Fall Updates on University Housing

We are looking forward to seeing you on campus in a few weeks. I know things have been challenging due to COVID-19 and not the path that you would have ever imagined for finishing high school, enjoying your summer and starting your first year at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. You may be feeling anxious. Even if many of your classes are online, we are committed to providing you with resources, connections, fun, and opportunities to build a social support network that will help you throughout your college career.  Our staff in University Housing is dedicated to doing all we can to make the best of this new experience we are all facing. We have been diligently establishing policies and procedures to address the challenges facing all of us. We commit to doing our part to create a healthy, safe environment, and we ask you to do the same. Our success will only be possible with a team effort of all Badgers working together!

Many questions about what life in the residence halls will look like this fall are answered in our Fall Reopening Guide. The guide is being updated regularly as more plans become final. In partnership with health professionals from the campus and community, we have been developing solutions for COVID-19 symptom-tracking, testing, and contact-tracing for members of our residence hall community. We are hopeful cases will be limited, but in the event you would need to be placed in isolation or quarantine housing, being prepared and having a plan now will help everything go much more smoothly. Important information is highlighted below.


  • We strongly encourage all residents to be tested for COVID-19 at home before move-in, and anyone who tests positive should delay coming to campus until they are no longer contagious. For more information on those standards, visit the CDC website
  • Any students who have previously tested positive for COVID-19 and have completed their isolation requirements should upload documentation of this status to their MyUHS account (log in with your NetID)
  • All Housing residents will be tested for COVID-19 during the move-in process
  • Housing residents and on-site staff are required to be tested every two weeks
  • Residents will be assigned testing dates and a location and will make appointments that fit their schedule
  • Tests will be a self-administered nasal swab observed by a University Health Services (UHS) staff member
  • Testing results will be available within 72 hours
  • Residents will be required to participate in testing – failure to attend testing appointments without approval will result in Housing contract termination
  • If residents are experiencing symptoms in between tests, they should immediately go to a campus testing site to be tested

Isolation/Quarantine Housing

  • Separate from other residents, spaces have been set aside on or near campus for quarantine and isolation of Housing residents only.
  • Isolation: If a resident tests positive for COVID-19, they must isolate at their permanent home or in a designated residence hall facility for at least 10 days and follow all isolation expectations until they are cleared by UHS to return to their residence hall.
  • Quarantine: If a resident has come in close contact with someone who tested positive,  they must quarantine either at their permanent home or in a designated hotel-style quarantine facility for at least 14 days and follow all quarantine expectations until they are cleared by UHS to return to their residence hall. Roommates of students who test positive will automatically be moved to quarantine housing.
  • Students in isolation and quarantine spaces on campus will receive daily food deliveries and wellness checks.
  • Students who would prefer to isolate or quarantine at home should discuss this with family now so that they have a plan to be picked up the day they are informed of their status.

What You Can Do Now

  • We strongly encourage all residents to be tested for COVID-19 at home before move-in, and anyone who tests positive should delay coming to campus until they are no longer contagious.
  • In the weeks before move-in and once on campus, wear face coverings in public, practice good hand hygiene, and stay physically distanced.
  • Before coming to campus, monitor your health for any COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Bring multiple face coverings and cleaning supplies when packing.
  • Have a conversation about what you would do if you needed to quarantine or isolate.   Would you return home or stay in a designated campus space?
  • Plan what items you would need to bring with you if you needed to go into quarantine or isolation – we recommend keeping a suitcase or bag on campus for this purpose.
  • Additional health information will be shared in Welcome Back kits, which include face masks and hand sanitizer, along with health literature from UHS.
  • Stay informed on the latest updates through our Fall Reopening Guide, our #LiveWithBucky Live livestream Q&A series, and the campus Smart Restart website.

Along with all of our efforts, the experience this semester will also depend on our students.  Please join us and do your part to make campus safe and successful this fall!  Badgers have always risen to the occasion and I am hopeful that together we will have a great school year.

If you have questions, please reach out through our Contact Us page.