01STOCK_UW-WHITEWATER02

WHITEWATER

UW-Whitewater released numbers Friday that illustrate what the school had to do, from testing to vaccines, to finish a school year during the coronavirus pandemic.

As of Friday, the university conducted almost 80,000 COVID-19 tests, according to a news release. Most of those—about 55,000—came from tests for students, faculty and staff as the university had requirements for testing this year.

The other roughly 25,000 tests came from testing sites for the surrounding community.

UW-W Police Chief Matt Kiederlen, who was in charge of the university’s COVID-19 response, pointed to the university’s positive percentage for antigen tests, which was most recently at 0.6%.

UW-W’s figure for its PCR tests, which typically come as a secondary test after the “rapid” antigen test, was 15.2%, according to the university’s dashboard that was last updated May 11.

“Robust COVID-19 testing helped keep case numbers down,” Kiederlen said in the release. “When you combine that with mask wearing, social distancing and adjusted room capacities, it allowed us to safely offer more in-person experiences this year.”

On vaccines, university projections show officials there will have given out about 1,800 doses of COVID-19 vaccine as of this Thursday, May 20. That figure includes Pfizer, Moderna and the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Julie Martindale, director of health services at UW-W, also said in the release that 196 of the 1,800 doses were given to community members.

“When supply arrived, we quickly and efficiently distributed vaccines on campus,” she said.

Additionally, the university’s COVID-19 office and hotline responded to 13,000 phone calls and emails, according to the university. Contact tracers helped more than 3,000 people at the university.

UW-W held its graduation this past weekend. Officials are hoping the fall semester will be much more like a “normal” semester.

“We’re looking forward to in-person classes as they were pre-pandemic, residence halls as they were pre-pandemic with extended move-in processes, along with dining halls, athletics, arts and other expected activities,” Chancellor Dwight Watson said in the release.

But Watson added UW-W might have to make some “modifications” based on virus trends.

“We do not yet know what, if any, modifications will remain in place as we return in the fall,” he said. “Just as our protocols under COVID-19 have been based on county, state and federal health department guidelines, our path to a safe fall 2021 will continue to be based on this guidance.”

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