Expectations, Testing, Isolation/Quarantine, and Planning for Fall

We’re excited to have you on campus and start the fall semester. Our staff in University Housing is dedicated to doing all we can to ensure a fun and supportive experience. We’re committed to doing our part to create a healthy and safe environment, and I ask you to do the same. Our success will only be possible through a team effort with all Badgers working together!

About Your Community

Soon after you arrive, you’ll learn much more about your community, our resident expectations/policies, and the resources available to residents.

Community Welcome Meetings

Offered each move-in day between August 29 and September 2, these welcome meetings for buildings will introduce you to life on campus at UW-Madison.

Online Canvas Course

This course, called Residence Hall Policies & Information, must be completed within 72 hours of your move-in date.

House Meetings

Smaller meetings with your floor or wing will be held with your House Fellow about two weeks after move-in. Look for more information from your House Fellow soon.

COVID-19 Response

Many questions about what life in the residence halls will look like this fall are answered in our online FAQs. We continue to partner with campus health professionals to address the ongoing challenges of COVID-19 through vaccinations, masking, cleaning protocols, testing, and contact-tracing for members of our residence hall community.

Over 89% of our residents are already fully vaccinated. 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.


  • Free COVID-19 testing is available to all students through UW-Madison University Health Services (UHS)
  • Residents who are not fully vaccinated are required to test for COVID-19 five days prior to move-in, on their move-in day, and weekly throughout the school year (unvaccinated international residents have already received information on their arrival in a previous email)
  • If you are fully vaccinated, testing is only recommended if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in close contact with a positive case (you should then test 3-5 days after contact)
  • Unvaccinated students that have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 90 days should upload documentation of this status to their MyUHS account (log in with your NetID) for temporary exemption from weekly testing

Isolation/Quarantine Housing

  • A limited number of separate spaces have been set aside on campus and in the Madison area only for isolation and quarantine of Housing residents
  • If Housing-designated isolation and quarantine spaces become full, residents may need to isolate/quarantine at their permanent home or find their own space off campus — they may not return to their residence hall or participate in any in-person UW-Madison activities until they are cleared by Housing staff
  • Students who would prefer to isolate or quarantine at home should discuss this with family now so they have a plan to be picked up the day they are informed of their status
  • Isolation: if any resident (vaccinated or unvaccinated) tests positive for COVID-19, they must isolate outside of the residence hall for at least 10 days and follow all isolation expectations until they are cleared by UHS to return to their residence hall
  • Quarantine: if an unvaccinated resident is identified as a close contact of someone who tested positive, they must quarantine outside of the residence hall for at least 10 days and follow all quarantine expectations until they are cleared by UHS to return to their residence hall (vaccinated residents do not need to be moved in cases of close contact)
  • Upon request, students in isolation or quarantine can receive a portion of their dining plan credited to their account. Residents will need to make their own arranges for their meal needs. Residents are not allowed to enter the dining hall during their time in isolation or quarantine housing.

What You Can Do Now

  • Plan for all required testing if you are not fully vaccinated
  • Any residents or family who test positive for COVID-19 before move-in should delay coming to campus until they are no longer contagious
  • Before coming to campus, monitor your health for any COVID-19 symptoms
  • Bring multiple masks and cleaning supplies when packing
  • Bring a paper or electronic copy of your COVID-19 vaccination record in case it is required by any local businesses
  • Ensure you and any helpers wear masks while indoors at all times except when in a resident’s room
  • 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 you’d bring with you if you needed to go into quarantine or isolation – we recommend keeping a suitcase or bag on campus for this purpose
  • Review the Student Housing Handbook for residence hall policies and expectations.
  • Stay informed with the latest updates via our Housing FAQs and the campus COVID-19 response website.

Along with 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 we are hopeful that together, we will have a great school year. If you have questions, please reach out through our contact form.