Updates to SMPH Operations (COVID-19)


MD program:

  • Hands-on clinical learning activities for all SMPH health profession degree students are postponed until at least the end of May

Genetic Counseling, Master of Public Health, Physician Assistant, Physical Therapy:

  • Deliver curriculum online and minimize hands-on clinical and community work as feasible and necessary to optimize safety for students, staff, faculty, patients, and community partners

Basic science degree programs:

  • The Dean’s Office is working with programs/departments and with central campus to determine a plan for fall 2020 instruction.

Graduate Students:

  • Advisory regarding graduate students: Please note that under no circumstances should a graduate student be forced or pressured to work on campus, including in labs where permission has been granted for the continuation of limited research activity.


Access and Events

UH and AFCH Access

Any SMPH employees who work at University Hospital and American Family Children’s Hospital will undergo on-site COVID-19 health screenings by UW Health.  This will include being asked upon entry about self-monitoring for symptoms, and whether experiencing any symptoms.

Details and information about building access points are available on U-Connect – see “University Hospital Employee Entrance/Screening and Parking Ramp (Lot 75) Changes: Effective May 11”

Accessing buildings

Essential personnel and those performing critical activities at key points in time must carry their WisCard ID. Buildings on campus, including all SMPH-affiliated buildings, now require card or key access.


In accordance with the Chancellor’s recent update on event and travel cancellations, all in-person SMPH events and travel remain canceled through August 17 or must be moved to a virtual format. Take caution in planning in-person events past this date as it is likely to be further extended. We are planning for most Dean’s Office events to be virtual through the end of 2020. Events and travel guidelines do not apply to approved, required onsite clinical training or approved research. Relevant information regarding specific implications for curriculum and training in health professions degree programs will be conveyed to their learners, staff, and faculty by program leaders.


Respect Statement

COVID-19 is not specific to an ethnicity or race—disease does not discriminate. Racist behaviors or stereotyping are not tolerated at UW–Madison. If you experience harassment or discrimination, students are encouraged to file a bias incident report. Employees may file a complaint with the Office of Compliance.

Ongoing Communication

SMPH has implemented a small task force, in concert with the Dean’s Leadership Team, to oversee COVID-19 readiness planning. We are taking our lead from leadership at UW–Madison and UW Health and contributing to the discussions and decisions at each institution. Regular updates will continue to be distributed.

As a School of Medicine and Public Health, we have an important responsibility to serve as standard-bearers in the attempts to mitigate the impact of this outbreak. We should all be mindful not to spread rumors and hearsay, and to take these restrictions seriously. Please also consider how these restrictions apply to your personal life and in your community.

Questions regarding COVID-19 planning should be directed to smphcovid19@med.wisc.edu.