Weekly Briefing, December 10, 2020

The 7-day positivity rate for employees is 1.0%, and it is 1.3% for students. Since December 3, 108 university members tested positive, the same number as tested positive the week before.

Following the Thanksgiving recess, many students returned to their permanent homes. This change in the campus population makes direct comparisons between cases before and after Thanksgiving difficult, but campus cases have been relatively stable since the holiday. In Dane County, positive cases have recently declined, but hospitalizations remain at an all-time high.

A majority of university members who tested positive in recent days reported traveling during the Thanksgiving recess. This serves as a reminder that holiday travel carries risks for contracting or transmitting COVID-19, and all employees and students are encouraged to limit their travel and gatherings as community spread remains very high. Anyone who does travel should abide by local orders, and strictly limit contacts and get tested before and after traveling.

The majority of on-campus Housing residents who departed for the Thanksgiving recess followed university guidance and did not return to Madison. Anyone who did travel and then returned to Madison is urged to follow university guidance for students and for employees regarding self-quarantining and testing before returning to campus.

With a high level of community spread, it remains critical to take precautions: limit trips out, avoid gathering in-person, practice physical distancing, wash hands frequently, stay home when sick, and wear a mask in public.

A state of emergency and public health emergency remains in effect in the state of Wisconsin, extending the face covering requirement in order to address hospital bed and staff shortages. A local order from Public Health Madison & Dane County remains in effect and includes a ban on indoor off-campus gatherings of more than 10 people. UW–Madison remains subject to state orders.

Campus testing: 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.

Campus operations: All group instruction and final exams are being conducted virtually through the end of the semester, and some campus operations and building hours have changed — view updates.

Hospitalizations: No UW–Madison students or employees have reported current hospitalizations due to COVID-19. PHMDC tracks hospitalizations on its dashboard.

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