Summer Covid-19 testing, building access and events guidance
The following message was shared to campus leadership on Monday, April 19.
As we head into the final weeks of the 2021 spring semester, we thank the UW–Madison campus community for everything it has done to support health and safety by adhering to our COVID-19 protocols. It’s critical that we continue to follow these protocols through the remainder of the semester so that we will be able to cap off the academic year with a return to Camp Randall for in-person commencement ceremonies on May 8.
With summer just around the corner, and planning for our return to campus for the fall under way, we will be making some modifications to our approach to activities on campus after the end of spring semester. These modifications are informed by increasing vaccination rates, combined with more opportunities to be outside due to better weather. The Office of Human Resources will be providing additional details related to the return to campus for employees who are currently working remotely. As has been the case throughout this past year, our approach is subject to change in response to emerging public health trends.
Effective Monday, May 10, access to campus buildings and facilities will no longer be limited to those with green/building access granted Badger Badges, unless required by those overseeing a specific space, event, or other in-person activity.
- Access to campus facilities will no longer be managed by Badger Wellness Ambassadors.
- While Badger Wellness Ambassadors will not be staffing building entrances, a green Badger Badge may be specifically required for members of the campus community to access certain spaces, events, or other in-person activities. For example, some laboratories may require a green Badger Badge for entry, instructors may choose to require a green Badger Badge for students participating in in-person instruction, and operating units may ask those attending group meetings to have a green Badger Badge. Visitors and guests, who are unable to use the Safer Badgers app, will not have access to these spaces, events, or other in-person activities. As noted below, a green badge can be obtained by regular COVID testing or proof of vaccination.
- Vice Chancellors, Academic Deans, and Research Center Directors may require review and approval of any required use of the Badger Badge within the units they manage. At least one week’s notice must be given before any space, event, or other in-person activity can require a green Badger Badge for access. In addition, a Badger Badge Form must be completed at least one week prior to the requirement’s effective date.
- Any use of the Badger Badge will be managed by the local unit or event sponsor requiring it. Email email@example.com to request Badger Badge training materials. Anyone whose assigned job duties formally include controlling access to a facility must complete Campus Security Authority (CSA) training. For additional information about CSA training, or to determine if the requirement applies in your situation, please contact Director of Clery Act Compliance Elisa Lopez (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- A green Badger Badge can be maintained through vaccination or by regular COVID-19 testing at on-campus sites.
- While we anticipate fewer locations will require a Badger Badge check to enter, we expect all members of the campus community to maintain their green/building access granted Badger Badge to ensure they can access all facilities and events, without limitation, throughout the summer. This can be done through regular testing or proof of vaccination.
Testing and the Safer Badgers app
We will continue to support on-campus, no-cost testing for our campus community, as well as use of the Safer Badgers app. Starting Monday, May 10, testing and badging will operate as follows:
- Testing will be available for members of our campus community, including students who were enrolled in the 2021 spring semester, regardless of their summer enrollment status.
- All testing will be PCR-based nasal swab, provided on a drop-in basis at three or more sites, including a drive-up option. Look for more information about summer test site locations soon.
- Everyone must test once each week to maintain a green/building access granted Badger Badge. For undergraduates, this is less frequent than was required during spring semester, but aligns undergraduate student testing timeframes for the summer with those already in place for employees and graduate/professional students. If students and employees are not fully vaccinated and need to access locations where green/building access granted status is required, they must have a negative test on file within the past 8 days, as indicated by the Safer Badgers app.
- Anyone who can provide proof of vaccination, as delineated below, will be exempted from routine COVID-19 testing, but is expected to get tested if they develop symptoms of COVID-19.
We continue to strongly encourage all members of our campus community to seek COVID-19 vaccination.
- UHS will continue to offer COVID-19 vaccine appointments, based on the supply of vaccines available throughout the summer. If you wish to be vaccinated and on-campus appointments are limited, please utilize any of the multiple off-campus locations providing vaccination.
- On-campus vaccination appointments will be open to all members of our campus community free of charge, including students who were enrolled in the 2021 spring semester, regardless of their summer enrollment status.
- We will open vaccine appointments to incoming students as soon as feasible in advance of the 2021 fall semester.
- Fully vaccinated individuals will be exempted from routine COVID-19 testing. For the exemption to apply, you must be at least 2 weeks past the date you received your second vaccine dose, or 2 weeks past the date you received a vaccine that requires only one dose. In addition, UHS must have a record of your vaccination. If you were vaccinated by UHS, they have your record. If you were not vaccinated by UHS, follow the instructions to upload your record in MyUHS. It may take up to 5 business days for your record to be reflected in MyUHS.
- Once you are fully vaccinated and UHS has a record of your vaccination status, your Badger Badge will remain green without further routine COVID-19 testing, and the word Exempt will appear under your Badger Badge photo.
We will be gradually allowing more visitors on campus this summer starting May 10th.
- As noted above, access to campus buildings and facilities will no longer be limited to those with green/building access granted Badger Badges, unless required by those overseeing a specific space, event, or activity.
- We will begin to offer in-person campus tours as soon as feasible after Commencement.
- Visitors will be welcomed back to the Memorial Union Terrace, subject to facilities limits, following Public Health Madison Dane County guidelines, beginning May 10.
- Members of the public will be able to access RecWell facilities, subject to facilities limits, following Public Health Madison Dane County guidelines beginning May 10.
- Guests and visitors will also be allowed to attend university sponsored events, on or off campus, unless the event sponsor determines attendance is limited to those with a green Badger Badge.
Events and activities
The following changes to campus events and activities are effective Monday, May 10. In the meantime, current policies for Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) and schools/colleges/divisions remain in effect and are to be followed.
- Gathering/event size guidelines will be updated to follow the most current Public Health Madison & Dane County (PHMDC) Emergency Order, currently PHMDC Order #15. This guidance is likely to change over time and will be updated. Under PHMDC Order #15:
- Gatherings inside where food or drink is offered are limited to 150 people, and where food or drink is not offered are limited to 350 people. Numbers must be limited to ensure individuals who are not members of the same household or living unit maintain six (6) feet physical distancing at all times.
- Gatherings outside must be limited to ensure individuals who are not members of the same household or living unit maintain six (6) feet physical distancing at all times.
- Dining facilities are limited to 50% of their seating capacity.
- Face coverings will be required for all indoor gatherings, except when eating or drinking. Face coverings will not be required for outdoor gatherings if physical distancing can be maintained.
- Food or drink will be allowed. All food and beverage provided at events must be either commercially prepackaged/individually packaged or served by university catering staff. If food is provided by a restaurant or catering company not affiliated with the university, it must be provided in single serve packaging.
- Sponsored programs, activities, meetings, and gatherings that follow campus policy as well as the PHMDC Current Order, and CDC guidelines will not require prior approval. Approval will continue to be needed for events and meetings with aspects that fall outside of campus policy or PHMDC and CDC guidelines (e.g., size, health protocols, etc.).
- As noted above, guests and visitors will be allowed to attend UW–Madison sponsored events, on- or off-campus, unless the event sponsor determines attendance will be limited to those with a green Badger Badge status.
- Limitations on pre-college activities remain in place. A limited number of one-day Badger Sports Camps will operate this summer, following health and safety procedures approved by campus.
- Third-party events (events not sponsored by the university) will not be allowed.