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

If you receive COVID-19 vaccination off campus, including your initial or primary vaccine series and booster shots, share your records as soon as possible. (Note that UW Health clinics and vaccines given by UW Health providers are considered off campus.) Wait until you have received either the single dose of a one-dose vaccine or both shots of a two-dose vaccine to share your record. You may share booster records immediately.

If you received your booster at UHS, or you previously gave permission to UHS to access your Wisconsin Immunization Record and you received a booster in Wisconsin, you don’t need to take any further action to share your vaccine record.

Otherwise, you may 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 1:54 PM, February 24, 2022

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 (PCR or antigen), 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.

Last updated 1:54 PM, February 24, 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.

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

Last updated 9:22 AM, April 4, 2022

Can an instructor require face masks in the classroom?

Instructors may recommend, but may not require, students to wear masks in instructional settings. Instructors may not reward or penalize students for whether or not they choose to wear a mask.

Last updated 9:02 AM, March 15, 2022

What is the current requirement for mask wearing on campus?

Masks may be worn but are no longer required inside university buildings. Masks are required when visiting the University Club COVID-19 test site and other clinical spaces on campus, including University Health Services.

You should wear a mask for 10 days following a positive COVID-19 test and for 10 days following an exposure to someone with COVID-19.

Last updated 1:32 PM, April 20, 2022

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

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 10:31 AM, March 15, 2022

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

Do not attend work or class if you are sick, especially with symptoms of COVID-19. Get tested whether or not you’re vaccinated.

If you test positive for COVID-19, you should isolate yourself immediately. 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.

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

Last updated 2:30 PM, January 21, 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.

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 8:30 AM, April 4, 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

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 1:51 PM, February 24, 2022

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

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

Who is eligible to pick up an antigen test?

If you are eligible to make an appointment for on-campus PCR testing, which requires access to MyUHS, you are eligible to pick up an antigen test. Surgical grade and N-95 masks are also available.

Last updated 4:19 PM, March 23, 2022

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 3:05 PM, March 15, 2022

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?

Campus PCR testing is available on weekdays by appointment only at the University Club, 803 State St. (intersection of State Street Mall and East Campus Mall). Appointments can be made through the MyUHS app or the MyUHS web portal. Check the testing website for more information, including test site hours, test site accessibility and a campus parking map. Designated parking at the test site is not available.

Campus is also offering antigen testing. More information can be found on our testing page.

Public Health Madison & Dane County maintains a listing of local testing locations open during weekend hours.

Last updated 8:24 AM, April 4, 2022

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
Masks may be worn, but are no longer required, for youth participating in on-campus activities as well as staff serving them while on the UW–Madison campus or in any of its facilities located in Dane County.

Decisions regarding whether youth participating in youth activities on the UW–Madison campus or in any of its facilities are made in consultation with local public health departments, taking into account  Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 by County information. If it is determined masks are not required for the activity in a given county, participants in youth activities, as well as staff serving them, may choose to mask at any time.

Vaccination
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. Reach out to OYP for more information.

Last updated 10:18 AM, April 2, 2022

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 5:18 PM, February 24, 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

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.

Last updated 12:58 PM, January 20, 2022

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?

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

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

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 PCR 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 days after their most recent exposure.

Nasal swab PCR testing is available by appointment on campus. At-home antigen testing will also be available for pick-up.

Last updated 1:34 PM, January 20, 2022

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

If you test positive for COVID-19 off campus on a PCR test, 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.

Last updated 9:13 AM, April 4, 2022

What is campus guidance on employee sick policies?

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

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, stay home except to get tested so you don’t spread the virus to others if you are positive for COVID-19. Stay home as you wait for your test results.

If you test positive for COVID-19, you should isolate yourself immediately. 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.

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

Last updated 1:42 PM, February 24, 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 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 5 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 11:33 AM, February 23, 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?

Given our high rates of vaccination on campus, 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.

Last updated 9:07 AM, April 4, 2022

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

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

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 receive a booster vaccination off-campus, should I upload my record to MyUHS? 

Yes. Though not required, sharing your off-campus booster vaccination with UHS as soon as possible helps campus plan. Let UHS know by sharing your records through the MyUHS website or app.

Last updated 1:37 PM, April 20, 2022

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 7:28 PM, January 26, 2022

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 2 months ago with the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, or at least 5 months ago with Pfizer or 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 5 months after completing your initial dose series.

Second boosters

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services recommend that certain people get a second booster shot four months after their first booster. Evidence shows that this second booster offers better protection for people who are at increased risk of severe outcomes. Second boosters should be an mRNA vaccine and are recommended for:

  • People 50 and older;
  • People 18 and older who received Johnson and Johnson as their first dose and their booster;
  • People 12 and older who are moderately to severely immunocompromised (for example, due to cancer treatment, HIV infection, organ transplant, or a medical condition like DiGeorge syndrome).

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 8:14 AM, April 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 5 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 11:35 AM, February 23, 2022

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

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 1:44 PM, February 24, 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 PCR 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 PCR test result.

Last updated 12:24 PM, January 20, 2022

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?

You may continue to wear a mask if you feel more comfortable doing so. If you have specific concerns related to a disability, please connect with the McBurney Disability Resource Center (students) or your Divisional Disability Representative (employees).

Last updated 1:09 PM, March 16, 2022

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 5:19 PM, February 24, 2022

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 11:43 AM, March 31, 2022

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

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-19 PCR 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 7:24 PM, January 26, 2022

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. Campus is also offering at-home antigen tests to students and employees for spring semester. More information about this complementary testing strategy can be found on our testing webpage.

Last updated 12:28 PM, January 20, 2022

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

Where can I get vaccinated?

Last updated 5:15 PM, July 12, 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

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 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 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, get tested for COVID-19 and isolate yourself immediately. If you have questions, contact your health care provider.

Last updated 2:30 PM, January 21, 2022

How long does it take to get test results?

Individuals should expect to receive their campus PCR test results within 24 hours, although in some instances results may not be available for up to 72 hours. At-home antigen tests provide rapid results within 15 minutes.

Last updated 12:25 PM, January 20, 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

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

Weekend testing may be available through community health care providers or community test sites. Public Health Madison & Dane County maintains a listing of local testing locations. Make sure to check whether the test is free or if there is a charge.

You may also choose to pick up an at-home antigen test on campus to use when you need it. More information on antigen test distribution can be found on our testing webpage.

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

Last updated 2:00 PM, February 24, 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 5:16 PM, February 24, 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 7:20 PM, January 26, 2022

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.

If you develop symptoms, get tested for COVID-19 and isolate yourself immediately

If you test positive for COVID-19, follow these quarantine and isolation guidelines.

Last updated 2:51 PM, January 21, 2022

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

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?

If you test positive for COVID-19 on a PCR test at an off-campus testing location, you should submit the result via the MyUHS app or website.

Last updated 8:59 AM, April 4, 2022

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