University Housing COVID-19 Protocol Reminders
University Housing continues to provide regular updates to students on operations, testing and other COVID-19 protocols.
Processes continue to adapt and change based on updated public health practices in working to keep both students and staff safe. In addition, there are many nuances with COVID-19 and residence hall living, so students with specific questions should direct them back to Norris Health Center and University Housing.
All residence hall students have been put into an A/B week group rotation for getting a regular COVID19 antigen screening in the Union Ballroom. Students who fail to schedule have follow-up communication for a reminder to schedule, and if they still don’t schedule our professional staff follow-up individually with them through our behavior and concern process.
Students who test positive for COVID19 via their antigen screening have the encouraged option of doing a PCR confirmation test. The antigen screenings have thus far proven to be correct the majority of the time. The hard part with COVID19 is that there is a window of time where COVID19 presents itself in the body, so you could test negative one day and positive the next without a new exposure. If a student tested positive in the previous 90 days they do not need to have this regular antigen screening.
Students can easily take a moment right now to make an appointment for a free COVID-19 test by signing up online. Students living in UWM residence halls can get tested from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. Testing hours for students living off-campus are 3 to 4:15 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 8:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. on Fridays.
Those testing times are for students who do not have COVID-19 symptoms. Students with symptoms should call Norris Health Center immediately at 414-229-4716.
Isolation and Quarantine
Students who test positive for COVID19 or are a close contact of someone who tests positive move into University Housing’s Isolation & Quarantine process. Public health guidelines say that students should stay where they are so they do not spread it to their home or other communities, so we have spaces available within University Housing to quarantine or isolate. Students can choose what is best for them and their family if they would like to quarantine or isolate at home or on campus. In general, students who test positive will isolate for 10 days from their test date, and those who are close contacts (spend time together for more than 15 minutes or live in the same suite) will need to quarantine for 14 days. Depending on who is going to isolate and quarantine on/off campus, that will determine the location of everyone’s quarantine/isolation spaces. There are many nuances to this process based on our communal living environment, but University Housing has worked with Norris throughout and is being intentionally cautious with the isolation and quarantine periods and locations to protect our communities.
It is important to know that students cannot ‘test out’ of quarantine, since there is a 14 day incubation period for COVID19. This means that even if a students tests negative initially, they could become COVID19 positive anytime within that 14 day window.
If a student tests positive, Norris Health Center calls the student to give their result and tells them to go back to their room. Then, a calling group organized by University Housing calls each students who is positive and identified as a close contact to walk them through the process and answers their questions as soon as possible (usually within a few hours), followed up with the information in an email. After that call, the student should contact email@example.com for follow-up questions that are not urgent, the service desk of the building they are staying at if more serious, or campus police for a true emergency.
While in quarantine and isolation, students are given explicit instruction to not leave their suite. Their food delivered to their room from Restaurant Operations, urgent packages are delivered to their room, and trash is picked up from outside their room. The only reason a student should be leaving their space is to receive medical testing and treatment. Students who choose to violate this go through the University Housing behavior process.
Students are called multiple times while in quarantine/isolation. In addition to Norris and University Housing’s outreach, the Dean of Students Office is reaching out to check in, and a team of nurses are also reaching out. The Student Housing Administrative Council (housing student government) is also starting to deliver care packages created by students.
Staying in a room alone or only with your suitemates for 10/14 days is a hard thing for anyone, and our students are doing it while alone at college for the first time while balancing the stress of college. We encourage students to reach out to their advisor and take advantage of the wealth of virtual resources and events, as well as follow-up when we know students are struggling.
If you have a student you are worried about, please use the following methods to contact us or have the student contact us, based on the urgency of the issue:
- For food/dining concerns, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- For general and non-emergency need to someone to check in on the student, please email email@example.com we will have someone call the student. They should not call back the person who called them, since we are operating in a call-center style format with their initial outreach.
- For questions about testing or health-related concerns, have the student reach out to Norris Health Center at 414-229-4716
- For medical emergencies or other emergencies call UWM Police at 414-229-9911
- If students are looking for things to do, encourage them to look at the campus events calendar at uwm.edu/events
Story posted Oct. 5, 2020; updated Oct. 15, 2020