FAQs

This filterable guide to common questions about COVID-19 testing and safety measures will help you navigate a safe semester on campus. Browse other campus COVID-19 guidance and FAQs:

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What should I do if I’ve tested positive for COVID-19?

Updated

Stay home. Do not go to work, class, or any other campus or public areas. Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home as much as possible. Residence hall students will be provided isolation space.

Isolate at home and do not leave isolation until:

    • It has been at least 5 days since the first day you had symptoms (day 0 is the day your symptoms start), or since you tested positive if you do not have symptoms (day 0 is the day of your test), AND
    • You have been at least 24 hours without a fever (without fever-reducing medicine), AND
    • Your other symptoms are resolving.

Five days is a minimum and some people may need to isolate longer. If you do not meet the criteria after 5 days, continue to isolate until you are fever-free for 24-hours without fever reducing medication and your other symptoms have improved. Isolate longer if you are instructed to do so by a contact tracer or medical professional.

If you meet the criteria to leave isolation after 5 days, and a contact tracer or medical professional did not instruct you to isolate for longer, you must continue to wear a well-fitted mask around others for 5 additional days.

    • If you are unable to wear a mask around others, isolate for a full 10 days.
    • Avoid people who are immunocompromised or at high risk of severe disease until after 10 days.
    • Avoid travel until a full 10 days after your first day of symptoms or your positive test.
    • Do not go places where you are unable to wear a mask, such as restaurants and gyms, until 10 days has passed since your symptoms started or you tested positive.

You may also choose to test before leaving isolation if you meet the criteria for ending after 5 days. If you’re able, use an antigen test toward the end of your 5-day isolation. If you test positive, continue to isolate until day 10.

You should also:

    • Notify your close contacts and work with contact tracers.
    • Take leave or seek flexibility for work; contact your instructors for flexibility with classes and assignments.
    • Monitor your symptoms and call before visiting your doctor. If you have an appointment, be sure you tell them you have or may have COVID-19.
    • Take care of yourself. Get rest and stay hydrated. Take over-the-counter medicines, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen or another non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) to help you feel better.
    • Avoid using public transportation, taxis, or ride-share.
    • Call 911 if you experience a medical emergency, such as difficulty breathing.
    • People in your household, and others you had close contact with need to get tested if possible, stay home, and self-monitor for symptoms. Consult Public Health Madison and Dane County’s exposure guidance.
    • Find additional information through Public Health Madison and Dane County.

If you live with others, consult this guidance from Public Health Madison and Dane County and the CDC to reduce the chances of spreading the virus in your household.

For more information, visit: the CDC’s webpage about quarantining and isolation.

Last updated 12:40 PM, January 19, 2022

I was vaccinated off-campus. How do I let UHS know?

If you are vaccinated off campus, including by a UW Health clinic or by a UW Health provider, wait until you have received either the single dose of a one-dose vaccine or both shots of a two-dose vaccine. Please also share your off campus booster vaccination with UHS as soon as possible to help campus plan and best manage contact tracing efforts.

Upload your record directly to MyUHS

  • Log into MyUHS using your NetID and password.
  • Select “Enter my COVID-19 Vaccine information.”
  • You will be prompted to upload a copy of your immunization record. This can be an image file (PNG, JPG, JPEG) or a PDF. Attempting to upload other kinds of files will result in an error message. Accepted records include:
    • The official Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccination card you receive at your vaccine site. It must contain two patient identifiers, such as name and date of birth; vaccine lot number; vaccine name (for example, Moderna, Pfizer or Janssen/Johnson & Johnson); date of vaccination (there should be two dates for Moderna and Pfizer); clinic name (must be an official clinic name; if the clinic was a chain pharmacy, please include the store number). The example below shows these fields.A sample CDC vaccination card showing the five fields — noted above — that must be filled in.
    • Your Wisconsin Immunization Registry vaccination record
    • A state vaccination record from outside Wisconsin
    • For vaccination outside the U.S., the most complete record you have available. UHS will recognize vaccines maintained on the World Health Organization’s emergency use listing.
  • You will also need to enter the date of your one-dose vaccine and the vaccine manufacturer, or the dates of your two-dose vaccine and vaccine manufacturer in the section labeled “Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine.”
  • Click or tap “Done” when you are finished.

Allow up to five business days for the record to be reflected in your MyUHS account. It may take longer for booster shots to be reflected in your campus record. While the record is under review your Medical Clearance information will indicate “awaiting review.” Once it is approved, this field will say “satisfied.” You will receive an email from UHS when your record is approved.

If you received your vaccination in Wisconsin, and cannot find the record in WIR, contact the WIR Help Desk at 608-266-9691 or email DHSWIRHelp@dhs.wisconsin.gov.

Last updated 6:22 PM, January 11, 2022

Should I attend work or class if I am sick?

No, do not go to work or class if you are feeling ill. If you are experiencing COVID symptoms (see below), stay home except to get tested so you don’t spread the virus to others if you are positive. Stay home as you wait for your test results. If you test negative, contact your health care provider (employees) or University Health Services (students) so they can assess your symptoms prior to your return to work or class. You may need additional follow-up care.

Instructors may offer general reminders that students with symptoms should not come to class, and may remind individual students in private conversations. They should not make assumptions about or ask about an individual student’s testing or vaccination status.

The symptoms of COVID-19 include:  Fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea. For some, these symptoms are mild, but they should not be overlooked, particularly if you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.

If you test positive for COVID-19, follow the guidance of a medical provider or contact tracer or stay home and keep isolated from others.

A cold, the flu and even COVID-19 may seem a lot alike, but there are a few key symptoms to look for.
Is it COVID-19 or a cold? 
Is it COVID-19 or the flu?

Last updated 10:37 AM, October 8, 2021

How long should someone stay home if they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19?

Do not attend work or class with symptoms of COVID-19. Get tested for COVID-19 and isolate yourself immediately, whether or not you’re vaccinated.

If your test result is negative, consult a health care provider before returning to work or class.

Following a positive test, you will need to isolate yourself until you are no longer at risk of passing the virus to others. Find isolation instructions here.

Last updated 1:33 PM, January 7, 2022

Will I know if I have been near someone who tested positive?

If you are a close contact on campus, you may hear from a University Health Services contact tracer via secure message on your MyUHS app or through the MyUHS web portal.

If you haven’t heard from a contact tracer but someone tells you they tested positive and you believe you meet the definition of a close contact, you should:

  • Wear a mask any time you’re around other people for 10 days starting with your last contact, regardless of your vaccination status;

Read more about exposure and quarantining.

Last updated 2:05 PM, January 7, 2022

Can an instructor require face masks in the classroom?

Yes, masks are required in indoor instructional settings. Students who can wear a face covering but refuse to do so should be asked to leave the building. Any absence from class due to refusal to wear a mask should be treated by the instructor as an unexcused absence, with consequences as indicated on individual class syllabi. Students who repeatedly fail to comply may be referred to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards using this form and may be subject to disciplinary action under the non-academic misconduct policy.

Last updated 4:07 PM, September 14, 2021

I have symptoms of COVID-19 but tested negative on an antigen test. What should I do?

New

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 but you test negative on an at-home antigen test, isolate and take another test to confirm your result. Seek a PCR test immediately if available; otherwise, use an antigen test 24 hours after your first test. If the second test is negative, you no longer need to continue isolating. If you have questions, consult a health care provider.

Posted on 3:51 PM, January 13, 2022

I’ve been exposed to (a close contact of) someone with COVID-19. Do I need to quarantine and for how long?

Regardless of your vaccination status, following an exposure (close contact) you should:

  • Wear a mask around others for 10 days starting with your last contact (the day of your most recent close contact is day 0), and
  • Get tested (rapid antigen test or PCR) 5 days after your last contact if possible, and at any point if you develop symptoms.

You do not need to quarantine if:

  • You are fully vaccinated and boosted.
  • You received one dose of Johnson & Johnson or two doses of Pfizer or Moderna and are not yet eligible for a booster.
  • You tested positive for COVID-19 within the previous 90 days.
    • You should still wear a mask for 10 days and get a test at any point if you develop symptoms.

You should quarantine for at least 5 days starting with your last contact if:

  • You have not received a booster but you are eligible.
  • You are not fully vaccinated.
    • Keep up with weekly testing on campus, but limit your interactions with others, avoid shared and public transportation, and wear a mask.

If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 you should get tested and isolate immediately regardless of your vaccination status or whether you previously tested positive. If you have symptoms and your test result is negative on an antigen test, you should seek a PCR test and consult a health care provider before returning to work or class.

For more information about quarantine and isolation, including information for students in residence halls, visit: uhs.wisc.edu/medical/covid19-isolation-quarantine/

Last updated 1:28 PM, January 7, 2022

I live off campus. Do I need to take any precautions before traveling back to Madison? 

New

Students who are currently in the U.S. should:

Take an antigen test before you return to Dane County. (Students who are already in Dane County should follow these instructions for testing once you arrive on campus or in Dane County.)

If it is positive, do not return to Madison or campus; follow these instructions for isolation.

If it is negative:

  • If you are NOT having symptoms, return as planned.
  • If you are having symptoms, do not return to Madison or campus. Isolate and take another test to confirm your result. Use a PCR test immediately (within 24 hours) if available; otherwise use an antigen test 24 hours after your first test. If the second test is negative, return as planned. If the second test is positive, do not return to Madison or campus; follow these instructions for isolation.
  • If you are unable to get a test at your current location before traveling to Madison, get tested as soon as possible upon returning to Madison.

Students who are currently outside the U.S. should:

Following CDC international travel recommendations.

If you have provided or can provide proof of a positive PCR test within the last 90 days, you are not required to test.

  • Otherwise, test as required prior to departing country of origin. If you test positive, postpone your travel and follow these instructions.
  • Take an antigen test 3-5 days after arrival in the U.S. Follow these instructions if you test positive.
  • If you are not fully vaccinated (completed initial vaccine series), quarantine for 5 days after arrival.
Last updated 2:30 PM, January 19, 2022

What should I do once on campus after arriving in Madison?  

New

In addition to testing before you return to Madison, take another antigen test within 24 hours of your return. If you are already in Dane County, take an antigen test at least 24 hours before your next visit to campus (not counting a visit to pick up a test kit if needed, as explained below).

Residence hall students will have an antigen test provided in their room upon move in. Follow the instructions you receive with the test.

Students who live off campus will have access to a free at-home antigen test at no cost with a valid Wiscard. Pickup will be at Memorial Union and Union South, Jan. 18 through Jan. 21 from 11 a.m.–7 p.m. Additional opportunities will be available Jan. 22 through Jan. 24. Check covidresponse.wisc.edu for updates.

If it is positive, do not come to campus. Follow these instructions for isolation.

If it is negative:

  • If you are NOT having symptoms, come to campus as planned.
  • If you are having symptoms, do not come to campus. Isolate and take another test to confirm your result. Use a PCR test immediately (within 24 hours) if available; otherwise use an antigen test 24 hours after your first test. If the second test is negative, come to campus as planned. If the second test is positive, do not come to campus; follow these instructions for isolation.
Last updated 12:38 PM, January 14, 2022

What is a "close contact"?

Close contact is defined as:

  • Living with or caring for a person with confirmed COVID-19, OR
  • Being within six feet of a person with confirmed COVID-19 for about 15 minutes (with or without a mask), OR
  • Someone with COVID-19 coughed on you, kissed you, shared utensils with you or if you had direct contact with their body secretions.

Contact tracers at UW–Madison or another public health entity work with people who test positive for COVID-19 to identify where they spent time while they were symptomatic or infectious. They also work to identify and get in touch with people who may be deemed close contacts.

If you are a close contact on campus, you may hear from a University Health Services contact tracer via secure message on your MyUHS app or through the MyUHS web portal.

If you haven’t heard from a contact tracer but someone tells you they tested positive and you believe you meet the above definition of a close contact, you should:

  • Wear a mask any time you’re around other people for 10 days starting with your last contact (the day of your most recent close contact is day 0), regardless of your vaccination status;
  • Get tested 5 days after your last contact if possible (unless you tested positive in the last 90 days), or sooner if you develop symptoms;

Read more about exposure and quarantining.

Last updated 1:46 PM, January 7, 2022

Someone I’ve been in close contact with just told me they tested positive, but a contact tracer hasn’t contacted me yet. What should I do?

If you are a close contact on campus, you may hear from a University Health Services contact tracer via secure message on your MyUHS app or through the MyUHS web portal.

If you haven’t heard from a contact tracer but someone tells you they tested positive and you believe you meet the definition of a close contact, you should:

  • Wear a mask any time you’re around other people for 10 days starting with your last contact (the day of your most recent close contact is day 0), regardless of your vaccination status;
  • Get tested 5 days after your last contact if possible (unless you tested positive in the last 90 days), or sooner if you develop symptoms;

Read more about exposure and quarantining.

Last updated 1:39 PM, January 7, 2022

How will travel restrictions impact my plans to return to campus?

Reports of the newly identified Omicron variant have made global travel conditions even more uncertain. Many countries, including the U.S., have restricted entry due to this news, while awaiting more definitive information on the variant’s risks. The CDC updated its guidance to reflect new restrictions specific to entry to the U.S. and you are encouraged to read these pages in their entirety prior to departure as students and employees who traveled internationally may be unable to reenter the United States in time to begin the spring semester as planned.

If you traveled internationally, you should become thoroughly aware of all travel restrictions and guidance that may impact your travel back to Madison. Global travel restrictions are likely to change in the coming weeks, so you are highly encouraged to monitor conditions and guidance both before and throughout any travel. Each U.S. embassy website offers a COVID-19 page, and this is a strong starting place to access updated information. Although the embassy’s webpages are specific to traveling U.S. citizens and permanent residents, it will provide good information for others as well. Reviewing the destination country’s foreign ministry website and reviewing its many COVID-19 related links is also highly advised.

Last updated 10:31 AM, January 5, 2022

Why are unvaccinated students and employees required to participate in weekly testing?

When case rates are high, expanded testing is necessary to help limit transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19.

Unvaccinated people continue to experience COVID-19 at higher rates than vaccinated people. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that vaccinated people test only if they have symptoms or a known exposure, but that unvaccinated people continue to participate in surveillance testing.

The university is constantly monitoring the COVID-19 health and safety situation and will determine how long to require testing based on assessments of the changing conditions, including federal guidance, state and local public health conditions, and campus safety.

Last updated 2:09 PM, January 7, 2022

If I receive a third shot or booster off campus, should I upload my record to MyUHS? 

You are not required to submit documentation of an additional dose or booster shot. However, if you would like this information included in your MyUHS immunization records you’re encouraged to submit it. Find instructions for submitting your records online.

Last updated 10:07 PM, November 2, 2021

What information do I need to bring to my appointment for a booster shot or an additional dose?

You should bring your existing paper vaccination card to your appointment, if possible.

If you were vaccinated by UHS or shared your vaccine records through MyUHS you do not need to take additional steps.

If your vaccination record is not on file with UHS, share your records as soon as possible. Follow these instructions and allow up to five business days for it to process.

If your record is not in MyUHS at the time of your appointment, you will need to provide a paper or electronic copy of your vaccination record that includes your name, the vaccine manufacturer and the dates it was administered. If you were vaccinated in Wisconsin, you should be able to access that information in the Wisconsin Immunization Registry.

Last updated 10:11 PM, November 2, 2021

Do I need an additional shot or booster to be considered fully vaccinated and exempt from weekly campus COVID-19 testing?

No, you do not need to receive a booster or additional dose to be considered fully vaccinated if you received two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, or one dose of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. 

Last updated 10:12 PM, November 2, 2021

What is the difference between an additional dose and a booster shot?

People with medical conditions that make their immune systems weaker may not have developed a strong antibody response to their two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. For these people, a third dose at least 28 days after their second shot may help prompt the immune system to produce protective antibodies. Learn more about the additional dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

Booster shots are given to people who are likely to have developed a strong immune response with prior vaccination, in order to help increase, or boost, the immunity they already have. This is because there is some evidence from clinical trials that antibodies produced after the first two shots decline over time. Most of us are familiar with booster doses for other routine vaccinations, such as measles-mumps-rubella and tetanus.

Last updated 9:31 AM, December 3, 2021

Can I become vaccinated and then be exempt from mandatory weekly testing?

Yes. Vaccination is safe, effective and available for free on campus and in the community.

Once you are considered fully vaccinated, you will be exempt from testing. You will be considered fully vaccinated two weeks after you receive a one-dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson) or the second of a two-dose vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna). If you are vaccinated on campus, UHS will have your vaccine record. If you are vaccinated off campus, follow the above instructions to share your record. After completing your vaccine series, you must continue to test until you are two weeks beyond getting your final dose.

Last updated 10:56 AM, September 20, 2021

I previously had COVID-19. Can I be exempt from testing?

If you test positive for COVID-19, you will be exempt from testing for 90 days from the date your sample was collected at a testing location. If your test was done off-campus, you must submit the result via the MyUHS app or website to become exempt. After 90 days, if the campus testing requirement remains in effect, you must resume testing due to your potential to be re-infected with COVID-19. Vaccination provides the longest lasting protection against COVID-19.

Last updated 2:26 PM, January 11, 2022

I already had COVID-19. Do I still need to get vaccinated?

Yes, people who recovered from COVID-19 should get vaccinated. Evidence suggests that antibodies from natural infection may not be as robust or long-lasting as those from vaccination and that vaccination may offer better protection against new variants than those from a natural infection. A recent study showed that individuals who are unvaccinated are twice as likely to get infected again than those who are fully vaccinated.

Students and employees are required to test weekly for COVID-19 if UHS does not have proof of vaccination. Learn more about how to submit proof of vaccination.

COVID-19 vaccine is readily available on campus for all eligible students and employees. Schedule your appointment at UHS now.

Last updated 10:28 AM, October 8, 2021

Is it safe to use a microphone in a classroom shared by other instructors?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, transmission from surfaces contaminated with the virus that causes COVID-19 is not a substantial source of infection. The virus is primarily spread through exposure to respiratory fluids containing the virus, typically through inhalation of small droplets and aerosols; contact between exhaled droplets/particles and mucous membranes (mouth, nose, eyes); or by directly touching contaminated hands or objects to mucous membranes.

Because instructors using microphones in classroom settings will be required to wear masks, direct contact between the surface and the mucous membranes of users should not occur. Campus public health experts recommend practicing ample hand hygiene (wash and sanitize hands) before and after using shared equipment as a way to further reduce the limited potential for spread. Users may also gently clean the microphone with a disinfectant wipe. Please work with your building manager on sourcing disinfecting supplies. 

Last updated 10:03 AM, September 7, 2021

I am an international student traveling to Madison from outside the United States – do I need to test for COVID-19 before leaving?

Per the CDC International Travel guidelines, all passengers coming to the United States, including U.S. citizens and fully vaccinated people, are required to have a negative COVID-19 test result no more than three days before travel or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 in the past three months before they board a flight bound for the United States. After your test, you should reduce interactions with others until you travel to reduce risk of transmission after your test but prior to travel.

If you have children under the age of 5, you should contact your pediatrician to see if they should also be tested for COVID-19.

Last updated 2:09 PM, December 3, 2021

Will I be notified if a student in my class is required to be tested for COVID-19, has failed to test for COVID-19, or tests positive for COVID-19?

No. In Spring 2022, no testing information about students will be shared with instructors.

Last updated 3:56 PM, January 4, 2022

Are instructors required to provide students fully remote or online access to in-person courses?

Updated

In general, instructors are not required to provide remote or online access to courses scheduled for in-person instruction. Students who enroll for courses scheduled for in-person instruction are expected to attend in-person course sessions.

Students with a documented accommodation need related to in-person instruction should contact the McBurney Center. The McBurney Center will work with the student and instructor to explore the possibility of reasonable accommodations.

Individual students unable to attend in-person class meetings for COVID-19-related reasons (or for any reason) should contact their instructor to discuss options for access to course materials and activities. Instructors are encouraged to be flexible and supportive of all students in such circumstances. Students who must miss multiple class sessions should talk with their instructor and with their academic advisor about the best course of action.

If multiple students in a course section must miss in-person class meetings for COVID-19-related reasons, every effort should be made to avoid a disruption of in-person instruction. Instructors should work with their department, school and college to explore ways to provide students who cannot attend in-person sessions access to course materials and activities.

Last updated 1:28 PM, January 18, 2022

What if I test positive for COVID-19 or become ill and am unable to teach my in-person course section?

Instructors of in-person courses who are unable to teach in-person for COVID-19-related reasons should contact their supervisor or department leadership to discuss and coordinate arrangements that will minimize disruption to their in-person courses. As in analogous, non-COVID-19-related circumstances, colleague coverage is a first option to consider. Any interruption of in-person instruction should be temporary and brief.

Last updated 11:56 AM, August 27, 2021

Given the university’s face-covering requirement, are microphones available for instructors of in-person course sections?

All classrooms that are large enough to normally require a microphone already have a microphone system with a communal clip-on pickup element.  Instructors can safely use this equipment, practicing proper hand hygiene before and after such use. This equipment should remain in the classroom.

Instructors who have a documented accommodation need and/or who have a student in their class with a documented accommodation need that requires a microphone, will be contacted and provided with the necessary equipment.

Instructors can take the following steps to determine if they need additional microphone equipment and how to obtain it:

Determine what equipment, if any, already exists in the room(s) you are teaching in by visiting the room(s) in person or contacting the department that controls the space. You can also consult this list of General Assignment classrooms and compatible equipment to determine if you already have access to compatible equipment or not.

If a room you are teaching in does not have the necessary microphone equipment and/or you do not have access to compatible equipment for a room, contact your department to request additional equipment.

Last updated 4:40 PM, December 16, 2021

Am I eligible for a booster shot?

The COVID-19 vaccines authorized and approved in the United States remain highly effective, especially against severe illness and death. Booster shots help safely increase protection against infection and severe outcomes in fully vaccinated people.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says everyone age 18 and older vaccinated at least two months ago with the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, at least five months ago with Pfizer, or at least six months ago with Moderna should get a booster with any of the COVID-19 vaccines available in the United States.

If you received vaccines on the WHO’s Emergency Use Listing (EUL) and are at least 18 years old, you should receive a booster of the Pfizer vaccine 6 months after completing your initial dose series.

Learn more and schedule an appointment. Information about boosters and additional doses is changing quickly. Talk to your health care provider if you have questions.

Note that boosters are different from the additional doses recommended for immunocompromised people. Learn the difference between a third dose and a booster.

Last updated 4:29 PM, January 5, 2022

I was vaccinated in another country with a vaccine not offered in the U.S. Can I get a booster of Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson and Johnson?

If you received vaccines on the WHO’s emergency use listing and are 18 or older, you should get a booster of the Pfizer vaccine 6 months after completing your initial dose series.

If you received vaccines on WHO’s emergency use listing, you are considered fully vaccinated by UW–Madison. If the vaccine you received is not on the WHO list, you can start an FDA-authorized or approved vaccine series with Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson and Johnson.

Last updated 2:09 PM, December 3, 2021

How can I check my vaccination status with UHS?

You can either use the new MyUHS app or login to the UHS website. On the login page, click the “Immunizations” link on the left side to view a list of all your vaccines UHS has on record. If you need to upload your COVID-19 vaccination record, click here for detailed instructions.

Posted on 2:12 PM, August 27, 2021

How will UHS contact me regarding vaccine information and other personal health issues?

You can either use the new MyUHS app or login to the UHS website. On the login page, click the “Messages” link on the left side to see if you have a message. You will also receive an email alerting you that you have a secure message. You can respond or send a new secure message to UHS.

Posted on 2:15 PM, August 27, 2021

I will be coming to UW–Madison from outside of the U.S. What are my requirements before traveling?

Guidance on COVID-19 vaccine and test requirements for U.S. entry

Beginning November 8, 2021, F-1 and J-1 nonimmigrant student visa holders are required to show proof of being fully vaccinated in accordance with CDC guidance before flying to the United States.

Individuals who completed a primary vaccine series outside the United States and received FDA-approved, FDA-authorized, or WHO-emergency use listing COVID-19 vaccines as a series or mixed dose regimen are considered fully vaccinated as per CDC guidance. An individual is considered fully vaccinated 14 days after the second dose of a two-dose vaccine or the first dose of the one-dose vaccine. If you are vaccinated and have not shared your record with University Health Services, upload your vaccine record in MyUHS.

A negative viral COVID-19 test result is also required before flying to the United States. All travelers, regardless of vaccination status, must have a negative test within one day of travel. 

Last updated 11:19 AM, December 7, 2021

Can students and employees who are vaccinated still get tested at a UHS testing location?

Yes, students and employees who are vaccinated can still get tested on campus, though they are not required to test weekly. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers additional guidance for vaccinated people, such as when to get tested. For example, vaccinated people with symptoms of COVID-19 should get tested, and vaccinated people who have been exposed to someone positive for COVID-19 should get tested 5-7 days after their most recent exposure. Nasal swab testing is available by appointment on campus.

Last updated 11:17 AM, January 3, 2022

If I get tested off campus, can I use my results on campus?

Students and employees required to be tested weekly must test at an on-campus testing site.

However, if you test positive via a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test for COVID-19 off campus, you can submit your results to UHS using the MyUHS app or MyUHS web portal. It will be verified by a team of medical professionals at UHS. Off-campus results should include your name, date of birth, collection date and test type (only PCR tests will be verified). A letter from a physician or county public health may also be acceptable. Please allow UHS staff time to verify your results after you upload.

If your positive PCR test results are verified, you will be exempt from the campus testing requirement for 90 days from the date of your test. After 90 days, you will be required to participate in regular on-campus testing unless you submit proof of vaccination.

Last updated 1:52 PM, September 22, 2021

What is campus guidance on employee sick policies?

Updated

Pre-pandemic sick policies and protocols are now in effect; however, there are options for leave related to COVID-19.

Because the pandemic continues, affecting at greater levels those who are unvaccinated, the transition back to pre-pandemic personal health and personal health management guidance may feel uncomfortable. Contact your HR representative if you have any questions about these transitions.

Last updated 8:56 PM, January 19, 2022

If I was vaccinated for COVID-19 outside of the United States, do I need to get or can I get a U.S.-based vaccine?

This depends on the type of vaccination you received and whether you completed the series.

For recipients of FDA-authorized vaccines

  • If you had two doses of Moderna or Pfizer or a single dose of Johnson and Johnson, you have completed the series.
  • If it has been more than 2 months since you received a Johnson and Johnson dose, you should get a booster shot.
  • If you are 18 or older and it has been more than 5 months since you completed your initial dose series of Pfizer or more than 6 months since your dose series of Moderna, you should get a booster shot. Learn more about booster shots.
  • If you are immunocompromised, you should get an additional dose if you received Moderna or Pfizer. Anyone initially vaccinated with Johnson and Johnson at least two months ago should get a booster of either an mRNA vaccine (Moderna or Pfizer) or Johnson and Johnson.
  • If you received just one dose of Moderna or Pfizer, you should seek a second dose as close to the recommended timeframe as possible (28 days for Moderna, 21 days for Pfizer)

For recipients of WHO-approved vaccines listed for emergency use

  • If you completed a vaccine series, you are considered fully vaccinated.
  • If it has been more than 6 months since you completed your initial dose series and you are 18 or older, you should get a booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
  • If you completed just part of a series, you should seek a complete, FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine series. You should wait until it’s been at least 28 days since your last dose to begin an FDA-authorized vaccine series.

For recipients of non–WHO-listed or FDA-authorized vaccine

  • If you received all or part of a vaccine that is not currently authorized by the FDA or granted emergency use listing by the WHO, you should seek a complete, FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine series. You should wait until it’s been at least 28 days since your last dose to begin an FDA-authorized vaccine series.

You must receive all recommended doses of an FDA-authorized or WHO-listed COVID-19 initial vaccine series to be considered fully vaccinated. At this time, a booster shot is not required.

Last updated 4:24 PM, January 5, 2022

What will happen to students and employees who refuse to wear face coverings or otherwise follow public health measures?

Masks are a remarkably simple and effective tool to help control the spread of COVID-19. We expect everyone on campus – students, faculty, staff and visitors – to follow the reasonable and research-based measures we have in place to protect our community. Those who can wear a face covering but refuse to do so will be asked to leave the building.

Students
Any absence from class due to refusal to wear a mask will be treated by the instructor as an unexcused absence, with consequences as indicated on individual class syllabi. Students who repeatedly fail to comply will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards (use this form) and may be subject to disciplinary action under the non-academic misconduct policy. 

Students who have a medical condition or disability that affects their ability to wear a face covering should request a reasonable accommodation.

Employees
An absence from work due to refusal to wear a mask will be considered an unexcused absence with the typical consequences. Employees who repeatedly refuse to wear a mask may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.  

Employees who have a medical condition or disability that affects their ability to wear a face covering may request an accommodation; contact your Divisional Disability Representative 

View more detailed guidance for supervisors. 

Last updated 9:26 AM, September 9, 2021

What is the current requirement for mask wearing on campus?

All students, employees and visitors to campus are required to wear masks when inside campus buildings, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status.

  • Residence halls: Residents and visitors are expected to wear a face-covering at all times while outside of a resident’s room. Face coverings must be worn while in hallways and common areas such as dens and kitchens, restrooms, and in the lobby. Face coverings are not required when it is not conducive to performing a task (i.e. brushing your teeth, showering, eating, drinking, etc.)
  • Work spaces: Masks may be removed if you are working alone inside an office or lab
  • Meals: Masks may be removed while actively eating and drinking but should be promptly put back on when finished
  • Outdoor spaces: Masks are not required, but may be worn if you wish, on the Terrace and other outdoor spaces adjacent to buildings
  • Vehicles: Masks should continue to be worn on Madison Metro buses and should be worn in campus vehicles when two or more people are present
  • Medical accommodations: Students who have a medical condition or disability that affects their ability to wear a face covering should request a reasonable accommodation. Employees who have a medical condition or disability that affects their ability to wear a face covering may request an accommodation; contact your Divisional Disability Representative.

Please note that, as required by federal law, Madison Metro Transit continues to require all bus passengers to wear face coverings at bus transfer points, shelters and throughout boarding, riding and leaving the bus.

Per CDC guidance, multi-layer cloth or disposable masks that have a nose wire and fit properly over your nose and mouth to prevent leaks provide the best protection against the spread of COVID-19.

We will continue to monitor COVID-19 transmission rates on campus and in the community and will revisit our mask policies as the public health situation warrants. This does not impact our policies or plans regarding return to work on campus, events and physical spacing.

Last updated 1:12 PM, January 7, 2022

Will employees be paid for their time spent getting tested? Does this include travel time?

Testing is a work obligation for both hourly and salaried employees who work on campus and are not vaccinated. If an employee needs to make a trip to campus to test in order to be in compliance with this requirement, they may do so during their normal work hours.

Employees shall be granted a reasonable amount of time during their normal work hours to complete required COVID-19 testing, including reasonable travel time. Hourly employees must test during their normal work hours. Salaried employees may test either during their normal work hours or at other times, but they will not receive any additional compensation (outside of their standard compensation package) for their time spent getting tested, regardless of when they do so.

For more information, contact your HR representative.

Last updated 4:06 PM, September 14, 2021

How can I replace my lost vaccination card?

If you’ve lost your vaccination card, try any of the following:

  • Call the provider where you were vaccinated to see if they can give you a new card.
  • If you received your vaccination in Wisconsin, access your vaccination record using the Wisconsin Immunization Registry (WIR).
    • If you have a social security number, Medicaid ID, or Health Care Member ID, you can access your record through the Public Immunization Record Access
    • If you do not have one of these numbers, you can access your record one of two ways:
      • Option 1: Fill out the Wisconsin Immunization Registry Record Release Authorization, F-02487 and have your records sent to you. If you received your vaccine through UHS, the Health Care Member ID for signing into WIR will be your campus ID number (found on your Wiscard)
      • Option 2: Ask the organization that vaccinated you to assign you a chart number in WIR. The chart number field is linked to the Health Care Member ID. Then, visit the Public Immunization Record Access webpage and enter the chart number assigned to you in the Health Care Member ID field.
    • If you received your vaccination in another state, go to that state department of health’s website to search their vaccine registry.

Please note, DHS cannot issue COVID-19 vaccination cards. University Health Services can only issue replacement cards for vaccine doses administered at UW–Madison. 

Last updated 3:37 PM, September 30, 2021

Where and when can I be tested?

Currently campus testing is available by appointment only during weekdays. Appointments can be made through the MyUHS app or the MyUHS web portal. Check the testing website for appointment times. Designated parking at testing sites is not available this semester. Individuals who choose to drive to access testing sites can find parking on the campus parking map.

Public Health Madison & Dane County maintains a listing of local testing locations open during weekend hours. Off-campus test results may not be used to satisfy the weekly testing requirement for people who have not provided proof of vaccination. An off-campus positive test result may be used to receive a 90-day exemption from the weekly testing requirement; you must submit an off-campus positive result via the MyUHS app or website.

Last updated 9:19 AM, January 5, 2022

What should I do if a student in my class tells me that they have tested positive for COVID-19? Should I inform the other students? Should I cancel class?

While we want to give other students information intended to protect themselves and others, it’s important to respect the medical privacy of those who become sick. Informing your class that someone has tested positive may reveal the identity of the student who is sick. Instructors should not do this. If a student wishes to inform the class, they may do so, though they are not required. You should not cancel class.

Instead, please regularly remind your students of the following:

  • They should continue to monitor themselves for symptoms daily. This is true regardless of whether someone in the class has tested positive since exposure can happen in many different settings, on and off campus.
  • If they develop symptoms of COVID-19, they should isolate themselves immediately and make an appointment to get tested.
  • They may hear from a campus contact tracer if they are deemed a close contact of someone who has tested positive. However, while campus has a team conducting robust contact tracing, it will not always be possible to identify all close contacts of someone who has tested positive.
  • If they learn they are a close contact of someone who tested positive, whether from a contact tracer or from the individual, they should follow instructions for quarantine and/or testing.
  • Risk of exposure in classrooms is low given that more than 90 percent of on-campus students and employees are vaccinated and everyone is required to wear masks. Most people in our community are strongly protected from infection. There is no need to cancel class because a student has tested positive.

Additionally, instructors should be flexible with and supportive of students who cannot attend class in-person due to illness or quarantine but every effort should be made to avoid a disruption of in-person instruction. If you have questions about your individual classroom situation, contact your supervisor or department leadership.

Last updated 4:34 PM, September 30, 2021

Will I be notified if a student in my class is required to be tested for COVID-19, has failed to test for COVID-19, or tests positive for COVID-19?

Updated

Given our high rates of vaccination on campus and the campus mask requirement, instructors will not be informed by campus when a student in their class tests positive, unless they are deemed a close contact. Students may, however, choose to share this information on their own.

Once someone is fully vaccinated, they are not required to quarantine if they are exposed to someone positive for COVID-19. Instead, if they are deemed a close contact, they are instructed to wear a mask around others for 10 days starting with their last contact and get tested (rapid antigen test or PCR) 5 days after their last contact, and at any point if they develop symptoms.

Everyone should be in the habit of monitoring themselves for symptoms daily. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not recommend fully vaccinated people undergo routine screening testing unless they have symptoms or are a known close contact. Students and employees who are not fully vaccinated will already be testing weekly.

Last updated 1:29 PM, January 18, 2022

Because a student may not know who they were next to in class, how will a contact tracer know who in the class to inform?

Risk of exposure in classrooms is low given that more than 90 percent of on-campus students and employees are vaccinated and everyone is required to wear masks. Most people in our community are strongly protected from infection, even in spaces where there is no physical distancing.

Anyone considered a close contact of a person who tests positive for COVID-19 may hear from a campus contact tracer. Or, the person who tested positive may reach out to them directly.

However, students may not always know the identities of the people with whom they came into contact, including those they may have been seated next to in a classroom. This is why it’s important for everyone to monitor themselves daily for COVID-19 symptoms and isolate themselves immediately and get tested if they develop symptoms.

Last updated 12:27 PM, November 11, 2021

What should I do if multiple students in my class are out because they are isolating or in quarantine for COVID-19?

Instructors should be flexible with and supportive of students who cannot attend class in-person due to illness or quarantine. However, every effort should be made to avoid a disruption of in-person instruction. If your class experiences multiple absences, work with your department, school and/or college to explore ways to provide students who cannot attend in-person sessions access to course materials and activities. Any interruption of in-person instruction should be temporary and brief.

Visit the Spring 2022 Instruction page to find more FAQs and resources for instructors.

Last updated 3:18 PM, January 4, 2022

How should I respond if I see someone not wearing a mask where one is required?

Remind.
Remind them about the face covering requirement. Using language such as, “I notice you aren’t wearing a mask” is a good place to start. Remember that not everyone is able to wear a face covering, and it is not your responsibility to evaluate their accommodation needs. Students with documented accommodations work with the McBurney Center and are expected to share their accommodation with you at the start of the semester. As appropriate, remind the class that not everyone is able to wear a face covering.

Offer.
Offer them a face covering if you have extras and if they need one. Speak with your supervisor if you have questions about where to find extra supplies.

Respond.
Respond using your best judgment. If you are dealing with a visitor to your space who refuses to put on a face covering, you may ask them to leave. If they continue to refuse to comply, do what you can to de-escalate the situation, including walking away. You are not expected to jeopardize your personal health and safety to enforce the campus health protocols.

Students who repeatedly fail to comply may be referred to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards using this form and may be subject to disciplinary action under the non-academic misconduct policy.

Please note that only supervisors, managers, and HR representatives can direct employees to leave the workplace.

Download a PDF of this guidance.

Last updated 5:28 PM, September 2, 2021

What resources are available for teaching assistants (TAs)?

The Provost’s Office webpage on Spring 2022 Instruction provides information about how certain campus COVID-19-related policies and guidelines impact instruction and where to get support.

Last updated 2:52 PM, January 4, 2022

What is the spring semester requirement for testing on campus?

Employees and students who have not shared proof of COVID-19 vaccination with UHS will be required to test weekly on campus. Those who are required to test weekly but fail to do so will be held accountable. Affected students and employees will receive an email message with more details.

After individuals submit proof that they are fully vaccinated (14 days past final dose) and the information is processed, they will no longer be required to test regularly.

Last updated 11:12 AM, January 5, 2022

What will happen to students and employees who do not follow the testing requirement?

Those who are required to test weekly but fail to do so will be held accountable.

For students, failure to test weekly will result in a disciplinary referral which can have consequences for a student’s academic standing.

For employees, failure to test weekly will result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

Last updated 1:34 PM, August 24, 2021

I am immunocompromised. Can I get an extra dose of a COVID-19 vaccine? Should I get a booster?

If you are moderately or severely immunocompromised and initially received two doses of an mRNA series (Pfizer or Moderna), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services recommends you get:

  • One additional mRNA dose at least 28 days after the second dose of your initial COVID-19 vaccine series.
  • One booster dose at least six months after your additional mRNA dose.

If you are immunocompromised and initially received one dose of Johnson and Johnson, you should get:

  • One booster shot (either Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson) at least two months after your initial Johnson & Johnson dose.

If you are immunocompromised and you were vaccinated internationally with a vaccine on WHO’s Emergency Use Listing (EUL), you may receive:

  • One additional dose of the Pfizer vaccine at least 28 days after receiving the second vaccine dose of your primary series. This applies to everyone 12 and older.
  • For people 18 and older, one booster dose at least six months after your additional Pfizer dose.

Additional doses are different from boosters. Learn more about the difference between booster shots and additional doses. Consult your health care provider with questions.

Last updated 2:11 PM, December 3, 2021

If I am in class or at work when I receive a positive COVID-19 test result, should I leave immediately?

Yes, if you receive a positive test result, you should leave class or work immediately and follow the isolation instructions provided to you by University Health Services or other public health officials. If you are awaiting a test result and believe you may have COVID-19 because you have symptoms or are a close contact of someone with COVID-19, such as a roommate, you should quarantine at home until you receive your test results. If you develop symptoms while you are on campus, you should go get tested or contact UHS or your health provider and isolate yourself immediately.

If you are fully vaccinated (it has been two weeks since you received a one-shot vaccine, such as Johnson and Johnson, or since your second shot of a two-dose vaccine, such as Pfizer or Moderna), you are not required to quarantine even if you have a close contact who is positive for COVID-19. If you develop symptoms of COVID-19, however, you should isolate yourself immediately and seek a COVID-19 test.

If you are not fully vaccinated and have been exposed to COVID-19, you should quarantine yourself immediately. CDC recommendations on the duration of quarantine can be found here.

Last updated 8:46 PM, August 31, 2021

What app is being used for COVID-19 testing and vaccination appointments?

The MyUHS app gives students and employees the ability to schedule vaccination and COVID testing appointments and view their test results. A web version of MyUHS is available at myuhs.uhs.wisc.edu   We encourage all students and employees to download the app.

The app is available for iPhone and Android (version 10 and above). If you are not able to upgrade to Android 10, you may use the web version of MyUHS at myuhs.uhs.wisc.edu. More information and a link to download the app is available at uhs.wisc.edu/myuhs/.

Technical support is provided through the Division of Information Technology Help Desk:  https://kb.wisc.edu/helpdesk/

Last updated 11:26 AM, January 3, 2022

What are the consequences if a student comes to class, work or another campus activity after testing positive for COVID-19, during the time they should be isolating?

Students who attend class, work or other in-person campus activity after testing positive for COVID-19, during the time they should be isolating, are subject to the campus nonacademic misconduct policy.  Nonacademic misconduct incidents should be reported to staff members in the Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards and/or University Housing using the nonacademic misconduct incident report form.

If a student tests positive, they should notify their instructors that they will be unable to attend in-person classes while in isolation. Instructors should work with them to provide alternative ways to complete work. If issues arise as students navigate these conversations with instructors, they should reach out for support from their adviser, the chair of the department where the course is offered or the Dean of Students office.

If a student works, they should notify their supervisors that they will be unable to work on site while in isolation.

Last updated 4:34 PM, September 3, 2021

If an employee stays home to prevent the spread of illness but feels well enough to work, can they work remotely?   

Employees are strongly encouraged to use their sick leave, rather than work remotely, so that they can rest and recover from illness.  However, if you have a need to work (e.g., urgent deadline) and you feel well enough to do so, you may work remotely, if you receive approval from your supervisor.

Last updated 10:14 AM, September 8, 2021

How does the current face covering order affect people who are lecturing or speaking at a podium?

All students, employees and visitors to campus are required to wear masks when inside campus buildings. This requirement does not speak to exceptions for speakers or presentations. Face coverings should be worn by speakers for speaking engagements that occur indoors in campus buildings while the order is in effect.

In addition, Public Health Madison & Dane County’s current face mask order requires people ages two and older to wear face masks when in any enclosed space open to the public where other people, except for members of the person’s own household or living unit, are present.

Last updated 3:58 PM, January 4, 2022

Can my family member or friend who is traveling with me to Madison get tested for COVID-19 on campus?

No. UW–Madison is only able to offer COVID-19 testing on campus to current students and employees. Family members can find off-campus testing options through Public Health Madison and Dane County or by visiting the Wisconsin Department of Health Services website for a list of community and private providers, including pharmacies.

Find more information about off-campus testing options on our testing webpage.  In addition, you may visit a local urgent care center or health care provider. You may want to inquire if there is a cost for the test and how long it may take to get results.

Last updated 5:03 PM, November 22, 2021

Who do I contact if I have questions about how the campus COVID response affects my research or lab space?

Start with the associate dean for research in your school or college. Additional questions may be emailed to: vcrge@research.wisc.edu. Please be aware of policies in place within your particular research settings and abide by those policies.

Last updated 12:56 PM, October 7, 2021

What kind of COVID-19 testing is being offered on campus?

Campus is offering a PCR nasal swab test for COVID-19. Results from campus testing can be used to satisfy most travel requirements.

Last updated 2:11 PM, December 3, 2021

I have a disability or underlying medical condition as identified by the CDC that puts me at greater risk of serious illness and I am not comfortable being on campus. What can I do?

Please be aware that a majority of employees and students have already received at least one dose and many are fully vaccinated.

For employees: If you have specific concerns related to a medical condition/disability that you have, please talk to your Divisional Disability Representative (DDR) about an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Employees who do not wish to disclose disability or medical information may seek to work remotely through the Remote Work Policy and the employee’s request will be evaluated in the same manner as other remote work requests, and not as an accommodation request under the ADA.

For students: UW–Madison will offer primarily in-person classes in the 2021-22 academic year. Many of the University’s academic programs have essential in-person components. If you have a disability that impacts your ability to attend in person activities, you may work with the McBurney Disability Resource Center to explore possible accommodations. Requests for remote participation will require a letter from your health care provider and approval will be contingent upon determining feasibility for each course with the course instructor.

Last updated 10:49 PM, August 11, 2021

What is a COVID breakthrough case and does this change our confidence in the vaccines?

Breakthrough cases occur when a person who has been vaccinated against an illness contracts that illness.

Breakthrough cases are not unique to the COVID-19 vaccine and are inevitable, given that no vaccine is 100 percent effective. COVID-19 vaccines remain highly effective and vaccinated individuals are far less likely than unvaccinated individuals to contract COVID-19.

As more people are vaccinated, chances are greater that we will hear about more breakthrough infections. These cases still represent a very small fraction of the total number of people who are fully vaccinated.

The purpose of a vaccine is to reduce both the chances of getting a disease and, among those who experience infection, to reduce the negative outcomes of the disease. In the case of COVID-19, the goals are as follows: 1) reduce transmission altogether and 2) if transmission does happen, limit the severity of symptoms and significantly reduce hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19.

The vaccines approved or authorized by the FDA accomplish these goals. Fully vaccinated people are much less likely than unvaccinated people to become sick with COVID-19 and are much less likely to experience severe illness and death.

The CDC and FDA continue to monitor how well the vaccines protect vulnerable people from illness and have begun to recommend supplemental vaccination or booster shots for some people. This does not indicate vaccines are not effective. Immune responses to many different vaccines can wane with time and additional doses can help bolster that response and extend protection.

Ensuring that anyone who is unvaccinated gets vaccinated as soon as possible is key to slowing transmission in the unvaccinated population and reducing the amount of virus circulating among all people, further reducing the chances anyone is exposed to the virus.

Last updated 2:11 PM, January 7, 2022

Will cleaning and disinfecting supplies and hand sanitizer still be available?

Procurement and distribution of cleaning/disinfecting consumables and PPE has returned to our normal (pre-pandemic) process with two exceptions:

  • Physical Plant has placed 500 one-gallon bottles of hand sanitizer in building entrances and high-traffic areas across campus. These bottles are checked nightly and refilled as needed.
  • Physical Plant will place two one-gallon containers of disinfectant wipes in the main entrance of classroom buildings before the start of the fall semester. These containers will be checked and restocked nightly.

Please note that Physical Plant will no longer stock wipes, spray disinfectant, and paper towels in classrooms.

Any cleaning/disinfecting supplies or PPE needed for regular, ongoing day-to-day operations (such as masks, mask fitters, gloves, face shields, and gowns) will continue to be available at no cost to campus units through ShopUW+ until current inventories are exhausted. Once that occurs, these items should be procured by the base unit/lab/school/college from other ShopUW+ vendors using normal practices.

Building managers and department contacts have been asked to identify a space in each building where disinfecting supplies and PPE will be kept and made available to building occupants. These locations will vary from building to building; contact your building manager for more information.

Last updated 3:47 PM, September 14, 2021

Should students have their vaccine cards available during the school year?

We encourage the entire campus community to upload their vaccination record. While we don’t anticipate you needing to show your card on campus, you may be asked for it off campus. Some local event venues and restaurants have announced they will be requiring proof of vaccination. We’d suggest at least carrying a digital copy of your vaccine card.

Last updated 9:51 AM, November 3, 2021

Do I need to get vaccinated to participate in a UW–Madison study abroad/away program?

We strongly encourage all participants to be fully vaccinated with a Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-authorized vaccine (Modern, Pfizer, or Johnson and Johnson) or World Heath Organization (WHO)-approved COVID-19 vaccine prior to their program start date.

UW–Madison does not require that participants be vaccinated. However, countries may require proof of vaccination for entry, and some programs and partners may also require proof of vaccination prior to participation. Additionally, country and program protocols such as mandatory quarantines, travel policies, course and activity participation, housing options, and testing requirements may vary by vaccination status. Being fully vaccinated with an FDA or WHO approved vaccine will result in a less burdensome and safer traveling, living, and learning experience for you and those you interact with given dynamic worldwide conditions due to COVID-19.

It is your responsibility to understand and abide by the vaccination requirements (including acceptable vaccine types and verification methods) for your specific program and location(s), as well as any country you may travel through or visit during your time abroad. Note that restrictions and regulations may change at any time. Any related delays, penalties, quarantines, program status changes or cancellations, and associated costs are the full responsibility of the student.

We encourage you to bring your COVID-19 vaccination record card when abroad and to also have copies available as a back-up.

You will need to research and monitor your country and program requirements. The U.S. Embassy is a good source for the country(ies) you’re visiting. For program specific requirements, please read all of your program materials carefully as well as reach out to your study abroad advisor if you have any questions.

Last updated 11:53 AM, November 11, 2021

I am a student not living in the Madison area for the spring semester. What is the process to request an exemption from the weekly testing requirement?

Weekly testing is required of all students who have not provided proof of vaccination and who are coming to campus for any reason (including but not limited to attending class, conducting research and/or using facilities on the main UW–Madison campus). If you believe you are not subject to this testing requirement because you are not coming to campus for any reason, please complete the Student Testing Exemption form.

Last updated 10:03 AM, January 5, 2022

I have to be away from the Madison area for an extended period of time, preventing me from testing. What should I do?

If you will not be in the Madison area for a week or more, you may request an exemption for that week.

Students who are not able to be on the UW–Madison campus must complete the Student Testing Temporary Exemption form. Faculty and staff who plan on traveling away from Madison must complete the Faculty and Staff Temporary Testing Exemption form.

This exemption will temporarily excuse you from any sanctions associated with non-compliance with the testing policy during this time. When you return to Madison, you must complete a COVID-19 test within 24 hours.

Requests are only valid for future dates. Submissions for tests missed in the past will not be approved.

Last updated 4:39 PM, October 26, 2021

Although I am fully vaccinated, I (or a household member) have a health condition that puts me (them) at greater risk of serious illness if I (they) contract COVID-19. I am not comfortable being around unmasked people unless I know they are fully vaccinated. What can I do?

A high level of vaccination, combined with the requirement for masks to be worn indoors, means that we have a robust level of protection on campus and fewer members of our population will experience severe infections caused by COVID-19, compared to areas with lower vaccination rates.

In addition to wearing a mask indoors, as currently required, you may also continue to wear a mask outdoors if you wish. If you have specific concerns related to a medical condition that someone in your household has, please speak with your Human Resources representative if you are an employee or check in with the Dean of Students Office for support if you are a student.

Please note that employees are not entitled to accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for a family member’s underlying medical condition.

Last updated 3:57 PM, January 4, 2022

Is it okay to ask someone I work with if they have been vaccinated?

No. A person’s vaccination status is private, just like any other medical issue or condition, and employees should not be asked to share this information. In general, especially as more people become eligible for vaccination due to health conditions, it is good etiquette to avoid asking people their vaccination status. Anyone who wants to share their vaccine status information with others is free to do so on their own terms, but there is no requirement to share this information with others with whom they work and/or report.

Last updated 2:24 PM, May 26, 2021

Where can I find more details about my test results, including official documentation of my results for travel or other purposes?

To find more details about your test, including information to help you interpret results, log into your MyUHS account and find “UHS Health Record” on the left-hand side of the web page, or in the drop-down menu on mobile. Navigate to “Laboratory results” to find your COVID-19 test with more details, including test date and a full interpretation of the results. Or, on the MyUHS homepage, after logging in, scroll down to “View lab results” to find a list of your COVID-19 test results and click on the result to get more information. You can print the report as documentation of your test result.

Last updated 5:06 PM, November 22, 2021

I was vaccinated outside the U.S. Does this mean I am fully vaccinated after 14 days?

An individual is considered fully vaccinated 14 days after the second dose of a two-dose vaccine or the first dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The 14 days is the standard used by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for vaccines with an Emergency Use Authorization or Emergency Use Listing. See the WHO’s COVID-19 Vaccine updates for more information on Emergency Use Listings.

Beginning November 8, 2021, F-1 and J-1 nonimmigrant student visa holders are required to show proof of being fully vaccinated in accordance with CDC guidance before flying to the United States. Learn more.

Last updated 12:06 PM, November 11, 2021

If it is the weekend and I want to get tested for COVID-19, what should I do?

Individuals wanting to test during the weekend can access testing through a community health care provider or community test site. Public Health Madison & Dane County maintains a listing of local testing locations. When making an appointment, be sure to check whether the test is free or whether there is a charge.

Do not attend work or class while you are experiencing symptoms.

Last updated 3:06 PM, September 2, 2021

I received a vaccine that is not on the list of vaccines authorized by the World Health Organization. Do I need to test weekly?

Yes.

You may receive a WHO-authorized vaccine (PDF) at no cost through UHS – make an appointment now. Until you are fully vaccinated with an approved vaccine, you must test weekly.

Last updated 2:13 PM, November 18, 2021

I already had COVID-19 and I have proof I have antibodies. Do I still need to get vaccinated?

Yes, people who recovered from COVID-19 should get vaccinated. Evidence suggests that antibodies from natural infection may not be as robust or long-lasting as those from vaccination and that vaccination may offer better protection against new variants than those from a natural infection. A recent study showed that individuals who are unvaccinated are twice as likely to get infected again than those who are fully vaccinated.

Students and employees are required to test weekly for COVID-19 if UHS does not have proof of vaccination. UHS does not accept antibody results for testing exemptions. Learn more about how to submit proof of vaccination.

COVID-19 vaccine is readily available on campus for all eligible students and employees. Schedule your appointment at UHS now.

Last updated 10:46 AM, October 8, 2021

Are in-person office hours required?

Instructors are strongly encouraged to offer the opportunity for students to attend office hours in person. Meeting in person allows for the kind of rich instructor-student engagement that is at the core of the UW–Madison residential learning experience. Instructors and students should follow current university public health guidance including wearing face masks when indoors.

Last updated 12:52 PM, December 21, 2021

How do I interact with co-workers or students safely if I don’t know who is vaccinated?

The most important thing you can do to ensure safe interactions is to become vaccinated yourself. Vaccination provides robust protection against COVID-19.

Because people who are not fully vaccinated do not have this protection, employees and students who are not fully vaccinated are required to test weekly effective August 30 and everyone on campus is required to wear masks indoors.

Last updated 3:46 PM, January 4, 2022

What is UW–Madison's plan for vaccinating students?

UW-Madison is achieving a high vaccination rate through a combination of beginning early with repeated messaging and visible marketing, an emphasis on data analysis and targeted outreach and a laser-like focus on the topic from Chancellor Blank and her leadership team, along with UHS and other campus units that have made vaccination a high priority.

As of Sept. 1, 88 percent of students are vaccinated. This high level of vaccination means that we have a robust level of protection on campus and fewer members of our population will experience severe infections caused by COVID-19, compared to areas with lower vaccination rates.

Students can schedule appointments at go.wisc.edu/myuhs. Students can also seek vaccine appointments off campus using VaccineFinder.org.

Once students submit proof that they are fully vaccinated (14 days past final dose) and the information is processed, they will no longer be required to test regularly.

Last updated 4:53 PM, September 30, 2021

I received my vaccine from UHS. Can I now use UHS as my on-campus healthcare provider even though I am an employee and not a student?

Though University Health Services has been able to offer testing and vaccination to all active students and employees at UW–Madison as part of the campus pandemic response, other than limited Occupational Medicine services, UHS can only offer routine health care to students.

Posted on 1:57 PM, June 8, 2021

I’m an employee and need to travel. Do I need to quarantine when I return?

UW–Madison employees are not required to quarantine following travel. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention maintains recommendations for travelers and employees are encouraged to consult these guidelines: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/travel-during-covid19.html

Anyone who travels should follow local requirements, monitor themselves for symptoms, isolate and get tested if symptoms develop, and consult quarantine guidance if you’re contacted about a known exposure to COVID-19. For more information about isolation and quarantine, visit: https://www.uhs.wisc.edu/medical/covid19-isolation-quarantine/

Last updated 10:01 AM, September 9, 2021

What should I do if I develop symptoms of COVID-19 while in quarantine?

If you develop symptoms while in quarantine, seek testing or contact your health care provider. Students can contact UHS by calling 608-265-5600 or schedule an appointment via your MyUHS account at uhs.wisc.edu.

Last updated 10:38 AM, October 8, 2021

How long does it take to get test results?

Individuals should expect to receive their test results within 24 hours, although in some instances results may not be available for up to 72 hours.

Last updated 5:04 PM, November 22, 2021

I heard someone in one of my classes has tested positive but I don’t know whether I was a close contact (I haven’t heard from the person who tested positive or from a contact tracer). What should I do?

You should do exactly what you’re already doing: Continue to monitor yourself for symptoms daily since close contact with an infected person can happen in many different settings, on and off campus.

Your risk of exposure in a classroom is low given that more than 90 percent of on-campus students and employees are vaccinated and everyone is required to wear masks. Unless you are not fully vaccinated, you are strongly protected from infection, even in spaces where you have not been physically distancing.

While campus has a team conducting robust contact tracing, it will not always be possible to identify all close contacts of someone who has tested positive. That’s why it’s a good idea to monitor yourself daily for COVID-19 symptoms.

If you are vaccinated and you develop symptoms, make an appointment to get tested and stay home until you receive your results.

If you are unvaccinated, continue with regular testing. If you develop symptoms, make an appointment to get tested and stay home until you receive your results.

If you tested positive for COVID-19 within the previous 90 days and you develop symptoms, make an appointment to get tested and stay home until you receive your results.

In each case, if you test negative, contact your health care provider (employees) or University Health Services (students) for guidance for returning to work or to class and any additional medical follow-up you may need.

Last updated 2:22 PM, September 14, 2021

I tested positive for COVID-19 using an at-home antigen test. Do I need to report my results?

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No. In keeping with the state’s COVID-19 reporting practices, you are not required to submit results from self-administered antigen tests to the MyUHS app or website. Currently the state requirement for reporting is a positive PCR test or a positive antigen test administered by a trained individual at a testing site.

Last updated 1:33 PM, January 18, 2022

I tested positive for COVID-19 using an off-campus PCR test. Do I need to report my results?

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If you are not yet fully vaccinated and you test positive for COVID-19, you must submit the result via the MyUHS app or website to become temporarily exempt from required campus testing. You will be exempt for 90 days from the date your sample was collected at a testing location. After 90 days, if the campus testing requirement remains in effect, you must resume testing due to your potential to be re-infected with COVID-19. Vaccination provides the longest lasting protection against COVID-19.

Last updated 1:33 PM, January 18, 2022

Will there be any changes to office layouts based on latest guidance from CDC and OHSA?

The university will continue to adjust its physical distancing requirements to maintain alignment with guidance from the CDC and OSHA.

Last updated 10:41 AM, August 10, 2021

Where can I get vaccinated?

Last updated 5:15 PM, July 12, 2021

Can guests and visitors go to Rec Well and Terrace?

Visitors are welcomed back to the Unions and RecWell facilities, subject to facilities limits, following Public Health Madison Dane County guidelines.

Last updated 8:31 PM, August 31, 2021

Do guests or visitors need to show proof that they are vaccinated or have had current negative COVID-19 test to attend on campus events/activities?

No.

Last updated 10:49 AM, October 8, 2021

Can a supervisor or manager ask an employee whether they have been vaccinated?

No. A person’s vaccination status is private, just like any other medical issue or condition, and employees are not required to share this information with supervisors or managers. There are limited exceptions to this in certain types of jobs (such as health care roles) where sharing vaccine status information is required, but in these limited cases employees are formally notified of this requirement. In general, especially as more people become eligible for vaccination due to health conditions, it is important to avoid asking these types of questions of employees because it could cause an employee to feel compelled to share medical or disability information and this should be avoided.

Last updated 8:57 AM, August 6, 2021

Can a supervisor or manager make work unit plans, changes, or updates based on the vaccine status of the employees in their work unit?

Our campus public health policies, procedures and protocols determine decisions around face covering requirements and physical distancing in the workplace. Supervisors and managers must follow campus public health policies, procedures and protocols and not create their own separate rules for their individual work units. Consult the campus Covid Response website for more information about campus public health protocols.

Last updated 2:23 PM, May 26, 2021

Can employees, graduate students or undergraduate students travel for academics or business?

Employees, graduate students, and undergraduates traveling for in-person business, research or instructional field activities, no longer need an approved extension form for international travel.  Students must comply with the UW–Madison International Travel Policy. The International Travel Policy applies to students of all levels and programs of study – undergraduate, graduate, and professional.  

 All travelers should follow the existing campus travel policycurrent campus health protocols and CDC International Travel Guidance.  Individuals who are not fully vaccinated for COVID-19, should consider delaying university-sponsored international travel. Travelers should pay close attention to country-specific vaccination and testing requirements, as these may vary and are modified regularly.

The university highly recommends employees traveling internationally on university business enroll in the UW System international health, medical, and evacuation insurance through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI). Starting January 1, 2022, CISI will be required for all employees traveling abroad for university purposes. For more information on this requirement, see the CISI Insurance enrollment and reimbursement memo, issued November 1, 2021.  Enrollment in CISI is not available for personal travel.

Last updated 10:12 AM, January 5, 2022

I am worried about variants. Am I protected by vaccination?

Vaccination remains the best way to protect yourself from COVID-19, including variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Researchers continue to study vaccines in the context of variants of concern. Variants are less likely to emerge as more people get vaccinated across the world, so experts encourage vaccination to help prevent variants from arising.

Last updated 9:13 AM, September 28, 2021

What are the public health requirements for in-person youth activities this spring?

Single day in-person youth activities and programs on the UW-Madison campus will continue. Multi-day programs occurring on consecutive days and overnight programs are prohibited through the spring 2022 semester. All programs must follow campus public health guidelines, keeping in mind that vaccines are currently not available for youth under the age of 5.

Face Masks
In alignment with current campus policy, all youth participating in on-campus programs as well as staff serving them must wear a mask indoors, while on the UW-Madison campus or in any of its facilities, regardless of vaccination status.

Vaccination
Staff of programs offered on campus who do not have a vaccination record on file with UHS are required to be tested weekly for COVID-19 according to campus requirements. Vaccinations are the greatest defense against the spread of COVID-19 and we encourage all guests who are 5 and over visiting our campuses to get vaccinated.

All activities involving youth must be registered with the UW-Madison Office of Youth Protection (OYP) to ensure compliance and oversight with COVID-19 mitigation protocols. There are additional screening, testing, and reporting requirements for symptoms and confirmed cases. Reach out to OYP for more information.

Last updated 1:17 PM, January 11, 2022

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