RIVER FALLS — The University of Wisconsin-River Falls will join other campuses in the region in switching to remote instruction following Thanksgiving break, the UW System announced Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020.

The switch is in response to beds nearing 100% capacity in Wisconsin's northwest hospital region and an executive order earlier in the week by Gov. Tony Evers advising residents of the Badger State to stay home except for necessary trips such as going to work, getting groceries or refilling prescriptions.

READ MORE: New, specific COVID-19 ordinance recommended to St. Croix County Board | New Richmond middle, high schools going all virtual next week | River Falls School Board OKs winter sports plan, eases distancing for music students

River Falls, Eau Claire and Stout will go online-only, but the campuses will remain open for students to live in residence halls and utilize dining services, according to a news release. Other resources such as libraries, laboratories and independent project spaces will still be available.

“Together as Western Wisconsin’s three regional campuses we all believe this is the right decision,” UWRF Chancellor Connie Foster said in a joint statement. “President (Tommy) Thompson encouraged us to work together as a region in making this decision and we chancellors agree that this is the best approach.”

Newsletter signup for email alerts

Anyone coming back to campus after Thanksgiving break must be tested twice the week they return, and then routine testing will continue to be mandatory for residence hall students, the news release states.

There have been 341 cases of COVID-19 at UWRF between Aug. 26 and Nov. 11, according to the school's pandemic dashboard. There were 65 probable and confirmed cases.

The number of cases statewide surpassed 285,000 this week with more than 2,400 deaths, according to the Department of Health Services.