COVID-19 Policies On Campus

This fall, the University of Wisconsin-Platteville developed a new Fall Policies of 2020 Handbook in response to the COVID-19 virus.
Some policies for students include quarantining for 14 days after known exposure to a positive case, social distancing at six feet and wearing masks while inside campus buildings.
As of Oct. 19, UW-Platteville’s active cases, referring to the people in a 10-day window after they received a positive test, were at 23, according to the campus COVID-19 dashboard.
Paul Erickson, the university’s public communications officer and a member of the campus COVID response team, said, “so far these cases have been manageable.”
Students who test positive for COVID-19 are required to isolate in UW-Platteville’s isolation center, Hugunin Hall. The roommates of those who test positive are asked to quarantine for 14 days.
Testing is recommended but not required for students with known exposure, which is a different approach than other UW campuses, such as UW-Oshkosh, which requires on-campus students to be tested once a week according to the UW-Oshkosh’s University updates found on their campus website.
Regarding UW-Platteville’s lack of mandatory testing on campus, Erickson said, “We have great trust in our students.”
At UW-Platteville, students are encouraged to get tested twice a month at UW-Platteville. However, if the university does not see enough students routinely getting tested, Erickson mentioned the possibility of having mandatory tests.
Although the Pioneer Promise, a contract signed by students at the beginning of the fall semester, states students will “follow all the University isolation/quarantine COVID-19 protocol,” study body and faculty do not know who is expected to be quarantining.
However, Residential Director for Rountree Commons Adam Iserman mentioned if he were informed of a student violating quarantine, disciplinary actions would be enforced through the Dean of Students like any other student misconduct.
Both Erickson and Iserman said that Grant County Health is responsible for performing contact tracing and informing students of potential exposure.
Stweart Sathoff, a student living on campus in Rountree Commons, recently found out his roommate had tested positive for COVID-19 at Student Health Services on campus. Student Health Services told the roommate to contact Sathoff immediately about his positive result. Sathoff was not contacted about his roommate’s results by any external agencies.
Additionally, throughout the campus, furniture has been spread out and limited to one chair per table except at dining venues.
The floors are marked with tape to indicate where people should stand in lines or elevators, and every room has a sign announcing its capacity.
Students are not always respectful of the expectations of social distancing. He described Bridgeway dining lines and elevators as “being packed in” with little-to-no social distancing occurring.
At the beginning of the semester, Iserman recalled some students struggling to respect the mandatory mask rule, but he says now students are complying with the rule and few reminders are needed.
Erickson and Sathoff detailed seeing everyone in campus buildings wearing masks whenever they walked around. The mandatory mask policy seems to have taken some adjusting, but students are adapting to the changes.
Students may not always be following the guidelines and expectations set by the university, but with a campus of about 9,000 students and 23 active cases, the numbers are low; UW-Platteville’s policies could potentially be working.