A spike in coronavirus in the community prompted UWM to move to almost exclusively online instruction for the last few weeks of the Fall 2020 semester, but plans haven’t changed for Spring 2021: We still plan to offer a mix of face-to-face, online and hybrid classes. Spring semester is likely to look much like the pre-Thanksgiving fall semester.
The threat of COVID-19 still looms, of course, but there are encouraging signs. Two vaccines have shown great promise and are likely to start being dispensed in the next several weeks. The number of infections among students, faculty and staff has been relatively low, with recent positivity rates below 3%. The UWM community has been helping keep those rates low by wearing masks, practicing social distancing and getting tested regularly.
If public health conditions improve over the coming months, UWM will look for ways to expand in-person student services and activities next semester, though class formats will not change.
But this is no time to let our guard down. Positivity rates remain high both in southeastern Wisconsin overall and throughout the country. And it will take months before a significant portion of the population can be vaccinated. UWM will be ready to shift to online instruction again next semester if warranted by public health conditions.
Looking ahead to Fall 2021, we hope we can get back to a more normal college experience. As vaccinations become more widespread, we hope to be able to return to primarily in-person instruction and more face-to-face student services and activities.
The road we’ve traveled since March has been challenging, but there is hope on the horizon.
14-day quarantine still in effect
While the federal Centers for Disease Control has modified its quarantine guidance, UWM has not changed its guidance and recommends that anyone exposed to COVID-19 should continue to quarantine for 14 days as recommended by some local health departments. Working with those agencies, UWM will continue to review policies affecting its three campuses as needed.
Positive COVID-19 test or diagnosis must be self-reported
A reminder – all students who test positive or are diagnosed with COVID-19 based on symptoms must self-report their illness with the Dean of Students Office. The report can be done via this online form.
Self-reporting helps UWM to take steps to further the health and well-being of the campus community by:
- Enabling UWM to provide you with additional assistance and resources
- Helping identify people you may have come into contact with on campus so that the university can work with the local health department on any notifications that might be necessary
- Allowing UWM to assess whether areas you visited on campus will require additional cleaning
More information about testing for students can be found on UWM’s COVID-19 website.