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9 UW-Madison fraternities, sororities ordered to quarantine to stop spread of COVID-19

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bascom hall
WKOW photo
Bascom Hall on the UW-Madison campus

MADISON (WKOW) -- Members of nine fraternities and sororities at UW-Madison have been ordered to quarantine at their off-campus live-in chapter houses following confirmed cases of COVID-19 among their members.

Out of about 420 members in the 9 chapters, 38 tested positive as of Sept. 2, according to a UW-Madison press release. As a precaution, all other members will be required to be tested on Sept. 8 at a university testing site.

Members of other Greek life organizations said they saw this coming, with the influx of gatherings since students started arriving in past weeks.

"We knew that this was possibly going to happen," Carson Miller, a sophomore fraternity member, said. "We're just trying to be not one of the houses that has to go under that quarantine by following all the rules you can, you know, not having people over, just keeping everything calm for now."

Members who have previously tested positive within the last 90 days through a verified lab result and are not currently in isolation do not need to test or quarantine. Proof of a previous positive must be submitted to UHS at him@uhs.wisc.edu for verification. 

"Our goal is to stop any further spread of the virus among our students and the broader community," says Jake Baggott, executive director of University Health Services. "We're working closely with county health officials, student leaders, chapter advisors, and the housing corporations that own the chapter houses to address this quickly and thoroughly."

Some students living in the Greek Row area say the university should have known this would have happened.

"They should have seen this coming I mean, college kids are going to want to be together," Grace Willen, a sophomore sorority member, said. "I feel like they put too much responsibility on the students and they trusted them too much."

A violation of isolation or quarantine order may result in a fine of up to $10,000 or a court order to comply. Failure to comply also will result in university sanctions against students who violate a quarantine directive.

Out of a total of about 5,000 students who are in Greek life, about 1,500 live in off-campus greek houses.

"Given the sheer size of some of these fraternity and sorority chapter houses, some having over 50 household members, we felt that Public Health orders were important to ensure compliance and contain the spread of COVID-19," in a statement provided to 27 News by PHMDC.

A source with knowledge of the situation provided the list of chapters affected:

Alpha Pi Omega (sorority)

Alpha Phi (sorority)

Kappa Kappa Gamma (sorority)

Pi Theta Phi (fraternity)

Chi Psi (fraternity)

Delta Chi (fraternity)

Phi Gamma Delta (fraternity)

Sigma Alpha Epsilon (fraternity)

Theta Delta Chi (fraternity)

A UW-Madison spokesperson confirmed that no other student organizations have any quarantine measures in place.

Matthew Cash

Senior Executive Producer

Francisco Almenara

Reporter, WKOW

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