Follow-up for the SMPH community about spring semester safety measures

The following message was sent to SMPH staff, learners, and faculty on December 11, 2020. 

Dear SMPH colleagues and students,

Earlier this afternoon, you received a message from campus about plans for expanded rapid saliva-based COVID-19 PCR testing beginning in mid-January, called Safer Badgers. Please carefully review that message and the Safer Badgers FAQ. This email is to provide additional context for the SMPH community.

  • All UW-Madison employees and students are in scope. This program applies to university personnel and learners in university spaces.
    • SMPH clinical faculty who teach or work on campus should plan to comply with the program in order to access campus facilities.
    • Similarly, students in clinical rotations who use UW–Madison campus facilities and services will also need to comply. Since this program only applies to the UW-Madison campus, students doing clinical rotations at other health system sites and who don’t need to access campus buildings should participate when they return back to campus.
    • Access to UW Health clinical spaces will not be monitored under the Safer Badgers program.
  • The testing requirements will apply to those who come to the UW–Madison campus on a regular or intermittent basis.
    • Those who work or learn on campus or use campus facilities and services during the spring semester will be required to test regularly.
    • How often you test will be determined by your role on campus. However, at a minimum, beginning on January 25, SMPH employees, graduate students and professional students will need to have a negative test result within the previous eight days (192 hours) prior to being on campus. If your SMPH degree program or work duties involve being on campus prior to January 25, plan a visit to a campus testing center in time to ensure that you meet this requirement. You will need to remain up to date with testing in order to access campus facilities and services throughout the spring.
    • If you are an employee, graduate student or professional student working or learning 100% remotely and you do not use campus facilities and services, you will not be expected to come into campus solely for the purpose of testing although you may use this testing option if you choose.
    • Please be aware that testing requirements differ for undergraduates.
  • There will be a testing site available on west campus. Stay tuned for site announcements from campus.
  • The system does not interface with Wiscard building access settings. A screen in the Safer Badgers app called the Badger Badge will indicate your compliance with testing requirements. Please review details here. Some high-traffic buildings on campus will be proactively monitored by trained employees, who will check badge status.
  • There will be provisions for contractors, visitors, and affiliates including UW Health employees who pass through or use campus facilities.

This first round of information about Safer Badgers has intentionally been released as early as possible to allow awareness and planning ahead as we head toward January. More details will follow. Please direct questions to campus at or to SMPH at


Hope Broadus, JD
Associate Dean for Human Resources

Jonathan Temte, MD, PhD
Associate Dean for Public Health and Community Engagement