UW System receives more than $32M to support COVID-19 testing on campuses


MADISON, Wis. (WFRV) – The University of Wisconsin System is receiving more than $32 million in financial assistance to support coronavirus testing this year.

“As campuses across the UW System prepare to have students return to campus, it is critically important that every campus has the resources it needs to help keep our students safe,” said Gov. Tony Evers. “The COVID-19 pandemic brings great uncertainty and having robust testing efforts is one of the most important tools we have to help box in this virus and make sure our students stay healthy and safe.”

The effort is funded by Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act dollars provided directly to Wisconsin. Gov. Evers says the UW System will receive $24 million toward its COVID-19 plan, helping campuses to test symptomatic students, those who have had close contact with symptomatic students, and students living in residence halls.

Under UW System’s plan, state funding will help purchase 276,000 tests, 246,000 of which will be allocated to campuses and 30,000 of which will be held in reserve by UW System for peaks or shortfalls. The funding will also help cover personal protective equipment and staff for administering tests.

The UW System says masks will be mandatory on all campuses this fall after announcing in early summer that students would return to campus.

“Gov. Evers’ commitment to providing the resources for strong testing measures throughout the UW System will help us safely reopen our campuses this fall for students, faculty, staff, and our university communities,” said interim UW System President Tommy Thompson.

UW-Madison, which previously announced its COVID-19 testing plan, will receive $8.3 million from Wisconsin’s CARES Act allocation for testing, equipment, staff, and personal protective equipment to support their efforts to test symptomatic individuals, those who have had close contact with symptomatic individuals, and students living in residence halls. State support will help UW-Madison purchase 134,000 tests.

On Wednesday, the Big Ten Conference announced its medical protocols for all sports, which include testing all student-athletes, coaches, and staff a minimum of once weekly. A group of over 1,000 football players have formed a unity group to call for universities to create more protocols and follow them.

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