UW-Stevens Point prepares for Monkeypox ahead of the school year

Because monkeypox has visible signs and it is spread by skin to skin contact, it is not expected to be as bad
Published: Aug. 24, 2022 at 6:16 PM CDT
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STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAW) - As the start of the school year gets closer, UW-Stevens Point is working with the UW system and the health department to monitor Monkeypox cases.

UW-La Crosse is already facing challenges of having Monkeypox on campus. Currently, there are no confirmed cases of Monkeypox on UWSP campus but staff are aware that could change.

“Through my office and the university we’re monitoring the situation,” said Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Al Thompson.

Thompson said the University relies heavily on the health department to guide them and he thinks staff are prepared.

“I think we’re prepared for Monkeypox. If the numbers were to start to rise or increase to a significant number we are ready for that,” said Thompson.

Thompson said staff will mirror precautions they had for COVID-19 response if Monkeypox does become an issue on campus.

“After two and a half years I think we’re ready for pretty much anything,” said Thompson.

Thompson said he doesn’t think Monkeypox will require the same intense response as the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s not as contagious, it’s not even as close to being as contagious as COVID,” said Thompson.

Thompson said Monkeypox is a much lower risk to students. He added, because symptoms are visible he doesn’t think they’ll spread as easily.

“Skin to skin contact at a level that will provide an infectious state,” said Thompson.

If infections do rise this school year, Thompson believes students who have it will need to return home to quarantine.

“Because of a longer quarantine period of four weeks, so they would probably need to go home because we don’t have that type of space but we will work with the student,” said Thompson.

Thompson said they’ll work with each student to help them determine what’s best for them if they do find themselves in that situation.

UW-Stevens Point has already sent out information to students ahead of the school year to help them learn about how to limit the spread.