FAQs

This filterable guide to common questions about COVID-19 testing and safety measures will help you navigate a safe semester on campus. Filter by audience and/or topic, or use the search function.

If you don’t see the answer to your question here, check the Testing page. View a list of Housing-related FAQs. If you still have questions, contact covidresponse@vc.wisc.edu.

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

Updated

If you are being vaccinated off campus, wait until you have received either the single dose of a one-dose vaccine or both shots of a two-dose vaccine. Then take these steps to upload your records:

  • Log into MyUHS using your NetID and password.
  • Underneath the title “Welcome to UW–Madison University Health Services” you will see the following: “Submit outside records of COVID-19 Vaccination HERE.” Click or tap on the word “HERE.”
  • You will then be on the “Medical Clearances” page. Look for “COVID vaccine” under the heading “Items required for clearance.” Click or tap the green button that says “Update.”
  • Under “COVID-19 Immunization Record Upload” 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. While the record is under review your Medical Clearance information will indicate “awaiting review.” Once it is approved, this field will say “satisfied.” Your Badger Badge will turn green once it has been two weeks since your final dose and your record has been 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 9:00 AM, May 12, 2021

I am not a UW student or employee. Can I receive a vaccine through the university?

Updated

Yes, visit go.wisc.edu/communityvaccine to make an appointment. For instructions and more information, see go.wisc.edu/covid19vaccine.

Last updated 9:40 AM, May 12, 2021

If I’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19, do I still need to be tested?

Updated

Fully vaccinated individuals at UW–Madison will be exempted from routine COVID-19 testing. In order for the exemption to apply,

  • You must be at least 2 weeks past the date you received your second vaccine dose, or 2 weeks past the date you received a single-dose vaccine. The exemption will take effect 15  days from that date.
  • UHS must have a record of your vaccination. If you were vaccinated by UHS, they have your record. If you were not vaccinated by UHS, follow the instructions to upload your record in MyUHS. It may take up to 5 business days for your record to be reflected in MyUHS.
  • You will receive a message in the Safer Badgers app that says your Badger Badge will remain green without further testing, and the word exempt will appear under your picture in the badge. If your badge is not green at that time, you will need one more test to turn it green. Until you receive this message, you will need to continue testing in order to remain compliant.

After receiving the exemption, you are still required to show your Badger Badge at building entrances, wear a face covering, and practice physical distancing. If you develop COVID-19 symptoms, isolate yourself from others and get tested as soon as possible. A positive test will turn your badge red.

Last updated 9:40 AM, May 12, 2021

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

Updated

Students can schedule appointments at go.wisc.edu/myuhs. Vaccination is a personal choice and UW–Madison strongly recommends it for the health of our community.

Students can also seek vaccine appointments off campus using VaccineFinder.org.

Last updated 9:40 AM, May 12, 2021

Does my Badger Badge need to indicate "building access granted" in order for me to enter the vaccination site?

Updated

No. While we encourage you to be in compliance with Badger Badge requirements, you will not be turned away from a vaccine appointment if your badge is not indicating “building access granted” (with a green checkmark).

If you have tested positive for COVID-19, are quarantining due to a possible exposure or are having symptoms, you should reschedule your vaccine appointment.

Last updated 9:41 AM, May 12, 2021

Does my Badger Badge need to indicate "building access granted" in order for me to get tested?

Updated

No. You do not need a green Badger Badge screen to enter a building for the purpose of taking a COVID-19 test.

Last updated 9:37 AM, May 12, 2021

Does my Badger Badge need to indicate "building access granted" in order for me to seek medical care at UHS?

Updated

No. You do not need a green Badger Badge screen to seek medical care at University Health Services.

Last updated 9:37 AM, May 12, 2021

What is the face mask requirement for people participating in Campus and Visitor Relations (CAVR) campus tours?

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To protect the health and safety of future Badgers, face masks will be required for all individuals participating in CAVR in-person campus tours once in-person tours resume, in alignment with Chancellor Blank’s order on face masks.

Posted on 7:17 AM, May 12, 2021

Can individual units institute more strict public health requirements for in-person operations or events/gatherings?

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Local units may establish more restrictive policies as deemed appropriate, such as increasing the distance for physical distancing requirements or decreasing the population density within individual spaces, events, or other in-person activities. It is important to note that under the direction of UW System, campus and underlying units do not have the authority to require in-person attendees to be vaccinated.

Some spaces on campus, as well as events or activities, may require a green Badger Badge/building access granted status to enter or participate.  Guests and visitors, who are not members of the campus community and cannot use the Safer Badgers app will not have access to any specific spaces, events, or other in-person activities that require a green Badger Badge for access.

Posted on 7:17 AM, May 12, 2021

Are masking and physical distancing still required in UW–Madison interior spaces?

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Yes. There are no changes to masking or physical distancing requirements at this time. Individuals should reference Chancellor Blank’s order on face masks for masking requirements and should stay at least 6 feet apart from others whenever possible.

Posted on 7:17 AM, May 12, 2021

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

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Current physical distancing requirements (6 feet) remain in place. The university will continue to adjust its physical distancing requirements to maintain alignment with guidance from the CDC and OSHA.

Posted on 7:17 AM, May 12, 2021

What are the requirements for students – undergraduate and graduate – in order to maintain a green Badger Badge this summer?

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To maintain a green Badger Badge this summer, students must either be fully vaccinated or test once each week on campus.

If students are not fully vaccinated and need to access locations where green/building access granted status is required, they must have a negative test on file in their Safer Badgers app within the past 8 days.

Posted on 7:17 AM, May 12, 2021

What are the requirements for employees, faculty and staff in order to maintain a green Badger Badge this summer?

New

To maintain a green Badger Badge this summer, employees must either be fully vaccinated or test once each week on campus.

If employees are not fully vaccinated and need to access locations where green/building access granted status is required, they must have a negative test on file in their Safer Badgers app within the past 8 days.

Posted on 7:17 AM, May 12, 2021

Do I need a green Badger Badge to enter buildings or go to events?

New

Access to campus buildings and facilities is no longer be limited to those with green/building access granted Badger Badges, unless required by those overseeing a specific space, event, or other in-person activity.

Posted on 7:17 AM, May 12, 2021

Where can I get vaccinated?

Updated
  • University Health Services
  • VaccineFinder.org
    • VaccineFinder.org helps people more easily locate available vaccine providers who are open to the public.
  • The Wisconsin Department of Health Services vaccine registry
    • Public Health Madison & Dane County and others are also offering appointments to people who sign up through the DHS registry. Vaccines are given at the Alliant Energy Center by appointment only. Transportation is available for those who need it — more information about this service is provided when an appointment is made.
  • Your health care provider
    • Check with your provider about vaccine availability.
  • Pharmacies
    • A growing number of pharmacies, including many national retailers, are now offering vaccination. Check the DHS website for a list of participating pharmacies and information on how to make an appointment.
  • Community-based vaccination clinics
Last updated 9:38 AM, May 12, 2021

What is the process for units/organizations to require a green Badger Badge at an event?

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At least one week’s notice must be given before any space, event, or other in-person activity can require a green Badger Badge for access. In addition, a Badger Badge Form must be completed at least one week prior to the requirement’s effective date.

Any use of the Badger Badge will be managed by the local unit or event sponsor requiring it. Vice Chancellors, Academic Deans, and Research Center Directors may require review and approval of any required use of the Badger Badge within the units they manage.  Any request to control access of an entire building or facility must be reviewed and approved.

Anyone whose assigned job duties formally include controlling access to a facility must complete Campus Security Authority (CSA) training. For additional information about CSA training, or to determine if the requirement applies in your situation, please contact Director of Clery Act Compliance Elisa Lopez (ealopez3@wisc.edu).

 

Posted on 7:17 AM, May 12, 2021

How is campus COVID-19 testing being conducted this summer?

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No-cost COVID-19 testing on campus is being conducted via PCR-based nasal swab at three drop-in locations. For more details visit the campus testing page.

Posted on 7:17 AM, May 12, 2021

Can guests and visitors now come to campus?

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Yes. Campus is now open to visitors. A green/building access granted Badger Badge will no longer be needed to access campus and Badger Wellness Ambassadors will not be checking badges at the entrances to campus facilities.

In limited instances, and with prior notification, some spaces on campus, as well as events or activities, may require a green Badger Badge/building access granted status to enter or participate. Visitors and guests are unable to use the Safer Badgers app and will not have access to these spaces.

Posted on 7:16 AM, May 12, 2021

When will campus tours begin?

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Campus and Visitor Relations (CAVR) will begin offering campus tours the week of May 17.

Posted on 7:16 AM, May 12, 2021

Can guests and visitors go to Rec Well and Terrace?

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

Posted on 7:16 AM, May 12, 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?

New

No. However, guests and visitors cannot use the Safer Badgers app and will not have access to any specific spaces, events, or other in-person activities that require a green Badger Badge for access.

Posted on 7:15 AM, May 12, 2021

How many people can attend a university-sponsored event or activity on campus this summer?

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The university is following the most current Public Health Madison & Dane County (PHMDC) Emergency Order on the size limit for activities and events. This order is subject to change, so it is important to check frequently when planning an event/activity.

Posted on 7:15 AM, May 12, 2021

Can food or drinks be provided at university-sponsored events/activities?

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Food or drinks are allowed at events/activities.  All food and beverage provided at events must be either commercially pre-packaged/individually packaged or served by university catering staff. If food is provided by a restaurant or catering company not affiliated with the university, it must be provided in single serve packaging.

Posted on 7:15 AM, May 12, 2021

Can I require individuals to be vaccinated before attending my event/meeting/gathering?

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No. A person’s vaccination status is private, just like any other medical issue or condition, and members of the campus community 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. However, events or activities may require a green Badger Badge/building access granted status to enter or participate.

Posted on 7:15 AM, May 12, 2021

I’ve previously tested positive for COVID-19. In order to maintain a green Badger Badge, do I need to participate in on-campus testing?

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You are exempted from engaging in testing for 90 days after a positive test. After the 90-day period ends, you must follow the campus testing procedures or be fully vaccinated to maintain a green Badger Badge.

If you were tested off campus during the spring semester, you must submit proof of a positive PCR test, including the lab result and the result interpretation, via the Safer Badgers app. To be verified, off-campus results should include your name, date of birth, collection date and test type. A letter from a physician or county public health may also be acceptable. The test should be a diagnostic, PCR-based test.

Your Badger Badge will remain as “building access denied” (with a red X) until your result has been reviewed by UHS (off-campus results) or imported into the app (on-campus results).

Posted on 7:14 AM, May 12, 2021

How do I get the Safer Badgers app?

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The Apple and Android versions of the app are available at saferbadgers.wisc.edu.

Posted on 7:14 AM, May 12, 2021

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

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Only positive PCR-based COVID-19 test results from off campus will be accepted for tracking within the Safer Badgers app. Negative off-campus tests will not be accepted.

If you have a positive PCR test result off campus, you should submit it via the app and it will be verified by a team of medical professionals at UHS. To be verified, off-campus results should include your name, date of birth, collection date and test type. 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 it has been 10 days or less since your verified positive PCR test, your Badger Badge status will change to “building access denied” until your isolation period ends. If your verified positive test was from more than 10 days prior to the date of submission, your Badger Badge will reflect “building access granted” and remain in that status for a duration of 90 days from the date of your positive test. After 90 days, you will be required to participate in regular on-campus testing.

Posted on 7:15 AM, May 12, 2021

Are emeritus faculty/staff expected to comply with Badger Badge access requirements?

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Campus is now open to visitors, a green/building access granted Badger Badge is no longer be needed to access campus, and Badger Wellness Ambassadors are not checking badges at the entrances to campus facilities. In limited instances, and with prior notification, some spaces on campus, as well as events or activities, may require a green Badger Badge/building access granted status to enter or participate.

If you are able to log in to the Safer Badgers app using your UW–Madison NetID and password, then you are eligible for Safer Badgers COVID-19 testing and will be able to use your Badger Badge for access in any space, event, or in-person activity that requires it. If students, employees, or emeriti are not fully vaccinated and need to access locations where green/building access granted status is required, they must have a negative test on file within the past 8 days, as indicated by the Safer Badgers app.

Posted on 7:14 AM, May 12, 2021

I have been alerted to an exposure through the Safer Badgers app. What should I do?

New

If you have been notified of an exposure through the Safer Badgers app, the app will give you instructions on how to proceed. You will be instructed to get a UW-Madison COVID-19 test. Your Badger Badge and building access will not change. If you have additional questions, you may contact the UW-Madison COVID-19 Assistance Line at (608)- 262-7777.

Posted on 7:14 AM, May 12, 2021

Who do I contact for technical support with the Safer Badgers app?

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Please contact the DoIT Help Desk.

Posted on 7:14 AM, May 12, 2021

The app is giving me different instructions than the ones I received from my medical provider or a contact tracer. Which should I follow?

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The Safer Badgers app cannot be tailored to every individual circumstance. You should always follow the instructions provided to you by medical or public health professionals, including UHS staff and contact tracers. If you have additional questions, contact UHS.

Posted on 7:14 AM, May 12, 2021

Contractors, vendors, and others with business on campus (such as U.S. Postal workers, FedEx employees, law enforcement and emergency responders) are not able to participate in the on-campus testing program. How will they gain entry to spaces where a green Badger Badge is required?

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Uniformed visitors may enter any area where Badger Badge requirements are not in effect.

For access to specific spaces, events, or other in-person activities that require a green Badger Badge for access, uniformed visitors can be given access permissions via an alternate entry point or be escorted into the area if the event manager or unit head (or designee) ensures they are wearing a face covering and properly physically distancing.

Posted on 7:14 AM, May 12, 2021

What are “contact tracing” and “exposure notification?” Specifically, how is the Safer Badgers app using track-and-trace technology to manage COVID-19 cases?

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“Contact tracing” is a public health procedure used to identify people who may have come into contact with an infected person. Public health workers who conduct contact tracing interview known infected individuals, attempt to identify all recent contacts of the infected individual, and then follow up with those contacts by recommending testing, quarantine, treatment or other measures.

UW-Madison University Health Services manages contact tracing for those individuals who test positive for COVID-19 at on-campus testing locations. UHS works closely with the contact tracers at Public Health Madison and Dane County (PHMDC). PHMDC contact tracers can be used to supplement university contact tracing capacity in surge situations.

“Exposure notification” lets people know if they were in the vicinity of someone who was later found to be infected. The Safer Badgers app provides exposure notification for those users who enable this feature.

If users enable exposure notification, their phones store Bluetooth-emitted tokens when they are in sufficient proximity to other phones. If users of the app later find out they are infected, 14-days of their Bluetooth tokens are uploaded to a secure database server and then downloaded by other phones. Then those phones look for matches with the tokens they have saved.

Phones that find matches notify their users that they might have been exposed. Exposure notifications are generated on each user’s phone, and the notification is displayed only on the user’s phone. Individual exposure notifications are not reported to any other party.

Summary statistics about exposure notifications are reported to University Health Services. The Safer Badgers app never tracks geolocation (i.e., GPS, or Global Positioning System).

Posted on 7:14 AM, May 12, 2021

If I am in class or at work and receive a notification that I’ve tested positive for COVID-19, should I leave immediately?

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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. 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.

Posted on 7:13 AM, May 12, 2021

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

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The Safer Badgers app will provide you with basic information about the results of campus testing and provide you with your Badger Badge access.

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.

Posted on 7:13 AM, May 12, 2021

Is my health information being disclosed when I show my Badger Badge?

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No. The Badger Badge does not reveal your health status (such as whether you have tested positive for COVID-19). It simply indicates whether you have access to campus buildings.

Having a Badger Badge indicating “building access denied” (with a red “X”) does not mean you have tested positive for COVID-19. A badge can indicate “building access denied” for several reasons: being a first-time user of the app, failure to record a negative test in the time period required, getting a positive test, being in isolation/quarantine, or self- reporting symptoms.

The red and green colors used to indicate “building access denied” or “building access granted” on the Bader Badge screen are different from the red/yellow/green “status” colors used in other parts of the app. A red status means the user has tested positive for COVID-19. App users do not need to show their status to anyone, only their badge.

Posted on 7:13 AM, May 12, 2021

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

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Employees, graduate students, and undergraduates traveling for in-person research or instructional field activities do not need prior approval for single day trips using ground transportation for either in state or outside of Wisconsin. Ground travel that includes an overnight stay, regardless of destination, as well as all domestic and international air travel, remains restricted. In limited cases, academic deans, vice chancellors and research directors may approve essential overnight and air travel. Prior approval will be required and Essential Travel Exemption Form will need to be submitted. In addition, all current campus health protocols must be followed including wearing facial covering. Additional information on the campus travel policy is located here.

Posted on 7:13 AM, May 12, 2021

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