COVID-19 FAQs

Below are answers to frequently asked questions about COVID-19.

Information for UWM students, faculty and staff

How is UWM testing students and employees for COVID-19?

The Norris Health Center is providing testing for students at the main UWM Milwaukee Campus. Learn more by visiting the schools page on COVID-19 PCR and Antigen Testing 

For students at Waukesha or Washington County campuses as well as UWM employees, testing will be provided through the Rapid-Results Testing program.  This program is also open to community members over the age of 5.

Remember: Panthers Protect Panthers!

Where can I find COVID-19 information for UWM students, faculty and staff?

You can find the most up-to-date information on UWM’s COVID-19 website

Remember: Panthers Protect Panthers!

Information for Wisconsin and Milwaukee residents

Can you direct me to FREE COVID-19 testing?

UWM is providing free, rapid-test results testing to community members 5 years and older, UWM employees and students at Waukesha and Washington County.

Schedule, location and more can be found visiting the rapid-results testing page.

Students on the main campus in Milwaukee will continue to be tested under the existing UWM antigen test program.  and more information is available under the FAQ: How is UWM testing students and employees for COVID-19?

You can also find the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 Community Testing Sites  by visiting the Wisconsin Department of Health Services

City of Milwaukee: where can I find information about COVID-19?

Milwaukee-area specific COVID-19 information can be obtained through the City of Milwaukee Health Department and Milwaukee County.

City of Milwaukee: where can I find information about the mask ordinance?

Information about the City of Milwaukee’s mask ordinance can be found here.

City of Milwaukee: where can I get a free face mask if I need one?

You can find out how and where to get a free face mask in Milwaukee by visiting the City of Milwaukee’s Health Department website for a listing of COVID-19 Free Mask Sites.

Milwaukee Metro: where can I find COVID-19 information?

UWM Students and members of our community may reside in one of the many counties surrounding campus.   Wisconsin Department of Health Services provides State specific information.  For specific information on areas of residence, please check with your local municipality, county or health department.

State of Wisconsin: where can I find information about COVID-19?

Wisconsin-specific COVID-19 information can be found on the Wisconsin Department of Health Services web site.

State of Wisconsin: where can I find information about the State Mask Mandate?

Information on the statewide mask mandate can be found by visiting the State of Wisconsin’s Face Covering FAQ

Please note, your local jurisdiction may have a different mandate in place that overrules the statewide mask mandate. It is always best to double check requirements in your municipality.

What can I expect if I am contacted by a contact tracer?

The science and research of COVID-19: Knowledge

COVID-19: is the risk of death any worse than from the flu?

The post, What is the real risk of death from COVID-19? Is it actually worse than the flu?,  is a great resource to help answer questions about the risk of death from COVID-19 versus the flu.  (Dear Pandemic, October 2, 2020)

COVID-19: where can I find the latest information?

The following websites can be useful for learning the most recent updates, information and latest news on COVID-19:

Face masks: what are the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines?

Science is continually learning new things about the biology, behavior and spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

It is recommended by the CDC that people wear masks and help slow the spread of COVID-19, protecting yourself and others around you.

You can learn more and find the most up-to-date information and news, as well as the CDC’s guidelines and recommendations for cloth face masks by visiting their site on cloth face cover guidances

Face masks: why do we wear them?
Face shields: is it safe to only wear one?

The CDC does not recommend people wear face shields only to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Face masks are recommended.

Dear Pandemic did not recommend wearing a face shield only in July and reconfirmed in October, NOPE. No face shield by itself. 

Flu season is almost here, what should I know?

The CDC recommends an annual influenza vaccination for everyone 6 months and older with any licensed, age-appropriate flu vaccine (IIV, RIV4, or LAIV4) with no preference expressed for any one vaccine over another.

For the most up to date information and guidelines visit the CDC FAQ Flu website

Dear Pandemic answers flu related questions:

How safe is (my specific situation/event/activity)?

Those Nerdy Girls over at Dear Pandemic keep things simple and stay SMART*

*Nerdy Girl/IMPACT SMART principles:
S Space. Stay six feet apart!
M Mask. Keep it on!
A Air. Outside is key!
R Restricted. Keep your quaranteam SMALL and STABLE!
T Time. Keep it short!

The holidays are approaching, activities are moving indoors and cases are on the rise.  Dear Pandemic answers the question “How safe is [my specific situation/event/activity]” with science on how we can “Stay safe, stay sane, and stay SMART!

Indoor activities: how do I reduce the risk of transmission?

As the weather cools and activities move indoors, engage in strategies to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

stay SMART*

*Nerdy Girl/IMPACT SMART principles:
S Space. Stay six feet apart!
M Mask. Keep it on!
A Air. Outside is key!
R Restricted. Keep your quaranteam SMALL and STABLE!
T Time. Keep it short!

Here are things that people can do to stay safe this fall and winter:

Social Distancing: what does it mean?

Social distancing is keeping a safe space between you and people who are not members of your household. Learn more by visiting the CDC’s website on social distancing

Remember: keep a safe distance to slow the spread.

The science and research of COVID-19: Metrics

What does case fatality rate mean? How is the case fatality rate for COVID-19 estimated?

Case fatality rate is used by epidemiologists, for many types of diseases, to measure the severity of a disease, and prognosis.  Using cancer as an example, it is the proportion of people who died of cancer x in 2000 among all individuals diagnosed with cancer x in 2000.

Here are resources explaining how the fatality rate for COVID-19 is estimated:

UWM Zilber Public Health Student, Kyla Quigley has an excellent video from Spring 2020 semester that explains the estimation nicely. Public Health Minute: Case Fatality Rate, presented by Kyla Quigley, July 6, 2020

Detecting COVID-19 Deaths In Wisconsin: Why A New Disease And Fast-Changing Pandemic Make Determining Fatalities A Moving Target, by Will Cushman, WisContext, June 12, 2020

What does the positivity rate for COVID-19 tell us?

Positivity rate is the number of people who are testing positive for a disease. The rate tells public health officials how well a disease is being contained in a given geographical location.

COVID-19 Community Testing

Can you direct me to FREE COVID-19 testing?

UWM is providing free, rapid-test results testing to community members 5 years and older, UWM employees and students at Waukesha and Washington County.

Schedule, location and more can be found visiting the rapid-results testing page.

Students on the main campus in Milwaukee will continue to be tested under the existing UWM antigen test program.  and more information is available under the FAQ: How is UWM testing students and employees for COVID-19?

You can also find the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 Community Testing Sites  by visiting the Wisconsin Department of Health Services

How is UWM testing students and employees for COVID-19?

The Norris Health Center is providing testing for students at the main UWM Milwaukee Campus. Learn more by visiting the schools page on COVID-19 PCR and Antigen Testing 

For students at Waukesha or Washington County campuses as well as UWM employees, testing will be provided through the Rapid-Results Testing program.  This program is also open to community members over the age of 5.

Remember: Panthers Protect Panthers!