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COVID-19 Response: Building access and testing updates for employees

February 11, 2021

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This message covers

  • Building access updates
  • Testing updates
  • What to do if you test positive
  • Reminders

This has been a significant week for campus, as enforcement of building access based on the Badger Badge began Wednesday. Early reports suggest widespread compliance: people are getting tested and arriving at building entrances prepared to show their green (access granted) Badger Badge screen.

We know this new process has required extra effort and patience on everyone’s part – thank you for rising to the challenge. Although much of the vaccination news is hopeful, the pandemic is far from over. We must collectively remain vigilant: continue wearing masks, practicing physical distancing and good hygiene, and avoiding gatherings.

Building access

To enter a building on the main campus, you now must be in compliance with campus testing policy, and the Badger Badge on your Safer Badgers device must show a green “building access granted” checkmark. At many campus buildings, trained employees called Badger Wellness Ambassadors will ask to see your Badger Badge before you can proceed.

  • To ensure quick entry, especially during this cold spell, please have your Safer Badgers app open and your Badger Badge screen displayed as you approach a building. Be sure to allow the Badger Wellness Ambassador time to view the information on your screen before proceeding.
  • The safety of the campus community depends on everyone adhering to building access rules. Students and employees who attempt to willfully skirt compliance will be subject to consequences.
  • You do not need a green Badger Badge screen to enter a building for the purpose of taking a COVID-19 test.
  • If you are unable to report to work because your badge is red, contact your supervisor as soon as possible.
  • If you haven’t been to campus yet this semester, here’s a short video explaining the role of Badger Wellness Ambassadors and what to expect at building entrances.

Testing sites

All campus testing sites operate on a drop-in basis. Evening, weekend and early-morning hours are available.

  • As you consider when to be tested, keep in mind that many testing sites are reporting lighter usage in the morning. Being tested in the morning also increases the likelihood of getting your result the same day.
  • While some sites may be busy, other nearby sites may have little to no wait. Please use your app to find sites that will allow you to be tested quickly.

If you test positive

If you test positive for COVID-19 on campus, you should trust this result and isolate yourself immediately to prevent spreading it to others.  Learn more, including who to call if you have health questions.

  • Both the nasal swab and saliva-based tests at UW–Madison this spring are PCR tests, the gold standard diagnostic test for COVID-19. The chances that you receive a false positive result are extremely low. Do not attempt to get another test at a campus testing site.
  • If you have concerns about your test result, you should contact UHS:
  • If you arrive at a campus test site with a red status QR code (which is different than your Badger Badge), staff will permit you to retest only if you have clinical documentation from UHS. Without this documentation, which UHS will grant only rarely, you will not be permitted to retest.


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