With it getting colder, people start to head indoors where it’s warmer, and studies have shown COVID-19 spreads more effectively indoors than outdoors. Factors such as people being in physical proximity, not wearing masks in personal spaces, smaller air volumes inside, and effective air exchange make the virus transmitted indoors. Already, coronavirus positive test results, hospitalizations, and deaths are steadily increasing.
Cases in the northern Midwest states are specifically seeing an increase even though they have been the states with the lowest states so far. News outlets, such as CNBC, say the United States “is heading towards a ‘dark winter,’ a ‘Covid hell,’ the ‘darkest days of the pandemic.’”
The University of Wisconsin – Green Bay (UWGB) has offered free antigen testing, detects the presence of a specific viral antigen, to students in the Kress Events Center since the beginning of the semester, and just recently became one of 13 campuses having rapid drive-thru testing. The rapid testing yields results within 15 minutes if they have COVID-19. Some other health agencies have questioned the accuracy of the rapid tests administered to asymptomatic people.
On top of these COVID-19 specific resources, UWGB also has the Wellness Center in partnership with Prevea. The Wellness Center offers free medical services and wellness exams.
Students from all four UWGB campuses are able to receive testing at the Wellness Center at the Green Bay campus. Students who live on campus that contract Covid-19 are sent home or are asked to quarantine housing that has been designated on the campus.
UWGB is also advising students who live off-campus to participate in being regularly tested for COVID-19. They are also advising students to remain safe at home and participate in safe activities to do so.
A student who recently experienced a high fever and a sore throat made it difficult to eat and swallow went to the Wellness Center for help.
“I wasn’t required to get [a COVID-19] test, but they asked if I was tested for COVID-19, and I told them I was the day before,” he says. After assessing the symptoms, the nurse ran a strep test, which came back positive.
“I’m glad I went for testing, and it wasn’t COVID,” he says.
Katie Carlson, an RN at the Wellness Center, says, “We recommend anyone experiencing COVID symptoms (which are also the SAME as cold/flu symptoms) to be tested for COVID, utilizing the PCR test. While awaiting COVID test results, a student would need to quarantine per CDC guidelines. Testing for Influenza is considered in patients with cough with a fever, myalgias, rapid symptom onset, headache, rhinorrhea/congestion with fever. Masking, washing hands, and staying home when you are sick are key components to staying well.”
Written by Madison Heun, Tyson Reschke, and Alexa Gutierrez