University of Wisconsin-Madison to adopt UI saliva tests in spring

Student+Mark+Olgun+takes+a+University+COVID-19+test+at+the+State+Farm+Center+testing+site+on+Oct.+9.+Returning+students+must+test+negative+twice+this+week%2C+with+each+test+more+than+three+days+apart%2C+to+get+access+to+academic+buildings+next+week.+

Cameron Krasucki

Student Mark Olgun takes a University COVID-19 test at the State Farm Center testing site on Oct. 9. Returning students must test negative twice this week, with each test more than three days apart, to get access to academic buildings next week.

By Ethan Simmons, News Editor

The University of Wisconsin-Madison is partnering with UI’s Shield T3 to bring rapid saliva testing to the Wisconsin campus in spring semester, UW-Madison announced on Thursday.

According to the news release, the school expects to add up to 10,000 tests per day “as needed,” to test undergraduates twice a week.

“We are proud to partner with Shield T3 to offer additional and more frequent COVID-19 testing to our employees and students,” said UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank. “We know that our testing has and will continue to play an important role in limiting disease spread.”

An app much like UI’s own Safer Illinois is also coming to Madison.

“Through its partnership with Shield T3, UW-Madison will also receive access to a mobile app that can be used to provide rapid notifications of test results and to help ensure individuals accessing campus spaces are up to date with campus testing requirements,” UW-Madison wrote in the release.

Since mid-August, UI has promised to expand its test locally and nationally through the Shield T3 subsidiary. Its saliva tests cost $20-30 each, compared to the $100 nasal swab tests.

Last month, UW-Madison also promised to expand its testing for spring semester, beyond its current system of testing employees and students who live in residence halls.

UW-Madison performs about 12,000 nasal swab tests per week through its own Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory.

In fall 2019, there were 31,185 undergraduates enrolled at UW-Madison; about 2,000 fewer than UI.

According to its COVID-19 dashboard, there have been 3,734 positive tests confirmed for students and employees, with 2,713 identified through on-campus tests.

 

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