UW-Madison expanding testing program for students, employees in spring semester

UW staff places seating stickers on chairs.
UW staff members place seating stickers on chairs.
Photo courtesy of Bryce Richter

MADISON, Wis. — The University of Wisconsin-Madison announced Wednesday it will expand its coronavirus testing program during the spring semester.

According to a news release, the expanded program will ensure that all students who live on campus, attend classes or utilize campus spaces will be tested twice each week. Regular testing will be required for employees working on campus as well.

The current program requires only weekly testing for students living in residence halls and for workers in housing and food services. Other students and staff are currently only tested if they choose to make an appointment at a campus testing site or participate in surveillance testing.

“As the university demonstrated this fall, quick detection of cases through testing, combined with isolation and quarantine efforts, rigorous contact tracing, and adherence to public health measures such as mask wearing, physical distancing and regular hand washing, is critical to keeping transmission rates of the virus low,” the release said. 

The university said it expects to share more information as soon as details are finalized 

The spring semester will already look very different, remaining a hybrid model of in-person and virtual classes. Spring break has already been canceled to reduce the potential of travel and the start of the semester has been pushed back to Jan. 25. A full spring semester schedule will be available in early December, officials said.