Weekly Briefing, December 3, 2020

Following the Thanksgiving recess, all group instruction is being conducted virtually. Many undergraduate students have returned to their permanent homes and we expect they will remain there until the start of spring semester, although other students remain in campus Housing or continue to live off campus in Madison.

The 7-day percent positivity rates for students and employees remain low but have begun to increase slightly. The 7-day percent positivity rate for employees is 0.9% and it is 1.5% for students. Since November 26, 97 university members tested positive, a decrease from the 225 who tested positive the week before.

However, a full understanding of the impact of Thanksgiving-associated travel on campus COVID-19 cases will take additional time. Anyone who traveled for Thanksgiving recess 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. Campus testing sites have capacity to test additional students and employees.

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 any size. 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: In addition to the change to all-virtual instruction, 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.

Changes to the dashboard: Effective November 30, we made three changes to this dashboard:

  • The Daily Snapshot section above summarizes the latest test results, percentage of positive tests and the number of students in quarantine and isolation.
  • The language in this briefing will now be updated weekly except when there is a need for a special briefing to share time-sensitive information.
  • A single chart, Percent Positive 7-day Average, provides the 7-day average percent positive rates for students and employees. This replaces separate charts for students and employees that highlighted the daily percent positive rate and also shared the 7-day positive rate. Due to variances in the amount of tests conducted each day, the 7-day average is a more meaningful statistic than the single-day percent positive. Single-day results may be viewed by hovering over the desired date; they are also listed in the table Testing Results By Day.

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