UW-Madison shuts down in-person classes, campus facilities for two weeks after COVID-19 spike

Abraham Lincoln Statue On University Of Wisconsin Campus, Madison, Wisconsin. (Photo by Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

UW-Madison is shutting down all in-person gatherings, in-person classes, many campus facilities and quarantining two dormitories until Sept. 25, the University announced Wednesday night.

All in-person undergraduate, graduate and professional school classes will be paused from Sept. 10 to the 25. Classes between Thursday and Saturday will be cancelled and will resume remotely Monday, Sept. 14 for at least two weeks. Some clinical training will be permitted to continue in person.

The University says the positive test rate among students continues to rise “far too rapidly.” The rate has been 20 percent or greater for the past two days.

All in-person gatherings, including all social events and work gatherings of more than 10 people are cancelled.

The latest numbers show a sharp increase in some residence halls, too. Sellery and Witte Residence Halls have been put in quarantine for two weeks effective at 10 p.m. Wednesday. Students in those residences will be required to be tested Thursday and Friday by University Health Services.

Students are not being asked to move out of the residence halls or leave town, the University said. CDC guidance suggests that students should not travel home during this two-week period.

Along with the in-person shutdown, the University is also closing all in-person study spaces including the library, the Wisconsin Union and all academic buildings.

Dining services will shift to carry out only for housing residents and staff.

All recreation facilities will be closed and University Health Services are only open for urgent care needs by appointment only.

“I share the disappointment and frustration of students and employees who had hoped we might enjoy these first few weeks of the academic year together,” said Chancellor Rebecca Blank. “Before we started this semester, we knew that no plan would be risk-free in the current environment.”