Housing COVID Updates

Residents & Families,

I look forward to your arrival for the spring semester. I know things continue to be challenging due to COVID-19 and not the path we all thought we would still be on. Our staff in University Housing remains dedicated to doing all we can to make this a successful school year. Campus plans to continue in-person instruction, events, and activities for the spring semester as scheduled, with all residence halls reopening for spring move-in as planned. I wanted to share some important updates with you below, related to COVID-19. Things continue changing rapidly, so please watch our website for the latest information.

Jeff Novak
Director of University Housing

Vaccination

Everyone who is eligible for a booster dose is recommended to get one as soon as possible. To assist, UHS will be expanding capacity for vaccine appointments at the no-cost campus vaccination clinic starting Jan. 24. If you received a booster shot off-campus, let UHS know by sharing your records through the MyUHS website or app.

Testing

Although the omicron variant of COVID-19 is so far causing less severe illness, especially for people who are vaccinated and boosted, it is highly contagious. As a result, our testing expectations for coming to campus have changed.

If at any time before arrival you are having symptoms or recently tested positive and are still in your isolation period, you should postpone your move-in. This allows you to recover at your current location.

Test Prior to Arrival:

UW–Madison is now expecting all students who have not had a positive PCR test in the last 90 days to get tested before coming to campus.

Fully Vaccinated (completed first vaccine series)

Take an antigen test at home before returning to campus, as close as possible to your departure time.

  • If your test is negative and you have no symptoms, come to campus as planned. You do not need to submit the test results.
  • If you test positive, delay your travel to campus and isolate at home.
  • If your antigen test is negative but you are having symptoms, postpone your return to campus, isolate at home, and take another test to confirm your result (use a PCR test immediately if available; otherwise use an antigen test 24 hours after your first test).
  • If the second test is negative, return as planned.
  • If the second test is positive, do not return to Madison or campus; follow these instructions for isolation.

Not Fully Vaccinated (have not completed first vaccine series)

  • Take a PCR test at home less than 5 days prior to your planned arrival, as previously communicated.
  • Submit these test results in MyUHS regardless of the outcome.
  • Take an antigen test at home before returning to campus, as close as possible to your departure time.
  • If you test positive or are having symptoms, delay your travel to campus and isolate at home.

If you are unable to get a test at your current location before traveling to Madison, get tested as soon as possible upon returning to Madison.

Test Upon Arrival:

University Housing staff have placed an antigen test on each student’s residence hall desk. All residents should take this test upon arrival to your room, unless they have had a positive PCR test in the last 90 days. This allows us to act on any positive results as soon as possible during move-in.

Ongoing Testing:

If you are not fully vaccinated, schedule your first PCR test on campus as soon as possible after move-in, and continue scheduling your required weekly PCR tests through MyUHS (unless you have had a positive test in the last 90 days and have it in your UHS records).

Any resident who is having symptoms should get tested as soon as possible.

Note: if you test positive for COVID-19 using a PCR test, you will be exempt from testing for 90 days from the date your sample was collected at a testing location. If your test was done off-campus, you must submit the result via the MyUHS app or website to become exempt.

Masking

UW-Madison has extended the requirement that masks be worn indoors in UW–Madison buildings through March 1. This applies to all Housing residence halls and dining spaces. Regardless of vaccination status, residents and visitors are expected to wear a face covering at all times while outside of a resident’s room. Face coverings must be worn while in hallways and common areas such as dens and kitchens, restrooms, and in the lobby. Face coverings are not required when it is not conducive to performing a task (i.e. brushing your teeth, showering, eating, drinking, etc.).

The university has purchased a large quantity of high-efficiency and surgical grade masks to provide at no cost to students who wish to use these types of masks, which will be available at residence hall desks.

Quarantine & Isolation

All residents who test positive for COVID-19 must leave the residence hall and isolate at home or in designated isolation housing, regardless of vaccination status, until cleared to return by UHS.

If you have had close contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, such as a roommate, your quarantine requirements will depend on your vaccination/booster status, as described below.

If you are fully vaccinated and are eligible for a booster dose but are NOT boosted:

  • You need to quarantine, and you should schedule a test in MyUHS immediately. You should also test any time you have symptoms of COVID-19 during your quarantine period. If you test and get a positive result, please report a positive test result immediately to University Housing.
  • Due to your vaccination status, you are approved to reside in your current room to self-quarantine, and you must limit your movements to engage only in essential activities. Essential activities include using the bathroom, obtaining food, going to medical appointments, etc. You CANNOT go to class or any other facility on campus unless for essential activities. You are encouraged to take an antigen test on Day 5 to check for viral presence before ending your quarantine on Day 6.
  • You should wear a well-fitting mask around others for 10 days from the date of your last close contact with someone with COVID-19 (the date of last close contact is considered day 0).

If you are fully vaccinated and are not yet eligible for a booster dose OR you are fully vaccinated and boosted:

  • You do not need to quarantine. You may reside in your current room and should wear a well-fitting mask around others for 10 days from the date of your last close contact with someone with COVID-19 (the date of last close contact is considered day 0). At any time, if you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should test immediately.

If you are NOT fully vaccinated:

You will be placed in quarantine housing outside of your residence hall.

Have Questions?

Our FAQs page includes answers to common questions about vaccination and testing. For Housing questions, use our contact form. Overall campus FAQs can be found at the COVID-19 Response site.