What Is UWM’s Plan For COVID-19 Testing?
UWM will provide students with COVID-19 testing through the on-campus medical clinic, Norris Health Center.
Following current public health guidance, UWM will prioritize students with COVID-19 symptoms. The second priority will be students who do not have symptoms but who have been a close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19.
Students must make an appointment with Norris Health Center for an on-campus test, but there is no charge. The health center uses a drive thru/walk up process, and test results are available in 24 to 48 hours. If more tests are needed, the center has contracts with a local healthcare system and a national lab to add capacity.
As of July 1, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services’ plan for Fall 2020 does not recommend testing university students, faculty and staff unless they have COVID-19 symptoms or there is an outbreak. If there is an outbreak at UWM, the university will work with the City of Milwaukee Health Department on testing as recommended by local public health officials.
Absent an outbreak, federal, state and local health officials do not recommend widespread testing because testing a large number of asymptomatic, low-risk people could eat up resources better used for testing high-risk people. There are already significant limits on testing supplies nationally and delays in test turnaround times. UWM’s plan may evolve in consultation with the City of Milwaukee Health Department as circumstances change.
Testing to diagnose COVID-19 is only one component of a comprehensive public health strategy and should be used in conjunction with promoting behaviors that reduce the spread of disease, maintaining healthy environments and preparing for when someone gets sick.
UWM is making significant investments in strategies shown to reduce the transmission of COVID-19, including detailed plans for social distancing, requiring face coverings, limiting the number of people on campus, cleaning, symptom monitoring, establishing reporting systems, and working with the City of Milwaukee Health Department on tracking and follow up when members of our campus community test positive for COVID-19.
Story posted August 4, 2020