Changes after Thanksgiving on employee testing, large-group events, building hours

In light of the spike in COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin, UWM is changing its guidelines for employee testing and large-group events, as well as changing the hours that academic buildings are open. All changes will begin after Thanksgiving break when the university moves to mostly online instruction.

Employee COVID-19 testing

Essential employees: Essential employees, who currently must get tested every other week, will need to get tested at least once per week through Dec. 18. Those employees previously were tested in the ballroom of the Student Union but should now be using the rapid-results testing facility in the Wisconsin Room. Employees are encouraged to make appointments ahead of time for the week after Thanksgiving. Registration for these appointments will be available here starting Nov. 23.
Essential employees (who have been previously notified of their status) are those who interact often with students, are involved in the operation of critical UWM infrastructure, or are a part of delivering services that have been determined to require testing.
Other employees:
  • Employees who work on campus but don’t have regular contact with other people are encouraged but not required to test weekly in the rapid-results facility.
  • Employees who cannot avoid regular contact with others are required to be tested once the week after Thanksgiving, in the rapid-results facility, and are encouraged to test at least weekly thereafter as long as the rapid-results facility remains open.
  • Employees at the Waukesha and Washington County campuses who cannot avoid regular contact with other people are required to be tested the week after Thanksgiving, either at the Waukesha campus on Wednesday or the Milwaukee campus other days that week, and to test at least weekly thereafter as long as testing is available at UWM rapid-results facilities.
Testing logistics: Employees should test at the rapid-results facility and must register using their UWM email address. All employees are encouraged to make appointments for the week after Thanksgiving ahead of time; registration for these appointments will be available here starting Nov. 23. All positive tests must be self-reported here.

New guidelines for large-group events

Guidelines have been updated for UWM departments or units planning all non-academic events amid the pandemic. The following information replaces previous guidance about UWM “large group events.”
These guidelines will be in effect from Nov. 30, 2020, to Jan. 24, 2021. Guidelines will be reviewed and updated as needed for the Spring 2021 semester, which begins Jan. 25, 2021. Guidelines apply to events on all UWM campuses and off-site events sponsored by UWM. They are subject to change with public health guidance.
A “UWM event” is defined as one that is UWM sponsored but is not an academic course published in the UWM course schedule (including co-curricular programs).
Note: Current approved exceptions to these guidelines include antigen testing programs in the UWM Student Union and plans related to any students moving out of University Housing in the middle of the semester.
Non-academic event guidelines
All UWM events must follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, local public health and UWM guidelines on masks and social distancing.
All events, regardless of location, will be consistent with City of Milwaukee orders related to “gatherings.” As of Oct. 26, 2020, public gatherings must be the least of these three points:
  • 25% of the total occupancy of the location
  • One person for every 30 square feet
  • Maximum indoor capacity of 10 and an outdoor capacity of 25, not including employees.
UWM events with 10 or fewer people indoors or 25 or fewer outdoors are allowed and do not require special approval.
Otherwise, indoor events with more than 10 people at a time and outdoor events with more than 25 people at a time are generally prohibited through Jan. 24, 2021. This applies to UWM events on and off campus, and the date may be extended depending on health and safety conditions.
A UWM department that wishes to pursue an indoor event of more than 10 people or outdoor event involving more than 25 people at a time must submit a request for review and approval to the university Emergency Operations Center’s Special Requests Team at
  • The Special Requests Team may require event organizers to work with designated venue management (see Managed Venues, below).
  • The Special Requests Team will bring any recommendations to the COVID Management Team (CMT) leadership for final approval.
Advance ticketing/reservations is highly encouraged for all events and will be required for some. This may include assigned seating within event spaces.
Food and beverage service for UWM events is discouraged and must receive prior approval from the Special Requests Team. Approval may include strict limitations.
Union Event Services, which is reachable at, will be the central hub for all nonacademic, co-curricular special event requests held in venues on the Milwaukee campus that do not have dedicated event management staff.
Exceptions to this policy may be granted only by the chancellor (or designee) after a submission to the Special Requests Team (
Third-party requests generally will be denied between Nov. 30, 2020, and Jan. 24, 2021. If you feel that you still need to hold an event involving non-UWM attendees, please submit a request to the Special Requests Team ( for evaluation. The request should include who is expected to attend and any pertinent details about why the event is essential and should receive an exception by the university.

Academic building hours adjusted

Academic building hours on all UWM campuses are being adjusted after the Thanksgiving recess (Nov. 25-29, 2020) with the university moving to primarily remote instruction.
Starting Nov. 30 and for the remainder of the Fall 2020 semester, all academic buildings will be open 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday and closed on weekends. These hours will remain in effect through the end of the WinteriM 2021 term on Jan. 24, 2021.
Building hours for Spring 2021 will be determined at a later date.
Areas or offices with students or employees who need access outside of normal operating hours should pursue card access for those individuals to buildings. For requests to open buildings outside of operating hours for approved activities, please email UWM Police at
Enhanced cleaning measures and guidelines to reduce density, encourage social distancing and wear cloth face coverings aimed at limiting the spread of COVID-19 are in place throughout UWM.
Branch campuses
Visit this College of General Studies website for more information about the Waukesha and Washington County campuses.
Non-academic buildings
Hours may vary for non-academic buildings. Please visit the websites for each facility for the latest schedule and health and safety information.
Norris Health Center
Open, though all students are required to call the medical clinic at 414-229-4716 before any visit. Please visit the Norris Health Center website for more information.