Skip to Content

UW-Madison officials defend COVID-19 response as 211 more students, staff test positive

Remaining Ad Time Ad - 00:00
Remaining Ad Time Ad - 00:00
Rebecca Blank
UW-Madison COVID-19 update

UW-Madison leaders are addressing the universities on-going response to the COVID-19 pandemic that has included quarantining two residence halls and moving classes temporarily online.

Posted by WKOW 27 on Monday, September 14, 2020

MADISON (WKOW) -- UW-Madison officials, including Chancellor Rebecca Blank, addressed how the university has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a Monday afternoon virtual news conference, Blank acknowledged that Madison's cases had risen faster than its "peer schools."

Blank pushed back against the idea that the university was waiting until after the tuition reimbursement deadline to cancel in-person classes. She said the school was considering moving the cutoff of when students could request full reimbursement.

As it stands, students can request a prorated housing refund, taking into consideration how long they've stayed in university housing.

They can also get a 50 percent refund of their tuition up until September 25th, unless they change their policy.

"We have a small number who have done that already and more may want to and we clearly don't want to make that hard for them," Blank said.

She said the school has not decided if it will send students home as officials are waiting to see the results of the two-week pause on in-person classes.

She's urging students not leave while under quarantine unless they get tested and follow quarantine at home. Officials are concerned that if students start moving off campus it will be harder for them to enforce the guidelines in place.

In the meantime, the university is setting up more rapid tests. Blank also pointed out that several bars near campus made the decision to close, which she believed would help mitigate the virus' spread among students.

Blank said that the university was looking at a wide range of metrics to determine when or if the school should go online for the remainder of the semester.

Blank said that students were going to be in Madison regardless of whether UW-Madison held classes in-person or not.

"Most of our students were going to be in Madison," Blank said, adding that students did not want to be back in their bedrooms at their childhood homes.

Three hundred students are under investigation for various campus violations and eight have already undergone emergecy suspension for more egregious violations.

In order to prevent more violations on campus, university officials are preparing updated, thorough, quarantine guidelines but haven't said what they will contain or when they will be released.

The comments from university officials came as UW-Madison updated its online dashboard of COVID-19 testing data to reflect that 211 people affiliated with the campus tested positive yesterday.

One-hundred-ninty-four of those were from people on campus. Just one was a staff member, the rest were students.

Over the last week, the university has an average of 182 new infections each day.

"Badgers care about their community," Blank said. "That requires attention to public health protocols."

JT Cestkowski

Social Media Content Producer/Desk Editor

Skip to content