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UW will require weekly testing for unvaccinated students, staff


Beginning August 30, University of Wisconsin-Madison staff and students must provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination or be tested once a week, according to an email sent to staff and students Wednesday.

The email says those who are required to test weekly and fail to do so “will be held accountable,” but does not specify potential consequences.

“As the university has done throughout the pandemic, we’re adapting our approach as needed to respond to changes in COVID-19 activity,” the email reads. “The continuing high rate of infection due to the delta variant makes this expanded testing requirement necessary. We continue to plan for a fall semester of in-person classes and other activity. The high levels of vaccination on campus, along with required masking and testing for those who are unvaccinated, should allow us to have a more normal semester than last fall.”

UW will continue to require masks indoors. Additionally, University Health Services will offer a third vaccine shot to immunocompromised students who have already received two doses of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

“Research on COVID-19 at UW–Madison in fall 2020 has found that infections spread primarily through higher-risk social activities, such as off-campus parties and bars, rather than through academic activities, like classroom instruction and research, where masks were required,” the email says. “The best way to ensure an academic year with as much in-person activity and as little disruption as possible is to get vaccinated and to mask up indoors. And if you feel sick, get tested and stay home.”