The University of Wisconsin-Madison lifted quarantine orders for two of its largest dorms on Wednesday, on a day when the state added 56 hospitalizations from COVID-19 complications to its record total.
In the first easing of restrictions that were put into place two weeks ago when cases of the coronavirus spiked on campus, the university also announced plans to phase in some in-person classes. Wisconsin ranks third in the country in the number of cases per capita in the last two weeks, according to data compiled Tuesday by The COVID Tracking project.
However, the school's website shows a decline in both the number of positive cases and the seven-day positivity rate among students tested on-campus.
Chancellor Rebecca Blank urged the campus community to remain vigilant and “take personal responsibility to preserve the gains” made over the past two weeks, the Journal Sentinel reported.
A few days into the start of the semester the school moved all classes online, shut down most campus buildings to students and quarantined the 2,230 residents living in Witte and Sellery halls. Fifteen fraternity and sorority houses remain under quarantine.
State officials say about 1,260 people have died since the start of the pandemic, including seven on Wednesday.