UW-Madison reserves isolation, quarantine rooms ahead of 2020-2021 school year

MADISON, Wis.– The University of Wisconsin-Madison is preparing to welcome students back to campus next month, and in the age of coronavirus, that means reserving isolation and quarantine rooms for those who may get sick during the school year.

UW-Madison houses about 8,000 students on a typical year, but Director of Marketing and Communication for University Housing Brendon Dybdahl said they’re expecting between 7,300 and 7,500 students to live on campus for the 2020-2021 school year.

“When we open, we will be pretty close to full capacity,” Dybdahl said. “Most residents will still be sharing a double room, but we do have some singles, as we always do. We’ve taken out most of our triples and quads this year, just for obvious reasons to space people out a little bit more.”

If a student living on campus tests positive for COVID-19, they will be asked to move to an isolation space until better.

“They’ll receive food delivered there. They’ll get daily health checks there, until they’re clear to leave,” Dybdahl said.

If a student living on campus comes in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, they will be asked to quarantine in a separate space for about two weeks.

“Students going into quarantine would need to stay in that room and would not be allowed to go back and forth, or leave, or go up to campus,” Dybdahl.

Dybdahl said students can choose to go home instead of going to isolation or quarantine spaces.

While the university plans to increase cleaning of the facilities, Dybdahl said it will be on the students to be cautious when necessary.

“There’s a lot of measures we have in place for the fall to reduce the risk as much as possible, and give students as close to a normal experience as we possibly can,” Dybdahl said. “I think a lot of it will depend on students taking onwnership of and behaving responsibly, so they can have the best chance of having a normal semester.”

Students will need to take a COVID-19 test before moving into dorms, and every two weeks throughout the year.