COVID-19: Quarantine, isolation, boosters, testing, masks
UW Oshkosh Police Chief Kurt Leibold | January 4, 2022
Dear University community,
COVID-19 cases are increasing in our region and we are seeing more positive cases through on-campus testing. This was expected. We also expect an increase in the ratio of positive cases to total tests because we have limited on-campus testing to students and employees who are symptomatic. We are no longer conducting surveillance testing.
Now more than ever it is important to get vaccinated/get a booster and to wear, particularly in most indoor settings, an N95 or KN95 mask that fits firmly over your nose and mouth. If you need an N95 mask, stop by the Oshkosh campus testing center at Albee 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. If you are exposed to COVID, start wearing a mask until you test negative. If you test positive it is important for you to notify your close contacts. Health agencies are overwhelmed with cases and we must take responsibility to protect ourselves and notify others of possible exposure.
Masks remain required on campus (with exceptions noted below). You can find the updated chancellor’s orders on the Titans Return website. The orders that detail UWO’s COVID-19 protocols have been extended through March 31.
We are not changing our course delivery at this time. Fewer people are on campus during interim and face-to-face classes will continue. We will monitor conditions in our communities and on our campuses and, in consultation with health agencies, make adjustments as needed. Please continue to check your email for these updates.
Isolation and quarantine
If you test positive for COVID-19 the isolation period is reduced to 5 days if you are asymptomatic or your symptoms have largely resolved by the fifth day. You must follow that 5-day period with wearing a mask for 5 days when around others. This change is driven by science that shows the majority of COVID-19 transmission occurs in the 1-2 days prior to onset of symptoms and 2-3 days thereafter, according to the CDC.
The CDC may alter this recommendation to include the need for a negative test before leaving isolation. We will continue to monitor CDC and Wisconsin Department of Health Services information and alter our on-campus procedures if changes are made.
The quarantine period if you are exposed to COVID-19 and unvaccinated or are more than 6 months out from your second COVID-19 vaccination (or two months after J&J) and not yet boosted, is 5 days followed by 5 days of mask use. If quarantine is not possible, the exposed individual should wear a mask at all times when around others for 10 days after exposure.
If you have received a booster shot you do not need to quarantine following an exposure, but you should wear a mask for 10 days after exposure, according to the CDC.
A COVID-19 test also is recommended for everyone 2-5 days after exposure. If symptoms develop, immediately quarantine until a negative test confirms symptoms are not due to COVID-19.
Vaccination and testing on campus
- Free COVID vaccination and booster shots, as well as flu shots, are available at Albee Hall, Oshkosh Campus: 9 a.m. to noon, Mondays through Fridays.
- Flu shots are available at Student Health Services, Radford Hall, Oshkosh campus.
- Weekly COVID-19 surveillance testing of unvaccinated Oshkosh residence hall students is no longer required.
- Testing is available at Albee for symptomatic faculty, staff and students and close contacts of those diagnosed with COVID: 9 a.m. to noon, Mondays through Fridays.
At-home tests are available at area drug stores. You can also help protect yourself by upgrading your mask to an N95 of KN95. If you are on campus over interim stop by Albee (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) to pick up a free N95 mask. Masks remain required in all campus buildings and classrooms. (Masks are not required in recreational facilities, Polk Library, and certain areas of Oshkosh campus residence halls – except masks are required in classrooms and office areas of these facilities).
We are expecting and have prepared for a surge in cases over the next few weeks. We will monitor this closely and keep you updated often. Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself from serious illness and to help prevent you from spreading COVID to others. Take advantage of the vaccination opportunities available to you. To find a provider near you, visit the CDC site.
UWO Police Chief