Skip to main content

Employee and student update: Travel health warning, finding vaccine, testing updates

March 31, 2021

Read this message in

This message covers

  • Travel health warning
  • How to find vaccine
  • Talking about vaccination
  • Testing updates

Travel health warning

  • Travel increases your chances of getting and spreading COVID-19. More contagious variants of COVID-19 are being found around the country and within Wisconsin. This threatens to produce another surge in illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths. For these reasons, travel is strongly discouraged, even for people who are vaccinated.
  • If you must travel, learn how to reduce your risk.
  • If you travel, upon returning to the Madison area, you are expected to get tested 3-5 days after your trip and self-quarantine (stay home except for attending class and work) for a full 7 days after travel, even if your test is negative. If you don’t get tested, self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.

How to find the vaccine

UW–Madison encourages all employees and eligible students who are interested in vaccination to seek appointments both on and off campus. Because University Health Services’ vaccine supply has so far been limited, you may be able to be vaccinated more quickly off campus.

  • Who is eligible: All UW–Madison employees, including student employees and employees working both in-person and remotely, are eligible to be vaccinated. In addition, students are eligible if they meet other state criteria, including having certain medical conditions or working in certain settings. Effective April 5, everyone age 16 and older who lives, works or studies in Wisconsin will be eligible.
  • Getting started: Visit the MyUHS portal. It allows you to search for appointments on campus and to sign up for the Wisconsin Department of Health Services vaccine registry. Once you are registered, DHS will email you with off-campus appointment options. Employees, including student workers, qualify for vaccination under the state’s definition of faculty and staff with direct student contact or under previous eligibility criteria.
  • More off-campus options: Check with your health care provider to see if they are offering appointments. Also, more pharmacies, including many at major retailers, are starting to offer vaccine. Visit the DHS website for a list of participating pharmacies and instructions on finding an appointment.
  • Keep checking MyUHS: UHS anticipates increased vaccine supplies in the coming weeks, so you should continue to check the MyUHS portal.
  • Learn more about what to expect when being vaccinated.
  • If you’re vaccinated off campus, remember to upload your record to MyUHS. You must do this in order to be excused from routine campus COVID-19 testing.
  • This week, UHS is offering expanded hours to accommodate second and third shift employees in the following departments:Facilities Planning and Management, Athletics, Wisconsin Unions, Conference Centers and Mail Services, Housing, Mouse Breeding Core and Research Services, University Health Services. Learn more
  • Additional clinic options for other second and third shift employees will be available soon. UHS will share more information with these employees when details are available.

Talking about vaccination

Does an employee have to tell their supervisor or manager whether they have been vaccinated?

No. A person’s vaccination status is private, just like any other medical issue or condition. Employees are not required to share this information with supervisors or managers. There are limited exceptions to this (such as health care roles) where sharing vaccine status information is required, but in these limited cases employees are formally notified of this requirement. In general, especially as more people become eligible for vaccination due to health conditions, it is important to avoid asking these types of questions of employees because it could cause an employee to feel compelled to share medical or disability information. However, supervisors and managers are permitted to ask for Safer Badger app color or designation (green/building access granted).

Is it okay to ask someone I work with if they have been vaccinated?

No. A person’s vaccination status is private, just like any other medical issue or condition, and employees should not be asked to share this information. In general, especially as more people become eligible for vaccination due to health conditions, it is good etiquette to avoid asking people their vaccination status. Anyone who wants to share their vaccine status information with others is free to do so, but there is no requirement to share this information with others with whom they work and/or report.

Testing updates

  • The employees at our testing sites and behind the scenes are working diligently to make the process as safe and easy as possible. We appreciate your patience and understanding as you interact with them.
  • If you overfill your vial while providing a testing sample, please do not try to empty it; doing so is a contamination risk. Staff will assist you in disposing of the vial and give you a fresh vial.
  • Because a growing number of employees and students are vaccinated and no longer need to test regularly, campus is able to reduce the number of testing sites while still providing sufficient access.

    The following sites will shut down at the end of the day on April 1;
    nearby sites are listed as alternates: Health Sciences Learning Center (Alternate site: Nielsen Tennis Stadium), Carson Gulley Center (Alternate site: Dejope Residence Hall), Helen C. White (Alternate site: Pyle Center).All other sites will remain open, with their same operating hours.Testing sites will remain open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday April 2-4. Employees and students should continue to test on their regular schedule.

How to get help