MADISON, Wis. (SPECTRUM NEWS) — Gov. Tony Evers announced more than $32 million in financial assistance to the University of Wisconsin (UW) System as they prepare to welcome students back to campus this fall.
The $32 million announced Thursday comes in addition to the $18.9 million the governor allocated from Wisconsin’s portion of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to UW System campuses and the $95.6 million UW System institutions received directly through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund under the CARES Act.
“As campuses across the UW System prepare to have students return to campus, it is critically important that every campus has the resources it needs to help keep our students safe,” Evers said. “The COVID-19 pandemic brings great uncertainty and having robust testing efforts is one of the most important tools we have to help box in this virus and make sure our students stay healthy and safe.”
The effort is funded by CARES Act dollars provided directly to Wisconsin. UW System will receive $24 million toward its COVID-19 plan, designed to help campuses actively test symptomatic students, those who have had close contact with symptomatic students, and students living in residence halls. Under UW System’s plan, state funding will help purchase 276,000 tests, 246,000 of which will be allocated to campuses and 30,000 of which will be held in reserve by UW System for peaks or shortfalls.
The funding will also help cover personal protective equipment and staff for administering tests.
“Gov. Evers’ commitment to providing the resources for strong testing measures throughout the UW System will help us safely reopen our campuses this fall for students, faculty, staff, and our university communities,” interim UW System President Tommy Thompson said.
Also, UW-Madison will receive $8.3 million from Wisconsin’s CARES Act allocation for testing, equipment, staff, and personal protective equipment to support their testing efforts. State support will help UW-Madison purchase 134,000 tests.