A spring health update for campus
As the spring semester gets underway, UW–Madison students, faculty and staff are reminded about steps to take to keep healthy, especially from respiratory illnesses like COVID-19, seasonal flu, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). This information was also shared in a message on Dec. 8, 2022.
Get vaccinated and boosted.
- Vaccination is a highly effective way to prevent illness or limit the severity of illness.
- All students and employees are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19 and flu. If you received your last COVID-19 booster or second dose in your primary series at least two months ago, you are eligible to receive a bivalent booster. Find out when to get boosted.
- Bivalent Pfizer COVID-19 boosters are available to students and employees at no cost at the UHS clinic at 333 E. Campus Mall. Appointments are required and can be made by logging into MyUHS.
- Public Health Madison and Dane County (PHMDC) also maintains a list of locations offering COVID-19 and flu vaccines.
- Students and employees who receive COVID-19 vaccination off campus are encouraged to upload their information to MyUHS.
Get tested and stay home if you’re sick.
- No-cost antigen test kits for COVID-19 are available for pick-up for all students and employees at 333 East Campus Mall.
- The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) also sponsors a program that allows households to place an order every month for one free test kit containing five rapid antigen tests.
- Consistent with PHMDC and changes made by peer institutions nationally, there are no plans to resume widespread campus PCR testing. Employees seeking PCR testing should contact their health care provider or visit a community testing site. University Health Services is no longer offering appointments for PCR testing; students may also seek PCR testing in the community.
- Students and employees with symptoms of COVID-19 should test immediately with an at-home antigen test. Students can call or make an appointment with UHS to discuss antigen test results, especially if symptoms worsen. Employees should contact their health care provider with concerns. A negative test does not necessarily mean you do not have COVID-19 — you may consider retesting with another antigen test 24-to-48 hours after the first. Stay home if you are sick.
- DHS also offers access to free treatment telehealth services seven days a week.
- Follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations for testing after an exposure.
Choose to wear a mask to protect yourself from respiratory virus infections.
- Wearing a high-quality face mask is a simple and effective way to help prevent upper respiratory viral infections, including COVID-19, influenza and RSV.
- While supplies remain available, the university will continue to offer no-cost masks to students and employees at the campus antigen test pick-up site.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to recommend a minimum of five days of isolation for anyone with COVID-19, followed by five additional days of masking around other people and when in public. Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 is encouraged to notify their close contacts. The CDC offers additional guidance for what to do following an exposure.
The university will continue to consult public health experts and seek guidance throughout the semester and will provide additional updates as needed.