Nearly 40 members of UW-Madison fraternities, sororities test positive for COVID-19


MADISON, Wis. (WFRV) – UW-Madison reports that 38 members of fraternities and sororities have tested positive for coronavirus.

According to a release from the university, they and Public Health Madison & Dane County directed members of nine fraternities and sororities with off-campus live-in chapter houses to quarantine for at least 14 days in response to the confirmed cases among their members.

Between the nine chapters, there are about 420 members. There are about 1,500 students living in recognized fraternity and sorority chapter houses out of a total community of 5,000 members, according to UW-Madison.

“Our goal is to stop any further spread of the virus among our students and the broader community,” says Jake Baggott, executive director of University Health Services. “We’re working closely with county health officials, student leaders, chapter advisors, and the housing corporations that own the chapter houses to address this quickly and thoroughly.”

Those who have tested positive for COVID-19 will be directed to isolate. All other members of the chapters will be tested for COVID-19 at a university testing site after Labor Day. Those who have tested positive within the last 90 days through a verified lab result and are not currently in isolation do not have to get tested or quarantine.

Violation of isolation and quarantine orders may result in a court order for involuntary quarantine and/or a fine of up to $10,000, according to PHMDC. Failure to comply also will result in university sanctions against students who violate a quarantine directive.

UW-Madison says it is requiring all live-in members of the other 38 Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic chapters with live-in chapter houses to be tested for COVID-19 by the university.

“We are committed to addressing concerns and risks quickly in order to keep everyone in our community as safe as possible,” says Lori Reesor, vice chancellor for student affairs.  “Our students’ commitment to following public health directives is an essential part of that effort.”

In Northeast Wisconsin, school districts like West De Pere, Ashwaubenon, Luxemburg-Casco, and St. Mary Spring’s in Fond du Lac have reported at least one confirmed case of COVID-19 within their districts.

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