MILWAUKEE -- At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Tuesday, March 10, officials announced an employee of the UWM Foundation was tested Monday, March 9 for coronavirus at a Milwaukee-area hospital. The results of that test would not be available until the end of the week, officials said.
A news release from UWM said the employee became ill after contact with someone who went to a country with the Level 3 warning. The employee works in a UWM Foundation office connected to the Cambridge Commons residence hall.
"We've notified individuals in that area," said Chanellor Mark Mone. "They're not working in that area of campus. We're going through a disinfecting routine."
Chancellor Mone noted an ongoing public health campaign on campus to raise awareness about good hygiene practices and steps students should take to protect their health. He said additional information would be provided to students at Cambridge Commons as needed.
Spring break extended
Additionally, UWM officials announced the extension of spring break -- March 15 to March 29. After spring break, officials said "UWM is preparing to move the majority of its classes for all three campuses online." UWM officials stressed all classes would be held as scheduled until March 15.
"We're going to extend that to the 29th of March so that UWM can prepare to move the majority of its classes online following that extended spring break," said Chancellor Mone.
UWM travel guidelines
UWM officials in the release offered these updated travel guidelines:
- All university-sponsored travel for students is canceled for the remainder of the semester. Students already overseas with study abroad programs in countries that do not have Level 3 warnings should consult with UWM study abroad administrators on whether to stay in place or return home.
- University employees may not engage in university-sponsored travel to areas severely impacted by coronavirus, which currently include China, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Japan, South Korea, and Spain. Employees who independently travel to those areas must self-quarantine for 14 days before returning to UWM.
- In addition, UWM strongly discourages students, faculty, and staff from non-essential travel outside of Wisconsin through the end of the semester. Those who do travel will be expected to self-monitor for coronavirus symptoms, which include fever, cough and difficulty breathing, for 14 days.
Students, university leaders respond
"I think they did a really good job acting as soon as they found something out, and taking a lot of steps to ensure this doesn't spread here in Milwaukee, and at the university," said Eli Licht, UWM student. "Pretty great we got an extra week of spring break, but the transition to online classes may be a little difficult."
"If you go online, it's actually a smart move because you minimize social mobility of students," said Johannes Britz, UWM provost.
"I think it'll be OK," said Janey Weber, UWM student. "You just have to stay safe and everything."
CLICK HERE for more via UWM's coronavirus website.