MILWAUKEE - A coronavirus outbreak prompted the University of Wisconsin-Madison to temporarily and temporarily and abruptly cancel in-person classes. The development has come university students in Milwaukee concerned and bracing for the worst.
Many students are already taking most of their classes online, but remain worried about how quickly things could change in a year already filled with the unexpected.
A big change at UW-Madison is hitting close to home for college students in Milwaukee.
"Somewhere that's so close and is using a similar COVID process as we are. I think people are kind of taking this a little more seriously," said Olivia Olson, a junior at UW-Milwaukee.
Students said they try their best to be cautious about the coronavirus as some take in-person classes.
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
"A lot of us have given up so much to come to school," Olson said. "For some of us, they would be way more affected than others. It would be absolutely heartbreaking."
UW-Milwaukee officials said, although they do not currently plan on any changes to the mix of in-person and online classes, they are monitoring the situation daily and are prepared to make adjustments. The latest numbers show 17 students testing positive at the university in the last three days.
"I guess we're just kind of nervous this is going to happen, like whether we're going to go home or not," John Rogh, a UW-Milwaukee freshman, said.
UW-Madison is the latest university to end in-person instruction from now through Sept. 25. Some students there are having to quarantine in residence halls.
State Rep. Barbara Dittrich questioned the university's safety practices and demands a full refund for UW-Madison students, saying: "To do otherwise would mean committing a fraud upon those who have turned to our state universities in pursuit of a quality education."
Officials in Milwaukee County said, for now, numbers are trending in the right direction locally.
"If we see something, we will take whatever steps are necessary," Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said.
Students on campus who spoke with FOX6 News said that they are preparing to take a mandatory COVID-19 test within the next two weeks, but are fairly confident that people have been following best safety practices.