UW-Milwaukee students planning to go home for Thanksgiving will have to pass two COVID-19 tests to be allowed to return to the classrooms.
Many say this news won’t cause them to change their plans to return home this Thanksgiving. For many, it’s the first time they will be going home since the semester began and they will be traveling all throughout the state. There have been 87 new cases reported on campus this week alone.
Hoping to pass a coronavirus test has become as routine to UWM students as preparing for exams.
“It takes only a few minutes to get tested," UWM freshman Kaylee Buckwalter said. “I think it that it’s concerning how big our numbers are getting and I’m glad that the university is putting in the effort to keep our numbers lower.”
Now ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, students wishing to leave campus will need to be tested a few more times, once before leaving and twice when they return. They will need to pass a test before returning to class.
“I think the school is handling it really well," UWM freshman Josette Bavlnka said.
She is headed to Janesville for the holiday.
“I feel like I’m safe because I’ve taken the test a lot and they have all come back negative," Bavlnka said. “I don’t mind taking the test. I’ve had to do them a few times so it doesn’t bother me.”
University officials say they are using “rapid antigen testing” which allows them to test a larger population more frequently with faster results.
UWM’s campus is the first in the nation to use this kind of testing on a large population, according to university officials.
“I think it’s a really good idea as far as general public safety," Buckwalter said.
Some students say the frequent testing gives them peace of mind.
“I am worried about the increasing numbers and how fast it’s growing," she said.
Kaylee Buckwalter will head home to Waunakee after contracting COVID-19 last month.
“I was immediately placed into isolation and the university handled it very well, particularly university housing, so I think it’s really smart that they’re taking into consideration for our families and those around us," she said.
The FDA warns that because the “rapid antigen” type of testing is new, we do not know exactly how accurate it is and that sometimes it is known to show false negatives or positives, but university officials say still, it still has been helpful testing a large population with much faster results.