COVID-19 Quarantine, Isolation, & Testing Updates

As anticipated, UW-Madison has seen increases in COVID-19 cases, and we wanted to remind you of important information regarding quarantineisolation, and testing that we have been communicating to you over the last few months. Be sure to share this information with your family members so they are aware of what is expected of you and our process if by chance you become positive with COVID-19.

Monitor Your Symptoms

Even if you are vaccinated, it is important to be familiar with this information and to get tested if you are experiencing symptoms for your own health and the safety of our community. If you are having symptoms, take it seriously and take action. Housing is here to support you in quickly moving to a safe place to isolate if you test positive.

Students in quarantine and isolation may not return to their residence hall or participate in any in-person UW-Madison activities until they are cleared by Housing staff.

Be Prepared for Test Results

We receive test results throughout the day and night. Be advised that you could be contacted about a test result or a need to quarantine/isolate at any point in the day or evening. Be prepared to quickly pack and return to your permanent home or potentially to a quarantine or isolation space provided by campus. Consider keeping a bag packed with essential items, medicine, and other things you might want to bring with you.

Quarantine & Isolation

Housing has a limited number of separate spaces designated for quarantine and isolation for our residents. These locations are a mix of hotel and apartment spaces located on campus and in the Madison area. Due to high levels of occupancy in the hotel market and less willingness to house COVID-19 positive cases, we have less availability than we did last year to place students in hotels. As a result, be aware that some hotels we are using are up to 35 minutes away from campus. If Housing-designated quarantine and isolation spaces become full, you may need to quarantine/isolate at your permanent home or find your own space off campus — have a back-up plan with your family in case we are not able to provide you a space.


Any resident who is not fully vaccinated and is identified as a close contact of a COVID-19-positive individual must leave their residence hall and quarantine for a minimum of 10 days, until cleared by UW-Madison University Health Services(UHS).


Any resident, vaccinated or unvaccinated, who tests positive for COVID-19 must leave their residence hall and isolate for a minimum of 10 days, until cleared by UW-Madison University Health Services (UHS).

Food is Not Provided in Quarantine & Isolation

Meals are not provided to residents in quarantine/isolation. Residents will need to make their own arrangements for meals and groceries through outside delivery services. Some apartment spaces may have access to a kitchen, but students would need to provide their own cookware and kitchen supplies. We understand for some this may be a financial hardship, and upon request, students in quarantine or isolation can receive a portion of their dining plan credited to their account.

Want More Details?

For more details on quarantine and isolation, including processes, expectations, and amenities, visit our COVID-19 Housing site.

COVID-19 Testing

Residents should schedule all of their testing appointments at the University Club (803 State St.) or Holt Center testing centers, open Monday – Thursday. Any campus testing location can be used if needed, but testing at these two sites gives us more control over when we get results back from the lab.

  • Not Fully Vaccinated: You are required to test weekly for COVID-19. Failure to participate in required testing will result in disciplinary referral, which can have consequences for your academic standing and Housing contract.
  • Fully Vaccinated: You are not required to test, but we recommend testing if you experience any symptoms of COVID-19 or if you have been in close contact with a COVID-19-positive individual (test 3-5 days after the exposure).

Test in the Afternoon

We recommend testing in the afternoon (1 – 4:30pm) so that your test results come in during the following day. This allows for a better transition to home or isolation housing if you were to test positive. If you test in the morning and your results are positive, you will likely be contacted to move later that evening (8 – 11pm).

Test the Same Day as Your Roommate

We recommend testing on the same day as your roommates. By testing the same day, if you all test positive, this helps us transition you all to isolation housing and reduce risk to the rest of the community.

Rapid Tests Do Not Satisfy Testing Requirements

PCR nasal testing at a campus testing site or health provider is the most accurate type of COVID-19 test. Rapid tests are less reliable and do not satisfy campus testing requirements.