MADISON — University of Wisconsin-Madison students who fail to get a COVID test now are being locked out of enrolling for the fall semester.
Sources tell Empower Wisconsin the university’s Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards has placed holds on student records who are non-compliant.
One source with knowledge of the situation first reached out to conservative talk show host Vicki McKenna. Empower Wisconsin followed up and confirmed the claims with university officials.
“Unfortunately, a small percentage of students have repeatedly failed to complete their weekly required testing and after multiple warnings, they are now facing additional consequences,” Meredith McGlone, UW-Madison’s director of News and Media Relations, said in an email to Empower Wisconsin.
Approximately 305 university students currently have or will have holds placed on their enrollment, the spokeswoman said. They will not be able to enroll in classes for fall 2021 until they contact the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards.
“Now that enrollment is occurring the conduct staff have been hearing from more students,” McGlone said. “They are working out these situations with students and removing enrollment holds as the student comes into compliance.”
Why the heavy hand? McGlone said the university is seeing cases beginning to rise on campus and in the community and “highly contagious variants becoming more common.”
According to Public Health Madison Dane County, the 14-day average of daily cases (measured late last week) was 59, up from 47, the previous week. Health officials say 11 percent of the cases were UW students or staff, with 67 percent of tests conducted by University Health Services. Excluding cases from the university, Dane County was at a low positivity rate of 2.5 percent, the health department reports.
“It’s critical that we all take steps now to control the spread so we don’t experience another surge in illnesses and deaths,” McGlone said.