University of Wisconsin-Madison moves to remote classes, quarantines students after more than 1,000 test positive for COVID-19

MADISON, Wis. -- The University of Wisconsin-Madison is moving all classes online and quarantining students in two of its largest dorms as it deals with rising cases of COVID-19.

According to UW-Madison data, 1,044 students and 26 employees have tested positive for the virus since Aug. 6.

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi demanded that the university close undergraduate dorms to contain the coronavirus.

Parisi sent UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank and UW System President Tommy Thompson a letter on Wednesday saying at least 74% of Dane County's cases since Sept. 1 have been traced to UW-Madison and the school should immediately force undergraduates living on campus to go home and quarantine there for two weeks before resuming classes online.

In response, Blank said that the university has beefed up testing capacity and contact tracing, and is monitoring the situation. Blank also ordered the 2,230 residents living in Sellery Hall and Witte Hall to quarantine for 14 days.

Coronavirus Wisconsin: COVID-19 cases increase by 857; 15 additional deaths

Colleges across the country have been grappling with outbreaks in recent weeks after choosing to return to in-person instruction, but system President Tommy Thompson insisted on opening campuses this fall despite the warning signs.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported 857 new coronavirus cases Wednesday, with 15 additional deaths. That brings the total to 83,334 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 1,183 deaths in the state.
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