UWO implements changes to quarantine; other COVID-19 updates

UWOPD Chief Kurt Leibold | December 7, 2020

 

Dear University community, 

As we head toward the end of fall semester, we have good news to report. 

So far, it appears your diligence and attention to health and safety have helped our UWO campuses avoid a spike in COVID-19 cases following the Thanksgiving break. We expect in-person classes to continue through the semester. 

And in other good news, beginning today, Dec. 7, UWO will shorten quarantine periods in line with new recommendations from the CDC and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. These changes apply to those who are considered close contacts of someone who has the virus. This handout from Fond du Lac County Public Health provides additional information.  

While it remains safest to quarantine for 14 days following potential exposure to the virus, the CDC has determined that those who do not have symptoms may be released from quarantine after 10 days without a negative test; or those without symptoms may be released from quarantine after 7 days if they have received a negative test within the 48 hours prior to their release.  

The guidelines take into consideration “emerging scientific evidence” and recognize that a full 14-day quarantine period is difficult for some state residents, according to the Wisconsin DHS. 

It is important to continue to monitor for symptoms for the full 14 days. If symptoms develop following the end of quarantineyou are advised to immediately isolate and contact Albee to schedule a COVID-19 test. 

Students currently in quarantine in Gruenhagen on the Oshkosh campus will be contacted and advised how the new guidelines impact their quarantine period. Students asked to quarantine will be provided with detailed information on the 7, 10 and 14-day requirements. 

Odds and ends 

  • Testing at Albee will continue over winter break and interim. Hours will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday through Dec. 18. Holiday hours are 8 a.m. to noon, Dec. 21 to 23 and Dec. 28 to 30. The center will close Dec. 24, 25, 31 and Jan. 1 and reopen Jan. 4, hours to be determined. Please check the Titans Return website for the latest information on testing center hours. When you return to campus after break, please schedule a test at Albee. 
  • The Culver testing center is expected to remain open through the middle of January. Regular hours, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., are in place through Dec. 18. Holiday hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 19 and 20; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 21 to 23; closed Dec. 24 to Jan. 3; reopening 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. beginning Jan. 4. 
  • We will have a mix of in-person and online classes during winter interim. The beginning of spring semester will look very similar to fall. Our Emergency Operations Committee will continue to evaluate the impact of COVID-19 in our region and the availability of vaccine to determine if we can open more in-person classes and activities during spring semester.  
  • While some campuses have canceled or moved spring break, UWO’s spring break will take place as planned: March 21 to 28. 

Early in the summer we didn’t know if we would be able to open for in-person classes in the fall. Even as we crafted a plan driving us toward that goal, we offered contingencies and flexibility. We moved forward and opened following a solid plan centered on robust testing, contact tracing, disease investigation and, most importantly, adoption of three things: wearing a mask, washing your hands and watching your distance. Now is not the time to let down your guard. If you travel over winter break, continue to practice these safe behaviors. Don’t bring the virus back to campus. 

Be proud of everything you have done to help the University make it this far. Your strength and courage, your ability to weather this pandemic have been the example we all need right now. 

UWO Police Chief Kurt Leibold