‘We’re all in this together’: UW-Whitewater leaders ask students to take COVID-19 precautions seriously

UW-Whitewater-generic

WHITEWATER, Wis. — UW-Madison is a big part of the community, but in a place like Whitewater, the university is almost as big as the city itself.

That’s why UW-Whitewater is encouraging its students to take the pandemic, and their impact on it, seriously.

Eight Wisconsin cities are on the New York Times’ list of the top 20 cities with the fastest increase in cases. Madison ranks 18th, La Crosse first and Whitewater third. The majority have a UW school in those cities.

At UW-Whitewater, their COVID-19 dashboard showed 81 new cases this week and nearly 300 campus cases since March.

Administrators don’t want to have to take away in-person learning opportunities like UW-Madison did. They just need everyone to buy in on practicing all the safety protocols in place.

“We’re all in this together. We know what happens on the university campus impact the community as a whole,” UW-Whitewater Director of Communications Jeff Angiler said. “We know that UW-Whitewater, both the Whitewater and Rock County campuses, have about a half of a billion dollars of economic impact on our region every year. We know what happens on campus impacts the community.”

Earlier this week Interim Chancellor Greg Cook basically begged students if they don’t change their behavior, classes will go virtual.

The Whitewater City Council met this week and has been evaluating whether to take new COVID-19 prevention measures, including the idea of having campus and city police departments work together to patrol neighborhoods to limit mass gatherings.

UW-Whitewater has a goal of staying with in-person learning through Thanksgiving.