded Wisconsinites to follow the guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), urging the public to stay home as much as they are able to help protect the health and safety of Wisconsin's health care workers.

To underscore the urgency of this situation, please take two minutes to watch this message from  Dr. Michael Ryan of the World Health Organization, urging quick action to slow the spread of the virus: https://youtu.be/AqRHH6e-y6I?t=31

For complete, frequently updated information about UW-Stevens Point's response, visit our COVID-19 webpage regularly.

Stay healthy,

Bernie Patterson

Chancellor 

Spring Commencement ceremonies postponed

March 20, 2020

Dear students and colleagues,

The spread of the coronavirus has compelled us to make choices to keep the health of our students, their families, our employees and our communities a top priority. With a directive from Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers to restrict gatherings of more than 10 people, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point has made the difficult decision to postpone our Saturday, May 16, spring Commencement ceremonies. 

As a dad and grandfather, I understand the importance of this milestone to our graduates and their families. I always enjoy seeing our students walk across the stage, many being first in their families to do so. Our supportive faculty and staff applauding our graduates before the ceremony, our student speakers reflecting with their peers and the pure joy of parents and loved ones make Commencement a remarkable occasion.

Consulting with our Student Government Association, we are planning on holding an in-person ceremony in August, early September or a later time, depending on the spread of COVID-19.

We will communicate more with students, faculty and staff members as soon as a date can be determined. Chancellor's Leadership and Albertson Award ceremonies will be rescheduled in tandem with Commencement.

Degrees will be conferred at the end of the spring semester regardless, so it's important to apply for graduation through accesSPoint. The approval of spring degrees will follow the same timeframe as in past years. We anticipate diplomas will be mailed to the student's home address four to six weeks after final exams.

For the latest information, please see our commencement website for updates and the UW-Stevens Point coronavirus webpage.

Thank you for your understanding, as well as your perseverance through these trying times. We are proud of your dedication to complete your degree despite this disruption to your lives and your learning. 

Sincerely,

Bernie L. Patterson

Chancellor

Campus Announcements - Updates to travel, self-quarantine

March 20, 2020

Dear faculty, staff and students,

Our guidance concerning travel continues to tighten in response to the growing number of COVID-19 cases, both internationally and domestically. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports all 50 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and U.S. Virgin Islands have confirmed cases of the illness.

The following is effective immediately:

  • All university-sponsored international and all domestic travel is suspended until further notice. The U.S. State Department has issued a Level 4 "do not travel" outside the United States global health advisory.
  • Anyone returning from personal travel either internationally or from a state with sustained community transmission of COVID-19 is required to self-quarantine for 14 days before returning to any UW-Stevens Point campus or field station. Please scroll below the map on this site and click on the "state +" symbol below the map for the growing list of states with sustained community transmission. Please this site as the list will expand.
  • If you need to self-quarantine, visit this Wisconsin Department of Health Services site and scroll to the self-quarantine FAQ for instructions on how to self-quarantine at home for 14 days and monitor for symptoms of COVID-19. This requirement to self-quarantine is effective at the time a state is identified as having sustained community transmission.
  • Students who are returning to campus to move out of their residence hall between March 19-28 do not have to self-quarantine before vacating their room. Students must follow the Residential Living process for move-out, outlined in a March 19 message. Move-out is limited to a two-hour timeslot.
  • Employees who need to self-quarantine, should contact their supervisors. Students, please contact the Dean of Students.

For university-sponsored travel, please note that travel between our three campuses (Stevens Point, Marshfield and Wausau) and other facilities (including CWES, Treehaven and NADF) continues to be allowed at this time. 

Please refer to our website www.uwsp.edu/covid19 for up-to-date information.

Bernie L. Patterson
Chancellor

Student message - Residence Hall Move-Out Plan

March 19, 2020

Greetings UW-Stevens Point resident students, 

As you may already know, all classes are moving to alternative delivery methods rather than face-to-face instruction. With health and safety as our primary concern, UWSP Residential Living has developed a move-out plan to keep everyone as safe as possible. 

Effective immediately, students are expected to plan to move their belongings out of their room between March 19-28. It is important that everyone follow the process outlined below to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus and stay healthy. Please begin to make arrangements for residence hall move-out. 

Move out process 

  • Sign up by 1 p.m. Monday, March 23 for a move-out time
    • Log into your UWSP Housing Portal
    • Select "Emergency Move-out"
    • Sign up for a time to move out 
      • Follow instructions for check out process / express checkout process
        • ALL move-out appointments will be in two-hour timeslots 
        • Timeslots will run daily, including weekend days, from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. 
    • An email confirmation will be sent, including instructions
    • Please stay with the scheduled timeslot you have selected to move out. (This will ensure the health and safety of you and others) 
  • Packing your belongings 
    • If you are on campus, start packing up items and gathering moving supplies 
    • If you are not on campus, bring boxes and other moving supplies with you to campus at your assigned time
      • You should anticipate spending no more than 2 hours packing and moving your belongings
      • To reduce human contact, please limit the number of people who come to help you pack up and move out. (We recommended you bring no more than two people to help you move out.)
      • We also recommend you bring your own cleaning items, as we are not able to provide those.
  • Take all trash and recycling out to their proper locations 
  • Remember to empty all mail from your mailbox 
  • Grab an express checkout envelop from your hall lobby
    • Follow the instructions on the envelope to do your express checkout 
  • Lock and shut your room door when you leave 

If You Need to Stay on Campus 

If you are in a situation where you need to remain living on campus, you will need to submit a request by 1 p.m. on Monday, March 23. The online form will provide you with more information on how you might qualify.

If you are unable to get to campus by March 28

  • Complete the "Request to stay/Keep belongings on campus" form and select option "belongings will remain in room while the student will not be here." We will work with you to schedule moving belongings at another time.

Process for application:

  • Log into your UWSP Housing Portal
  • Select "Request to Stay"
  • Fill out and submit the online form 
    • Please include as much information as possible in the request.

Our office hopes to process these requests and respond as quickly as possible. Unless you receive approval to stay on campus, you should plan to move out. 

Access to Residence Halls

Exterior doors remain locked 24/7 and halls are only accessible via the front door with your Saflok.

Parking Details 

Student lots will be available for people to park and load personal belongings (Lots P, Q, and J). No vehicles will be ticketed in permitted lots as move out is occurring.

In addition, hourly parking limits enforced by the city of Stevens Point on city streets adjacent to residence halls (Reserve Street, Isadore Street and Maria Drive) will be suspended until Saturday, March 28. You do NOT need to pay to park on a city street near a residence hall. Avoid blocking fire zones, fire hydrants, driveways and crosswalks.

Returning Loft

College Products will be on campus March 24-26 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Lot F (north of Champion's Hall). If you have rented a loft, please try to come and return your loft on one of those days. If you are not able to return on one of the designated days, please contact College Products directly at 1-800-875-0457 or cs@collegeproducts.com for instructions. 

Mail and Packages 

Please change your permanent address in accesSPoint. Only first-class mail will be forwarded. It may take several days for mail to be forwarded to you. You should also contact delivery companies (UPS, FedEx, etc.) to change the delivery location of items ordered.

Text Rental Books 

Rental textbooks will need to be returned at the end of the semester; however, a revised process for this will be communicated to students via their UWSP email after May 1, 2020.

Updated Information 

Refer to UWSP's COVID-19 website with updates about instruction and precautions. Continue to check your UWSP email for additional correspondence.

Common Questions and Answers: 

Will I get a refund for my housing? All that we know about refunds at this time is it is being analyzed and discussed at the UW System level and with the state legislature.

Why do I have to move out? Many campuses are taking these actions to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. While college-aged students are generally not in the high-risk group, you live close to each other in residence halls, making precautions like six feet of social distancing difficult. Also, students have traveled during spring break or may have come into contact with an infected person. Our decisions aim to protect the safety and health of our students and community.

What if I can't move out during any of the specified times? We will work with students on a case-by-case basis. Please contact our office with specific details of your situation.

Thank you for your patience as we work through this. We know how much you will miss your Pointer family. We will miss having you on campus and we look forward to seeing you in the fall. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us below.

Residential Living
601 Division St., Stevens Point WI 54481
715-346-3511
housing@uwsp.edu

News release - UW-Stevens Point cancels events, restricts public use of campus facilities

March 18, 2020

To reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus (COVID-19), the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point has widened its scope of event cancellations. The university does not have any suspected cases of the virus on campus but is taking precautions to ensure the safety of its students, faculty and staff members and community.

All campus-sponsored events, regardless of number of attendees, are canceled beginning Thursday, March 19, through Sunday, May 24, the end of the academic year. The cancellations follow CDC guidance to restrict events for eight weeks.

Any change in spring commencement ceremonies at UW campuses will be decided with University of Wisconsin System.

While UW-Stevens Point's three campuses remains open, the public should not use campus facilities or services for the next few months. Visitors with official business will be allowed.  UW-Stevens Point's Dreyfus University Center remains open for business – see the website for service hours of operation.

The restrictions aim to protect the community from this pandemic, especially those who are older than age 60 or who have an underlying health condition.

Schmeeckle Reserve walking trails remain open, but the Visitors Center is closed until further notice. The Friday, May 1, Spring Candlelight Hike Festival has been canceled. The Allen Fitness Center and Champions Hall Fitness Center are open to paid members who use social distancing, with groups no larger than 10.

The Speech, Language and Hearing Clinic will be closed effective March 18 for all in-person appointments until further notice. Clients can continue to drop off hearing aids for repair at the clinic office during regular business hours. Clinic staff will contact current clients and their families to discuss treatment options, which may include receiving services via telepractice. Call the clinic office at 715-346-3667 with questions.

The Helen Godfrey University Child Learning and Care Center is closed through March 27 for spring break. A decision about reopening is coming soon. The Gesell Institute is closed.

Placement tests for incoming students at UW-Stevens Point set for March 21, April 4, April 25 and May 9 have been canceled. An email notification will be sent to registered students, who are asked to retain the original appointment confirmation email and follow instructions provided to reschedule. When normal operations resume, UW institutions will be introducing additional test dates to help compensate for those that were canceled. For updates, visit the placement website.

UW-Stevens Point continues to work on the process of issuing refunds for those who purchased tickets for events scheduled through the end of the semester. Information will be shared on the COVID-19 website or by email as it becomes available.

All three of UW-Stevens Point campuses will shift to online and alternate delivery of classes through the end of the spring semester, beginning Monday, March 30, following the extended two-week spring break. Students are highly encouraged to return or remain at their permanent residence after spring break. Those who have no other housing options, no access to technology needed for coursework or special family health circumstances may return to residence halls. Additional details will be provided for those choosing to move out of the residence halls.

For the most current information or to ask questions regarding COVID-19 precautions at UW-Stevens Point, go to www.uwsp.edu/covid19

Faculty, staff message - Technology tools to assist on working from home

March 18, 2020

To slow the spread of the coronavirus, the university is encouraging departments to prepare for working remotely as a temporarily option where feasible.  Employees must discuss this work option with their supervisors in advance. For more information, see Work Related FAQs.

To help departments prepare, many technology tools are available to help you stay connected while working from home. Following is a list:

Office 365 - Your personal email, calendar, contacts, OneDrive files, Microsoft Teams, and other data is all stored in the cloud. We recommend installing the Desktop apps on home PC/Mac systems.

Zoom - Easy to use video conferencing solution allowing you to connect with people via a computer or phone. It can be used to share your computer screen, or to host a virtual meeting. Many meetings will be conducted via Zoom during this period.  Be sure to download the app today.

Note:  Zoom can be used with a phone instead of a webcam and microphone. 

Contact the IT Service Desk to purchase a webcam if needed. 

Phone calls

Taking UWSP-owned laptops or desktops home

  • If you have a UWSP laptop and it is running Windows 10, it will connect to UWSP automatically.
  • If your laptop is not running Windows 10, or is an Apple Macintosh,  contact the IT Service Desk for assistance. You may have trouble accessing our systems. 
  • You may not take a desktop computer home without first contacting IT and getting written permission. Configurations for this arrangement are complicated, and the desktops aren't designed for this scenario.
  • Regardless of whether you are using a university laptop or a personal computer from home, you can access your Department Share Drive files by going to https://files.uwsp.edu.

Submit IT help requests online

We will continue to provide IT support but ask for your patience as the volume of requests associated with this increase in telecommuting is stretching us thin.

  • For phone inquiries, use the information provided at the IT Service Desk web page. 
  • For all other inquiries, use https://itselfservice.uwsp.edu/footprints/servicedesk to fill out a workorder request.  Log in to the site using your UWSP Username and password. Please provide the phone number where you can be reached, the best time to call, and provide as much information as possible about your problem so we can better assist you.  

Special security notes from IT:

  1. Do not use email for transmission of sensitive information. Use OneDrive or email links to team members. Links can be shared with people outside of UWSP, as long as the share settings allow.
  2. Be careful of the share settings. Determine who can access the link, and whether they can edit the document. As a general rule, only share with people who need to access the document and limit those who can edit. If you share something broadly, take advantage of expiration dates for the link, and/or a password for access.
  3. Be wary of possible attacks. Working remotely means you have no face-to-face interaction, which attackers can take advantage of with phishing attacks. Make sure you verify any unusual requests by contacting the person directly with a new email, not by replying to the original email. For example, if you receive an email asking for your username and password from someone you know, do not reply to that email asking for confirmation, but rather call the person at the number listed in the directory OR open up a new email and ask for confirmation.
  4. Take advantage of remote IT services. Don't use your personal email to conduct business. Don't save university data to your personal device. We have cloud storage, and plenty of remote IT services to use.
  5. Contact the Information Security Office if there are any questions, concerns, or issues. We are still here and working, as is all of IT. In fact, we are working overtime and available 24/7 as always to address concerns or respond to incidents. Working from home means we can't make house calls, which is why it is so important to follow the rules. We need you to help us help you by using systems that we can protect, monitor and manage.

Thank you,
Information Technology

Faculty, staff message - Coronavirus Update #10: Guidelines for working remotely

March 18, 2020

As part of UW-Stevens Point's commitment to meet the public health challenges posed by COVID-19, we have created guidelines to temporarily work remotely as jobs allow. While the university remains open, many services will need to be provided differently in the weeks ahead to slow the spread of the coronavirus on our campus and in the community.

Here is UW-Stevens Point's four-stage approach, as the situation escalates:

  1. Prepare. Outline plans for telecommuting, including processes, hardware and software needs. Supervisors, discuss this with your director, if you haven't already. Complete your plan by Friday morning, March 20. Vice chancellors must approve department plans.
  2. Address special circumstances. Employees who have immediate childcare needs, social distancing concerns, their own health or a family member's may work remotely if their job duties allow. Discuss this with your supervisor in advance.
  3. Work remotely. As the situation warrants, all employees who can work remotely should do so. Discuss in advance with your supervisors. Department supervisors, work with directors and vice chancellors to determine minimal staffing levels, if needed, to handle varied circumstances and communicate to your customers.
  4. Close campus. If the county or state mandates this action based on confirmed cases of COVID-19, one or more campus locations would close.

Human Resources guidance

Working remotely or telecommuting is a temporary work arrangement in which some or all work is performed from home or another off-site location. Working remotely is an option for those who have technology and internet access at home, without needing additional resources from UW-Stevens Point.

Work with your department head and vice chancellor to determine the minimal staffing level your department needs on campus. This could include plans where no one is physically present, provided that such plans are clearly communicated with appropriate messaging, signage and websites. Some services can be provided remotely, through videoconferencing, phone and other alternative methods. Information Technology has additional resources, and you will receive a separate communication on those shortly.

We recognize not everyone can work from home. Jobs involving food preparation, custodial service and security are among some of the key positions needed onsite.

The work-related section of our coronavirus webpage provides more details about working remotely. Human Resources offers additional guidance. Please ask your supervisor or email hr@uwsp.edu with questions

Thank you for continuing to serve our students and university community.

UW System Guidance

The UW System has provided additional guidance about working remotely and has created an 80-hour leave bank for employees who are unable to work because of COVID-19. Please review these guidelines and talk with your supervisor and HR representative if you have questions about your qualifications for these benefit provisions. President Cross' message is attached, and more information is here and at FAQs.

Self-care, Prevention

Please take care of yourself and be kind to each other. Stay home if you are ill. See our website for tips on self-care and managing stress. Practice social distancing: Stay six feet away from others to prevent viral transmission. This is a good practice in every aspect of life to protect you and others.

Please know, it's normal to feel anxious about uncertainty related to COVID-19. Our Employee Assistance Program is free to you and completely confidential. If anxiety, financial decisions and even legal questions arise from circumstances like these, we encourage you to take advantage of this benefit.

Eric Roesler
Chief Human Resources Officer

Faculty, staff message - Online, alternative delivery continues through spring semester

March 17, 2020

Faculty, Staff and Students,

As we continue monitoring COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, state and national health guidelines have changed rapidly. To mitigate public health risks to our university and community, UW-Stevens Point will shift to online and alternate delivery of courses through the end of the spring semester.

Faculty are developing those instructional plans now, and students will receive information about course instruction by March 29. Courses will resume March 30 and will conclude as scheduled in May.

Students who left UW-Stevens Point campuses during spring break, which continues through March 29, are strongly encouraged to return to and remain at their permanent homes. Those who live in residence halls may return to campus if needed for housing, technology needs or family health issues. For those who choose to move out of their residence hall, additional details will be provided on a process that is designed to protect the health and safety of all involved. Residential Living will outline an orderly plan, which students are required to follow.

This is disappointing for all of us, especially our students. Our commitment to protecting students, faculty and staff, as well as the community, must be our highest priority. While the remainder of the semester will be different, we are also committed to ensuring a high-quality academic experience.

Employees will be given additional details Wednesday about temporarily working remotely, where job duties allow. No cases of COVID-19 are suspected at UW-Stevens Point. These precautions are designed to reduce the rapid transmission of this illness.

Today, the governor announced emergency order #5 closing restaurants and prohibiting gatherings of more than 10 people. While this initially included higher education institutions, we have received word from UW System that higher ed will be exempt from this. K-12 schools will remain closed. The message is clear that we all need to take seriously efforts to control the coronavirus spread. 

While the university continues to operate, all facilities at the Stevens Point, Marshfield and Wausau campuses and all field stations are closed to the public. Those with appointments for official business may visit campus.Hiking trails at Schmeeckle Reserve and Treehaven field station remain open.  

Please note these additional changes:

  • All events on campus are being canceled, regardless of crowd size, through May 24, the end of the academic year.
  • No decision has been made about commencement. Any announcement is being coordinated through UW System.
  • With fewer students returning after spring break and courses taught through alternative delivery methods, hours of operation for several buildings will likely be reduced. Watch for more information as it becomes available. 
  • The Speech, Language and Hearing Clinic will close, effective Wednesday, March 18, for the semester.
  • The Helen Godfrey University Child Learning and Care Center is closed through March 27 for spring break. A decision about reopening is coming soon.

We will continue to update you on this rapidly changing situation. Please stay healthy and check our COVID-19 webpage for more information.

Bernie L. Patterson

Chancellor

Faculty, staff message - New travel and event guidance, self-quarantines

March 13, 2020

Dear colleagues,

State and national health officials have provided additional travel advisories.

University-sponsored international travel is suspended until further notice. The U.S. State Department issued a Level 3 global health advisory today. It advises U.S. citizens to reconsider travel outside of the United States. Anyone who travels abroad personally will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days when returning to this country and before returning to any UW-Stevens Point campus or field station. Monitor travel.state.gov for individual travel advisories during this rapidly changing situation.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services advises not traveling to states with sustained community transmission of COVID-19. University-sponsored travel is suspended to those states. As of March 13, California, New York and Washington have been identified as states with sustained community transmission. Please monitor these state travel guidelines as this list will expand.

For all travelers returning to Wisconsin from U.S. states where the CDC has determined that sustained community transmission is occurring, DHS recommends self-quarantine at home for 14 days and monitoring for symptoms of COVID-19. This includes traveling to airports in these states. Self-quarantine is required before returning to a UW-Stevens Point campus or field station if you have traveled in a state with sustained community transmission. This requirement to self-quarantine is effective at the time a state is identified as having sustained community transmission.

For university-sponsored travel, please note that travel between our three campuses (Stevens Point, Marshfield and Wausau) and our other facilities (including CWES, Treehaven and NADF) will be allowed as usual. Travel to UW System meetings is also permitted, but you can anticipate many of these meetings will move to videoconferencing or some other appropriate delivery methods. Travel that is part of your daily job responsibilities, as it is for admissions counselors or development officers, for example, is permitted in consultation with your supervisor. Travel is not permitted to states identified as having sustained community transmission of COVID-19. Other travel will be decided on a case-by-case basis. Discuss travel plans with your supervisor and secure divisional vice chancellor approval before traveling or to make modifications needed for your safety and health. Essential travel does not include research presentations or conference attendance.  Also see UW System guidance.

Events with more than 50 people attending at any of our three campuses or field stations are canceled from March 16 through April 15. You should not interpret this as assurance that events scheduled after April 15 will actually take place. Our Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and university leadership are evaluating the situation daily, and it is possible, if not likely, the April 15 date will be extended. We will try to give you as much advance notice as possible. We appreciate the help of the many faculty, staff and students who have been working to notify event participants of cancellations. Ticket sales have been suspended for spring performances on all campuses. Staff members are working on how to handle ticket refunds and will provide updates as information becomes available.  No decisions about commencement have been made at this time.

Please be aware university leaders and the EOC are working to address numerous aspects of these changes in the weeks ahead, including concerns of students living on campus. During this time of uncertainty, please help reassure students where appropriate. You play a key role in sharing accurate, current information. Please refer to our website www.uwsp.edu/covid19 for up-to-date information and direct others there with questions.

Thank you for your compassion and care for the university and our community.

Bernie L. Patterson
Chancellor

Student message - University open, questions addressed

March 13, 2020

With the changes announced for campus life and classes after spring break, you may have questions. We do too, and we are working to address them.

UW-Stevens Point remains open, as do residence halls and DeBot Dining Center. Dining options will be available beginning for dinner March 22. Students do not need to move out of the halls or take belongings. Hours may be reduced in University Centers and academic buildings, so please check the building or its webpage. For your health and safety and to slow the spread of COVID 19, students are encouraged to remain at or return to their permanent residence where social distancing can help protect you and others.

Classes will resume March 30. Watch for additional information by March 29 about online and other alternative formats which will be implemented to protect your health. The semester is expected to conclude on its current academic calendar.

Many of you who live in residence halls have asked about refunds for housing and meal plan charges. We hear your concerns. UW-Stevens Point is consulting with UW System on options and implications. When more information is known, including how long these adjustments are in effect, we will communicate further with you.  Please watch your UWSP email for specific announcements

As a reminder, we strongly encourage you to curtail travel. Additional travel advisories were issued today:

  • The U.S. State Department issued a Level 3 global health advisory, recommending U.S. citizens reconsider travel outside of the United States. Anyone who travels abroad personally will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days when returning to this country before returning to any UW-Stevens Point campus or field station. 
  •  The Wisconsin Department of Health Services advises not traveling to states with sustained community transmission of COVID-19. California, New York and Washington have been identified as states with sustained community transmission as of March 13. Please monitor these state travel guidelines as that list is expected to grow. Anyone who travels to a state identified as having sustained community transmission will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days before returning to a UW-Stevens Point campus or field station. This requirement goes into effect at the time the state is identified as having sustained community transmission.

Lastly, we have launched a new COVID-19 website where we have answered a number of additional questions. We appreciate your patience and flexibility, and your help in keeping fellow students, faculty and staff members and all of our communities safe.

Have a safe spring break, take care, and please let us know if you need something.

Troy L. Seppelt, Ed.D. (he, him, his)
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Dean of Students

News release - COVID-19 precautions taken at UW-Stevens Point will affect university events

March 12, 2020

While the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point has no suspected cases of COVID-19, the university is taking precautions to reduce to risk of the novel coronavirus spreading on campus or in the community. 

These difficult but important steps include canceling events that draw more than 50 people in the next month.

"We are doing what needs to be done to protect the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff," said Chancellor Bernie Patterson. "We appreciate the community's understanding and ask everyone to join us in taking extra precautions as a safeguard to protect our communities."

Cancellations include:

  • Regularly planned events at the Noel Fine Arts Center, Dreyfus University Center, Museum of Natural History, Allen F. Blocher Planetarium, Schmeeckle Reserve and other facilities at UW-Stevens Point, including Wausau and Marshfield campuses. Events are canceled at least through April 15. Watch www.uwsp.edu and departmental Facebook sites for updates.
  • Theater and music performances and other ticketed events at all three campuses. University Information and Tickets is working on a process for issuing refunds for those who purchased tickets for large events scheduled for March 16-April 15. Additional information will be shared as it becomes available through email and the university's main COVID-19 site. Or call 715-346-4100 to leave your name and contact information to process your refund as efficiently as possible.
  • 90FM's annual trivia contest, "Raid on Trivia 51," scheduled for April 17-19, has been postponed, according to co-coordinator Jim "The Oz" Oliva, out of concern for student staff and for those who play the contest. The event will be held Oct. 23-25, instead. The student-run radio station plans a "Retro Trivia" event for April 17-19 during which trivia questions from past years will be broadcast on 90FM daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., with different years featured each hour. No phone calls will be taken, rather players can listen from wherever they are and create their own competitions.
  • Schmeeckle Reserve is tentatively holding its annual Spring Candlelight Hike Festival on Friday, May 1, but all of its family nature programs are canceled through the end of the semester. Students will present their nature programs via You Tube videos. Checkwww.uwsp.edu/schmeeckle for updates.

Because of increased uncertainties around coronavirus, UW-Stevens Point campuses in Stevens Point, Wausau and Marshfield will shift from in-person classes to online and other alternative delivery methods starting March 30. This will follow a two-week spring break, giving faculty additional time to develop alternative instruction methods.

Students are encouraged to remain at their permanent residences after the break to reduce the spread of germs in close quarters. They may return to university residence halls if needed for housing or technology access.

The university remains open.

To learn the most current information or to ask questions regarding COVID-19 precautions at UW-Stevens Point, go to www.uwsp.edu/covid19.

Campus Announcement - Spring break extended, alternative instruction

Sent to students, faculty, staff - March 11, 2020

With increased uncertainties around the spread of the coronavirus, UW-Stevens Point is extending spring break by one week. Classes will resume March 30, at which point we will suspend in-person classes and shift to alternative delivery methods. This applies to all three UW-Stevens Point campuses and field stations.

Our top priority continues to be protecting the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff. This includes taking precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to our campuses. The goal of the two-week break is to give faculty additional time to develop alternative delivery methods for their classes, which may be needed for the remainder of the spring semester.

 Please note the following:

  • Students should take all instructional materials for their classes as well as essential personal items and prescription medications with them when they leave for spring break.

  • Spring break will take place from March 14-29, 2020.

  • Classes will resume March 30 with alternative delivery methods. No face-to-face classes will be held on campus after this date until further notice.

  • More information about alternative delivery methods of class will be communicated to students via email by March 29.

  • Students are strongly encouraged to return to their permanent residence after spring break until further notice. This will assist with social distancing in halls where students live close together and share facilities. Those who have no other housing options or no access to technology needed for coursework may return to residence halls.

  • Residence halls remain open to students. Limited dining options will resume for dinner March 22. Additional information will be communicated in the next week to students who live in residence halls.

  • All university sponsored travel is canceled for students, faculty and staff, except for NCAA Athletics until April 15. Additional guidance will be provided as it becomes available.

  • Events with more than 50 people in attendance at any campus facility are canceled from March 15 through April 15. This includes events at all three UW-Stevens Point campuses, Treehaven, Central Wisconsin Environmental Station and Northern Aquaculture Demonstration Facility. Information about ticket refunds will be provided soon.

  • Check your UWSP email and our coronavirus webpage for updates regularly.

The university remains open, and employees are expected to report to work unless they are ill. Those who are ill should stay home. Monitor your symptoms and call your health care provider if you have a cough and fever.

We strongly discourage any unnecessary personal. Please be aware that if you do choose to travel you may be advised to self-quarantine at home for 14 days prior to returning to campus. Students should contact the Dean of Students office and employees should contact their supervisor if they self-quarantine.

Please monitor travel advisories from the Department of State and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Be prepared for travel restrictions to go into effect with little or no advance notice.

University leaders and the Emergency Operations Center continue to closely monitor this rapidly changing situation. Additional information will be communicated as decisions are made.

Some students may feel COVID-19 won't affect them if they are young or healthy. As members of the larger community, please help us take extra precautions as a safeguard to protect our university and community. Thank you for your cooperation.

Bernie Patterson
Chancellor

Campus Announcement - Coronavirus update: Travel, UW-Stevens Point preparations 

Sent to students, faculty, staff - March 9, 2020

With the spread of the 2019 coronavirus, we strongly encourage UW-Stevens Point students, faculty and staff to reconsider international travel and domestic travel to states with high numbers of COVID-19 cases.

 Numerous travel advisories are in place, and the situation is changing rapidly. Be prepared for travel restrictions to go into effect with little or no advance notice.

Please monitor travel advisories from the Department of State and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Those who travel internationally may be asked to restrict travel or to self-quarantine for 14 days on return to the United States. Instructions will be issued at the airport, based on travel destinations. We urge everyone to follow the guidance of public health officials, which may include contacting the public health office in the county of your permanent home. In addition:

  • Students - contact the Dean of Students office if instructed to self-quarantine.

  • Faculty and staff members - contact your supervisor if instructed to self-quarantine.

Our commitment to protect the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff members remains a top priority, which includes preventing contagious disease on campus.

UW-Stevens Point does not permit university-sponsored travel to countries with State Department travel advisories of Levels 3 or 4 or CDC Warning Level 3. Currently, because of COVID-19, this includes China, South Korea and Italy. If additional countries are placed on heightened advisory levels, and UW-Stevens Point has sponsored students there, the university will arrange to return these students to their homes (not campus) for self-quarantine.

UW-Stevens Point has been preparing for a potential contagious disease outbreak and is fine-tuning plans specific to a possible case of COVID-19 on campus or in our local community.

Our Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was activated in January, shortly after the novel coronavirus was identified as a concern in China. The EOC includes representatives from student health, emergency management, academics, student life, housing, dining, police, human resources, information technology, facilities, environmental health and communications. They meet frequently and closely monitor the situation globally and nationally, working with local, state and national health officials.

If COVID-19 or another contagious disease is confirmed locally, the county public health department will direct actions and precautions that need to be taken, which can include closing buildings and imposing quarantines. UW-Stevens Point's contagious disease plan outlines our response, and each department's Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) identifies how it would operate. Faculty are developing alternatives if classes are not able to meet in person.

 As we monitor COVID-19, any decisions or recommendations related to large group events on campus will be announced as they are made.

You may have other questions about this situation. For work-related guidelines, please see a new section from Human Resources on UW-Stevens Point's coronavirus webpage. Additional information about coronavirus and resources can also be found on this regularly updated page.

Please be assured we are doing what needs to be done to protect the health and safety of students, faculty and staff members, as well as university visitors. We ask that you help us in those efforts.

Bernie Patterson
Chancellor 

Campus Announcement - UW-Stevens Point readiness

Sent to students, faculty, staff - March 3, 2020

With heightened awareness of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak globally and nationally, UW-Stevens Point continues to take precautions and prepare for the remote possibility of an infection on campus. Please be assured that the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff are our top priorities.

UW-Stevens Point's Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and university administration are closely monitoring the situation and meeting regularly to update our university contagious disease plan. We also are working with colleagues in the UW System and public health departments in Portage, Wood and Marathon counties. We have been preparing for the possibility of an infection occurring on campus or in the local community, and have been working on plans to address quarantine/isolation needs and how to accommodate academic needs as well. There are no suspected cases of COVID-19 at UW-Stevens Point.

Please note:

  • It is safe to attend classes on all campuses at UW-Stevens Point and to continue normal routines of campus life. Our Facility Services-Custodial staff is doing extra cleaning and disinfecting in all buildings on campus, using a special Clorox Total 360 System.

  • Public health officials, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), do not recommend that people without symptoms wear masks – unless they are taking care of a person with a suspected COVID-19 infection. You may be asked to wear a mask at a health care facility or if you exhibit symptoms.

  • The UWSP Office of International Education has been in close contact with our study abroad students. We do not currently have any university-sponsored students in China, South Korea or Italy, and no upcoming trips are planned to these countries. These countries have heightened travel advisories.

  • This FAQ webpage has detailed information about the coronavirus, how UW-Stevens Point is protecting the campus community and steps you can take to prevent infection. It is updated regularly.

  • If you have personal travel plans during the next few months, be aware this is a rapidly evolving situation, and travel advisories regarding COVID-19 have changed quickly. It is important to check the CDC and the Department of State sites frequently for updates.  A current summary of the travel advisory levels is on our FAQ webpage.

According to the CDC, the most important preventive measures are:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

  • Stay home when you are sick.

Students with questions are encouraged to call Student Health Service at 715-346-4646.  

Helen Luce, D.O.
Director, UWSP Student Health Service

Campus Announcement - Coronavirus and Spring Travel

Sent to students, faculty, staff - Feb. 26, 2020

When considering travel plans during spring semester, keep in mind that restrictions may be in place because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Our goal is to help ensure you are safe, no matter your travel destination, and that you have the information you need to return home safely.

COVID-19 presents a rapidly evolving situation, so it is important to stay apprised of how this may affect travel plans. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends avoiding travel to China (Alert Level 4). It recommends reconsidering travel to South Korea, which is on Alert Level 3. Japan and Italy were recently put on Alert Level 2 because of sustained community transmission of coronavirus. Older adults and persons with chronic medical conditions should consider postponing nonessential travel to these countries.

UW-Stevens Point suspends university-sponsored travel if the State Department issues a Level 3 or 4 advisory, or if CDC issues a Level 3 advisory. We monitor these guidelines for all university-sponsored international travel. Our Office of International Education is in contact with those planning travel this year.

For those traveling internationally during spring break or in the future, be prepared to provide documentation of recent travel history. Keep your passport and print copies of your travel itinerary with you. Travelers could be barred from re-entering the United States or may face limitations/restrictions on movement, such as required quarantine.

Most U.S.-based airlines have suspended service to China through March. Chinese nationals traveling from China are currently barred from entering the United States by presidential order.

U.S. citizens and permanent residents who have traveled to China or had known exposures to coronavirus are being held in quarantine for 14 days by presidential order. While no other countries have been subject to the mandatory quarantine, this could change.

If you have traveled and become ill, seek medical advice. Call ahead before going to a doctor's office or emergency room. Tell them about your recent travel.

The CDC is a valuable resource for information on travel advice and restrictions: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html. For more information about COVID-19 precautions and preventing the spread of illness, visit UW-Stevens Point's FAQ page.

Please note: UW-Stevens Point has no suspected cases of COVID-19, and Wisconsin has one confirmed case. Students with questions are encouraged to call Student Health Service at 715-346-4646.

Wishing you a safe, healthy spring.

Helen Luce, D.O.
Director, UWSP Student Health Service

Campus Announcement - Travel ban to China regarding 2019 novel coronavirus 

Sent to students, faculty, staff - Jan. 31, 2020

As a precaution to protect the health of our students, faculty and staff members, UW-Stevens Point is prohibiting all university-sponsored travel to China, effective immediately.

The U.S. State Department has issued a Level 4 Do Not Travel advisory for China because of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), which was first identified in Wuhan City. On Jan. 30, the World Health Organization determined the rapidly spreading outbreak was a public health emergency of international concern.

UW-Stevens Point follows State Department travel guidelines, suspending student travel at Level 3 advisories. Level 4 is the most severe. We will monitor these guidelines for all university-sponsored international travel and encourage those who may be planning personal travel to check the State Department's guidance for travelers. Travelers should be prepared for travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice.

The UW-Stevens Point Office of International Education is in contact with those planning travel this semester.

The number of confirmed cases of this coronavirus is approaching 10,000 globally. While most are in China, cases have been confirmed in 22 countries, including six in the United States.

There are no confirmed cases of this coronavirus infection in Wisconsin and no suspected cases at UW-Stevens Point. We continue to closely monitor the situation.

UW-Stevens Point students, faculty and staff members have no reason to be overly concerned at this time. Anyone who has traveled to China since late December, or been in contact with someone who has, is encouraged to contact a health care provider if flu-like symptoms develop. Fever, coughing and difficulty breathing are common symptoms with this coronavirus.

UW-Stevens Point Facility Services-Custodial Work Unit provides special disinfecting service in all academic, residential and administrative buildings and university centers during the influenza season.  The Clorox Total 360® disinfecting system uses electrostatic delivery to provide superior coverage. We are already using three of the daily cleaning products most effective for combatting viruses.

For further information, see these UW-Stevens Point FAQs. Students may call Student Health Service at 715-346-4646 for further guidance.

Bernie Patterson
Chancellor 

Campus Announcement - Information on coronavirus

sent to students, faculty, staff - Jan. 28, 2020

To our campus community, 

You may have heard about a new virus, the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). We are providing additional information to address any questions and ease any concerns you may have.

UW-Stevens Point students, faculty and staff members have no reason to be overly concerned at this time. There are no confirmed cases of this coronavirus infection in Wisconsin and no suspected cases at UW-Stevens Point. We are closely monitoring the situation.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported an outbreak of the 2019-nCoV, which began in late December 2019 in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. The number of confirmed cases has grown to nearly 4,500, primarily in mainland China. As of Jan. 28, five cases have been confirmed in the United States.

No UW-Stevens Point students are currently studying in China. We have contacted students from China who are studying at UW-Stevens Point to request they be evaluated if they have traveled to this region or been in contact with someone who has or had traveled and has flu-like symptoms. 

What are the symptoms?

Fever, coughing and difficulty breathing are common symptoms with this coronavirus. If you have these symptoms and have traveled or been in contact with someone who has recently traveled to China, seek medical attention.

How is coronavirus transmitted?

It can be spread between humans through close personal contact, such as coughing, sneezing or touching surfaces contaminated with coronavirus, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes. The 2019-nCoV has an incubation period of 14 days.

What is UW-Stevens Point doing?

Student Health Service and the Office of International Education are monitoring the situation, working closely with UW-Stevens Point's Emergency Management team and other UW institutions and state and county public health partners. We are screening patients who have symptoms to determine if they traveled in the past three weeks.

What should I do?

If you have influenza-like symptoms and recently traveled in China, contact your health care provider for an evaluation. Students should call Student Health Service at 715-346-4646 for further guidance.

If you have not been in Wuhan province or in contact with someone infected with 2019-nCoV in the past two weeks, your risk is very low. Influenza remains the most serious public health concern for our campus communities at this time.

If you are considering travel to China, please be aware of the guidance for travelers issued by the U.S. State Department.

As a precaution against many viruses and illnesses:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home when sick
  • Cover mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing

For further information about this coronavirus, visit the CDC webpage. For updated UW-Stevens Point information and FAQs, see this link.

The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff members are top priorities.

Helen Luce, D.O.
Director, UWSP Student Health Service