Monitoring COVID-19 in the community
Over the past several weeks, Dane County has fluctuated between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention‘s high and medium community levels for the transmission of COVID-19. Community levels are based on numbers of reported COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations and can be used to help guide people in making decisions related to their relative risks of exposure to the virus.
For instance, though you can choose to wear a mask any time, when community levels are medium or high, the CDC recommends wearing a well-fitting mask or respirator (an N95 or KN95) when indoors around other people, and testing before making household or social contact with someone at risk for getting very sick.
“We’re seeing this trend of communities moving to medium and high levels nationwide, and it is possible we could bounce between medium and high levels for a few weeks,” Public Health Madison & Dane County Director Janel Heinrich said. “Being aware of our local landscape—especially if you are immunocompromised or at risk of severe illness—and taking appropriate actions can help prevent the spread of the virus.”
The BA.5 Omicron subvariant is the dominant virus strain in the U.S., making up the vast majority of new cases. PHMDC says the BA.5 subvariant is also likely the dominant virus strain in Dane County and Wisconsin.
UW–Madison is monitoring COVID-19 in our community and working closely with state and local public health officials. There are no changes to campus policy at this time, though public health officials recommend everyone stay up to date on COVID-19 vaccination. This includes booster shots.
Students, faculty, and staff should stay home when sick. University Health Services continues to offer no-cost COVID-19 vaccinations and PCR testing by appointment. Antigen test kits and masks are also available at 333 East Campus Mall. Check for distribution times.