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UW-La Crosse imposes 2 week 'Shelter in Place' after spike in COVID-19 cases

Many students have left campus, despite the university asking them to stay put.

The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse has canceled in-person instruction and imposed a "Shelter in Place" order for two weeks after a spike in positive COVID-19 cases among students.

The order went into effect 5 p.m. Sunday and is effective until Sept. 27, with Chancellor John Gow saying they had to take "extraordinary measures," with the Shelter in Place in effect for all residence halls.

It comes after a "high number" of positive test results among student residents in various halls, which has resulted in the university's isolation spaces "approaching the point of being filled."

While the university said that students are advised by national health experts not to travel home during the two-week quarantine – lest they pass on the virus to more vulnerable family members – many have decided to go home.

News8000 reports there was a line of vehicles outside the residence halls Sunday as students left campus, with Gow giving them just five hours notice of the impending quarantine.

While some are planning on quarantining at their family home rather than on campus until restrictions, some have decided to leave campus housing altogether and will study from home for the rest of the semester, the TV station notes.

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The shutdown of in-person instruction comes despite the University of Wisconsin not finding any evidence that COVID-19 has been passed on during classes.

"I share the disappointment and frustration of students, families, faculty and staff who had hoped we might enjoy the start to this fall semester together," Gow wrote.

"To those of you who have been following our campus-wide health protocols, I thank you for your awareness and dedication to protecting our UW-La Crosse community."

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