University of Wisconsin requires COVID-19 test to leave for Thanksgiving break

Published: Nov. 12, 2020 at 8:00 PM CST
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OSHKOSH, Wis. (WBAY) - With Thanksgiving now less than two weeks away, most students at University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh will be going home for the very first time since school started, but part of that process will also require a COVID-19 test,

Students within the University of Wisconsin System will have to take a COVID-19 test before and after Thanksgiving break if they want to leave campus for the holiday.

That directive came in a memo Thursday released by U.W. System President Tommy Thompson.

“We’ll have the site, Albee Hall, open on Sunday evening so that we can get students started as they come back -- and they need to actually have two tests which are separated by about three days to ensure they are good to go,” U.W.-Oshkosh Chancellor Andrew Leavitt explained.

An email also went out to students on Thursday morning advised them of the testing and offered guidance for staying safe.

Most students say it is a concern.

“I’m kind of scared to come back. I think there’s going to be a big outbreak. But I know for a lot of sports we still have to do lifting and some sports are still having practice, so that’s a big part of my decision in coming back or not. I’m still kind of deciding,” Oshkosh freshman Kate Whitney said.

University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is also testing students who decide to leave for the break. A spokesperson tells us more details on how they will handle it are likely to come out on Friday.

In Oshkosh, the university is encouraging students to simply stay put.

“We normally would have maybe 60 or 70 students stay, and we’d certainly like to have more stay this time just as part of the strategy," Chancellor Leavitt said.

We asked the university about winter break, which includes Christmas and New Year’s Day. U.W.-Oshkosh expects similar procedures to in place, but so far nothing has been decided.

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