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UW-L orders Coate Hall under quarantine
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UW-L orders Coate Hall under quarantine

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The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse has ordered residents of a campus dorm to shelter in place because of a spike in COVID-19 cases.

Coate Hall – a co-ed dorm that, during normal times, houses about 380 students – is being quarantined until further notice.

It was not immediately clear how many students are living there now.

According to the university’s COVID dashboard, a total of 64 positive cases were reported at the university Thursday. There were 228 tests, for a positivity rate of 28.07% That dashboard states 21 cases were reported Wednesday with a positivity rate of 12.21%, and 12 positive cases were reported Tuesday with a 6.52% positivity rate.

According to a statement issued Thursday by the UW-L COVID response team: “While the data there reflects reporting as of yesterday afternoon, we have become aware today of a surge in positive test results that are not yet reflected in the dashboard. As a result of this surge in cases, we are calling for a “shelter in place” for Coate Hall effective immediately. Coate Hall residence will receive more information from Residence Life shortly. We will also activate the RAVE alert system to draw their attention on to that email quickly.

“While we have gone to great lengths to keep our campus community safe, and while we trust that a large number of students are acting responsibly, we are alarmed by how quickly our resources are being stressed. We continue to field reports of large gatherings, folks failing to follow mask and distancing guidelines, and students choosing to dismiss quarantine and isolation instructions. This has led to a surge of COVID-19 cases on campus. This threatens the wellbeing of everyone in our broader community, especially those who are at risk.

UW-L officials said, “If we don’t reverse these dangerous behaviors, and if we don’t begin holding our friends and neighbors accountable, this semester will end like the last one did: online. We also know this issue is not unique to UW-L. But this is an honest assessment of our current reality.”

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