When COVID-19 cases skyrocketed in early September, Chancellor Rebecca Blank knew she had to try something. So on Sept. 9, the fifth day of classes, when the university reported 404 infections of the nearly 5,300 it would accumulate by the end of the semester, she announced a two-week lockdown for two large dorms and a campus-wide pause on face-to-face instruction. “A lot of people thought that we would never recover from that,” she said in an interview on Friday, the final day of the semester. “More than one person has come up to me and said, ‘I thought we’d never get back to in-person classes. I thought you’d have to send everyone home.’ And, you know, we did recover from that.”
UW Health expected to vaccinate 250 employees against COVID-19 by Wednesday and SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital anticipated immunizing about 500, as a weeks-long effort to inoculate Wisconsin’s 450,000 health care workers and nursing home residents against the coronavirus before others can get the injections started to ramp up.
Medical school applications are at an all-time high during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the University of Wisconsin is no exception. In fact, it’s exceeding national trends.
Ten UW Health employees on Monday were among the first people in Wisconsin to get the nation’s first approved vaccine against COVID-19, as 3,900 doses of Pfizer’s inoculation arrived at UW Hospital in ultra-cold freezers, offering a glimmer of hope against the pandemic.
Few states controlled tuition at their public universities as tightly as Wisconsin has done in recent years and the handful that did offset the squeeze with some additional state money, according to a new report released Tuesday.
On the day U.S. deaths from COVID-19 surpassed 300,000, respiratory therapist Tina Schubert became the first UW Health employee and one of the first Wisconsinites to be inoculated with the vaccine made by Pfizer and the German biotechnology firm BioNTech.
A new report on the financial health of Wisconsin’s state universities and technical colleges found lagging state investment, enrollment challenges and — for University of Wisconsin schools — an ongoing tuition freeze as some of several factors threatening their competitiveness.
UW Hospital began vaccinating frontline health care workers on Monday after the hospital received thousands of doses of COVID-19 vaccine, the beginning of an effort to tamp down the pandemic.
St. Mary’s Hospital and UW Health, both in Madison, will operate as regional distribution hubs for the Pfizer vaccine. “These vaccines will be going to frontline healthcare workers first, and there are still uncertainties around the quantities we’ll get and the timing of their arrival,” Matt Anderson, senior medical director of ambulatory operations with UW Health, said in a statement. “The public must remain diligent as it will not be widely available anytime soon.”
No longer sequestered in an aging building in a space that was about equal to a garage with a few chest freezers, Bucky’s Varsity Meats, formally Bucky’s Butchery, has a shiny new home with a glistening meat counter, several glass doors for refrigerated and frozen products and bunkers filled with hot dogs, snack sticks and tubes of summer sausage.
Money noted the benefits of UW-Madison, including that people 60 and older can audit courses for free; our “bustling restaurant scene and free events,” such as Concerts on the Square and the Dane County Farmers’ Market; the city’s art institutions, and attractions like the Madison’s Children Museum and Henry Vilas Zoo for entertaining young relatives.
Linda Thomas-Greenfield earned a master’s degree in public administration from UW-Madison in 1975, has spoken at African Studies Program events and launched the university’s Young African Leaders Initiative, which brings two dozen African leaders to campus for several weeks.
As students leave campus for Thanksgiving break, the University of Wisconsin-Madison is encouraging them to stay at their permanent residences through the remainder of the semester and winter break.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison will begin offering free rapid COVID-19 testing to all community members Thursday as part of a federally funded initiative.
Working in tandem with the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA), the volunteers with the University of Wisconsin Missing in Action Recovery and Identification Project (UW MIA RIP) work to locate and repatriate the remains of American military members unaccounted for.
UW researchers are analyzing the viral samples to determine whether there was one point of introduction that led to the spread or if the outbreak included multiple clusters of the virus. That could take weeks to find out because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now involved in the analysis of the outbreak.
UW-Madison required residents of two large dorms to get tested Monday as the number of COVID-19 cases on campus rises to a level unseen since September.
As of Friday, 57 COVID-19 patients were at the hospital, including 16 in intensive care, quadruple the volume from six weeks earlier. If Wisconsin’s coronavirus surge doesn’t turn around, the hospital may soon have to place infected patients in pre-op waiting areas or operating rooms, said Dr. Jeff Pothof, chief quality officer for UW Health.
Enrollment at most University of Wisconsin campuses dropped again from last school year, a reflection of both the declining number of traditional high school students for colleges to recruit and the pandemic’s effect on college students.
Testing sites will be set up at every University of Wisconsin System campus, including two-year campuses that are often located in more rural areas of the state. Most sites are scheduled to open up next week.
The University of Wisconsin System will pioneer a new, federally funded testing plan by providing 250,000 COVID-19 tests at on-campus sites as early as Thursday.
“I wouldn’t want to speculate on how the Court would rule, but the argument that voters relied on the rules in place on and before Election Day – and should therefore have their votes counted – is very strong,” said Dan Tokaji, dean of the University of Wisconsin Law School.
The program announced Tuesday it canceled this Saturday’s game against Purdue, marking its second straight cancellation after last week’s game at Nebraska also was wiped out due to the outbreak.
University of Wisconsin football coach Paul Chryst had completed his daily testing for the COVID-19 virus by early afternoon Oct. 23. Chryst’s result came back negative that Friday, as did every other rapid-response antigen test from a group that included his staff, players and other game-day personnel.
“It is impossible to think that anything that could happen in a school could happen without echoes in the larger community,” UW-Madison pathology professor David O’Connor said. “The question is: how large are those echoes?”
Mason Crooks was hungry. As he does for lunch about three times a week, the University of Wisconsin-Madison freshman grabbed his phone in his room at Slichter Residence Hall and ordered lunch: rotini pasta with chicken and mushrooms and a can of iced tea.
The Badgers will pause football activities for at least seven days after a dozen people in the program, including coach Paul Chryst and starting quarterback Graham Mertz, tested positive for COVID-19 in the past five days.
The University of Wisconsin–Madison is one of four finalists for the Degree Completion Award which honors “institutions making critical strides in increasing their graduate numbers, improving their graduation rates and shortening the time to a degree.”
UW-Madison announced a second round of furloughs and expense reductions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic financial crisis in order to decrease the expected $320 million deficit this semester.
Facing a coronavirus-induced “budget crisis” that exceeds $300 million, UW-Madison announced on Monday another round of furloughs and pay cuts for the first six months of 2021.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison will implement more furloughs for spring semester to help offset revenue losses from the COVID-19 pandemic. The first round of unpaid leave, announced in August, ends this month.
ACOVID-19 vaccine trial is back on in the U.S., including at UW Health and the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, after it was put on hold a week after starting in September, UW Health said.
With the election just eight days away, Democratic candidate Joe Biden holds a 9-point lead over Republican President Donald Trump in Wisconsin, according to a new poll.
“We talked about whether the universities could work with us to test all of their students, the ones not only in residence halls but also all of their students across Wisconsin, and also bring in the vocational schools and test those students, and really get an idea of how much asymptomatic spread there is in the community,” Birx said.
“Universities that required weekly testing of students, staff and faculty have extraordinary low community spread. What do I mean? There’s very little infection of the students because they’re constantly finding those cases early and isolating them for 10 days and that prevents community spread,” said Birx.
Expansion of COVID-19 testing at campuses like UW-Madison and a related drop in cases is a model for how to reduce spread of the coronavirus, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday during a visit to the university.
UW-Madison’s spring semester will look a lot like this fall with a mix of online and face-to-face classes, promotion of public health guidelines and dorms open to students who want to live on campus. One major difference, however, is that more students will be taking COVID-19 tests.
The University of Wisconsin plans a major increase in on-campus testing starting next semester. The university intends on doubling routine testing to twice a week and requiring more students and staff to be tested.
“As the university demonstrated this fall, quick detection of cases through testing, combined with isolation and quarantine efforts, rigorous contact tracing, and adherence to public health measures such as mask wearing, physical distancing and regular hand washing, is critical to keeping transmission rates of the virus low,” the release said.
According to a news release, 923 students — 755 freshmen and 168 transfers — new to campus this fall are benefiting from Bucky’s Tuition Promise, which is now in its third year.
More than 3,000 of UW-Madison’s 45,500 students have contracted COVID-19 since late July. Some of them gathered in large groups without a mask, desperate to make friends in a new place or reconnect with old ones after months away. Others came into contact with the virus through their roommate or fraternity brother or some other seemingly unavoidable way. There’s also students like Post, who tested positive despite all of their efforts to dodge it.
Three University of Wisconsin campuses are mostly back to normal, after COVID-19 spikes forced administrators to halt in-person classes and quarantine residence halls for two weeks. So far, the number of students testing positive at UW-Madison, UW-La Crosse and UW-River Falls has decreased substantially.
The downward trend began during a two-week pause in face-to-face instruction and quarantine of two large dorms. Even amid a statewide surge in COVID-19, the university’s decline has continued for 23 consecutive days, outlasting expectations that cases would again spike seven to 10 days after the lockdown lifted.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison hired a record number of faculty and graduated a record number of students in the last academic year, Chancellor Rebecca Blank announced Monday.
“There won’t be tailgates taking place around our stadium. There won’t be Badgerville. The Union won’t look like Union South normally looks,” McIntosh said. “We’ll come back in the fall of 2021 in a big way and get back to normal, but we all need to participate … We feel good about our chance to play right now, but there’s no guarantee, so we all need to play a role.”
Fears of a pandemic-related drop in student enrollment were not reflected at UW-Madison this fall. The 7,306 students in this year’s freshman class is the second-largest in university history.
“It’s hard to know what’s going to be the next pandemic,” said Kristen Bernard, a UW virologist who studies animal-borne viruses, like the one that turned the world on its head this year. Bernard spoke with Kelly Tyrrell, an award-winning science writer and director of UW-Madison’s research communications, in a one-on-one session for the Cap Times Ideafest on preparing for the next pandemic.
Despite working longer hours than she ever has as the University of Wisconsin-Madison reduced its COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks, Chancellor Rebecca Blank said her to-do list for the fall semester is far from finished.
University of Wisconsin System President Tommy Thompson said in a Thursday interview that the campuses were among the safest places in the state, with extensive testing, tracking and quarantine programs. But he acknowledged there was “some connection” between returning students and the viral wave.
The discord may be especially thorny in towns that are home to land-grant universities such as Georgia and the University of Wisconsin, which view themselves as having a responsibility to the entire state, not just the locality where they sit, said Stephen Gavazzi, an Ohio State University professor who wrote a book about town-gown relations.
Soccer star and Badger alumna Rose Lavelle will deliver the keynote address at UW-Madison’s winter commencement ceremony, which will be held online because of COVID-19.
Two hundred and fifty students have withdrawn from the University of Wisconsin-Madison so far this fall, a number not substantially larger than the 208 withdrawals at the same point in the fall semester a year ago. The number makes up about 0.5% of the student body.
UW will not remove Abe Lincoln statue or defund UWPD, chancellor says.
UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank met with representatives of the school’s two student newspapers Tuesday afternoon to answer questions and share her views on the current semester. “We’re in the midst of three crises,” the Chancellor told the Daily Cardinal and Badger Herald, referring to the COVID-19 pandemic, the university’s financial woes and the “social revolution” brought on by the killing of George Floyd and enduring cycles of racial injustice.
The Nicholas Recreation Center is scheduled to open Monday with limited capacity on the site of the former Southeast Recreational Facility near the Kohl Center and LaBahn Arena. The University Recreation and Wellbeing building includes the Soderholm Family Aquatic Center that will be home to the Badgers swimming and diving teams.
University of Wisconsin-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank says the campus will begin to reopen Saturday following a two-week lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19 among undergraduate students.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison is slowly phasing back to in-person classes and activities after two weeks of online learning and quarantines in two residence halls.
UW-Madison lifted quarantine orders for two of its largest dorms on Wednesday and will soon phase in some face-to-face classes, the first easing of restrictions since COVID-19 cases spiked on campus about two weeks ago.
UW-Madison posted its official enrollment numbers for the fall of 2020 on Tuesday, revealing that the student body has grown to an unprecedented size with its second largest class of first-year students in university history despite complications posed by the coronavirus pandemic.