Move-in begins on UW campus, officials talk Covid safety

MADISON, Wis. — This week more than 8,500 students from all over the world are moving onto the UW-Madison campus making it their new home as new Covid safety protocols start to kick in.

This year’s freshman class is starting school with a mix of excitement and concern as housing officials take steps to make the on campus living more Covid safe.

Like last year, masks will be required at all times indoors and move-in times are spaced out to limit the number of people coming in at once.

But unlike last year, for unvaccinated students UW is taking Covid safety up a notch requiring them to get tested within 5 days of their scheduled move-in.

“I’m really glad that they put that into place,” said UW freshman Issac Yang. “It helps me feel more safe about everything with the pandemic.”

50 students who didn’t meet those requirements had their appointments canceled and those who tested positive were required to stay home.

“Isolate for 10 days versus come here, find out they’re positive and be in isolation on their own. That’s not a great welcome to the university,” said University Housing Director Jeff Novak.

Requirements don’t stop there, as soon as they arrive they’ll begin weekly testing with University health officials.

The hope is these changes will help avoid the massive Covid spread and campus shut downs of last year.

“We didn’t have the benefit of the vaccine. 92 percent of our students are vaccinated so the likelihood of something like that is really just not there,” said Novak

If students test positive the University has designated several locations on campus and additional hotel space off campus for quarantining.

Move-in along with the corresponding road closures on campus will continue through Thursday.