Spring Residence Hall Testing Details

Students received recent updates from campus about COVID-19 testing for all UW-Madison students and the Safer Badgers app. We wanted to provide a few added details specific to students living in the residence halls before you return to campus. Please note that the app is now available in both the App Store and Google Play Store, and testing appointments are now available for scheduling at the Housing test sites in Holt Center and Ogg Hall for spring move-in weekday dates. (If you are moving in on the weekend, please schedule your move-in testing at one of the other campus testing sites.)


For the safety of our residents and the community, students returning from winter break should self-quarantine until they have received two negative COVID-19 tests on campus. This means strictly following all public health guidelines (face coverings, physical distancing, hand washing, etc.) and limiting activity outside your room to only essential errands, such as medical appointments (including COVID-19 testing), getting food or groceries, academics, and work (with precautions).

Move-In Testing

All residents* must complete a COVID-19 test on campus on their arrival day (or the next morning for late-day arrivals). This test can be scheduled in the Safer Badgers app. See “Testing Site Locations” below for guidance on where to schedule the appointment for your move-in day and beyond.

Recurring Testing

All residents* are required to participate in COVID-19 testing twice-weekly (every 72 hours) during the spring semester. Tests need to be scheduled through the Safer Badgers app, which will prompt you on when your next test is required. For the spring semester, you will not be assigned to specific testing days, so please follow the instructions in the app to remain compliant. Appointments can be scheduled up to one week in advance.

Testing Site Locations

Residents should primarily schedule their appointments at one of the Housing testing sites (Holt Center or Ogg Hall, open Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm, beginning January 20) when possible. Other campus testing sites can be used after hours or on weekends if needed. Residents who scheduled their spring move-in for a weekend day should go to one of the campus sites for their test.

Testing Method

Housing testing sites (Holt and Ogg) will continue to use the nasal swab testing method. Please note that testing preparation instructions in the Safer Badgers app are written for the saliva testing method used at other campus sites.

At those other campus sites, it is important to prepare correctly for the saliva test in order to get a successful result. Make sure you are well-hydrated before you arrive. You cannot have had anything to eat or drink, nor brushed or flossed your teeth, used mouthwash, chewed gum or smoked in the hour prior to arriving for your test.

For the nasal swab testing at Housing sites, it is not necessary to avoid eating, drinking, or smoking before your test.

Access to Housing Buildings

At this time, the Safer Badgers app will not be used to manage access to residence halls. However, residents who do not stay current with required testing will receive follow-up from Residence Life staff and can face disciplinary action, including removal from Housing. Residents who test positive for COVID-19 or have been exposed will still need to go to isolation or quarantine spaces until they are cleared to return. Most Housing dining markets will be monitored for access through the app.


For ongoing updates related to COVID-19, continue to visit our FAQs page. If you have questions or issues with scheduling your test, contact University Health Services (UHS) directly. For other questions, use our contact form.

*There may be a few allowed exceptions to move-in testing, recurring testing, and/or quarantine requirements, particularly for students who have previously tested positive for COVID-19 and have recovered. Prior positive on-campus test results are being imported into the Safer Badgers app and will be viewable by January 25. If you have a prior positive test from off campus, you can upload it via the Safer Badgers app.