Weekly Briefing, March 4, 2021

The seven-day positivity rate is 0.4% for both employees and students. Since Feb. 25, 193 university members have tested positive out of more than 46,000 tests; 296 tested positive the week before.

As the weather warms, outdoor activities are a better way than indoor activities to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. However campus policy requires everyone to wear a mask outdoors except when exercising and maintaining at least six feet of distance from others, as close contact, even outdoors, presents a risk for spreading the disease.

Although cases have decreased recently on campus, we are seeing positive cases following recent large outdoor gatherings and community spread remains high. It is critical that all members of our community consistently follow public health requirements: test regularly; wear a two-layer (or greater), well-fitting face covering; avoid gatherings; and clean hands frequently.

All students and staff must have a green Badger Badge to enter campus buildings, except to receive a test, pursue care at University Health Services or to be vaccinated. Plan ahead to receive a test in time, allowing enough time to receive test results. All undergraduates living in central Madison must test regularly even if they do not need to enter campus buildings. Find more information on how to get tested and new testing requirements.

The PCR test used on campus is the most specific test available for COVID-19 infection. While every diagnostic test has some false positives, individuals with a positive result must isolate to prevent the spread of illness. In response to campus feedback, University Health Services offers a process for people with concerns about their test result to request a review. In the Messages section of MyUHS, select “new message” and “COVID-19 Related Messages.” It will take 24–48 hours for a provider to review your results.

University Health Services continues to provide COVID-19 vaccines to eligible groups, including those who perform direct patient service duties, individuals over age 65, and employees over age 55 with certain student-contact responsibilities. Vaccine supplies remain extremely limited across the state. As more individuals become eligible for vaccination on campus, please keep an eye on your university email for more information. For more information about vaccination on campus, check UHS and the Covid Response site for updates.

Campus policies requiring wearing masks indoors, as well as outdoors except when exercising and maintaining six feet from others, remain in effect.

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