In the Know: SMPH Updates for February 5, 2021 

Top news: 

  • Safer Badgers/COVID-19 Testing updates: 
    • Important reminder: Enforcement of Badger Badge restrictions related to university building access begins Wednesday, Feb. 10. As of that date, your Badger Badge must be green (access granted) to enter a campus facility. Get tested ASAP to be ready for Feb. 10.
    • Please review the recent message to employees. It also includes information on vaccines and frequently asked questions about testing. A wealth of FAQs can also be found here.
    • Those with instructional or mentoring responsibilities may review the recent message to graduate and professional students and undergraduates. In addition, messages were sent today to supervisors and to instructors teaching in-person or hybrid group enrollment sections this spring, in preparation for Feb. 10.
    • Reminder: The Health Sciences Learning Center (HSLC) testing site is temporarily closed in order to modify the site’s configuration. Nielsen Tennis Stadium site or any other site can be used during the closure. The HSLC site is scheduled to reopen Feb. 15.
    • Loaner phones are available from campus for individuals to access the Safer Badgers app if they do not have a smart phone or their phone does not allow them to download it.
    • Read part two of a series on student workers who make Safer Badgers work.
  • In memory: SMPH was extremely saddened to learn of the death of graduate student Zhan “Ross” Luo, and our thoughts are with his family, friends, and peers. Luo, who was part of the Neuroscience Training Program, passed away on Wednesday, Jan. 27 after a brief illness. He was in the lab of Andrew Alexander, a professor of medical physics and psychiatry. He is remembered as a kind person and brilliant scientist dedicated to his education, new adventures, and helping others. Read a tribute to Luo
  • Myth buster: Watch a video of Ajay Sethi, PhD, MHS, associate professor of population health sciences, debunk misinformation about COVID-19 vaccination. Sethi is the faculty director of the school’s Master of Public Health program.
  • New UW–Madison workplace safety training for spring semester: All employees are expected to complete the COVID-19 Spring Semester Training, available at This training covers guidelines and expectations for UW–Madison employees in the workplace and for visitors to campus. Most people will be able to complete the training in 10 minutes or less. Please note that all SMPH employees currently working onsite are expected to complete the training no later than Feb. 19. Any SMPH employee approved to return to work onsite should complete it during the preparation process. If you previously completed the fall semester version of the training, please take this new version, as it covers updated information for spring.
  • The UW School of Medicine and Public Health remains steadfast in urging the importance of face coverings as a key component of health and safety measures needed to prevent spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in the midst of a flurry of activity in Wisconsin’s legislative and executive branches of government. The school’s recent statement is in addition to joining UW Health and other health systems and partners in the region on this topic.

Building an Anti-Racist SMPH 

  • “How COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter Movement Changed My Scholarly Life”: The Department of Population Health Sciences is hosting Whitney Robinson, PhD, Associate Professor of Epidemiology in the Gillings School of Global Public Health at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, for a seminar on Monday, Feb. 8 from noon-1 p.m. The Zoom link is here. The event is co-sponsored by the UW–Madison Prevention Research Center.


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