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UW-Madison Dean condemns belief students should get COVID-19 to 'get it over with'

Posted at 7:29 PM, Sep 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-18 20:29:50-04

MADISON — UW-Madison's Dean of Students is condemning a concerning belief that students should intentionally get COVID-19 to 'get it over with.'

Dean of Students Christina Olstad wrote in a message to students Friday that such a belief is "unsafe and irresponsible."

"While students who test positive can be asymptomatic or experience minimal symptoms, we’ve seen otherwise healthy young people across the country, including here in Dane County be hospitalized," Olstad wrote.

"The long-term effects of COVID-19 are still largely unknown. Willfully spreading the virus places everyone you meet, particularly our more vulnerable family and community members, at higher risk," according to Olstad.

As of Friday, the university is investigating 450 students and nine student organizations for public health violations.

Of those 450, 14 students were referred for emergency suspension from school.

"If a student repeatedly or intentionally violates the University’s public health expectations, there are real consequences that could affect their academic future," the dean warns.

According to UW-Madison's coronavirus dashboard, the percent of positive cases over the last seven days dropped slightly to 7.5 percent, down from the peak of just over 10 percent last Sunday.

The university recorded 87 new positive tests Friday - and all but one are students.

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