Fourteen campus sites will support COVID-19 testing in spring
The University of Wisconsin–Madison recently announced an enhanced health and safety program that will begin in January. It will include expanded on-campus COVID-19 testing offered at no cost to UW–Madison students and employees.
To conduct the amount of testing necessary to cover all students and employees who are required to participate — approximately 70,000 tests per week, in addition to Housing — campus has selected 12 sites to serve as new testing locations. Students and employees will be required to maintain frequent testing and be COVID-19 negative in order to access campus buildings to learn, work, study, dine and recreate.
The test sites will be located at Nielsen Tennis Stadium, Mechanical Engineering Building, Grainger Hall, 21 N Park St., Camp Randall Sports Center (“the Shell”), Carson Gulley Center, Dejope Residence Hall, The Kohl Center, Health Sciences Learning Center, Helen C. White Hall, Pyle Center and Union South.
Housing will also perform additional testing at two existing sites that have served as testing locations this fall — Frederic Ogg Residence Hall and Frank Holt Center.
Testing will be available seven days per week, with early morning and late evening hours at some sites. Specific site details, including times and parking information, will be available soon.
Locations were chosen based on a number of criteria, including accessibility, size, campus location and the ability to safely achieve the logistics necessary for testing operations.
They were evaluated by a team that includes University Health Services; Environment, Health and Safety; Facilities Planning and Management and others. Local building staff were also included in the decision-making process and final decisions were confirmed by campus leadership.
To ensure that physical density remains low, that traffic patterns are well-managed, and that testing does not interfere with other activities in each building, a team comprised by FP&M, EHS, and UHS will make necessary modifications to each space and set up testing infrastructure.
Along with enhanced safety protocols and a new app called Safer Badgers, the new approach will augment testing developed and performed by the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in partnership with the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene.
The new campus testing was adapted from a successful approach developed and used by the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign this fall and is a quick, saliva-based diagnostic PCR test that promises results in 24 hours or less. It is designed to help quickly identify anyone who might be positive for COVID-19, especially those without symptoms, to ensure they can isolate and limit the spread of the disease.
Additional information about campus testing, safety protocols and other aspects of UW–Madison’s response to COVID-19 can be found at covidresponse.wisc.edu/. Information is updated frequently, including FAQs.