Briefing, September 10, 2020

On September 9, Chancellor Blank announced a two-week shift to remote instruction and the quarantine of two residence halls. The move, in combination with a directive earlier in the week to significantly limit all undergraduate student in-person interactions, is intended to help curb a concerning and rapid increase in COVID-19 cases among our on- and off-campus students.

As of today, UW–Madison testing yielded 295 positive test results among students and zero positive test results among employees. The positive test rate for today’s student results is 13 percent; the 7-day average for student results is 8.5 percent.

To promote the health and safety of our students, as well as our campus and broader communities, all students in Witte and Sellery Halls were instructed to quarantine through September 23 due to large numbers of positive cases among residents. Since late last week we have seen positive test result rates of nearly 10 percent in Witte and 17 percent in Sellery. Today and tomorrow, University Health Services is working to quickly test all students living in these residence halls.

We continue to monitor cases in other on-campus housing and will quarantine additional buildings as conditions warrant. Some residence halls have experienced zero COVID-19 cases to date, while others have experienced smaller positive test rates than we have seen in Witte and Sellery. Routine surveillance testing of Housing students is still underway; students with symptoms or close contacts are also being tested as needed.

A number of fraternity and sorority chapter houses are also under quarantine due to increased cases of COVID-19 among their residents. These students are undergoing mandatory COVID-19 testing this week and the results are reflected in the dashboard.

As of September 9, 218 students are in on-campus isolation and 119 students are in Housing quarantine, in addition to those in Witte and Sellery Halls and in fraternity and sorority chapter houses. Currently, we are able to provide quarantine and isolation space for Housing students as needed. Read more about quarantine, isolation and testing follow-up procedures.

Public Health Madison & Dane County has also seen a dramatic increase in positive cases this week. A large proportion of these positive test results, both from on-campus and off-campus testing, have been linked to UW­–Madison students.

These data serve as a reminder that our on- and off-campus students must continue to take steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which include monitoring symptoms daily, using a face covering, practicing physical distancing, and limiting gatherings.

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