UW System college students must be tested for COVID-19 three times if traveling over Thanksgiving

Local News

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) In two weeks, thousands of UW System college students will head home for the Thanksgiving holiday. But as Kris Schuller reports before they leave and after they get back, they’re required to be tested three times for COVID-19.

At UW-Green Bay all students undergo weekly testing to prevent an outbreak of COVID-19.
“I think it’s a pretty good idea, just to keep our students safe here,” said one student.

But now, with cases surging and the Thanksgiving holiday almost here, students who live on campus and are planning to travel home, are now required to be tested multiple times if they want to return to campus.

“I know that I have to get tested on Tuesday before I leave for break. Then when I come back from break, I have to get tested twice,” said Kajen Medenwaldt, who lives on campus.

A directive handed down by UW System President Tommy Thompson on Thursday to chancellors across the state.

“The more that we test, the better it is for our students and the better it is for our community,” said UW-Green Bay Chancellor Michael Alexander.

In the memo Thompson says so far the UW System’s efforts “…have mitigated the spread so that it has been effectively managed within our campus communities.”

But with over 7,500 positive cases identified statewide Thursday, Thompson is telling chancellors to take even more aggressive steps.

“We have to test to identify the virus, we need to know when it’s present as soon as possible, so we can isolate it,” Alexander said.

Students we talked to have no problem with the additional testing. They say it will keep the campus community safe.

“It’s definitely scary to think about, but with a lot of testing, it definitely keeps us safer,” said student Abbey Martin.

“I love living on campus. If that’s what we have to do to stay on campus and keep everyone safe, then I think it’s good,” said Medenwaldt.

“We don’t want anyone to come back with the virus – but we know people are going to go home for Thanksgiving,” Alexander said.

And should students return carrying the virus, the new testing policy should prevent a wider outbreak. The current percentage for positive cases at UWGB stands at roughly one percent.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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