Briefing, September 12, 2020

Campus continues to perform a high volume of tests – this week, the university performed about 2,400 tests per day, up from about 1,750 per day last week and about 1,200 per day at the start of campus testing. Testing appointments remain available Monday through Friday ­– as a reminder, individuals should check all campus testing locations in the MyUHS portal to find the earliest possible appointment.

Today’s data show a decrease in the number of test results that came in Friday compared to earlier in the week. This is not due to a decrease in tests performed. It is because over the course of the week, we are seeing turnaround time lengthen from about 24 hours to 48-72 hours; we expect the turnaround time to shorten again early next week. We continue to meet our expectation of reporting results in no more than 72 hours.

There are 90 new positive tests reported today, all of which are for students.

On September 10, due to a concerning and rapid increase in COVID-19 cases among our on- and off-campus students, UW–Madison has implemented a two-week pause to in-person instruction. Undergraduate students have also been directed to severely limit their in-person interactions in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. Two residence halls, Witte and Sellery, are also under enhanced facility restrictions, and testing of student residents was completed yesterday. Results from these tests will be reported on the dashboard over the next several days.

We continue to monitor cases in all residence halls and if conditions warrant, additional facilities could face restrictions. 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.

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

As of this morning, 279 students are in on-campus isolation and 120 students are in Housing quarantine, in addition to those in Sellery, Witte 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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