Memo: UW students should get tested for COVID-19 before leaving for, returning from holiday break


(WFRV) – Chancellors within the University of Wisconsin System have been directed by System President Tommy Thompson to require students to be tested before leaving campus and returning after the Thanksgiving holiday.

According to a memo shared with UW System chancellors, the system’s efforts to provide a safe campus experience “have mitigated the spread so that [COVID-19 spread] has been effectively managed within our campus communities.”

The UW System recently began providing COVID-19 testing on numerous campuses, including UW-Green Bay, for the community.

“This is a huge undertaking, and people in our communities are incredibly grateful for this free service,” the memo reads. “With that added capacity, and given the troubling surge in cases statewide, the UW System is directing its thirteen universities to take even more aggressive steps with the purpose of limiting movement as we approach the Thanksgiving holiday.”

Most of the UW System’s universities will move to all virtual classes after Thanksgiving. According to the memo, because of this, “it is more critical that specific protocols are established to accommodate individual situations.”

Thompson closes out the memo by saying:

“As a result, and in addition to the regular testing protocols at our universities now, I hereby direct every Chancellor within the UW System to require:

  1. Any student leaving our campus community for the Thanksgiving holiday with the intent of returning to campus after the Thanksgiving holiday be COVID tested once before they leave campus and tested an additional two times before they return into any classroom or congregated setting. Should they test positive, the protocols related to quarantining and isolation on each campus will still be required to be followed.
  2. If these standards cannot be met, students should not be allowed to return into any classroom or congregated setting following the Thanksgiving break.”

Thompson continues, saying, “Our goal is to spread the culture of responsibility, not COVID-19.”

Wisconsin reported a record 7,497 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday.

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