Multiple students returning from spring break tested positive for COVID-19, leading the University of Wisconsin to impose quarantine measures on returning students.
University Health Services Interim Medical Director Patrick Kelly unveiled UW’s new measures in a campus-wide email. Kelly’s message instructed all students who traveled over spring break to observe a 14-day quarantine, regardless of whether they are experiencing symptoms of the virus.
“You should not report to work nor should you travel to a different location; remain at your current location,” Kelly wrote.
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The message included linked instructions on how to self-quarantine. According to the email, the guidelines are intended to restrict travel to essential needs, such as purchasing groceries or picking up medication.
UW asked all those experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, regardless of travel, to follow a series of self-isolation rules. Those who contract the virus will experience fatigue, cough, fever and shortness of breath, but other possible symptoms include sore throat, runny nose, nausea or headache.
According to a WKOW News report, the students who tested positive for COVID-19 were members of fraternities and sororities on a senior spring break trip that began in Nashville, Tennessee and ended in Gulf Shores, Alabama.
As of March 30 — according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services — 1,221 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Wisconsin, including 183 in Dane County. There have been at least 14 deaths. Due to limited testing, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases does not reflect the true number of infected Wisconsinites.
Currently, the Wisconsin DHS’s public labs are only testing samples falling into the highest two tiers of their testing hierarchy, which include samples from those hospitalized with unexplained fevers and lower respiratory tract illnesses, as well as healthcare workers and correctional officers displaying similar unexplained symptoms.
Wisconsin DHS data indicates men and women in their twenties account for 13% of all positive tests.