Briefing, October 29, 2020

Test Results: There are 54 new positive COVID-19 cases reported today from on-campus testing sites, 44 students and 10 employees. Three student and zero employees tested positive at off-campus testing sites. The percent positive rate today for students tested on campus is 2.2 percent; the 7-day percent positive rate remains at 1.5 percent.

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, 25 students are in on-campus isolation and 19 are in Housing quarantine, in addition to those in fraternity and sorority chapter houses. 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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