UW System to receive $32 million to help test students for COVID-19

The UW System and UW-Madison will receive another $32 million in CARES Act money to help the system test students when the school year begins.
Published: Aug. 6, 2020 at 11:49 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The UW System and UW-Madison will receive another $32 million in CARES Act money to help the system test 350,000 students when the school year begins.

According to Gov. Tony Evers’ Office, $24 million will go towards helping campuses test students, those who have had close contact with symptomatic students, and students living in residence halls. That includes purchasing 276,000 tests, 246,000 of which will be allocated to campuses and 30,000 of which will be held in reserve.

The $32 million comes in addition to the $18.9 million the governor allocated from CARES Act money to UW System campuses and the $95.6 million UW System institutions received directly through the CARES Act.

Excluding UW-Madison, it will allow for:

  • Testing of up to 34,000 students who show COVID-19 symptoms, similar to tests now being administered in medical and community settings. Approximately 28,000 tests will be distributed to universities and about 6,000 will be held in reserve by the UW System for future allocation.
  • An additional 317,000 tests for students living in residence halls, given every two weeks with a rapid turnaround of results, and for close contacts of symptomatic students.
  • Optional flu testing.
  • Up to 52 staff located at the universities to assist with testing.

“Funding from the governor’s office and the federal government will help us provide the kind of testing we need at our universities when students return this fall,” said UW System President Tommy Thompson in a release. “Students and families can be confident in this testing program.”

UW-Madison will also receive $8.3 million from Wisconsin’s CARES Act allocation for testing, equipment, staff, and personal protective equipment, according to the governor’s office. That money will help UW-Madison purchase 134,000 tests.

“As campuses across the UW System prepare to have students return to campus, it is critically important that every campus has the resources it needs to help keep our students safe,” Gov. Evers said in a release Thursday. “The COVID-19 pandemic brings great uncertainty and having robust testing efforts is one of the most important tools we have to help box in this virus and make sure our students stay healthy and safe.”

The UW System has about 170,000 students.

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