COVID-19 FAQs

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

COVID-19 General Information

COVID-19 Information

For UWM specific information please visit UWM’s COVID-19 website.

Local, state, national and worldwide information can be found by visiting:

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services recently announced state residents can subscribe to a weekly newsletter for COVID-19 updates. More information is available by visiting the WDHS announcement.

COVID-19 vs the flu

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. Visit the CDC FAQ Flu website for more information.

In a Dear Pandemic Q&A post Where is the flu? we are reminded use all our SMARTS:

↔️Space: Keep your distance from other people.

😷Masks: Keep your nose + mouth covered with a mask that fits well.

💨Air: Keep it fresh.

🏠Restrict: Keep your circle small.

🕑Time: Keep your interactions brief.

💉Shots: Get your vaccine when it’s your turn!

Stay safe. Stay sane. Stay flu free.

Below are recent posts from Dear Pandemic in which they have answered questions about the flu but vist the Dear Pandemic website and search the flu category for more answers to related questions:

Face masks

The CDC recommends people wear face masks to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Visit the CDC’s site on cloth face cover guidances for more information.

Dear Pandemic reminds us features of effective masking are FILTERING and FIT.

Below are recent posts from Dear Pandemic in which they have answered questions about the flu but vist the Dear Pandemic website and search the masks category for more answers to related questions.

Dear Pandemic recently answered questions regarding masks:

Using your SMARTS while Social Distancing

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

Remember: keep a safe distance to slow the spread.

Dear Pandemic reminds us to use all our SMARTS:

↔️Space: Keep your distance from other people.

😷Masks: Keep your nose + mouth covered with a mask that fits well.

💨Air: Keep it fresh.

🏠Restrict: Keep your circle small.

🕑Time: Keep your interactions brief.

💉Shots: Get your vaccine when it’s your turn!

COVID-19 Community Information

COVID-19 testing: UWM and community

Community Testing

UW Milwaukee, Waukesha and Washington County campuses are providing Rapid-Results Testing to community members age 5 and up.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services also provides updates on COVID-19 Community Testing Sites.

UWM Students and Staff

The Norris Health Center provides testing for students at the main UWM Milwaukee Campus. To learn more visit COVID-19 PCR and Antigen Testing.

To help maintain a safe environment among the UWM community, the University is implementing additional testing requirements for the Spring 2021 semester.

For students at Waukesha or Washington County campuses as well as UWM employees, testing is provided through Rapid-Results Testing.

Remember: Panthers Protect Panthers!

At-Home Collection Kit

The State of Wisconsin now provides a no cost at home test kit option for COVID-19. For more information and to request your kit, visit Department of Health Service At-Home Collection Kit.

Mask ordinance information

Mask mandates may vary by jurisdiction, be sure to consult your local municipality:

To find out how and where to get a free face mask in Milwaukee, visit the City of Milwaukee Health Department website COVID-19 Free Mask Sites.

WI Exposure Notification app and contact tracing

The State of Wisconsin launched WI Exposure Notification, a contact tracing app, available for both Apple and Android smartphones.

For additional information on contact tracing please visit:

COVID-19 Science and Research

Case fatality rate

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.

UWM Zilber Public Health Student, Kyla Quigley explains the estimation nicely: Public Health Minute: Case Fatality Rate, presented by Kyla Quigley, July 6, 2020

Herd immunity

For more information on herd immunity, visit the WHO’s page Herd immunity, lockdowns and COVID-19 

Dear Pandemic recently answered the Q& A: How many people have to get vaccinated to reach herd immunity?

Positivity Rate

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.

Vaccine information