26 Aug UW launches public COVID test database, hires 35 contact tracers
The University of Wisconsin-Madison is now publicly tracking COVID-19 test results daily on a new website, as it begins welcoming students back to campus and prepares for in-person instruction.
The COVID-19 dashboard, launched Wednesday, includes data on both total and positive tests, as well as percentages of positive tests among both students and employees. It will be updated daily at 2 p.m.
With classes set to begin Sept. 2, the university plans to administer about 8,000 tests during move-in week, more than the prediction of 6,000 tests weekly throughout the semester. All students moving into a residence hall are required to be tested and will continue to do so on a regular basis.
Positive results for student on-campus tests — which first started Aug. 6 — have been about 1.6%, similar to Dane County numbers. In a blog post Wednesday, Chancellor Rebecca Blank said the increase in testing will identify yield more positive cases in the short term, especially as students return from their permanent addresses.
“But this also means that we are identifying and isolating positive cases before they have a chance to spread,” Blank wrote. “We are prepared for up and down movements in positivity rates from week to week as our semester progresses, as we’ve seen in local and statewide tracking of other test positivity rates.”