Weekly Briefing, January 7, 2021

The 7-day positivity rate is 2.5% for students and 1.4% for employees. Since December 30, 92 university members have tested positive, an increase from the 60 who tested positive the week before.

After cases dropped statewide for several weeks, we have seen a rise in positive cases across Wisconsin and in Dane County and we expect to see that increase reflected in campus cases as well. With this 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.

University Health Services has begun vaccinating eligible Phase 1a employees and students against COVID-19. The initial phase of vaccination includes frontline health care workers and others in direct contact with COVID-19 patients, or in direct contact with the virus that causes COVID-19 or virus specimens.

Students and employees should review university guidance on COVID-19 precautions around holiday travel. If you’re traveling back to Madison, test before you travel if possible, limit your out-of-home activities as much as you can for 10 days before you travel, and postpone your travel if you test positive or have symptoms of COVID-19. Once you arrive in Madison, limit yourself to only essential activities (such as attending class and work) until you’ve received two negative on-campus test results. Schedule tests through University Health Services.

A state of emergency and public health emergency remain 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 operations: For updates on campus operations as the spring semester begins, visit this webspage.

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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