University of Wisconsin-Madison health services reported 75 positive COVID-19 tests among students Thursday, the highest number of confirmed cases in a single day yet this semester. The previous high was 65 cases one Sept. 16, a week after fall semester began.
Students are also currently unable to schedule appointments to get tested for COVID-19 through University Health Services until this upcoming monday, Dec. 20.
Some students have raised concerns regarding the lack of available testing through UHS in light of the increase of cases on campus, particularly in relation to the Fall of 2021 graduation ceremony which is scheduled to take place on Dec 19.
Will Cioci, a fully vaccinated UW-Madison senior and past Cardinal staffer who graduates this upcoming Sunday, told the Cardinal he is skeptical regarding whether he will attend the event as a result of potentially being exposed to the virus.
“I’m planning on not going [to graduation] at this point,” Cioci said. “If I could get a PCR test that came back negative at this point then maybe I’d go, but as of right now, I've been exposed and I’d be going to [graduation] just a few days after I’ve been exposed.”
Cioci also voiced his confusion that UHS had not made accomodations for increased testing efforts prior to the in-person graduation ceremony taking place this weekend.
“I graduate on Sunday, but UHS had no available appointments until Monday morning,” Cioci added. “It just seems really odd that right before you have a ceremony where you know you’re going to have a bunch of people gathering in one place at a university event that you wouldn't have tests available for that.”
Off-campus testing facilities associated with Public Health Madison & Dane County are still scheduling appointments prior to Sunday's graduation.
The University did not respond to requests for comment.
Currently, over 95% of the students attending UW-Madison have been vaccinated for COVID-19.
Dane County reported more than 400 confirmed cases of COVID-19 this Thursday, the most positive cases since September. According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, the average number of positive COVID-19 tests per week in Dane County since September is 289.