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CLOSED FOR COVID: Ongoing List of Chippewa Valley Shutdowns [UPDATED]

Tom Giffey

UPDATED Thursday, 4-2-20, 2:55pm

Since a statewide public health emergency was declared on March 12 in response to the coronavirus pandemic, news has been moving swiftly. Wisconsin schools were soon closed, and many public and private facilities have followed suit. As of 5pm on March 17, Gov. Tony Evers has ordered a moratorium on all gatherings of more than 10 people (with limited exceptions, such as hospitals and long-term care facilities) and ordered all bars and restaurants closed, although restaurants will still be able to serve customers via takeout and delivery.

Click here for the latest from the state Department of Health Services.


Here’s a list of the major Chippewa Valley public facilities that have announced they are temporarily closing to protect public health. We’ll do our best to keep this updated, so please let us know in the comments below (or via email) if things have changed or if you’d like to see us add to the list.


EDUCATION

K-12 SCHOOLS

All K-12 schools in Wisconsin are closed indefinitely. See your school district’s website for details. (For example, the Eau Claire Area School District offers this website full of at-home learning resources: https://www.ecasd.us/District/At-Home-Learning.) 

In addition, all Eau Claire Area School District were closed to the public as of 5pm Friday, March 20, until further notice. 

CHIPPEWA VALLEY TECHNICAL COLLEGE

UPDATE: CVTC announced April 2 that its spring commencement, originally planned for May 15, has been postponed due to state and federal recommendations regarding the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, the spring commencement will now be held in conjunction with the summer ceremony scheduled for Thursday, July 30.

PREVIOUSLY: “Effective, Friday, March 20 at 5pm, all CVTC campuses will be closed to the public until further notice. This includes the Learning Center, Assessment Center, and computer labs on all campuses. Student life will be in contact with students to make arrangements for retrieval of items from their lockers. Instructors will work directly with students who require other course-related equipment, tools or kits.”

CVTC announced March 17 that it was suspending all classes until March 30. At that time, classes will resume online for the time being. Read more here: www.cvtc.edu/covid19

UW-EAU CLAIRE

UPDATE: UW-Eau Claire Chancellor James Schmidt announced Friday, March 20, that all classes will be taught online for the remainder of the semester, and that the university is “looking to transition all summer courses to online format in the spirit of continued caution.” Visit this website for details: https://www.uwec.edu/coronavirus-updates/

All in-person classes have been suspended until at least Friday, April 3. Classes will resume, but only online, from Monday, April 6, through Friday, April 17. 

Schmidt previously announced that as of 5pm, March 17, “campus services normally open to community members, such as the McIntyre Library and upper campus fitness facilities, will no longer be available to students, faculty, staff or the general public until further notice.”

UW-STOUT

Face-to-face instruction at UW-Stout in Menomonie has been suspended until at least April 5 has shifted to alternative delivery methods for both spring and summer 2020 courses. Follow developments online here: https://www.uwstout.edu/covid-19-coronavirus-planning-and-preparedness

 

GOVERNMENT OFFICES

CITY OF EAU CLAIRE

Eau Claire City Hall was closed to the public effective noon on Tuesday, March 24, according to a media release: “We don’t know how long this will last but until we’re able to open our doors again, rest assured that we are here for you; online, by phone, and email. Please visit: EauClaireWI.gov and click Online Services to renew a pet license, get a dog park pass, apply for a building permit, pay a parking ticket, and many of the other services you rely on us for.”

CITY OF ALTOONA

As of March 19, Altoona City Hall is currently closed to visitors. The city customer service department is available by phone at (715) 839-6092 or by email at cityhall@ci.altoona.wi.us. Many city processes can be initiated online by visiting https://www.ci.altoona.wi.us/. Read more about the City of Altoona’s response in a letter from City Administrator Mike Golat.

CHIPPEWA COUNTY

“Effective at 4:30pm on Thursday, March 19, 2020, all facilities will be closed to the general public. Anyone needing to do business at Chippewa County buildings should call ahead and be prepared to make alternative arrangements instead of meeting in person. The buildings will be locked and customers with prearranged appointments will be instructed on how to enter the building.” See the Chippewa County website for details. 

DUNN COUNTY

“Effective at 8am on Monday, March 23, 2020, all facilities will be closed to the general public. Anyone needing to do business at Dunn County buildings should call ahead. ... The buildings will be locked and customers with prearranged appointments will be instructed on how to enter the building.” See the Dunn County website for updates or read the full press release for details.

EAU CLAIRE COUNTY

UPDATE: “For the safety of our customers and co-workers, beginning Friday, March 20, Eau Claire County will suspend all walk-up services except for emergency and 24/7 operations until further notice. ... Phone-based and online services will still be available. All public entrances will be closed; except for the main entrance at 721 Oxford Avenue which should be used for pre-scheduled appointments and court services only.” For full details see this announcement from the county. You can also call (715) 271-7970 for guidance.

COUNTY EXTENSION OFFICES

Extension offices statewide have limited availability and access. Click here for information on the Eau Claire County Extension office and here for information on Chippewa County Extension.

DIVISION OF MOTOR VEHICLES

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation made this announcement on March 18: “All DMV Customer Service Centers will be closed to the public on Friday, March 20. DMVs will use this time to deep clean each location and modify office space to allow additional social distancing practices when the service centers reopen on Monday, March 23.” The following temporary changes have also been made:

• Driver licenses and CDLs that expire during this public health emergency will be automatically extended 60 days. Late fees will be waived. The driver record, visible to law enforcement, will show the extension and that the driver license is valid.
• All driver skills tests are being cancelled as of March 18 until further notice.
​• Customers are being notified that administrative suspension hearings will be offered by telephone (or paper), not in-person.

 

LIBRARIES

L.E. PHILLIPS MEMORIAL PUBLIC LIBRARY

The Library will be closed March 17 through at least April 6. Learn more online (https://www.ecpubliclibrary.info/announcement/) and remember that the library offers lots of online resources (LINK TO BLOG) even when its doors are closed.

ALTOONA PUBLIC LIBRARY

The Altoona Public Library will be limited to checkouts and returns on Wednesday, March 18, from 9am to 5pm; after 5pm, it will be closed until further notice: https://www.facebook.com/Altoona-Public-Library-WI-184664563570/

AUGUSTA PUBLIC LIBRARY

The Augusta Public Library closed on Tuesday, March 17, until further notice: https://www.facebook.com/augustawilib

CHIPPEWA FALLS PUBLIC LIBRARY

The Chippewa Falls library will be closed beginning Wednesday, March 18, through at least April 1. The library board will re-evaluate then. More: https://chippewafallslibrary.org/coronavirus-covid19-library-statement/

MENOMONIE PUBLIC LIBRARY

As of Tuesday, March 17, the library is open. However, a special meeting of the library board is planned for Tuesday evening at which a closure will be discussed. However, all library programs have been canceled through May 10. More: https://menomonielibrary.org/library-response-to-covid19/

 

ART & ENTERTAINMENT

PABLO CENTER AT THE CONFLUENCE

All events scheduled for the Pablo Center through May 17 April 14 have been canceled, and the facility (including the Visit Eau Claire Experience Center) are closed until that time as well. The Pablo Center is working to reschedule events, and will be in touch with ticket holders.

UPDATE as of March 25 | Here is the current scoop from the Pablo Center

All performances, special events and classes until May 17, 2020 will be impacted. The following programming has also been impacted:

• All community outreach and educational programming have been canceled until May 17, 2020 following the closure of all primary schools. This includes: ARTmobile, Legomind Storm, Girls Who Code, and Robotics.
• All remaining University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire performances have been canceled through May 17, 2020 following the UW-Eau Claire's closure of all campus-based, in-person classes. 

EAU JAZZ FESTIVAL

The Eau Claire Jazz Festival and its Jazz Crawl (formerly known as 52nd Street), which were scheduled for April, have been canceled effective March 18. According to a news release, “Band directors, adjudicators, and musicians have been contacted regarding the board’s decision, and registration fees for this year’s events will be refunded. Processes are underway to ensure refunds for any members of the public who purchased tickets for any of these events.”

MABEL TAINTER THEATER

The Mabel Tainter Center for the Arts in Menomonie has suspended all programming until further notice. People with tickets to scheduled shows may either hold their tickets (in case the show is rescheduled), convert their tickets into Mabel gift certificates, turn the value of the ticket into a donation to the Mabel, or receive full refunds. Learn more on their Facebook page.

SPORTS & RECREATION

EAU CLAIRE EXPRESS

As of March 25, the Eau Claire Express planned on going ahead with their 2020 baseball season: “The Eau Claire Express and the Northwoods League have every intention of opening day of the 2020 season being Tuesday, May 26, 2020 but will continue to monitor the situation and follow state and federal guidelines.” Read more on the team’s website.

EAU CLAIRE MARATHON

The Eau Claire Marathon, which had been scheduled for May 2-3, has been postponed as of March 24. What has been dubbed “Eau Claire Marathon 2.0” will take place Sept. 26-27. Find out more on their Facebook page.

 

BUSINESS ORGANIZATIONS

EAU CLAIRE AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

The Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce closed its offices effective at 4pm March 19. Staff will continue to work from home and assist businesses remotely. Read more on Facebook or visit the Chamber website.

 

FAMILY RESOURCES

BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF THE GREATER CHIPPEWA VALLEY

As of March 16, Local Boys & Girls Clubs are closed through April 3. During the week of March 23-27, the club’s Eau Claire Center (1005 Oxford Ave.) will be distributing meals to members and their families. See Facebook for details.

FAMILY RESOURCE CENTER

The Family Resource Center, housed in Eau Claire’s Oakwood Mall, will be closed through April 5. Follow their Facebook page for updates: https://www.facebook.com/frcec/

FAMILY SUPPORT CENTER

This Chippewa Falls-based organization, which addresses domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse, will temporarily close its office until April 30. However, telephone calls and scheduled telephone appointments are welcome and strongly encouraged at (715) 723-1138 or (800) 400-7020. See their Facebook page for more information: https://www.facebook.com/FamilySupportChippewaValley/

RIVER SOURCE FAMILY CENTER

River Source Family Center in Chippewa Falls is not providing drop-in or in-person interaction at this time, and all scheduled activities through April 30 have been postponed. However, the center will continue to provide assistance through tele-parenting (by phone) and through Facebook and email. Effective March 25, they can be reached by phone via their lead agency, the Family Support Center, at (715) 723-1138. Their phone numbers have been transferred to an answering service that will be taking calls and forwarding message to the appropriate programs. These changes will remain in effect until April 30. Read more here: https://www.facebook.com/RiverSourceFamilyCenterChippewaCounty/.

 

FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS

Some financial institutions have adjusted their operations in light of COVID-19. The Wisconsin Bankers Association has created interactive maps, which will be updated daily, of Wisconsin banks have lobbies and drive-throughs available for customers: https://www.wisbank.com/resources/coronavirus-covid-19/wisconsin-bank-lobbies-and-drive-throughs. The WBA also advises calling your bank “to determine which in-person services remain available and learn what tools and resources they have for self-service banking.”

ROYAL CREDIT UNION

As of Wednesday, March 18, the lobbies of all RCU branches will be closed. However, drive-throughs are open, and most other operations will continue as normal (including previously scheduled appointments, such as loan closings). See details here: https://www.rcu.org/about-royal/news-events/news-stories/coronavirus

 

MUSEUMS & ATTRACTIONS

BEAVER CREEK NATURE CENTER

The Nature Center and all other buildings at Beaver Creek Reserve outside Fall Creek will be closed to the public until Monday, April 6:
 https://www.facebook.com/beavercreekreserve/

CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF EAU CLAIRE

The museum will be closed Monday, March 16, through Sunday, March 29. Follow their Facebook page for updates: https://www.facebook.com/childrens.museum.of.eau.claire

CHIPPEWA VALLEY MUSEUM

The Chippewa Valley Museum in Eau Claire’s Carson Park will be closed until Monday, April 6. Se their Facebook page for updates: https://www.facebook.com/chippewavalleymuseum/

DUNN COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY

The society’s Rassbach Museum and Fulton’s Workshop will be closed through Monday, April 6, following the local school closure schedule. Visit their Facebook page for updates: https://www.facebook.com/dunnhistory/ 

AGER HOUSE

The Waldemar Ager House in Eau Claire has been closed until further notice. In addition, the annual Syttende Mai banquet scheduled for May 17, which is co-hosted by the Waldemar Ager Foundation and other Nordic groups, has been canceled.

 

RELIGIOUS INSTITUTIONS

DIOCESE OF LA CROSSE

The Diocese of La Crosse, which oversees all Roman Catholic churches in the Chippewa Valley, has canceled all public masses, as well as all fish fries, parish gatherings, etc., effective March 17 until further notice. Churches remain open for private prayer. Read the full announcement here.

 

OAKWOOD MALL

Oakwood Mall announced it would temporarily cease operations effective March 17. See details here.

 

UTILITIES

EAU CLAIRE ENERGY COOPERATIVE

Beginning Wednesday, March 18, until further notice, the Eau Claire Energy Cooperative lobby (8214 U.S. Highway 12, Fall Creek) will be closed to the public. Customers can continue to pay their bills via the drop box (no cash, please), mail, and electronically. Learn more on the the co-op Facebook page.

 

YMCA

With the exception of their childcare programs,* all YMCA of the Chippewa Valley branches are closed at this time. Their anticipated reopening will be on April 6. You can find updates here: https://www.eauclaireymca.org/

* Both YMCA Early Learning Centers will remain open and YMCA Schools Out programs for elementary children will be held at the Chippewa Falls YMCA and the L.E. Phillips Indoor Sports Center in Eau Claire.