UW-Madison students scramble for supplies as two-week quarantine begins

MADISON (WKOW) -- A stream of students with bags full of snacks and packs of water filed out of the Fresh Madison Market Wednesday night. As of 10 p.m., residents of Witte and Sellery Halls were to quarantine in place for the next two weeks per an order from Chancellor Rebecca Blank.

UW-Madison officials announced Wednesday night they are pausing all in-person classed through Sunday; they'll resume Monday on an entirely virtual basis for at least the next two weeks.

The decision came on the same day Dane County Executive Joe Parisi asked UW-Madison to consider sending home students who live in residence halls. Public Health Madison & Dane County said given the recent spike in cases connected to downtown or the university, anyone who lives or works downtown should assume they've been exposed to COVID-19.

In Wednesday night's announcement, Chancellor Rebecca Blank cited a positive test rate that has exceeded 20 percent on campus in each of the last two days.

As the deadline to quarantine in place approached, students described the situation as hectic with a lot of questions they were hoping the university would soon answer.

"It's been crazy. and it's really panic inducing knowing you're not going to get fresh air for two weeks," said freshman Natalie Meath, who's from Minnesota. "Wondering how you're going to get stuff you need like medications and stuff like that."

An email specifically sent to residents of Witte and Sellery laid out the meal delivery windows for residents. It encouraged them to let the university know of any dietary restrictions they have.

The letter warned that students who leave their residence hall between Wednesday night and September 23 will not be allowed back into their dorm. Meath said her roommate and others in her building chose instead to pack up and go home for the next two weeks or until the quarantine ends.

Meath and other students said the guidance from the university did not immediately clarify what they should do for doctor's appointments or if they have technical problems with classes moving entirely online for the next two weeks.

Other students said while the quarantine will be challenging, they would be willing to stick it out if it means they get to stay on campus. Throughout the week, they've grown increasingly concerned the university will inevitably close the campus and send them home.

"I was hoping this was a worst case scenario but I'm glad they're taking steps, even though everything escalated very quickly," said freshman Madison Norman, who's from Maryland. "But they're taking steps to be safe and to minimize cases as there are."

More at WKOW 27 News

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content