UWO begins second semester amid low COVID-19 cases

Omro suspends classes due to spike in cases


Courtesy of Winnebago County Health Department COVID-19 dashboard

Sophia Voight, Assistant News Editor

UW Oshkosh is starting its spring semester among Winnebago county’s lowest number of COVID-19 cases since September. 

There was an average of 20 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases per day in Winnebago County last week. Daily confirmed cases have not been this low since the beginning of September, according to the Winnebago County Health Department (WCHD) COVID-19 data.  

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 on the UWO campus have also remained low with a 3.3% positivity rate on campus and only 14 active cases as of Tuesday, according UWO’s COVID-19 dashboard.

The WCHD COVID-19 dashboard reported a 3.5% positivity rate for the second week of February, which is a decrease from 4.3% positivity the first week of the month.

Hospitalizations from COVID-19 are down 50% since the beginning of February in the Fox Valley. There are currently 28 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in the Fox Valley.

However, the county still remains in a “high burden status” level for the virus, which is when the active case rate is between 100 and 350. 

The WCHD said everyone still needs to do their part to stop the spread of COVID-19 by limiting the amount of gatherings they attend.

The county health department identified a COVID-19 case spike in Omro Feb. 15. Case rates in the city of Omro are about 30% higher than the average rate in the rest of the county.

The WCHD and School District of Omro said high school gatherings for sports and extracurriculars starting back up appears to be a reason for the spike in confirmed cases. 

Omro High School suspended in-person classes for the remainder of the week after they reported 12 new student cases, 20 total cases and over 170 close contacts with the coronavirus. 

UWO has also resumed its athletics programs and begun hosting more in-person events. 

In January, the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference unanimously voted to begin winter competition in February. The competitions are currently conference-only and no spectators are allowed.

Reeve Union has also planned more in-person events this semester such as Taste of UW Oshkosh, movie series, craft nights and gaming nights.

In a university-wide email, UWO Police Chief Kurt Leibold said it is important for students to maintain safety measures so the university can maintain its push to return to normal operations.

Albee Hall remains open for testing during the spring semester by appointment 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.