March 11, 2020 – Washington Co., WI – Word is starting to spread across UWM at Washington County in West Bend regarding an extended spring break. According to the UWM at Washington County website “classes will be held as scheduled through March 14.”
UW-Milwaukee chancellor Mark A. Mone sent the following email to campuses in the system. The extended break is tied to a possible COVID-19 case in Milwaukee.
Mone’s email is below.
Dear UWM Faculty, Staff and Students,
We have all been hearing updates on the spread of COVID-19 in Wisconsin, across the country and the globe. Today, I write with an update about how COVID-19 is impacting UW-Milwaukee.
We have learned that an employee was tested yesterday at a local hospital for the COVID-19 virus. The employee became ill after having had contact with a person who had been to a country with a Level 3 warning. The results will not be known until the end of the week. The individual works in our UWM Foundation office, which is connected to the Cambridge Commons student housing facility on North Avenue on Milwaukee’s eastside. The individual who was tested is not at work. It is important to note that the majority of individuals in Wisconsin who have been tested have tested negative for COVID-19.
With the health and well-being of our campus communities being paramount, we are taking quick and decisive steps as a safeguard based on the rapidly changing environment in Wisconsin and worldwide.
We will extend our Spring Break by one week to March 15-29 so that UWM can prepare to move the majority of its classes online following the extended spring break. Students should make arrangements to be away from all three campuses during this extended break. Students who live in University Housing will receive additional details by Friday. Today, Provost Johannes Britz asked deans and other campus leaders to provide information on additional classes that can be moved online. We will send a follow-up communication with further details later this week.
UW-Milwaukee is updating its travel guidelines to include:
All upcoming University-sponsored travel for students is being canceled through the end of the semester. This includes university-sponsored Spring Break trips.
All upcoming University-sponsored travel for employees is being canceled through the end of the semester for areas severely impacted by COVID-19. This currently includes China, France, Germany, Italy, Iran, Japan, South Korea and Spain. This list may change as additional areas are impacted by COVID-19.
Anyone returning from these severely-impacted areas must self-quarantine for 14 days, whether or not symptoms are present, before returning to UW-Milwaukee campuses.
We also strongly discourage employees and students from any non-essential travel outside of Wisconsin until the end of the semester. If you do opt to travel, please know that there are health risks involved. If you travel outside of Wisconsin, we ask you to self-monitor for 14 days for fever, cough and difficulty breathing.
Students who are already overseas with study abroad programs in countries that do not have Level 3 warnings should consult with UWM study abroad administrators on whether to stay or return.
This is a rapidly changing health issue and we will provide updates to our campus communities as quickly as possible when additional information becomes available. In the meantime, you may also check our COVID-19 website. Thank you for your patience, compassion and empathy.
Mark A. Mone, PhD
Chancellor University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee