The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is moving the majority of its classes online after an employee who may have come into contact with the coronavirus became ill, the chancellor announced in an email Tuesday sent at about 5 p.m.

Wisconsin has three confirmed cases of coronavirus so far, Wisconsin Public Radio reported earlier Tuesday. Two are in Dane County. The third is in Pierce County on the Mississippi River in Western Wisconsin.

The UW-Milwaukee employee had contact with a person who had been to a country with a Level 3 warning from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Chancellor Mark A. Mone said in the email. Those countries include the hardest hit by the virus, like Italy and China.

The employee was tested Monday, but the results will not be known until the end of the week, the email said. The employee, whom the school did not name in the email, works at the UW-Milwaukee Foundation. The office is connected to the Cambridge Commons student housing facility on North Avenue on Milwaukee’s Eastside. The employee is not at work.

The university will extend its spring break by a second full week, meaning students will be off starting Monday, March 16 through March 29. Students “should make arrangements to be away from all three campuses” during the break, the email said.

All classes will be held in-person through Saturday, Provost Johannes Britz said in a second email.

“Our goal is to have everyone complete the semester while staying as healthy as possible,” Britz wrote.

In his original email, Mone told students and staff that “this is a rapidly changing health issue and we will provide updates to our campus communities as quickly as possible when additional information becomes available.”

Older adults and people with chronic medical conditions are at higher risk from COVID-19, the specific virus referred to as coronavirus, according to the CDC.

To avoid contracting the virus, and to prevent its spread, wash your hands often, avoid close contact with people who are sick, and stay home if you are sick.

Consult the CDC website for more information on the coronavirus.

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WisCommunity Staff
Author Credit

Peter Cameron writes for The Badger Project, a Wisconsin-based nonpartisan, nonprofit investigative journalism organization. He can be reached at

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