Community Town Hall seeks COVID solutions

Interim+Provost+Greg+Cook

Interim Provost Greg Cook

Carina Lopez Quintero, News Editor

The city of Whitewater and the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater showed unity in their collaboration to find solutions for issues related to COVID-19.

A Community Town Hall was led by City Manager Cameron Clapper, Police Chief Aaron Raap, Interirm Provost Greg Cook, Vice-Chancellor Artanya Wesley and University Police Chief Matthew Kiederlen Oct. 1. The active participation and contributions of the citizens of Whitewater were encouraged through the chat window.

The meeting began with good news from Cook, who announced that positive rates for COVID-19 drastically slowed down. The university also began free antigen testing for on and off-campus students just last week and random testing of students in the dorms. It is critical to have these fast working tests. The increase in testing rates will be a significant factor in ensuring safety for students. Students must take advantage of the resources available to them. 

Enforcing masks has not been a particularly large issue on campus. This was a concern from citizens- how well the students were following protocols. 

 “I feel like we have very good compliance. And I think the reduction in our number of positive cases over the last couple of weeks is good evidence that the safety measures are working,” said Cook. 

The university is excited in their collaboration with the city in the voting process for this year. They opened up their largest facility, the field house, which will be safe, clean, and set up in a way to enforce staying six feet apart. 

“We have our committee getting information out to the students, making sure they’re fully informed,” said Wesley. “That’s going to be critical to understand the steps and procedures of how to register and also how to make sure that they have all the information needed in order to do so, as well as our safety measures and protocols and procedures.”

The large student parties that happened earlier in the semester seem to be going down. Cook congratulated the students in taking the initiative and not only making it safer on campus but in the community as well. The appreciation was also shared amongst Clapper.

This same awareness is encouraged as the decision for spring break continues to be thought out. Students must make safe choices and cancel any travel that they may have been considering. The decision on spring break will be announced in a few weeks. 

Ensuring the safety of the community is still the top priority, and it is important that the University and the students take this matter seriously. Continued communication between city and university places an ease to the citizens that live here. Equal efforts are expected from both ends.

“I just want to express how grateful we are to be in the wonderful City of Whitewater, and also to have a branch campus established over in Janesville.  It’s a treat for us to be engaged in both of those communities, and we pledge to do all we can to help keep everyone safe during this COVID period, and we certainly hope it’s going to be over soon.  So, thank you all,” said Cook.

To stay up to date with reported cases on campus, visit https://www.uww.edu/warhawks-return/dashboard.

 

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