The University of Wisconsin will continue the current hybrid model of instruction into the spring semester, the university announced in a statement today.

Emulating the current instruction in place for the fall semester, UW will offer a mix of in-person and virtual classes for the spring semester.

Courses with 50 or more students enrolled will be held remotely. Smaller courses will be held in large classroom spaces to provide proper physical distancing.

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The announcement comes as the Madison Common Council rejected a resolution that would call on the university to move classes online. Some UW students and student organizations continue to push for amendments to the university’s fall semester Smart Restart plan.

The statement also announced the expansion of COVID-19 testing on campus for the spring semester. Under the new testing policy, all students and faculty who live on campus, attend classes or use campus spaces will be required to get tested twice a week.

Currently, weekly testing is only required for students living in residence halls and student workers for student housing or dining. Students who live off-campus can choose whether or not to get tested, which will now change under the new rule.

UW Chancellor Rebecca Blank said in the statement she is pleased the university will be expanding its testing.

“This will help us identify any students or staff who are ill much more quickly,” Blank said in the statement.

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The spring semester will start on Jan. 25 — about one week later than usual — after an extended winter break.  The semester’s classes will end on April 30 and the exam period will end on May 7.

Spring 2021 course schedules are set to open for enrollment in early December, according to the statement. Students will receive more information about the scheduling process in November.

UW Provost Karl Scholz said in the statement the university continues to track every campus-related COVID-19 case and there has been no evidence of spread from students to staff in classrooms or labs, so far.

“I continue to feel strongly that face-to-face instruction, with stringent safety protocols, provides an invaluable learning opportunity for students and instructors who choose that option,” Scholz said in the statement.

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UW residence halls will open for the spring semester Jan. 23, including availability options for students who chose to study away from Madison in the fall semester that wish to study on-campus in the spring.

According to the UW Smart Restart Dashboard, the percent positive rate on campus for students was 1.4% today, and the 7-day percent positive rate is 1.0%.