Gathering Limits And Testing – 11.20.20

Dear Badger Parents and Families,

Below is a message that your students received today from Jake Baggott, Executive Director of University Health Services, on gathering limits and testing availability.

As cases continue to increase rapidly across the United States, the CDC advises that the safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving is at home with the people you live with. Close contact with individuals outside of your household increases the risk of becoming sick.

When considering if your student will travel, it’s important to think about how much contact they will have with people they don’t live with prior to departure and during travel, as well as what your student’s plan is after the Thanksgiving recess. For those students who choose to travel, we ask that they do not return to Madison until spring semester. For those who need to stay in Madison until the end of the fall semester, we ask that those students do not travel for the Thanksgiving recess.

Read more from Dr. Patrick Kelly and Dr. Sarah Nolan on holiday travel in this parent and family Q&A sent earlier this week. You can also find the latest on the UHS website.

Thank you,
Stephanie and Monica
UW-Madison Parent and Family Program


The number of COVID-19 infections continues to rapidly increase in Wisconsin and Dane County. I’m emailing today with the latest updates from UW–Madison ahead of Thanksgiving recess so you can plan ahead to keep yourself and your family healthy and safe.

As a reminder, if you’re planning to travel for Thanksgiving recess, we strongly urge you not to return to Madison. If you need to finish the fall semester in Madison or if you have symptoms, are in isolation or quarantine, please don’t travel.

City enforcing fines for gatherings

Off-campus indoor gatherings with those outside your own household are now prohibited in Dane County. This applies to upcoming football Saturdays, as well as holiday gatherings with friends next week. Outdoor gatherings are limited to 10 or fewer. If you violate this public health order, you may be subject to a large fine.

COVID tests booking quickly

With many students seeking testing, on-campus appointments are limited for the next several days. Rapid antigen test appointments are still available, but it is important to confirm positive rapid tests with a PCR test. Keep in mind that no amount of testing can make close contact with people outside your current household safe — only two weeks of strictly limiting your activities can do that.

You can find up-to-date testing information and travel guidance at If you cannot make your scheduled appointment, please cancel so someone else can take your spot.

I’m proud of the way our campus community has put its values into action this semester to keep the spread of the virus largely contained. Thank you for all you are doing to keep our campus – and your loved ones – safe.

Jake Baggott
Executive Director, University Health Services
Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs