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.

Cover image of Return to Fall 2020 plan

Return to Fall 2020 Plan

Click on the image to view an interactive version of Return to Fall 2020 Plan which was updated on August 18, 2020.

The Return to Fall 2020 Plan can also be view as a PDF file.

 

Future Students FAQs

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.

Current Students FAQs

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.

How will classroom instruction be provided this Fall?

Our instructors received specialized training and equipment over the summer 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.

What are the different types of classes?

Graphic version of course delivery

Here are some definitions for each modality type:

  • In-person: Instruction occurs at a physical location, with scheduled dates and meeting times for the instructor and student.
  • Online: Instruction occurs via the internet. Teaching materials are posted online, learners work through them in their own time, and there is regular communication between the instructor and student.
  • Hybrid: Instruction occurs via both scheduled in-person and online activities, and there is regular communication between the instructor and student. Please refer to definitions or In-person and Online delivery for further details.
  • Online Synchronous: Instruction occurs via the internet, with scheduled dates and meeting times for the instructor and students. There is regular communication between the instructor and students.

You can find more information about how your classes will be conducted by looking at “My Class Schedule” in your Access Stout Student Center.

  • Classes where the Room says “Online” are fully online.
  • Classes where the Room says “Online-Synchronous” are not taught in person, but students log into the class at the same days and times as the instructor.
  • Classes where the Room says an actual room number (such as “Harvey Hall RM 173”) are traditional in-person classes – although there may be some “rotation” of students who would attend in person on certain days but not other days. The instructor will coordinate specific details.

If a student is seeking online options, they are encouraged to connect with their advisor. Students may also contact their instructor to better understand the required in-person components for courses that are hybrid or in-person.

Factors considered for course modality included: building and classroom density reductions due to COVID, disciplinary content and the feasibility of the course content to be instructed remotely, ensuring that course changes would not impact time-to-degree completion, and faculty/staff medical accommodations.

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.

Do we have a threshold for a fully virtual pivot?

We will continue to consult with local health officials, other medical experts, and UW System Administration to determine how to best respond to any changes in the health of our campus. There is no one factor that would compel us to reconsider our plans; rather we are monitoring a range of factors, including campus cases, isolation and quarantine capacity, and community measures.

What changes will be 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.

 

Will residence halls remain open if we move to virtual?

Our goal is to keep the residence halls open, even if instruction moves to fully virtual. A final decision would include consideration of circumstances and consultation with UWSA and public health partners.

Is a flu shot required?

Although a flu shot is not required, it is highly encouraged to help prevent the spread of illness. Hand washing hygiene is also a critical component to helping reduce the spread of influenza, as is staying home when one is sick. Whether it is flu or COVID-19, our protocols remain the same. 

We hope to offer a flu vaccine in late September to residential students. Off-campus students may contact Student Health Services or a local provider to obtain a flu vaccine.

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

How will COVID-19 testing and tracing be addressed?

PCR testing is available at the Student Health Services beginning September 8 for on and off campus students who fall into one of the following categories: 

·       symptomatic individuals 

·       close contacts to known + COVID-19 cases and  

·       individuals required to be tested by healthcare provider or public health

Residence Hall students will begin antigen testing in the Sports & Fitness Center on September 14 as a condition of their residence hall contract. Residence hall students will be tested every two weeks. 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 information and UW-Stout has a similar dashboard as well.

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. 
 

Will there still be student jobs available?

Please know the modality of work for student jobs may be impacted due to COVID-19 safety measures. Student employees should work with their supervisors on their planned work schedules. As a reminder, the Financial Aid and Student Employment Office is available to consult with your regarding on-campus job opportunities.

All job postings can be found on CareerLink. Jobs can be sorted by work study, state payroll, or off campus. The number of listings available at any time will vary. There are typically more options in early fall. We do not have year to year data comparison information available.

Currently, University Dining is in need of more student employees. Learn skills for your future, earn meals and beverages, flexible scheduling, leadership opportunities. meet new friends, and put some money in your pocket. Apply now and earn an extra $2.00/hr between Sept. 6th to Sept 19th. Apply Now!

Will there be an opportunity to vote on campus?

If you are a residence hall student, you can vote at the on-campus polling location. If you request an absentee ballot from your home community, you can vote that way as well. You can, of course, only vote one time.

For more information visit the UW System Student Voting Guide.

Will Athletics events be offered this Fall?

The Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) announced on July 27 that conference seasons and championships in the sports of football, women’s soccer, women’s volleyball and men’s and women’s cross country are to be canceled for the 2020-21 academic year. 
 
All competition in the sports of women’s tennis & women’s golf will be suspended for the 2020-21 fall term. The WIAC seasons and championships in the sports of women’s tennis and women’s golf will be moved to the 2020-21 spring term. 
 
For further details and the latest updates on Athletics, please see this press release.

Is the Recreation Center open?

The Health and Fitness Center is currently open. For Phase One, the West Gym as a separate workout space and Johnson Fieldhouse will be open to students, faculty and staff on a limited and by reservation only. 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.  

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:

Miscellaneous Questions
  1. Will there be a passenger limit on the shuttle bus? 
    Yes, there will be a limit.  The StoutRoute buses will run at half capacity (every other seat).  We are currently analyzing class schedules for North Campus students, as they are the primary users of the StoutRoute.  Dunn County Transit is willing to double its bus service capacity during peak demand timeframes.  We also encourage students to consider walking as the weather permits.  Students also have free access to the Community Route that takes them to popular north Menomonie business and destinations.  The Community Route will also run at half-capacity (every other seat).  
  2. Are there going to be more financial aid opportunities or support? Situations that might have been true last year where the FAFSA is concerned certainly are not true now, and the loan options for my student still are not quite enough to cover the bill.
  3. If a student has adjustments to their personal financial situation, they should contact Financial Aid. 
  4. How is student activity off campus, e.g., coffee shops and restaurants, going to be handled?
    We do not monitor student activity off campus.  We will educate about general safety guidelines, but if establishments are open, students are not prevented from going to them. Behavior of off campus students that violates the code of conduct in UWS Chapter 17 is addressed by the Dean of Students office. 
  5. Will there be any family weekends to plan for parents to return this fall? 
  6. Family Weekend at UW-Stout has been historically held in the Spring (April) and features student-driven projects and events.  At this time, no determination has been made regarding our Spring 2021 Family Weekend.

    Last Fall, we held Fam Jam, which was the first family-based offering held during the fall semester. It centers around families and campus and community activities. With on and off campus activities limited this fall, there will be no Fam Jam scheduled for this Fall 2020.   
  7. Is temperature testing required for faculty and staff? 
    All faculty and staff are being asked to monitor their temperature and screen for other COVID-19 symptoms daily. 
  8. What is being done about the transit system and the overcrowding of buses at times? 
  9. Busses will run.   However, there will be an occupancy limit on the busses.  The bus will run at half capacity (every other seat).  We are currently analyzing class schedules for North Campus students.  Dunn County Transit is willing to double its bus service during high demand periods.  We also encourage students to walk as weather permits.
  10. When will parking passes be available?  
    All student parking passes will be available for purchase starting August 4th.
  11.  Will band or theatre activities take place? Theatre courses and theatre performances will not occur this fall. However, band and choir courses will be offered and abide by specific safety protocols. 

Most Recent Students & Families Open Forum

The open forum for students and families was recorded on August 27, 2020 / UW-Stout
Unanswered Questions from August 27, 2020 Forum

Work Study

  1. My daughter will be taking classes online from Minnesota due to her dad's compromised immunity. What happens to her work study?           
    If your daughter will not physically be at Stout, she will need to cancel her work study since we do not have remote work study options available at this time.
  2. What about work study jobs this fall? Where can my son find out information about where he can find work and are there the same amount available as years prior?
    All job postings can be found on CareerLink. https://www.uwstout.edu/academics/career-services/careerlink. Jobs can be sorted by work study, state payroll, or off campus. The number of listings available at any time will vary. There are typically more options in early fall. We do not have year to year data comparison information available.

Academic

  1. What were the factors considered in determining class delivery options?  One of the classes that would seem to need to be in person (a construction class) is online only.
    Factors considered included: building and classroom density reductions due to COVID, disciplinary content and the feasibility of the course content to be instructed remotely, ensuring that course changes would not impact time-to-degree completion, and faculty/staff medical accommodations.
  2. What percentage of the freshman class has opted to take a gap year or to take classes online at home?
    As of 8/26/2020, 4.6% of our new first-year students are taking all credits online and 45 new first-year students have elected to defer their admission.
  3. It's my understanding that students will come home for Thanksgiving break, then return for finals and come home for winter break.  This seems very dangerous given everyone will be connecting with family, etc. and then taking all those germs back to University. It seems more logical to be virtual between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Is this being considered?
    Changes to our academic calendar are not being considered at this time. We have commuter students, faculty, and staff, and daily travel and weekend interactions will occur throughout the semester. We will continue to ask faculty, staff, and students to be diligent with their symptom monitoring in order to protect the UW-Stout community.
  4. At what point up until class starts will additional classes be added to the schedule due to large waiting lists?
    It is not likely that additional classes will be added after August 28. If you have questions about a particular course availability, please reach out to your program director and/or email the covid19update@uwstout.edu and it will get routed to the appropriate point-person.
  5. What criteria / conditions would force UW-Stout to close the campus and go all virtual?
    There is no one factor that would force us to go all virtual; we are monitoring a range of factors, including campus cases, isolation and quarantine capacity, and community measures. We will continue to consult with the University of Wisconsin System Administration and local health officials to determine how to best respond to any changes in the health of our campus community.

Housing

  1. Will Paper towels be provided and available in the communal restrooms in the residence halls?
    All of our restrooms have hand dryer/blower units installed to reduce waste from paper towels.  We encourage students to bring their own hand towel if they would prefer to dry their hands that way.
  2. How do you control only students assigned to a dorm are the only students entering their dorm?
    Each of our residence halls are locked with card access; so, residents only have access to enter the building in which they live.  Our staff will ask any additional guests to leave if they don’t live within that building.
  3. Is mail being delivered to students in the residence halls since the front desks are closed?
    Mail will continue to be delivered as it has previously.  South Campus residents may pick up their mail and packages in the Price Commons, near the University Housing office.  Residents on North Campus may pick up their mail in the mailbox near their front desk and their packages in North Point, Room 039.
  4. There has been a lot of discussion on Facebook around allowing air fryers in the room. What is the stance on that?
    Air fryers are allowed in the residence halls but must be used in the kitchen spaces and properly cleaned and stored after use.
  5. With the recent receipt of the addendum housing and dining contract being so close to the start of school and the optional cancellation timeframe passed; will/can a student still have the option to cancel their current contact of the above and instead live off campus or attend online only instead?
    Students are able to cancel their contract up until they check-in to their room or their contract date officially begins, whichever comes first.

Financial

  1. There should be a discount if my student has to self-teach with all online classes. I completely disagree with your statement that the level of instruction and learning is high level.
    The expense of a college course primarily consists of the salary of the faculty member that is teaching the class. Whether the class is delivered in person or on-line, the main expense of that course (faculty salary) remains the same. That is the reason the University of Wisconsin System schools do not discount on-line course tuition. If there is an issue with the quality of the course, you should contact the Academic Dean with that concern. 
  2. If in-person classes are eventually cancelled, housing and dining fees should be allowed to be cancelled - similar to receiving an internship.
    Our residence halls and dining operations are open for our students, and we plan to keep them open.   If we are forced to close the facilities in the future, there will likely be a very similar approach to the spring 2020 semester in which we issued refunds. During the spring of 2020, the university made the decision to close those facilities. We refunded the balance of the spring term on a daily rate basis.

Voting

  1. My son just turned 18. We registered him to vote with our Ward here at home. I was thinking I would send him the absentee ballot. Is that possible? Now I understand that he would be able to vote on campus.
    If your student is a residence hall student, they can vote at the on-campus polling location. If they request an absentee ballot from their home community, they can vote that way as well. They can, of course, only vote one time.

Testing

  1. What happens when my son forgets to sign up for the COVID testing?
    Participating in the antigen testing is a requirement of living on campus.  If your student forgets the first time, they will be offered a second option to comply.  If they do not comply a second time, their residence hall contract will be canceled.
  2. What if the testing of a student was via antiBODIES? Early in the pandemic PCR testing was not available for all.
    Public Health does not recognize the antibodies testing, as the exposure date of COVID-19 is unknown.
  3. If a student has evidence of COVID antibodies, does that influence the need for future testing? FYI: persons donating blood have started being told their antibody status.
    Public Health does not recognize the antibodies testing, as the exposure date of COVID-19 is unknown.
  4. Will spit tests be available instead, if you have medical issues with your nose and can’t take the normal test?
    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.
  5. Are there plans to post on the website the number of active COVID-19 cases on campus?
    Our website will have the number of known campus student positive test results once testing begins on our campus.
           

Isolation and Quarantine

  1. If your roommate tests positive and goes to isolation, do you automatically go to quarantine?
    Guidance on this does change periodically; however, as of today, yes, a roommate of an individual who has tested positive will go to quarantine.
  2. Is there any option for those quarantined to get some fresh air and be outside? I personally would go crazy being stuck inside for 2 weeks.
    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.

Health Information/Services

  1. Can we keep a power of health on file through Stout?
    Yes.  The student can give it to Student Health Services, and they will scan it into their health chart.
  2. If a student has given HIPAA authorization and power of attorney for healthcare to their parents, should those forms be provided to Student Health Services?
    Yes, you are welcome to give these to Student Health Services.
  3. If a vaccine becomes available, will it be mandated?
    At the present time, there are no vaccines that are mandated by UW-Stout.
  4. Student Health Services had pretty limited hours last year (before the shutdown). Will there be more hours of operation? Weekend hours? More staff?
    Student Health maintained their normal hours of operation through the end of the academic year. They will maintain their same hours of operation this fall with the same level of staffing. Weekend care is available at Urgent Care at Mayo Clinic Red Cedar in Menomonie

Misc.

  1. Not sure if I misunderstood the laptop refresh for returning students. Should they have received them in the mail or is this part of the Walk & Talk?  Thank you.
    Laptop refresh for upper-class students began on 09/2/2020 and continues for a number of weeks. Returning students received an email. Refresh hours and Walk & Talk hours for the week of September 7 are the same. Refresh is by appointment only. Walk & Talk is based on your availability during the scheduled hours.
  2. Is Stoutfitters open right now? And during move in?
    Yes, Stoutfitters is open during normal business hours.
  3. Will the door tool be able to clip on to your lanyard?
    There is not a key ring on the tool. A lanyard may be able to be looped around it, or a clip attachment may work.
  4. We chose Stout for the very strong programming for students with learning disabilities. I am concerned about my student not being able to meet in person with SSS and Disability Services. How will students like mine be helped along the way?  Will they proactively help out students during this very crazy time? 
    Students will be able to meet in person, albeit at times virtually through Microsoft Teams, with staff in SSS and Disability Services.  At times, there may be in person meetings as well. Staff are available to assist as appropriate and as needed.

Past Students & Families Open Forums

The open forum for new students and families was recorded on July 23, 2020 / UW-Stout
The open forum for returning students and families was recorded on July 23, 2020 / UW-Stout

Student Resources