7% of entire UW-Madison student body has already tested positive for COVID-19

Nearly 9 in 10 UW students with COVID-19 report feeling ill
Published: Sep. 16, 2020 at 11:11 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Even though not every University of Wisconsin-Madison student has been tested for COVID-19, at least seven percent of the entire student body has already tested positive for the virus, new Dane Co. numbers show.

The numbers find 2,160 UW Madison students have tested positive for coronavirus so far, out of 31,185 total students. The Dane Co. Executive’s Office noted that a “vast majority” of those cases were found in undergraduate students who recently moved to Madison.

The public health department also notes among the UW students who were infected nearly 9 in 10 of them, or 88.3 percent, report experiencing a varying degree of symptoms of illness.

“There are a lot of theories about what Covid-19 is and isn’t, but the science and data from these cases on the UW-Madison campus shows most people who get it, get sick,” Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said. Parisi, who has a child who is a senior at UW, added he understands how much parents and students alike are concerned about the spread of COVID-19 on college campuses.

His office noted that five in ten of the counties with the highest case rates are also home to a college or university.

As far as contact tracing goes, Public Health Madison & Dane Co. along with University Health Services have tried reaching out to nearly 4,000 people to conduct interviews between July 28 and September 14. Since then, they have talked to 3,590 people and haven’t made contact with the other ten percent. Parisi went on to describe timely tracing as necessary to identify and isolate the illness.

"It’s incredibly helpful not only for yourself, but also those you care about, work with, and even take care of to have an honest conversation with a contact tracer. Not doing so just prolongs the misery of this pandemic for all of us,” Parisi concluded.

Copyright 2020 WMTV. All rights reserved.

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