Briefing, November 2, 2020

Test Results: There are 15 new positive COVID-19 cases reported today from on-campus testing sites, 14 students and 1 employee. No university members tested positive at off-campus testing sites. The percent positive rate today for students tested on campus is 3.9 percent; the 7-day percent positive rate is 2.0 percent.

Voting and COVID-19: Tomorrow is Election Day. To minimize delays, get ready by checking for voter preparation tips. If you are voting in person, be sure to wear a face covering if possible, stay at least 6 feet from other people while waiting to vote and wash/sanitize your hands before and after voting.

If you’re in Wisconsin and you have been told to quarantine or isolate by a medical or public health worker, you can designate someone to help you vote. Choose someone who is eligible to vote (they must be a U.S. citizen, at least 18 years old, have resided in Wisconsin for at least 28 consecutive days, and not currently serving a felony sentence, including probation/parole) to be your “agent.” They can go to your municipal clerk’s office to pick up an absentee ballot, bring it to you to fill out, and return it to the clerk’s office. For more information on how to do this in Madison, call the City Clerk at (608) 266-4601 or email

If you’re having symptoms of COVID-19 but haven’t been directed to quarantine/isolate, you can ask to vote curbside at your assigned Wisconsin polling place. A ballot will be brought out to you. For more information on how to do this in Madison, call (608) 266-4601 or email

How to stay safe: We are seeing a rise in cases among the university community along with rising cases across Dane County and Wisconsin. With an increased level of community spread, it is safest to assume that anyone could have or be susceptible to COVID-19 and to take appropriate precautions against transmitting or contracting the disease: limit trips out, avoid gathering in-person, practice physical distancing, wash hands frequently, stay home when sick, and wear a mask in public.

UHS continues to offer the flu vaccine to students with SHIP. Off campus, flu vaccines are available through primary care providers and at many pharmacies, grocery stores and big box retailers. Find an option near you.

Testing appointments: Testing appointments remain available Monday through Friday, and include pedestrian and drive-up options. Check all campus testing locations in the MyUHS portal to find the earliest possible appointment. UHS has now added drive-up testing in addition to pedestrian testing at 21 N. Park St.

Isolation and quarantine: As of this morning, 30 students are in on-campus isolation and 29 are in Housing quarantine. Read more about quarantine, isolation and testing follow-up procedures.

Hospitalizations: We are not aware of any students or employees currently hospitalized with COVID-19. However, state and local hospitalizations for COVID-19 are at a record high and Dane County’s health systems are making adjustments to non-emergency and non-urgent procedures and services in order to prioritize the pandemic-related health care needs of our community.

COVID-19 in our community: COVID-19 hospitalizations and the 7-day average of new COVID-19 cases are at record highs in Dane County and across Wisconsin. In addition, COVID-19 deaths per day are at record levels in the state. As part of the Dane County and Wisconsin communities, the UW–Madison campus community must continue to follow public health guidance to limit the spread of the disease both on and off campus. Limit your interactions with anyone outside your household and wear a face covering as much as possible.

PHMDC recently announced that while individuals will continue to receive test results, contact tracers may not be able to follow up with everyone who tests positive and their close contacts. However, UHS contact tracing continues to operate normally and handles contact tracing for anyone identified as a UW–Madison student or employee, and for their close contacts.

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