COVID-19 and Thanksgiving Break

Dear UW-Green Bay Faculty, Staff, and Students,

Since the pandemic began, we have tried to wait as long as possible to communicate big decisions so that we can adapt to ever-changing local conditions. As you are aware, the impact of the pandemic continues to grow at an alarming rate with no end in sight and I want to communicate our plan at the moment regarding the remainder of the semester:

Residential Students and Faculty and Staff Coming to Campus

  1. Our residential students, faculty, and staff have been incredible throughout the semester at following safety guidelines and respecting the health and safety of others. We trust our students. They continue to earn that trust through their actions. We know that we have many students in the Residence Halls going on and off campus every day and home many weekends. The Thanksgiving Break is a longer version of what every weekend looks like on our campus.
  2. Due to the longer break for Thanksgiving, we will be requiring all students who live in our Residence Halls to take a test prior to leaving campus for the break. This is to help keep those who you are in contact with off campus, safe. Upon returning to campus all students will be tested before being allowed to attend classes and will be tested again within three days of the initial test to ensure the virus was not undetectable on the initial test. The language from UW System President Thompson is below. Although the requirement is to only have students that are traveling test in this manner, we are requiring it of all residential students regardless of travel plans.

Any student leaving our campus community for the Thanksgiving holiday with the intent of returning to campus after the Thanksgiving holiday be COVID tested once before they leave campus and tested an additional two times before they return into any classroom or congregated setting. Should they test positive, the protocols related to quarantining and isolation on each campus will still be required to be followed.

If these standards cannot be met, students should not be allowed to return into any classroom or congregated setting following the Thanksgiving break.

We intend to maintain our current mode of delivery for the remainder of the semester unless we see a spike in cases prior to Thanksgiving. Despite the best of intentions, we understand that it is possible that we will see a spike in cases after Thanksgiving Break due to the rate of spread in our community. However, for the safety of our community, we believe it is better that students return to campus and go through our testing regimen so that we can immediately isolate any positive cases and not cause additional spread in the community that surrounds us. We have the support of our healthcare partner, Prevea, in this decision and will also follow their guidance should they or UW System tell us to change course.

Students, Faculty, and Staff Not In Residence

  1. All students, faculty, and staff not in residence should get a weekly COVID-19 test either in the turf gym at the Kress Center on the Green Bay Campus or by registering for a drive-up test at Students at our locations in Manitowoc, Marinette, and Sheboygan should take advantage of local testing opportunities.

I understand that despite our best internal efforts this semester there are no good answers moving forward, but we believe, based on the guidance we are currently getting, that this is the best decision for our campuses. I respect the decisions that other campuses have made across the UW System to not return after Thanksgiving and as always, we will be prepared to make the same decision immediately should we be advised to do so. Most of all, I want all of you to be safe. Please communicate, have empathy, support each other, and care for all around you.


Michael Alexander