FAQs

Last updated 11:45 AM, March 24, 2020

General

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Is the university closed?

To lessen the risk to our community as much as possible, UW–Madison has suspended Spring Semester face-to-face instruction, moving entirely to online instruction through the end of the semester. DoIT has offered guides for working and learning remotely. Students have been advised not to return to campus this semester and, whenever possible, to return to their permanent residences.

Faculty and instructional staff have received detailed information from the Provost’s Office about the transition to alternative delivery of instruction. Learn more about instructional resources.

Faculty and staff should consult the For Employees page for updates.

Additionally, many campus buildings are closed or have limited access.

Last updated 3:07 PM, March 23, 2020

How is the university responding to the Safer at Home order?

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services, at the direction of Governor Tony Evers has issued a “Safer at Home” Governor’s Order to help prevent the further spread of COVID-19 in Wisconsin. “Safer at Home” requires Wisconsin residents to stay at home and engage in social distancing; it also closes non-essential businesses and bans non-essential travel and social gatherings. It went into effect Wednesday, March 25, 2020, at 8:00 a.m. and will remain in effect until 8:00 a.m. on Friday, April 24, 2020, or until a superseding order is issued.

UW–Madison continues to maintain essential university operations, including distance learning and essential research, which is specifically permitted under the Governor’s Order. If you are expected to be on campus for these activities, you are allowed to travel. More information on the order can be found here.

Law enforcement is able to enforce the order. UWPD will not randomly stop people who are out and about, and there is no need to obtain a special letter, permit, or permission to leave your home. However, if UWPD receives a complaint or become aware of someone or a group of individuals blatantly ignoring the order, they will take appropriate action to encourage compliance.

The university’s primary focus is in keeping our community safe.

Posted on 2:41 PM, March 25, 2020

Where can I park?

Park and Rides

Park and ride lots are open per normal schedule—no overnight or weekend parking. There is no shuttle service as of March 19. As per relaxed campus parking rules (see below), park and ride permit holders may park on campus in certain lots.

Campus Parking

Essential employee parking map (PDF)

At this time, no parking permit or payment is required to park in most* surface lots and gated lots (ramps and garages). All timed “meter” (through vendor ParkMobile) stalls do not require payment. Flex permit holders do not need to start a paid parking session.

*Exceptions (updated 3/20/19): There are certain controlled parking areas: high security areas, areas vital to researchers, and some UWHC lots. A lot-specific permit is required to park in these areas.

  • Controlled as of 3/23/20: Lot 11 (Bascom Hall), Lot 23 (Van Hise Garage), Lot 38 (Microbial Sciences Garage), and Lot 95 (HSLC Garage), Lot 13, Lot 22, Lot 51, Lot 54, Lot 56, Lot 74, Lot 81 and Lot 82. If you do not have a lot specific permit for one of these surface lots but need access for your work, please email customerservice@fpm.wisc.edu with the subject line “Requesting access for parking in [insert Lot #]”.

For safety reasons, vehicles must be properly parked inside the lines for marked stalls and cannot park in restricted areas (ex. access aisle, fire lane, blocking someone in, etc.) or reserved stalls. Reserved stalls are specially signed and include department reserved, service/vendor and UW Disabled stalls. A state DOT Disabled permit or plate is required for use of UW Disabled stalls.

Note: Some campus buildings are closing and parking facilities attached to those buildings may be impacted. This list will be updated as information is available:

  • Lot 80 is open, but Union South is closed. Foot traffic can use the open stairwell to access the Dayton Street patio area. Accessible parking is available in the circular drive off Dayton Street, between Union South and Computer Sciences.
Last updated 3:39 PM, March 24, 2020

What is UW–Madison doing to protect the community?

The health and wellbeing of our community is at the forefront of our decision making. We are following the guidance of Public Health Madison & Dane County, Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and UW Health to protect the health and wellbeing of the campus community. We have sent out regular updates and communications to campus urging people to practice sound respiratory hygiene, stay home when ill, and seek medical care as needed. We will continue to make informed decisions based on the latest science and what is best for everyone in our communities.

Last updated 11:32 AM, March 22, 2020

Where can I get more information?

This site is being updated as more information becomes available. Please continue to check this page. You may also call (608) 263-2400.

Posted on 6:44 PM, March 21, 2020

I'm concerned about COVID-19 and my health risks. What should I do?

If you have a confirmed case of COVID-19: You should remain in self-isolation and follow the advice of your health care provider and local public health officials. Read the CDC guidance on self-isolation.

If you have been tested for COVID-19 but don’t yet have results back: You should remain in self-quarantine. Follow the instructions of your health care provider and local public health officials.

If you have traveled to places with community spread of COVID-19 or live in a place with community spread, such as Dane County: You should follow guidance to self-quarantine and the directions provided by local public health officials.

If you are currently under orders to self-quarantine: Please continue to follow self-quarantine instructions under the guidance of your health care provider and local health officials.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 — 100.4 F or higher fever, cough, and shortness of breath: Stay home. Call University Health Services 608-265-5600 or your personal medical provider immediately. Before going to a clinic, urgent care, or to an emergency room, call ahead and tell them your symptoms and recent travel history.

If you have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19: You should discontinue contact with anyone who is sick. You should monitor yourself for symptoms, including fever (100.4 F and above), cough, and shortness of breath.

  • For students in University Housing, if you or someone you know needs help finding an appropriate space to limit contact with someone who is sick, please contact the House Fellow on Duty number, which is unique for different halls and posted throughout each building. For all other students, please consider relocating, asking roommates to relocate, or taking appropriate measures to minimize your contact with others.
  • Any person who is sick should stay in a specific room and away from other people in their home. They should follow CDC home care guidance, which includes cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces at least daily in household common areas including laptops, TV remote controls, tables, hard-backed chairs, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, and sinks.
  • Other people in the home should avoid spaces where sick people spend time.

If you are sick but do not have symptoms of COVID-19 (100.4 F or higher fever, cough, and shortness of breath): Stay home. Call University Health Services 608-265-5600 or another medical provider immediately. Before going to a clinic, urgent care, or to an emergency room, call ahead and tell them your symptoms and recent travel history.

Last updated 3:42 PM, March 23, 2020

Classes, coursework and advising

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How long will classes be online only?

Alternate delivery of classes began on March 23 and will continue through the end of the semester.

Faculty and instructional staff have received detailed information from the Provost’s Office about the transition to alternative delivery of instruction.

Last updated 10:46 PM, March 23, 2020

How do I request a refund from UW-Madison?

As you know, the community response to the COVID-19 situation required UW–Madison to transition our in-person classes to remote instruction as of March 23, 2020. We remain committed to delivering instruction, achieving learning outcomes and supporting students in finishing the semester successfully. Therefore, our campus policy is to not refund any portion of tuition and/or fees for the Spring 2020 academic semester, where requests are based on the required change in instructional modality.

We recognize, however, that there may be some extraordinary circumstances where an exception to the campus policy might be warranted. We will examine all such requests after the completion of the spring semester.

If you believe that you have such exceptional circumstances warranting further consideration, please work with your dean’s office and provide:

  1. student name
  2. student ID
  3. a detailed reason for your appeal.

If you have concerns about completing a course or managing the current situation, you should contact your instructor, advisor, or your dean’s office about how to proceed. You should note, however, that the dean’s office is not empowered to grant refunds at this time and will be forwarding requests to a central campus appeals process.

We will continue to post general updates at UW-Madison COVID-19 site.

Thank you again for your communication and your understanding as we navigate this unprecedented situation.

Posted on 11:33 AM, March 29, 2020

Why was the drop deadline moved?

With remote instruction beginning on March 23, the original drop deadline of March 27 would have left students with little time to make a decision while also adjusting to this alternate instruction. By moving the drop deadline to April 17, students will have more time to adjust and settle into a new learning environment and have more certainty about their ability to succeed in this new learning environment.

Advisors are ready to help you finish this semester and plan for future enrollment. If you have questions about the implications of dropping a class, please contact your advisor.

Last updated 11:41 AM, March 30, 2020

Is UW–Madison moving to online courses this fall?

UW-Madison has shifted to online instruction through Summer 2020. We plan to resume in-person instruction for the fall 2020 semester. We’ll continue consulting with public health officials to monitor the situation and keep our community up-to-date if plans should change.
Posted on 6:17 PM, April 3, 2020

Can I attend classes in person?

No. To lessen the risk to our community as much as possible, UW-Madison suspended Spring Semester face-to-face instruction effective Saturday, March 14.

As of March 23, all classes have transitioned to alternate delivery through the end of the semester. Students should work with their instructors during this transition.

Last updated 10:48 AM, March 31, 2020

What is the plan for Commencement?

After much difficult consideration, and in consultation with the senior class officers, UW–Madison is developing a virtual commencement that will post online on Friday, May 8, for all graduates to watch. Students are also helping design an in-person event the university will host when we emerge from this public health crisis, for everyone who can attend.

Chancellor Rebecca Blank recorded a video message to the members of the Class of 2020.

The lack of an in-person commencement ceremony does NOT mean our seniors are not graduating. Students who have met the degree requirements to graduate will receive their diploma and diploma cover 6-8 weeks after the virtual ceremony.

All graduates should complete the Apply to Graduate application in the Student Center of MyUW by Friday, April 3. This ensures their name will be included in the commencement program. We will also use the Apply to Graduate list to communicate with graduates into May and later in the summer as needed. All graduates must complete their application by Friday, April 3 in order to have their name included in the program.

Reservations that have already been placed for cap and gown can be adjusted to include a shipping address. Graduates wishing to cancel their reservation will be refunded in full. Additionally, we will work with the University Book Store and our attire vendor, Herff Jones, to offer additional rental and purchase options for graduates. Please visit this site for more information about available options, including how to make adjustments to existing orders: https://www.uwbookstore.com/May-Graduation-Timeline

We look forward to celebrating virtually in May and in-person at a later date.

Last updated 10:48 PM, March 23, 2020

Where can I get assistance with online instruction?

In partnership with the Office of the Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning, the Division of Information Technology (DoIT) has established a website with guidance and support to faculty and instructors who may need to rapidly reconfigure their courses. Visit the Instructional Continuity website. The Office of the Provost will provide additional communication to faculty and planning is underway to proactively support faculty through this process.

UW–Madison Libraries is also offering a number of resources for instructors, including a number of library resources in Canvas. Visit the Library Support for Instruction Continuity site for more information.

Last updated 10:41 PM, March 22, 2020

Where can I find resources and tools to learn or work remotely?

Here is a guide for working remotely and a guide for learning remotely for faculty, staff, and students. A number of software downloads are also available, including Adobe Creative Cloud and Microsoft Office 365.

The DoIT Help Desk is also available to support faculty, staff, and students who need additional assistance.

DoIT has shared tips for how to manage slower internet speed and low bandwidth while working and learning remotely. Students should contact their instructors as soon as possible if their internet connectivity or lack of access to certain equipment or software (such as laptops, digital learning tools, or printers) is restricting their access to course materials and class participation. Instructors are also encouraged to use asynchronous instruction and learning activities wherever possible to reduce the need for high-speed, robust connectivity

If students, faculty or staff need to check out a laptop to assist with remote learning, teaching, or working, please see this guide.

Many carriers are currently offering low-cost wired broadband internet service options. Contact your local internet provider to see if they are offering free or reduced rates. DoIT does not recommend relying on mobile hotspots as they do not provide enough data to sustain continued full-time work or learning from home.

Last updated 2:06 PM, March 31, 2020

Are laptops available if I need one?

Yes. Students, faculty, and staff may need laptops to use remotely during the COVID-19 university response. The InfoLabs and the DoIT Help Desk are partnering to provide laptops during this event. More information can be found here: Laptop Checkout During COVID-19 University Response.

Last updated 10:15 AM, March 24, 2020

Will there be changes to course grading or other academic policies?

Yes. On April 1, Provost Karl Scholz sent the following message:

I’m following up on my message to you last week regarding the special grading option the university has developed for the spring semester. Continue reading the Provost’s message >>

Last updated 6:44 PM, April 1, 2020

Should I expect to offer/receive remote instruction at the same time lecture/discussion/labs usually take place face-to-face?

Instructors are being encouraged to shift much of their content toward asynchronous instruction (e.g., recorded video and audio lectures that students will be expected to view on their own time) and reserve synchronous learning for specific student-instructor interaction (e.g., office hours, online discussion sessions, etc.). Students should watch for communications from their instructors for specific plans for instruction.

Posted on 6:44 PM, March 21, 2020

Where can I get help with advising and career services?

Advisors, career services staff, and students have access to resources that enable them to connect remotely. Students can use Starfish or contact their advising office to set up a remote appointment. Students are also welcome to email advisors or career services staff with questions. More information for advising and career services staff is available at Advising and Career Services Continuity. More information for students is available at Advising and Career Services During COVID-19. Questions can be sent to info@advising.wisc.edu.

For students, advisors and employers with questions about impacts on internship programs, the UW–Madison’s Center for Research on College-Workforce Transitions has published a report titled, What to do about internships in light of the COVID-19 pandemic? A short guide to online internships for colleges, students and employers.

Last updated 11:32 AM, March 31, 2020

When will Summer and Fall 2020 enrollment occur?

At this time, Summer 2020 enrollment will occur as scheduled, beginning on Monday, March 30, 2020. Students will be notified of their individual Summer 2020 enrollment appointments throughout the week of March 23, 2020. Find more information about enrollment appointments on the Registrar website.

Enrollment for the Fall 2020 semester will still begin as scheduled on April 6, 2020 and your advisors look forward to assisting you. Your specific enrollment appointment time (the earliest time you can begin to enroll in classes) will be emailed to you from the Office of the Registrar.

Students are able to meet with their academic and career advisors remotely: over the phone, or on a computer/phone as either a voice or video call. We recommend setting up appointments with advisors soon to give yourself the opportunity to meet prior to course enrollment.

Find out how to meet and contact your academic and career advisors. Students should use Starfish or contact their advising office to set up an appointment or email with questions.

Last updated 11:23 AM, March 25, 2020

What are the plans for Summer Term?

The university is expanding online offerings this summer to include more than 300 courses while in-person Summer Term courses are suspended due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Summer courses help students stay on track to graduation. Summer Term already had a robust online offering and has added more online courses than ever before so students can continue their academic progress.

Students were notified of their individual Summer 2020 enrollment appointments during the week of March 23, 2020. More information about enrollment appointments can be found at https://registrar.wisc.edu/enrollment-appointment-times/. For guidance about summer enrollment, connect with Advising & Career Service resources at https://advising.wisc.edu/covid-19/.

For updates on Summer Term, visit https://summer.wisc.edu/. For visiting students (non-UW-Madison students) there’s additional information here: https://summer.wisc.edu/other-college-students/.

We have a chatbot on the website that’s available to answer questions 24/7 and a “live chat” feature so students can connect with a real person during business hours.

We also have scholarships available, https://summer.wisc.edu/scholarships-and-aid/.

Last updated 4:44 PM, April 2, 2020

What's going on with spring and summer study abroad?

As circumstances surrounding the worldwide outbreak of COVID-19 continue to rapidly change, our first priority remains the health and safety of UW–Madison study abroad students.

The decision to close UW–Madison programs abroad for the Spring 2020 term was made after the announcement by Chancellor Blank on March 11 regarding campus operations and activities, as well as the World Health Organization’s declaration of COVID-19 as a global pandemic.

Summer 2020 programs abroad have been canceled following the announcement by International Division Vice Provost and Dean Guido Podestá on March 20.

Learn more.

Posted on 6:44 PM, March 21, 2020

What do all of these changes mean for international students?

This is a rapidly evolving situation, and International Student Services (ISS) is working closely with campus partners to ensure that the needs of international students are addressed. ISS is reaching out to international students directly with more information. We will make timely updates here as we receive additional federal guidance.

All courses will be online for the rest of spring semester. You can access your courses from your home in Madison or from your permanent home abroad. You are advised to have a strong internet connection. Information will be shared by your academic unit and professors. 

More information for students who are remaining in University Housing can be found here and here

If you are traveling to your home country: 

  • If you remain fully enrolled, ISS may keep your SEVIS record active. You do not need to submit a Leave of Absence if you remain fully enrolled.
  • Many students have been asking ISS to confirm that they can return to the United States in the future. ISS is unable to provide such confirmation, because this is an ongoing situation. We urge you to consider what is the best option for you with respect to your safety, health, and well-being.
Last updated 11:44 AM, March 22, 2020

How do I access academic journals and other campus subscriptions remotely?

Option 1: Get on UW–Madison’s virtual private network (VPN), which requires a program called GlobalProtect. If you see a globe icon on the top right of your screen, then you already have Global Protect.  Click on the globe and click “connect” using your NetID and password. You may need to re-boot your computer to connect.

If you need to download and install Global Protect:

On a Mac: https://kb.wisc.edu/helpdesk/73116

On a PC: https://kb.wisc.edu/helpdesk/page.php?id=91915

If you have trouble, contact the DoIT help desk.

Option 2: To gain access without being on campus VPN, go through the libraries website: https://www.library.wisc.edu

  • Click “Search the Catalog” on the top left portion of the page and select “Databases.”
  • Under the search box on the next page, click “Top 10 Databases”
  • Google Scholar will be on the list of databases.

Here area few online tips and tricks: https://www.library.wisc.edu/help/research-tips-tricks/

How to search if you know the journal you want: https://www.library.wisc.edu/help/research-tips-tricks/finding-a-specific-journal/

How to search if you have a specific article in mind: https://www.library.wisc.edu/help/research-tips-tricks/finding-a-specific-article/

Last updated 10:12 AM, March 24, 2020

Where can I find answers to questions specific to graduate students?

The Graduate Students page on this site includes FAQs addressing graduate-student concerns.

Last updated 2:37 PM, March 23, 2020

Employees and workforce

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Where can employees find more information about working remotely?

The Office of Human Resources has developed a new policy: COVID-19 Pandemic Employee Work Location and Leave Policy in light of  changes to campus operations. It can be found here: https://kb.wisc.edu/98958

This policy provides direction when UW-Madison implements emergency COVID-19 pandemic provisions requiring social distancing of employees. 

For guidance on telecommuting related to COVID-19, please go here. For resources and tools to assist with remote work, see the Information for Employees page.

Last updated 2:38 PM, March 27, 2020

Can I still travel to work under the Safer at Home order if I'm an essential on-campus employee?

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services, at the direction of Governor Tony Evers has issued a “Safer at Home” Governor’s Order to help prevent the further spread of COVID-19 in Wisconsin. “Safer at Home” requires Wisconsin residents to stay at home and engage in social distancing; it also closes non-essential businesses and bans non-essential travel and social gatherings. It went into effect Wednesday, March 25, 2020, at 8:00 a.m. and will remain in effect until 8:00 a.m. on Friday, April 24, 2020, or until a superseding order is issued.

UW–Madison continues to maintain essential university operations, including distance learning and essential research, which is specifically permitted under the Governor’s Order. If you are expected to be on campus for these activities, you are allowed to travel. More information on the order can be found here.

Law enforcement is able to enforce the order. UWPD will not randomly stop people who are out and about, and there is no need to obtain a special letter, permit, or permission to leave your home. However, if UWPD receives a complaint or become aware of someone or a group of individuals blatantly ignoring the order, they will take appropriate action to encourage compliance.

The university’s primary focus is in keeping our community safe.

Posted on 10:27 AM, March 27, 2020

What is happening to student hourly workers?

UW-Madison is offering income continuation to federal work-study students and all student hourly employees for the week of March 23 payable on April 9 (March B pay date) and the week of March 30, payable on April 23 (April A pay date).

Information for federal work-study students:

  • Income continuation allows UW-Madison to continue paying student hourly staff who were actively working in student jobs prior to the campus adjustment in operations.
  • You will be paid at your current pay rate for 10 hours per week, with payment scheduled for April 9 and April 23. If you have multiple Federal Work-Study jobs, you will be paid at your highest pay rate.
  • Your payment will be delivered in the same way you’ve received previous paychecks (via direct deposit or paycheck).
  • If you are currently in a Federal Work-Study job that permits you to work remotely, please work with your immediate supervisor to continue working at your current pay rate.

Information for all other student hourly employees:

  • Income continuation allows UW-Madison to continue paying student hourly staff who were actively working in student jobs prior to the campus adjustment in operations.
  • You will receive a lump sum amount of $130 per week with payment for one week scheduled for April 9 and payment for the second week scheduled for April 23.
  • Your payment will be delivered in the same way you’ve received previous paychecks (via direct deposit or paycheck) OR with a scholarship. Students who are receiving payment via scholarship will receive further communication.
  • If you are currently in a Student Job that permits you to work remotely, please work with your immediate supervisor to continue working at your current rate.

No student in a UW-Madison student hourly role will be terminated or disciplined if unable to perform duties due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Students are strongly encouraged to prioritize their personal health and wellbeing, and to remain in close contact with their direct supervisor about the potential to work remotely as well as the current status of your specific job.

The primary goal is to provide financial relief to student hourly employees as quickly as possible without administrative delays. Payments are based on campus average hours and pay of student hourly staff.

While this income continuation is hopefully helpful, the average earnings may not represent anticipated individual earnings and this amount may not fully replace income needs during this challenging time.

There are additional Emergency Funds and Basic Needs support available to students:

  • The Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) is available to help connect students to financial and other resources. Funds are available for all students, regardless of whether the student filed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students can get connected by reaching out via email at covid-19@finaid.wisc.edu or by completing the UW-Madison Emergency Assistance Form.
  • Students can also contact the Bursar’s Office at tuition@bussvc.wisc.edu for information on Deferred Tuition Payments.
  • The Open Seat food pantry has moved to a food-box pick-up model.
  • Many food pantries around Madison are still operating with outside drop-off systems.
  • The Basic Needs Team is available to further assist students in navigating resources to support Basic Needs. Students may contact the Basic Needs team directly: needs@finaid.wisc.edu.
  • The Dean of Students Office is also available to assist with questions about how to get connected to support resources during this challenging time. They can be reached via phone (608-263-5700), email (dean@studentlife.wisc.edu), or chat.

Please continue to check this website for future campus COVID-19 updates. Contact the Office of Student Financial Aid at student.employment@finaid.wisc.edu with immediate questions or requests for further support.

Last updated 2:40 PM, March 26, 2020

Where can I park?

Park and Rides

Park and ride lots are open per normal schedule—no overnight or weekend parking. There is no shuttle service as of March 19. As per relaxed campus parking rules (see below), park and ride permit holders may park on campus in certain lots.

Campus Parking

Essential employee parking map (PDF)

At this time, no parking permit or payment is required to park in most* surface lots and gated lots (ramps and garages). All timed “meter” (through vendor ParkMobile) stalls do not require payment. Flex permit holders do not need to start a paid parking session.

*Exceptions (updated 3/20/19): There are certain controlled parking areas: high security areas, areas vital to researchers, and some UWHC lots. A lot-specific permit is required to park in these areas.

  • Controlled as of 3/23/20: Lot 11 (Bascom Hall), Lot 23 (Van Hise Garage), Lot 38 (Microbial Sciences Garage), and Lot 95 (HSLC Garage), Lot 13, Lot 22, Lot 51, Lot 54, Lot 56, Lot 74, Lot 81 and Lot 82. If you do not have a lot specific permit for one of these surface lots but need access for your work, please email customerservice@fpm.wisc.edu with the subject line “Requesting access for parking in [insert Lot #]”.

For safety reasons, vehicles must be properly parked inside the lines for marked stalls and cannot park in restricted areas (ex. access aisle, fire lane, blocking someone in, etc.) or reserved stalls. Reserved stalls are specially signed and include department reserved, service/vendor and UW Disabled stalls. A state DOT Disabled permit or plate is required for use of UW Disabled stalls.

Note: Some campus buildings are closing and parking facilities attached to those buildings may be impacted. This list will be updated as information is available:

  • Lot 80 is open, but Union South is closed. Foot traffic can use the open stairwell to access the Dayton Street patio area. Accessible parking is available in the circular drive off Dayton Street, between Union South and Computer Sciences.
Last updated 3:39 PM, March 24, 2020

I have a student hourly appointment. Will I continue to be paid?

All students who are in active Student Help employee records from this academic year will be eligible for income continuation. The student income continuation program covers the week of March 23 payable on April 9 (March B pay date) and the week of March 30, payable on April 23 (April A pay date), regardless of whether they are able to continue working remotely. For more information consult the campus update on student hourly workers.

Last updated 11:07 AM, March 26, 2020

If I’ve had direct or indirect contact with a person diagnosed with or under investigation for COVID-19, should I come to work?

If you think you have been exposed, you should self-monitor yourself for symptoms of COVID-19, which include fever (100.4 F and higher), cough and shortness of breath.

Anyone who is sick, including with symptoms of COVID-19, should stay home.

At this time, only essential employees should report to work on campus at UW–Madison. See more information on this topic, including who is considered essential.

All others should follow the guidance of state and local public health officials and their employers. As of March 20, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers issued new guidance for some businesses in Wisconsin.

Last updated 10:51 AM, March 31, 2020

Where can I get assistance with online instruction?

In partnership with the Office of the Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning, the Division of Information Technology (DoIT) has established a website with guidance and support to faculty and instructors who may need to rapidly reconfigure their courses. Visit the Instructional Continuity website. The Office of the Provost will provide additional communication to faculty and planning is underway to proactively support faculty through this process.

UW–Madison Libraries is also offering a number of resources for instructors, including a number of library resources in Canvas. Visit the Library Support for Instruction Continuity site for more information.

Last updated 10:41 PM, March 22, 2020

What is the status of childcare on campus?

All on-campus childcare centers are closed until further notice. This includes Eagle’s Wing, UW Child Development Lab, and Waisman Early Childhood Program. Employees and families will receive additional updates from center directors.

Little Chicks Learning Academy is open and following CDC guidelines for operations. UW Staff in need of childcare should explore availability by completing an online reservation form. University employees are encouraged to explore care.com for possible childcare services.

Posted on 6:44 PM, March 21, 2020

Where can I find resources and tools to learn or work remotely?

Here is a guide for working remotely and a guide for learning remotely for faculty, staff, and students. A number of software downloads are also available, including Adobe Creative Cloud and Microsoft Office 365.

The DoIT Help Desk is also available to support faculty, staff, and students who need additional assistance.

DoIT has shared tips for how to manage slower internet speed and low bandwidth while working and learning remotely. Students should contact their instructors as soon as possible if their internet connectivity or lack of access to certain equipment or software (such as laptops, digital learning tools, or printers) is restricting their access to course materials and class participation. Instructors are also encouraged to use asynchronous instruction and learning activities wherever possible to reduce the need for high-speed, robust connectivity

If students, faculty or staff need to check out a laptop to assist with remote learning, teaching, or working, please see this guide.

Many carriers are currently offering low-cost wired broadband internet service options. Contact your local internet provider to see if they are offering free or reduced rates. DoIT does not recommend relying on mobile hotspots as they do not provide enough data to sustain continued full-time work or learning from home.

Last updated 2:06 PM, March 31, 2020

What are the leave policies around COVID-19?

The Office of Human Resources has developed a new leave policy in light of COVID-19 and the changes to campus operations. The policy provides a paid leave benefit to support impacted employees through May 1. This provides additional paid leave if an employee is unable to work due to COVID-19 related issues, including the inability to work remotely, when an employee is ill, or providing care for an immediate family member.

The original policy provided an 80-hour leave bank for employees to use for COVID-19 pandemic related leave. This policy extension now provides leave until May 1 and is no longer limited to a certain number of hours. This same benefit is being provided to employees at all UW System institutions.

It also applies to teaching assistants, research assistants, and program assistants. For more information, please visit the COVID-19 page for Graduate Students.

Last updated 3:29 PM, April 1, 2020

Is Transportation Services pausing payroll deductions or giving parking permit refunds?

Check the transportation services website for recent updates.

Posted on 4:02 PM, March 26, 2020

Events and meetings

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Should I cancel my on-campus event or meeting?

All non-essential in-person campus events and meetings are canceled through May 15. Seek alternative formats for events and meetings and work with your department’s IT unit for support.

Essential in-person events require approval by a dean or vice chancellor and must be limited to attendance of less than 10 people. Essential events are those directly related to advancing the mission of the university and/or those promoting the health and safety of campus.

In-person meetings of essential personnel may continue but should involve as few people as possible.  Appropriate safety precautions should be followed.

All tours and visits, pre-college activities and camps are canceled through May 15.

Note that the State of Wisconsin is expected to issue an emergency order on Tuesday, March 24, that may further restrict individuals’ ability to leave their homes.  Meeting and event participants should follow the guidance provided in that order when determining whether to attend meetings or events on campus.

Last updated 4:14 PM, March 23, 2020

What is the plan for Commencement?

After much difficult consideration, and in consultation with the senior class officers, UW–Madison is developing a virtual commencement that will post online on Friday, May 8, for all graduates to watch. Students are also helping design an in-person event the university will host when we emerge from this public health crisis, for everyone who can attend.

Chancellor Rebecca Blank recorded a video message to the members of the Class of 2020.

The lack of an in-person commencement ceremony does NOT mean our seniors are not graduating. Students who have met the degree requirements to graduate will receive their diploma and diploma cover 6-8 weeks after the virtual ceremony.

All graduates should complete the Apply to Graduate application in the Student Center of MyUW by Friday, April 3. This ensures their name will be included in the commencement program. We will also use the Apply to Graduate list to communicate with graduates into May and later in the summer as needed. All graduates must complete their application by Friday, April 3 in order to have their name included in the program.

Reservations that have already been placed for cap and gown can be adjusted to include a shipping address. Graduates wishing to cancel their reservation will be refunded in full. Additionally, we will work with the University Book Store and our attire vendor, Herff Jones, to offer additional rental and purchase options for graduates. Please visit this site for more information about available options, including how to make adjustments to existing orders: https://www.uwbookstore.com/May-Graduation-Timeline

We look forward to celebrating virtually in May and in-person at a later date.

Last updated 10:48 PM, March 23, 2020

What is the status of sporting events?

What should I do about summer event or meeting planning at UW-Madison?

We encourage programs to continue planning as usual with the caveat that if in-person interviews or meetings are needed for planning, staffing or placement of participants, that these do not occur on campus at this time. Please consider alternative means of meeting online or offsite. Note that if space reservations are needed, we will not be taking new reservations between now and April 10.

We understand that this is a heavy time for marketing and recruitment and encourage that these activities take place offsite during this time.

Posted on 6:44 PM, March 21, 2020

Financial matters

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Can I be refunded for a canceled trip or event?

We understand the university’s COVID-19-related policies have financial implications. We are working on gathering more information and will share it once it’s available.

Last updated 12:46 PM, March 22, 2020

How do I request a refund from UW-Madison?

As you know, the community response to the COVID-19 situation required UW–Madison to transition our in-person classes to remote instruction as of March 23, 2020. We remain committed to delivering instruction, achieving learning outcomes and supporting students in finishing the semester successfully. Therefore, our campus policy is to not refund any portion of tuition and/or fees for the Spring 2020 academic semester, where requests are based on the required change in instructional modality.

We recognize, however, that there may be some extraordinary circumstances where an exception to the campus policy might be warranted. We will examine all such requests after the completion of the spring semester.

If you believe that you have such exceptional circumstances warranting further consideration, please work with your dean’s office and provide:

  1. student name
  2. student ID
  3. a detailed reason for your appeal.

If you have concerns about completing a course or managing the current situation, you should contact your instructor, advisor, or your dean’s office about how to proceed. You should note, however, that the dean’s office is not empowered to grant refunds at this time and will be forwarding requests to a central campus appeals process.

We will continue to post general updates at UW-Madison COVID-19 site.

Thank you again for your communication and your understanding as we navigate this unprecedented situation.

Posted on 11:33 AM, March 29, 2020

Will I be reimbursed for housing and dining?

All students no longer living in University Residence Halls will receive a prorated room credit, as well as a credit for any remaining Housing resident food account funds on their Wiscard. For more information, please see this post.

Last updated 3:32 PM, April 1, 2020

What if I am a student experiencing financial hardship or having difficulty meeting basic needs due to COVID-19?

We understand that some students will experience financial hardship associated with the impact of COVID-19 as it relates to family, travel and academics.  The following resources are available:

  • Office of Student Financial Aid: The Office of Student Financial Aid has a team of people ready to help connect you to financial and other resources. Funds are available for all students regardless of FAFSA eligibility. Students will receive responses in 24 hours and can request assistance in four ways:
  • Deferred Tuition Payment: Students may be eligible for a deferred tuition payment date and late-fee waiver.  Students should contact the Bursar’s Office for extending their tuition payment date:  tuition@bussvc.wisc.edu.
  • The Open Seat food pantry: Beginning Tuesday, March 24, 2020 between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m., students can pick up prepackaged food boxes at Union South near the hotel entrance off of Dayton Street. These boxes are intended to assist those who need to supplement their food budget.
    • Boxes are packed and distributed by Second Harvest Foodbank. They come in a 10-lb size for an individual, or a 25-lb size for a household of four. The first round of boxes will be available on March 24 at 12 p.m. After March 24, students should request a box using this link:  https://forms.gle/68aLFddgX1ECCTQEA    
    • We ask that you submit your order by Thursday for a pick-up the following Tuesday. Pick-ups will be every Tuesday from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. at Union South. 
    • For questions, contact openseat@asm.wisc.edu.
  • Late fee waivers: The Bursar’s Office will not be charging late fees for the remainder of the semester. This includes late fees for graduate assistants unable to make their segregated fee payments by the deadline on Friday, April 3. Contact the Bursar’s Office for questions about tuition remissions at remissions@bussvc.wisc.edu or your tuition account at tuition@bussvc.wisc.edu
  • Also for Graduate Students: Although the university is committed to continuity of pay for graduate assistants, other factors related to COVID-19 may have an impact on finances. The Office of Student Financial Aid emergency funds, Dean of Students Crisis Loan ($500-$1,000), International Students Services Loans (up to $5,000), Deferred Tuition Payment, and other emergency funds may be available. Read more in the Financial Matters FAQ. The Division of Extension has compiled a list of financial resources to support some common financial challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Last updated 3:43 PM, April 2, 2020

What additional financial resources are available for Wisconsin residents?

The Division of Extension has compiled a list of financial resources to support some common financial challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The answer to each question has links to government websites and the types of assistance that might be available.

Last updated 3:09 PM, March 23, 2020

How can I support students in need?

You may make a gift to the Emergency Student Support Fund through the University of Wisconsin Foundation here.

Posted on 6:44 PM, March 21, 2020

Health

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I am concerned about COVID-19 and my health risks. What should I do?

If you have a confirmed case of COVID-19: You should remain in self-isolation and follow the advice of your health care provider and local public health officials. Read the CDC guidance on self-isolation.

If you have been tested for COVID-19 but don’t yet have results back: You should remain in self-quarantine. Follow the instructions of your health care provider and local public health officials.

If you have traveled to places with community spread of COVID-19 or live in a place with community spread, such as Dane County: You should follow guidance to self-quarantine and the directions provided by local public health officials.

If you are currently under orders to self-quarantine: Please continue to follow self-quarantine instructions under the guidance of your health care provider and local health officials.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 — 100.4 F or higher fever, cough, and shortness of breath: Stay home. Call University Health Services 608-265-5600 or your personal medical provider immediately. Before going to a clinic, urgent care, or to an emergency room, call ahead and tell them your symptoms and recent travel history.

If you have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19: You should discontinue contact with anyone who is sick. You should monitor yourself for symptoms, including fever (100.4 F and above), cough, and shortness of breath.

  • For students in University Housing, if you or someone you know needs help finding an appropriate space to limit contact with someone who is sick, please contact the House Fellow on Duty number, which is unique for different halls and posted throughout each building. For all other students, please consider relocating, asking roommates to relocate, or taking appropriate measures to minimize your contact with others.
  • Any person who is sick should stay in a specific room and away from other people in their home. They should follow CDC home care guidance, which includes cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces at least daily in household common areas including laptops, TV remote controls, tables, hard-backed chairs, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, and sinks.
  • Other people in the home should avoid spaces where sick people spend time.

If you are sick but do not have symptoms of COVID-19 (100.4 F or higher fever, cough, and shortness of breath): Stay home. Call University Health Services 608-265-5600 or another medical provider immediately. Before going to a clinic, urgent care, or to an emergency room, call ahead and tell them your symptoms and recent travel history.

Last updated 3:13 PM, March 23, 2020

I have symptoms or feel sick. What should I do?

Stay home and isolate until you are both:

  • Free of fever, productive cough, and other acute respiratory symptoms for 72 hours AND
  • 7 days has elapsed since you first experienced symptoms

Cover your mouth when coughing and wash your hands frequently to prevent spreading germs.

You can take over-the-counter acetaminophen (example: Tylenol) to reduce fevers. Use according to label instructions and do not exceed more than 3000 mg of acetaminophen per day. Ibuprofen (examples: Advil, Motrin) may be used according to label directions for pain relief. Do not take more than 2400 mg of ibuprofen per day. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen are different products so you can alternate every 4 hours.

Call UHS at 608-265-5600 if your symptoms worsen and you develop shortness of breath or a fever.

Stay home. Do not go to campus, work, public areas, or attend large gatherings. If you need medical care, call your health care provider before going a clinic, urgent care, or to an emergency room.

  • Do not use public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.
  • Do not go out to restaurants or have guests over to your house.
  • Postpone any travel. If travel is absolutely necessary, you must contact your local health department first for instructions. If you choose to travel and become ill while you are away, you may not be able to return home using public transport (for example, air travel) until you are well and released from possible isolation by the local public health department.
  • Wash your hands often and practice good hygiene.
  • Postpone all nonessential medical appointments (for example, dental cleaning, eye exam, routine check-up) until you are out of isolation.
  • Minimize contact with people and animals in your home (stay in your own room and, if possible, use your own bathroom). Avoid sharing personal household items such as dishes, towels, and bedding.
Last updated 3:27 PM, March 25, 2020

What does it mean to self-quarantine and who should do it?

To self-quarantine means you minimize your contact with others for a specified period of time, in accordance with public health instructions. Self-solation is used to separate ill persons who have a communicable disease from those who are healthy. Isolation restricts the movement of ill persons to help stop the spread of certain diseases.

Who needs to self-quarantine?

As of March 17, Public Health Madison Dane County (PHMDC) announced there is community spread of COVID-19 in Dane County. That means there is an urgent need for all people in Dane County to restrict movement and stay at home as much as possible. PHMDC is directing all Dane County residents to:

  • Stay home whenever you can, especially when you are sick. If sick, isolate yourself from other members of your household, including pets. Minimize contact with others in your home (stay in your own room and, when possible, use your own bathroom) and avoid sharing personal household items such as dishes, towels, and bedding.
  • Limit contact with others. This includes canceling events, gatherings, playdates, and nonessential appointments. Minimize trips in public, avoid traveling, and work from home as much as possible. If you must go out, stay at least six feet from people whenever possible.
  • Order necessities online for delivery. If possible, order supplies you need so you can stay home.
  • Use virtual visits with your doctor. If you have symptoms like cough, fever, or other respiratory problems, call your doctor’s office before going in. Your doctor will decide if you need to be tested. If your symptoms are too severe to be managed at home, call 911 or call ahead to the emergency department. Use virtual visits if possible to avoid coming in contact with others. Drop-in visits to UHS are not available. Call 608-265-5600 to schedule an appointment.
  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. Do this often because it’s the easiest, most effective way to keep from getting sick.
  • Follow other everyday prevention strategies. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available, clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, avoiding shaking hands or being in someone’s personal space, get your flu shot, avoid touching your face, and cough and sneeze into your elbow or a tissue.

The CDC also offers this specific guidance to people who are sick. If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider for medical advice.

Everyone should self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19, including fever (100.4 F or above), cough, and shortness of breath. In the event of symptoms, call University Health Services 608-265-5600 or your personal medical provider. Before going to a clinic, urgent care, or to an emergency room, call ahead and tell them your symptoms and recent travel history.

Last updated 2:28 PM, March 27, 2020

How do I know when I'm recovered from COVID-19?

For patients diagnosed with COVID-19 who are recovering in a home (non-hospital) setting, isolation may be discontinued when both of the following have occurred: 

  1. The patient is free of fever, productive cough, and other acute symptoms of respiratory infection for 72 hours. 
  1. 7 days has elapsed from the day the patient first experienced symptoms.

Health officials continue to recommend that all individuals limit gatherings to 10 people or fewer. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has provided public health guidance for discontinuing isolation or quarantine for individuals infected with or exposed to COVID-19: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/dph/memos/communicable-diseases/2020-08.pdf

Last updated 3:26 PM, March 25, 2020

How can I protect myself and others?

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Stay home as much as possible, especially when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

Additionally, UW–Madison is strongly advising against all non-essential travel. Dane County is experiencing community spread of COVID-19, which means there is no known source of the disease, such as recent contact with an infected person or travel from an area with a high number of cases. Students have been advised not to return to campus this semester and, whenever possible, to return to their permanent residences.

Last updated 1:15 PM, March 22, 2020

How can I practice social distancing?

Social distancing is a way to reduce exposure, slow the spread, and minimize transmission of contagious diseases. Maintain at least six feet distance between yourself and another person. Stay home as much as possible, especially if you are sick or if someone in your household is sick. Avoid shaking hands and close physical contact with anyone displaying symptoms. Do not gather in groups, especially those of 10 or more people.

Last updated 3:14 PM, March 23, 2020

What if I feel sick and can't afford health care?

All UW–Madison students who are enrolled for credit during a fall, spring, or summer semester and pay segregated fees are eligible to use all UHS services during that academic term. There is no additional charge for most UHS services including: medical and mental health counseling appointments, radiology, laboratory tests, victim advocacy, and free flu shots.

There are charges for some UHS services including most immunizations (except free flu shots), physical therapy appointments, orthopedic equipment such as splints and braces, and third-party physicals, and certain lab work and tests connected with those physicals. UHS will bill students if payment is not made at time of service.

Short term loans may be sought by students when an unexpected life event or circumstance takes place that causes financial hardship.

The Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) provides comprehensive health coverage for UW–Madison students and scholars. In addition to primary care services at UHS, SHIP will cover all member costs for COVID-19 testing at in-network facilities, including emergency room, urgent care, and office visits. SHIP will cover treatment based on the specific plan benefits.

SHIP is also waiving early refill limits on 30-day prescriptions for maintenance medications for at any in-network pharmacy.
For questions about prescriptions please call 1-866-818-6911.

SHIP members (primary members and spouse/partners) who cannot access UHS for primary and preventive care during the suspension of face-to-face instruction, should refer to our Find In-Network Providers page to locate an alternative SHIP provider that is in-network.

Last updated 3:35 PM, March 23, 2020

What should I do if I am at higher risk or immunocompromised?

Students, staff, and employees with chronic health conditions — such as asthma, diabetes, or have a compromised immune system — can be at higher risk for infectious diseases such as the flu or COVID-19.

If you are at higher risk for infectious disease because you have a serious long-term health condition or because of your age, it is important to take actions to reduce your risk of getting sick. Monitor yourself for potential COVID-19 symptoms including, fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If you feel like you are developing symptoms, call your health care provider.

If you take medications that affect your immune system, you should contact your health care provider.

Take everyday precautions, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Take everyday preventive actions.
  • Clean your hands often.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, or having been in a public place.
  • If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • To the extent possible, avoid touching high-touch surfaces in public places – elevator buttons, door handles, handrails, handshaking with people, etc. Use a tissue or your sleeve to cover your hand or finger if you must touch something.
  • Wash your hands after touching surfaces in public places.
  • Avoid touching your face, nose, eyes, etc.
  • Clean and disinfect your home to remove germs: practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces (for example: tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks & cell phones).
  • Avoid crowds, especially in poorly ventilated spaces. Your risk of exposure to respiratory viruses like COVID-19 may increase in crowded, closed-in settings with little air circulation if there are people in the crowd who are sick.
  • Avoid all non-essential travel including plane trips, and especially avoid embarking on cruise ships.
Last updated 12:52 PM, March 27, 2020

What resources are available to help student wellbeing?

We recognize this may be a challenging time for many, especially those who have been displaced from their residences, travel and study abroad programs, their employment and their communities.

If you are experiencing anxiety related to events surrounding COVID-19, SilverCloud is an online, self-guided, interactive mental health resource that provides UW-Madison students with accessible treatment options 24 hours a day.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention also has information about Taking Care of Your Mental Health in the Face of Uncertainty.

Posted on 6:44 PM, March 21, 2020

Can animals or pets transmit the virus?

While this virus seems to have emerged from an animal source, it is now spreading from person to person. There is no reason to think that any animals including pets in the United States might be a source of infection with this new coronavirus. To date, CDC has not received any reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19. At this time, there is no evidence that companion animals including pets can spread COVID-19. However, since animals can spread other diseases to people, it’s always a good idea to wash your hands after being around animals. For more information on the many benefits of pet ownership, as well as staying safe and healthy around animals including pets, livestock, and wildlife, visit CDC’s Healthy Pets, Healthy People website.

Last updated 1:25 PM, March 22, 2020

What should I do if I recently traveled or will soon return home from travel?

Please consult self-quarantine guidelines. Note that the university has prohibited all non-essential university-related travel and strongly discourages non-essential personal travel in an effort to keep yourself and others safe. Please visit here for more information about travel.

Additionally, Dane County is experiencing “community spread,” which means the spread of an illness for which the source of infection is unknown and there is an urgent need for people to restrict movement and stay at home as much as possible. UW–Madison urges undergraduate students to return to or stay at your permanent residence rather than returning to Madison when instruction resumes via alternate delivery on March 23.

Last updated 1:59 PM, March 22, 2020

I think I’ve been exposed to COVID-19 although I don’t currently have symptoms. What should I do?

If you don’t have symptoms and you have not been contacted directly by public health officials, the only thing you need to do is practice appropriate self-quarantine for where you live and monitor your symptoms. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever (100.4F and above), cough, and shortness of breath.

COVID-19 is spread through close person-to-person contact (within six feet) and in respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The virus may also live on hard surfaces. Discontinue contact with anyone who is sick. Public health officials will contact you if you are determined to be a direct contact of an individual with a confirmed case of COVID-19.

To self-quarantine means you minimize your contact with others for a specified period of time, in accordance with public health instructions. Read more about how to self-quarantine.

Stay home if you develop symptoms and call University Health Services at 608-265-5600 or your personal medical provider immediately. Before going to a clinic, urgent care, or to an emergency room, call ahead and tell them your symptoms and any recent travel history.

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus. To avoid and/or minimize exposure:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
Last updated 8:41 AM, March 27, 2020

Housing and dining

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I can’t move home. Can I stay on campus?

We recognize that some students (including some international students and students unable to access online instruction) may be unable to return to their permanent residence for various reasons and will need to stay in their residence hall. University Housing has made provisions for students to remain in Housing if needed. To better understand your needs, immediately log in to My UW Housing and submit a COVID-19 Accommodation Request.

Note: while the University will ensure that we have sufficient residence hall rooms available for students who truly have no alternatives, we will need to consolidate housing for all students into specific buildings to minimize staff requirements and free space for other purposes. None of us can predict how long the present situation may last, and students who remain on campus might be here for some time with very limited services.

More information can be found on University Housing’s Moving and Breaks page.

Last updated 2:08 PM, March 24, 2020

What if I am an off-campus resident?

UW–Madison is strongly advising against all non-essential travel. Dane County is experiencing community spread of COVID-19, which means there is no known source of the disease, such as recent contact with an infected person or travel from an area with a high number of cases. Students have been advised not to return to campus this semester and, whenever possible, to return to their permanent residences.

You should also limit your contact with others by practicing social distancing. You can find more information in the FAQs.

 

Last updated 1:54 PM, March 22, 2020

Will I be reimbursed for housing and dining?

All students no longer living in University Residence Halls will receive a prorated room credit, as well as a credit for any remaining Housing resident food account funds on their Wiscard. For more information, please see this post.

Last updated 3:32 PM, April 1, 2020

Will campus dining facilities remain open?

Effective March 20, 2020, until further notice, all University Housing Dining buildings will only be accessible by University Housing staff and residents. Individuals will need to swipe their Wiscard to enter.

The Wisconsin Union is providing pick-up dining options from its multiple restaurants, markets and cafes through Grubhub. Visit the Union’s website to learn more.

Last updated 8:47 PM, March 24, 2020

Will campus recreational facilities and libraries remain open?

Check the Campus Operations page for the most up-to-date information.

Posted on 6:44 PM, March 21, 2020

Can I still move-out of the Residence Halls?

Governor Evers has issued a stay-at-home order for the entire state of Wisconsin. Because of that, all move-out appointments after 9 p.m., Monday, March 23, were canceled. Please do not travel to campus or attempt to enter the residence hall buildings.

For more information about move-out, storage of personal items and related topics, please visit University Housing’s Residents Moving Out page.

Last updated 2:48 PM, March 24, 2020

Research

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Can I still conduct my on-campus research?

Critical research can still be conducted with the approval of your dean or, in the case of OVCRGE centers, your director.

Beginning March 18, Chancellor Rebecca Blank asked all units to take steps so that the only employees (including graduate student employees) working on campus are those needed to deliver essential services that cannot be done via telecommuting. This will be in effect until further notice. Employees who cannot telecommute and who are not involved in essential services will be eligible to use leave under updated policies.

Essential services include public safety, academic course delivery and student support, admissions, financial aid and enrollment for new and continuing students, certain research activities and associated animal care, University Housing, communications as well as core administrative and facility services.   The on-campus research enterprise must be curtailed.

According to Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education Steve Ackerman, deans and directors have been instructed to approve only what they judge to be essential research. Examples of essential work include, but are not limited to:

  • research that has the potential to address the COVID-19 crisis
  • human-subjects research that would endanger research participant lives if stopped
  • projects in which termination would lead to loss of long-running experimental data,  critical time-series or time-sensitive data,  loss of equipment, or to the loss of life of critical research-related organisms.

There are shortages of critical personal protective equipment (PPE) around the world, especially N95 respirators, Tyvek suits, isolation gowns and procedure masks. Labs are being asked to conserve their PPE and share it with those in need, as identified by the Emergency Operations Center Logistics Team. If you have extra PPE you would like to donate, or if you need these items for essential operations and have a request in that is currently unmet, contact the EOC Logistics Team at EOC_PPE_Supplies@lists.wisc.edu. All PPE use requests will be evaluated for need, application of equipment alternatives, and for measures that can be taken to reduce PPE consumption.

Do not work without PPE or reuse disposable PPE unless approved to do so under your biosafety protocol. If you need more information, please contact the Office of Biological Safety.

Last updated 2:54 PM, March 30, 2020

How can UW-Madison research labs assist with COVID-19 response?

With the exception of the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene, which is doing diagnostic testing, other UW–Madison labs do not have the capability to perform testing for COVID-19 because they do not have diagnostic laboratory certification through the CLIA program (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments). However, one laboratory has a research test for COVID-19 and is performing tests on de-identified samples in an effort to understand mechanisms related to the virus, but not for diagnostic purposes.

Labs can help the Wisconsin State Lab of Hygiene, which, like all state and large public health labs, is currently at full sustainable capacity testing for COVID-19. The biggest strain on the lab currently is access to necessary reagents for nucleic acid extraction platforms. State Lab is in search of these reagents for future contingency planning and is asking anyone able to help fulfill their request to be in contact (contact information below). 

The needed reagents include:

  • MagNA Pure LC 2.0
    • Total Nucleic Acid Kit, Cat. No.03038505001
    • Plates, tips, tubes needed to run MagNa Pure LC 2.0 extraction runs
  • EMAG
    • all 6 components (same components as EasyMag): buffers, beads, etc.
  • QIAcube HT
    • QIAmp 96 Virus QIAcube kit, Cat. No. 57731
    • QIAcube HT plasticware kit, Cat. No. 950067
  • Viral transport media
  • Nasopharyngeal swabs

If you think you can help, please contact: Pete Shult, peter.shult@slh.wisc.edu, 608-224-4328 or 608-262-5419 |  Alana Sterkel, alana.sterkel@slh.wisc.edu, 608-224-4277 | Allen Bateman, allen.bateman@slh.wisc.edu, 608-224-4254

Also, if you have personal protective equipment — especially N95s, Tyvek suits, isolation gowns, and procedure masks — these are in extremely limited supply, as are disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer. If you have extra PPE you would like to donate, or if you need these items for essential operations and have a request in that is currently unmet, contact the EOC Logistics Team at EOC_PPE_Supplies@lists.wisc.edu. All PPE use requests will be evaluated for need, application of equipment alternatives, and for measures that can be taken to reduce PPE consumption. Do not work without PPE or reuse disposable PPE unless approved to do so under your biosafety protocol. If you need more information, please contact the Office of Biological Safety.

Last updated 2:54 PM, March 30, 2020

Can I still get help from Environment, Health & Safety?

Yes. Environment, Health & Safety will continue to respond to campus emergencies, incidents and spills, and provide support as needed to campus. However, some non-critical activities are being curtailed.

All chemical, radiation and biological lab visits are suspended until further notice.

All biological safety cabinet certifications scheduled for March are being canceled, starting those scheduled for March 16 through the end of the month. A limited number of staff will be available for emergency work.

Hazardous waste and radioactive waste pick-ups will continue, at a reduced level, for operating facilities.

EH&S will continue to provide critical consultations and reviews. Staff will respond to emails, and most can be reached on cellphones.

EH&S staff available for immediate on-site assistance:
Todd Yanke, chemical safety — 608-279-2340
Ann Larson, biological safety — 608-443-9950
Karl Seltzer, general safety — 608-575-6263
Jeff Schiller, fire and life safety — 608-225-7693

Last updated 11:06 AM, March 25, 2020

How are funding agencies responding to COVID-19? How can I get funding for COVID-19 research?

For information about changes to sponsored research, please visit the UW–Madison Research and Sponsored Programs website.

For access to funding opportunities, including new funding for COVID-19 research, please visit RSP’s Finding Funding page.

Please note that RSP is open and processing grant submissions, but staff is working remotely. To assure processing, please deliver proposals to RSP in a timely fashion. Don’t wait to submit proposals at the last minute.

Additional information about proposal submission, deadline changes, award management and more is available at funding agency sites. Including:

Last updated 11:13 AM, March 27, 2020

How do I access software that I usually use in a library or computer lab? 

Adobe Creative Cloud tools like Acrobat, Photoshop, Illustrator are available by logging in to Adobe Creative Cloud with your NetID. Students have access to Creative Cloud services through May 31 via their NetID. 

Other software programs are available through the Campus Software Library, like Matlab, Smart Draw, and more. For information on access to software while working remote, please see How to get software while remote. 

Last updated 11:07 AM, March 25, 2020

Can a PI require a graduate student or postdoctoral researcher to take part in laboratory-based research?  

In an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19, per the Chancellor’s announcement, as well as by order of Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, only research and campus operations deemed essential are permitted to continue at this time. A PI may not pressure or compel graduate students or postdoctoral researchers engaged in research to take part in laboratory-based activities during the pandemic. This is prohibited whether graduate students or postdocs are in roles deemed essential* or non-essential, regardless of visa status, and even when a request for authorization for continuation of limited research activities has been approved by the Dean’s office.

Consistent with campus guidelines, students, staff and trainees who are not engaged in an essential laboratory research activity or essential research function authorized by the Dean’s office cannot be physically present in the laboratory. They should work remotely on other aspects of a research project such as writing, planning experimental protocols, or data analysis.

If a graduate student or postdoctoral researcher’s role is considered essential*, a decision about whether to work on campus should be voluntary and informed by a discussion between the student/postdoc and supervisor, outlining activities to be done, possible concerns about health risk, and a plan to mitigate or eliminate these risks, including the student/postdoc responsibilities for risk reduction. This must be approved by their dean or center director.

*This flexibility for essential roles only applies to graduate students and postdoctoral researchers.

Last updated 9:35 AM, March 27, 2020

What should a graduate assistant or postdoctoral researcher do if they feel pressured to work on-site?

Graduate students or postdoctoral researchers who feel pressured to work on-site may report such incidents using program/department or school/college reporting structures first. If these mechanisms do not exist or do not result in resolution, or the student is uncomfortable with those structures, graduate students should contact the Graduate School at gsacserv@grad.wisc.edu and postdoctoral researchers should contact the Office of Postdoctoral Studies at contact@postdoc.wisc.edu.

Last updated 3:52 PM, March 26, 2020

Will there be a time limit extension for postdoctoral appointments?

Current university policy on time limits states that postdoctoral appointments are normally up to a maximum of five years, and are normally given to an individual who is within five years of having received the doctorate.

To offer flexibility amidst the major disruption that COVID-19 may have on postdocs’ research and scholarship progress at this time, the 5-year time limit is temporarily lifted while the campus’ recommendations for new recruitments are in place.

Posted on 4:28 PM, March 31, 2020

Is professional development still being offered? 

While all spring semester face-to-face professional development programming has been cancelled or postponed, several online resources are available, listed belowGraduate students can search the DiscoverPD database for additional online opportunities. 

ImaginePhD is a career exploration and Individual Development Plan tool for the humanities and social sciences.  myIDP is a web-based career-planning tool for PhD students in the sciences.  Aurora has over 70 hours of on-demand videos to explore career options and learn strategies for career success. 

The Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL) offers faculty development opportunities aimed at advancing evidence-based teaching practices for diverse learners.  The National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity is a professional development, training, and mentoring community for faculty members, postdocs, and graduate students. 

Posted on 10:51 AM, March 25, 2020

Travel

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Can I travel on a university-related trip?

Effective immediately, all university-sponsored travel is cancelled through May 15, with limited exceptions for essential travel. Essential travel is defined as activities that support, further, or execute research or clinical operations specific to human health and medical outcomes, cannot be rescheduled, and must be done in person. If you need an exception, download and complete the Essential Travel Exemption Form, obtain approval from your vice chancellor or dean and send to Dan Langer for final approval at dan.langer@wisc.edu.

Please cancel all travel that has not been submitted for an exemption by calling Fox World Travel 866-230-8787 by end of business day on Thursday, March 26.  For a list of uncancelled flights by division please contact Rusty Haines at rusty.haines@wisc.edu.

In addition, no new travel should be planned or booked until May 15, regardless of the date of travel, unless an exception has been granted.

People who travel regularly as part of their job (such as Extension workers covering several counties) should check with their deans or other unit directors.

Again, we strongly advise you to also reconsider non-essential personal travel. Documented cases are growing rapidly both domestically and internationally. You may face a higher risk of infection, significant delays returning, and/or the requirement to self-isolate upon your return, all of which could significantly impact your professional and personal obligations at great individual expense. You can find more information in the Travel section of the CDC website.

Last updated 1:54 PM, March 24, 2020

Should I travel for a personal trip?

We strongly advise you to reconsider non-essential personal travel.

The CDC offers the following things to consider before travel:

  • Is COVID-19 spreading in the area where you’re going?
    If COVID-19 is spreading at your destination, but not where you live, you may be more likely to get infected if you travel there than if you stay home. If you have questions about your destination, you should check your destination’s local health department website for more information.
  • Will you or your travel companion(s) be in close contact with others during your trip?
    Your risk of exposure to respiratory viruses like coronavirus may increase in crowded settings, particularly closed-in settings with little air circulation. This may include settings such as conferences, public events (like concerts and sporting events), religious gatherings, public spaces (like movie theaters and shopping malls), and public transportation (like buses, metro, trains).
  • Are you or your travel companion(s) more likely to get severe illness if you get COVID-19?
    People at higher risk for severe disease are older adults and people of any age with serious chronic medical conditions (such as heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes). CDC recommends that travelers at higher risk for COVID-19 complications avoid all cruise travel and non-essential air travel.
  • Do you have a plan for taking time off from work or school, in case you are told to stay home for 14 days for self-monitoring or if you get sick with COVID-19?
    If you have close contact with someone with COVID-19 during travel, you may be asked to stay home to self-monitor and avoid contact with others for up to 14 days after travel. If you become sick with COVID-19, you may be unable to go to work or school until you’re considered noninfectious. You will be asked to avoid contact with others (including being in public places) during this period of infectiousness.
  • Do you live with someone who is older or has a serious, chronic medical condition?
    If you get sick with COVID-19 upon your return from travel, your household contacts may be at risk of infection. Household contacts who are older adults or persons of any age with severe chronic medical conditions are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
  • Is COVID-19 spreading where I live when I return from travel?
    Consider the risk of passing COVID-19 to others during travel, particularly if you will be in close contact with people who are older adults or have severe chronic health conditions. These people are at higher risk of getting very sick. If your symptoms are mild or you don’t have a fever, you may not realize you are infectious.

If you do decide to travel, be sure to take steps to help prevent getting and spreading COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases during travel. For the most up-to-date COVID-19 travel information, visit CDC COVID-19 Travel page.

Last updated 1:47 PM, March 22, 2020

What if my travel abroad is canceled? Can you give me some assistance in getting flight/travelers insurance?

For out of pocket expenses, we recommend purchasing air tickets that are refundable.  For trip insurance, we don’t offer specific recommendations, but travelers should be careful to look at the terms of the policy to see what the policy would actually cover and under what circumstances.

Posted on 6:44 PM, March 21, 2020

What if I already have upcoming university-related travel planned? Will I get reimbursed for what I already paid?

The university is currently working to gather more information.

Posted on 6:44 PM, March 21, 2020

What is university-related travel?

University-related travel refers to any travel by UW–Madison faculty, staff, and students that supports or advances the goals, objectives, and mission of the university and is conducted for a business purpose. It also refers to travel by non-employees arranged for a university business purpose using university funds or resources, unless specifically exempt according to university policy. A link to university travel policy can be found here.

Posted on 6:44 PM, March 21, 2020

How do I request essential travel during the travel restrictions?

Download and complete the Essential Travel Exemption Form and send to Dan Langer for final approval dan.langer@wisc.edu.

Posted on 6:44 PM, March 21, 2020

Are Madison Metro buses still running?

Effective Tuesday, March 24, customers are asked to board and exit buses using the rear doors. This new, required practice will continue until April 20, or until such other date as may be determined to address the COVID-19 medical emergency. Disabled customers in wheelchairs will continue to board at the front of buses. Fares will not be collected.

UW Campus’ Metro Bus routes 80 and 84 will continue on the recess schedule, while most Madison Metro routes will shift to abbreviated schedules starting Monday, March 23. Route 81 and 82 will not run.

Saturday bus schedules will be in effect all seven days of the week for routes 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 13, 16, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, 26, 30, 31, 32, 36, 40, 50, 51, 59, 63, 67, 68, 78.

In addition, Metro will operate routes 55, 75, 23, 72, 44, 48 and 49 Monday through Friday only.

Metro’s paratransit service will remain unchanged. Paratransit riders who are at high risk of severe illness are strongly encouraged to protect themselves and stay home if possible.

The dedicated on-campus accessible circulator shuttle will resume the regular semester schedule on Monday, March 23.

Metro will also be selectively increasing the number of buses on routes with high ridership in order to meet the demand while still maintaining a maximum capacity of 15 riders per bus.

Check the Madison Metro website for further details on which routes will run and their respective schedules.

Metro is limiting bus capacity to 15 people (including the driver) to allow for CDC recommended social distancing. Metro will also be selectively increasing the number of buses on routes with high ridership in order to meet the demand while still maintaining the set maximum capacity.

Last updated 10:03 AM, March 24, 2020

Visitors

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Are visitors allowed on campus?

People should avoid visiting campus as much as possible to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Campus is currently open to essential personnel only. Access to campus buildings is restricted as of Monday, March 23 to consolidate essential services, maintain security, and support social distancing for essential staff still working on campus.

Please check the campus operational overview for cancelations and changes. All campus tours through UW Campus and Visitor Relations and the Office of Admissions and Recruitment are canceled and will resume May 15.

Last updated 1:44 PM, March 22, 2020

Voting and census

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Where should I vote?

Due to the various impacts of COVID-19, you may need to change your voting plans for the April 7 primary.

All voters in Wisconsin can request an absentee ballot be mailed to them for any reason. Voters must be registered before they can request an absentee ballot.  Voters may request their absentee ballot in writing.  To request an absentee, go to: https://myvote.wi.gov/en-us/VoteAbsentee. You must provide a photo ID with your absentee ballot request; more information on photo ID can be found here.

Visit vote.wisc.edu for the latest information.

Last updated 1:41 PM, March 22, 2020

I need the free voter ID. How can I get it?

To request a voter ID via email, email wiscard_id@union.wisc.edu from your wisc.edu email address. Put “Voter ID Needed” in the subject line and include a photo of your Wiscard. The deadline for request is Monday, April 6.

Last updated 3:20 PM, March 31, 2020

Where and how should I fill out the census?

Despite the disruption of campus life due to COVID-19, UW–Madison students should still be aware of the need to fill out the 2020 census forms at their campus address.

To participate online, visit https://2020census.gov/. The U.S. Census Bureau has also put together this video to help you fill out your census form.

Off-campus residents should have received census notifications via U.S. Mail starting March 12–20. Everyone living in the household (e.g. apartment) should be included on the form.

Campus housing residents will receive further instructions from University Housing regarding how to participate in the census.

With UW–Madison’s transition to alternative instruction and asking students to vacate UW residence halls, many students will be away from Madison for the remainder of the semester. It is important that students are counted for the census at their Madison-area address, since it is where they live most of the year, and not at their permanent address.

Last updated 11:54 AM, March 25, 2020