COVID-19: Residence Life FAQ

Return to Campus - Spring 2021

As you plan your return to campus for Spring Semester, we will require all on-campus students to get tested immediately upon their return to campus. There have been changes made to the testing requirements and process.

Similar to August Move-In and our Eagles Return Safely plan in the fall, all residents are required to have an appointment to return to campus. The dates of return are Monday, January 25 – Sunday, January 30. 

You are REQUIRED to sign up for your testing time prior to testing.  No outside test negative results will be accepted. You will be unable to complete testing if you have not previously registered for that day and time.  You will have to register through the website: Do I Need a COVID-19 Test?

When registering for your test:

  • It is important to use your UWLAX.EDU email address for accuracy of data.
  • Please use your Residence Hall and Room Number as your address.
  • If you have a documented past positive test since Nov. 6, 2020, you will not need to get tested at this time . Please submit your past positive PCR test information Here if you have not already. We do not accept positive antibody tests.

When you arrive to campus: 

Your first stop when returning to campus must be the testing site in Cartwright Center.  The location of the testing site has changed to 3rd floor.  Follow appropriate signage for “UWL On-Campus Students (Residence Hall).”  You can park in lots C2 (near the stadium) and C9 (behind Mitchell Hall) while you are getting tested.  You will not be ticketed between January 25-31 in those parking lots for short term parking. 

Your ID will not be activated allowing for residence hall access until you have completed a COVID antigen test on campus. Results typically take 30-60 mins, after you receive a negative test result, you will be “checked in” to your residence hall. 

Students who test positive will have the option of returning home or moving to an isolation room in Wentz hall.

 Summary of instructions for students based on their current and past COVID test status: 

If you are CURRENTLY positive COVID Test (within 14 days of returning to campus) 

  • Continue to isolate at home. 
  • Submit test results using this form. 
  • Email Mermani Maloney-Wang ( with questions. 
  • No need to test upon return to campus. Your ID will be activated on your isolation end date after submitting your positive test results. 
  • After you have passed the 90 days post positive test, you will need to complete weekly COVID tests. 

If you have had a PAST positive COVID Test (Since November 6, 2020) 

  • Submit DATE OF TEST results using this form. 
  • Email Mermani Maloney-Wang ( with questions. 
  • No need to test upon return to campus. Your ID will be activated when you submit your positive test results. 
  • After you have passed the 90 days post positive test, you will need to complete weekly COVID tests. 

If you have not had a previous positive COVID Test since November 6, 2020 

  • Sign up for an antigen test, which will also be your date/time to return to campus. 
    • This sign-up is only available 7 days prior to test day. 
  • Go to Cartwright Center 3rd floor to get tested immediately upon your return to campus (even before you go to your residence hall). 
  • ID will be activated when you complete the COVID antigen test (and receive a negative result) in Cartwright Center and you will be instructed to proceed to your residence hall. 

 Additional information will be coming shortly to students who are:

  • Currently living on campus as they completed a Winter Housing Contract 
  • New to Campus for Spring 2021 
  • Returning to campus after canceling/moving out during Fall 2020 

Isolation Housing Process 

If a resident tests positive for COVID-19 or is demonstrating symptoms and has yet to receive a positive test, they must isolate, for at least 10 days, until they are cleared by the UWL COVID Disease Investigation Team to return to their residence hall.  

On-Campus Students who need to complete an Isolation will have the choice of:

  1. Returning home for the duration of their Isolation 
  2.  Moving to an Isolation space provided by Residence Life. 
    1. Our current Isolation spaces are in Wentz hall 

Once a student has tested positive the following steps occur:

  1. Residence Life is notified by the COVID Disease Investigation Team that a student needs to complete and Isolation. Students are added to a list and called in the order we receive them. 
  2.  Residence Life Staff calls the students on the Isolation Life to determine their isolation location and beginning the moving process. this can take 1-2 days depending on our caseload. 
    1. If the student is returning home for their Isolation, they need to communicate the address they plan to be isolating at leave campus and make only essential stops on their way home. 
    2. If residence life is providing a space the student will receive a Packing List and either Wentz Moving Instructions or Students should be completing their room move to Wentz approximately 2-3hours from the time they receive the call from residence life staff. 
    3. Students will receive Isolation Expectations when they are checked into their room space. 
  3. Student health center staff will be calling the student near the end date of their isolation to confirm they are not still experiencing symptoms and will release them from isolation or extend their isolation.
  4. When Residence Life has been notified that a student is released from isolation. A staff member will email the student a return to hall notification. 
  5. If a student would like to return home prior to their isolation being complete they need to contact residence life for instructions prior to departing campus. 

Quarantine Housing 

If a resident has come in close contact with someone who tested positive, they must quarantine, for at least 14 days, until they are cleared by the UWL COVID Disease Investigation Team to release from Quarantine. Roommates of students who test positive will automatically be asked to quarantine.  

Currently, students are being asked to complete this quarantine in their current room space. Students will receive an email with the expectations for Quarantine and information about support services. 

If the student later tests positive they will be asked to move to Isolation Housing. 

COVID-19 safety recommendations

Consistent with the Center for Disease Control, the La Crosse County Health Department and the UWL COVID-19 Team, the following recommendations will help to protect yourself and others from community spread:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people.
  • Keeping distance from others is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, and keyboards.
  • Always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow. Throw used tissues in the trash. Do not spit.
  • Do not gather in groups of more than 10 people.
  • Avoid physical contact with others – no handshakes, hugging, etc.
  • Avoid touching high-touch surfaces when possible such as stairwell railings.

Residence Hall specific safety recommendations

  • Use only the closest stairwells and exterior door to your room to enter and exit your community.
  • In Eagle and Reuter limit elevator use to two (2) at a time.
  • If you decide to be in a lounge or study room consider your surroundings and physically distance yourself from others that may be in that space.
  • During scheduled move-in and move-out dates, students should limit the number of guest helpers to assist with handling their personal items. All students and guest helpers must wear masks/face coverings. Guest helpers must be expeditious with move in assistance and leave the residence halls immediately when finished.

COVID-19 safety policies

As safety measures due to COVID-19 these Residence Life policies will be expected for the 2020-21 academic year:

  1. Face Masks/Coverings
    1. Students must wear a face mask/covering in all public areas inside the residence hall including hallways, stairwells, lobbies, common spaces, and bathrooms (except when personal hygiene would require removal of a mask). Face covering within personal rooms/apartments shall be determined by roommate agreement.
  2. Guests
    1. Students are only allowed access to their assigned residence hall. No guests, including other UWL students are permitted.
    2. Students and those hosting guests will be held accountable for violating this guest policy.
    3. Students may host up to two (2) other students from the same residence hall in their room/apartment IF agreed upon by the other roommate(s).
    4. University employees and contracted service personnel are allowed in the building to perform necessary job-related functions and must wear a face mask and adhere to all university COVID-19 guidelines.
  3. Roommate Agreements
    1. As an additional safety measure during the COVID-19 pandemic, Residence Life is requiring all roommates to complete a roommate agreement before the end of the first week of living together on campus. Roommate agreements will be provided by Residence Life staff and are a helpful tool to reduce conflict and increase understanding of preferences on a variety of topics. It is critical roommates discuss the impact of living in a COVID-19 world and engage about safety precautions that they will implement in their shared living space.

Frequently Asked Questions

Residence Life

Residence Hall health & safety

Will COVID-19 testing be mandatory? Can I opt out? expanding section

During the spring semester, students living on campus will need to complete a COVID-19 antigen test weekly.  Students who do not comply with the testing requests will be contacted by Residence Life staff as part of the student conduct process.  Students who are found in violation of the testing requirement face housing contract cancellation.  Additional information about weekly testing will be coming

A student may be temporarily exempt from testing in the case of having a documented past positive test within the last 90 days ( this determination is made by our Student Health Center) 

Last modified: 01/14/2021

If I have tested COVID-positive, do you need to know? expanding section

Yes, in order to better assist you and the community, we need to know. Please call the Student Health Center to report your test results.

Last modified: 08/14/2020

If I know someone who has tested COVID-positive, do I need to be tested? expanding section

If you have been in close proximity (less than 6 feet for more than 15 minutes), your risk level is increased. You should contact the Student Health Center or your primary care provider for follow up. 

If you have been identified as a person that needs to be tested by our community health authorities (on/off campus), you will be notified directly.

Last modified: 08/14/2020

If I am concerned that I have COVID-19, what do I do? expanding section

You should monitor your symptoms. 

If you have symptoms of COVID-19  (including fever > 100.0, chills, feeling feverish, body aches, new cough, excess fatigue, shortness of breath, loss of smell or taste, stomach upset or diarrhea) you should contact the Student Health Center or your primary care provider. 

Last modified: 08/14/2020

How will campus decide if you need to close campus? expanding section

Campus will closely monitor the city, county and state health situation, in cooperation with La Crosse County HealthPlease follow the UWL Campus COVID webpage for the most up-to-date announcements and information. 

Last modified: 08/14/2020

If you have to close housing, what happens if I have no where to go? expanding section

We will work to identify options on campus for students to stay that is safe and follows physical distancing guidelines. 

Last modified: 08/14/2020

If you have to close housing, how long will I have to move out? expanding section

Information will be provided to you by Residence Life staff.

Last modified: 08/14/2020

Can I travel out of town during the semester? expanding section

We encourage students to be mindful of their travel plans. Please consider the risk level for both your travel location and your travel method. At this time, there are no restrictions on students' travel. Students will not be required to complete quarantine based on travel alone.

We are encouraging anyone who plans to leave campus to be cautious while traveling and follow all CDC recommendations regarding travel, self-quarantining, masks, and hygiene.

We do encourage students to monitor for any symptoms. If we believe a student has been in close contact with a positive case of COVID-19 or starts experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, the student will be asked to complete isolation or quarantine at home or in a campus Isolation/Quarantine space.

Last modified: 08/25/2020

How will the Residence Halls be cleaned? expanding section

Common spaces and high touch point areas will be sanitized multiple times a day. We are also exploring options for placing cleaning supplies in common bathrooms and/or study areas so that residents can wipe down surfaces too. Residents are welcome to bring their own cleaning wipes into these spaces.

Last modified: 08/14/2020

What other safety measures are being offered in the residence halls? expanding section
  • Campus-wide signage will be placed regarding masks and physical distancing
  • Elevator capacity will be reduced to 2 people/elevator (in Eagle and Reuter Halls) 
  • Hand sanitizer stations will be placed in the communities
  • Drinking fountains are being closed off
  • Plexiglas barriers have been placed in front desk lounge areas

Last modified: 08/14/2020

What will the cleaning/sanitization schedule look like when everyone has moved in? expanding section

We continue to be committed to maintaining clean and safe living environments. Common areas and bathrooms will be cleaned regularly based on recommendations from the CDC and La Crosse County Health. Bathroom cleaning schedules will be posted in each community.

Last modified: 08/14/2020

What should I do to prepare before I come back to campus? expanding section
  • Acquire a personal thermometer so you can monitor your body temperature and bring several reusable masks/face coverings (minimum of 2), as they will be required in many public spaces.  
  • Self-quarantine at home for 14 days, or minimally limit your exposure to those outside of your immediate family, prior to your arrival date on campus. 
    • If you are traveling by air, train, or bus, consider packing Lysol wipes to wipe down surfaces such as chairs, seat trays, and armrests prior to use. Wear a mask when using public transportation and when in public spaces, and wash your hands or use hand sanitizer regularly.
    • If you are driving, plan out your stops and try to avoid high-risk areas. You can view these areas on the CDC website. There you will be able to see the breakdown of cases by state, county, and city.

Last modified: 08/14/2020

Can I move in if I am feeling ill? expanding section

If you have symptoms of COVID-19  (including fever > 100.0, chills, feeling feverish, body aches, new cough, excess fatigue, shortness of breath, loss of smell or taste, stomach upset of diarrhea) you will not be allowed to move in until you meet the following criteria:

  • If you have had a positive COVID-19 test or have not been tested:
    • No fever, defined as less than 100 degrees F, for at least 3 days (that is 72 hours of no fever without the use of medicine that reduces fevers, such as Tylenol, Motrin, aspirin, ibuprofen, paracetamol, etc.),  and
    • Other respiratory symptoms have improved (for example, cough or shortness of breath),  and
    • At least 10 days have passed since the symptoms first appeared
    • Completed a full 14 day quarantine if you have a known exposure or travel history 
  • If you have had a negative test (you could still have COVID-19):
    • No fever and a substantial improvement in symptoms for 24 hours
    • Completed a full 14 day quarantine if you have had known exposure or travel history 

Last modified: 08/14/2020

Residence Hall contract & costs

Are there Res. Life spring 2021 updates I should know about? expanding section

Yes, Res. Life sent an important email to UWL email addresses on Jan.13. Please refer to that email or check this page for more up-to-date information:

Last modified: 01/15/2021

Do I have to agree to the new terms and conditions sent to me? expanding section

Yes, all updated terms and conditions and policies are binding. We will hold you accountable to these updates. It is important you read and understand the expectations outlined. 

Last modified: 08/14/2020

Will you reduce cost since the services aren’t available? What am I paying for? expanding section

We will not be reducing the cost of housing this year. We will continue to engage the residents in the halls in meaningful ways through small group settings that follow physical distancing standards and through virtual forums.  

Last modified: 08/14/2020

If a student is needing to quarantine/isolate, will there be a refund for that period of time? expanding section

We will not be offering refunds for the quarantine/isolation period of time. However, if the quarantine resulted in a longer leave of absence, we will follow our medical release process and account for the contract/fees through that process.

Last modified: 08/14/2020

If you have to close and send students home, will we get a refund? expanding section

When we had to close in spring 2020, we worked with campus leadership to issue refunds. We will follow that same process should we need to close. 

Last modified: 08/14/2020

What if I am concerned about living on campus because of COVID-19? expanding section

You will need to fill out a housing cancellation request. This is found in the housing portal in WINGS. All requests will be reviewed and responded to as soon as possible. 

Last modified: 08/14/2020

My classes are all online, can I live at home? expanding section

You will need to fill out a housing cancellation request. If we confirm your schedule is fully online, we will release you from your contract (however, your deposit will be forfeited).

Last modified: 08/14/2020

If I am released from my contract for the fall semester, can I live on campus in the spring? expanding section

You will need to complete a spring 2021 housing application in order to return to campus in the spring.  Please visit our applications page for more information. 

Last modified: 10/06/2020

Will my room assignment be impacted by COVID-19? expanding section

Due to the need to reassign Wentz Hall students, we will be consolidating and reassigning students. If you are impacted by any assignment changes, you will be contacted via email.

Last modified: 08/14/2020

Residence Life policies

Do I need to wear a mask in the halls? expanding section

Yes! Whenever you are outside of your assigned bedroom/apartment, you are expected to wear a mask. This is to limit the spread of the virus and help to maintain community health. When you are in the bathroom, we ask that you only remove your mask when personal hygiene is being addressed (brushing teeth and showering). After you complete your hygiene routine, we expect the mask to be on. 

Last modified: 08/14/2020

What if a group of students decide to not wear masks? expanding section

As a community, we are responsible for creating safe living environments for all members. If you have concerns about residents who are not wearing masks, we encourage you to let the hall staff know so we can address the person/people. It is an expectation and policy that all members of the community will be held to, and violations will be taken seriously through the conduct process. 

Last modified: 08/14/2020

What will happen if students don’t follow policies? Will they be removed from housing? expanding section

We will be holding students accountable through our university housing conduct process. Students will be given opportunities to learn from their choices and follow the community expectations. If there is repeated failure to comply, there is a possibility of the student leaving university housing. 

Last modified: 08/14/2020

If there are roommate conflicts, including issues related to COVID expectations, what options do we have to move students to other rooms? expanding section

There will be very few room changes granted this year due to the impacts of COVID-19. We will work to mediate the conflict and renegotiate the roommate agreement to the best of our ability. If that does not address the concerns, we will evaluate other options available at the time. 

Last modified: 08/14/2020

Can I have overnight guests? expanding section

Our guest policy has been revised. Only residents of the same building can visit each other within the building. If you and your roommate agree that people from your building can stay overnight, you will need to follow our guest policy expectations. 

Last modified: 08/14/2020

Who can visit me in my room? expanding section

Only residents of the same building can visit each other within the building.  And only 2 additional people can be in any room/apartment at a time. Masks must be worn when guests are present. 

Last modified: 08/14/2020

Can my family come visit me? expanding section

We encourage you to have your family and friends visit, however, you will not be able to host them in your room (after move In day).  

Last modified: 08/14/2020

How can I ensure my roommate(s) is following recommendations and expectations to keep myself safe? expanding section

We always encourage roommates to complete a roommate agreement which addresses items such as sleeping schedule, use of the room for study vs. leisure, guest expectations, sharing of personal items, etc. We will add specific questions related to COVID-19 expectations and recommendations. Each roommate group will be expected to review and discuss the questions on the roommate agreement and come to a common understanding to keep each other safe. If roommates do not agree, we will side on the more conservative and more safe preferences of involved roommates. This is a new conversation for roommates to have. We encourage each student to consider their own thoughts and preferences and be prepared to advocate for themselves and their own needs in their living space. RAs will help facilitate these conversations if needed.

Last modified: 08/14/2020

Residence Hall isolation & quarantine

How will a student know if they need to move to isolation/quarantine? expanding section

A student will be notified that they need to complete isolation/quarantine by the COVID Disease Investigation Team. A Residence Life Coordinator will reach out to the student to confirm the logistics of their transition to their isolation space or will send an email with quarantine expectations. 


Last modified: 09/25/2020

Where will students quarantine/isolate if determined by a health care professional? expanding section

Students who need to quarantine or isolate will be asked to return to their permanent home, if it is reasonable and safe for them to do so. If that is not the case, we will provide them an option. Arrangements will be made to ensure the residential community remains safe and will not be further exposed to risk. If a student is told they need to isolate/quarantine, this is not optional. The student must follow directives provided by medical professionals and university staff. Failure to comply with staff directives may result in being held accountable through the student conduct system. 

Last modified: 08/27/2020

What is the difference between quarantine and isolation? expanding section


If a resident tests positive for COVID-19 or is demonstrating symptoms and has yet to receive a positive test, they must isolate, for at least 10 days, until they are cleared by the UWL COVID Disease Investigation Team to return to their residence hall.  


If a resident has come in close contact with someone who tested positive, they must quarantine, for at least 14 days, until they are cleared by the UWL COVID Disease Investigation Team to return to their residence hall. Roommates of students who test positive will automatically be asked to quarantine. 

Last modified: 09/25/2020

Can a student complete isolation or quarantine off campus? expanding section

Students will have the option to complete isolation or quarantine at their permanent home address, or in a space provided by Residence Life.  We will not allow students to complete their isolation or quarantine at an off-campus location with friends or other students.

Last modified: 09/25/2020

Can a student leave their room while in isolation/quarantine? expanding section


 Students in Wentz,  should only leave their room:

  • to use the bathroom facilities,
  • pick up and reheat their meals
  • for individual outdoor exercise.


Students completing an on-campus quarantine should only leave their room: 

  • to use the bathroom facilities
  • to pick up their meals 
  • for individual outdoor exercise
  • for essential trips ( doctor visits, picking up medication, etc..)   

Last modified: 01/14/2021

How will a student receive meals in isolation/quarantine? expanding section

On-Campus Students will be able to pick up their meals from the quarantine and Isolation dining location, details will be provided to them in their intake email

Last modified: 11/17/2020

Will dietary needs be accommodated in isolation/quarantine? expanding section

For on-campus meals, Vegetarian and Vegan meals will be available. If you have specific dietary needs, please email Steve Martens at 


Last modified: 01/14/2021

If a student receives a negative COVID-19 test result while in isolation/quarantine, can they leave isolation/quarantine at that time? expanding section

A negative test result will not automatically end your isolation or quarantine. A student can only leave isolation or quarantine when they have been approved to do so by the COVID Disease Investigation Team.  

Last modified: 09/25/2020

Can students receive deliveries while they are in isolation/quarantine? expanding section

Mail/packages will be held for students at the Eagle Mail Center. They can pick up mail when they have completed their isolation or quarantine.

We may deliver mail and packages to students on a case by case basis. If you have an emergency or a special situation, please contact our office at  

Last modified: 09/25/2020

Will students need to wear a mask while in isolation/quarantine? expanding section

A student will need to wear all requested PPE during the moving process to their isolation/quarantine space (mask, gloves). Once the student has arrived to their isolation/quarantine room they do not need to wear a mask in their room. The student should wear a mask if they are leaving their room for any reason.  


Last modified: 08/27/2020

Can a student smoke, vape or use tobacco products while in isolation/quarantine spaces? expanding section

No, students will not be permitted to smoke, vape, or use tobacco products while in isolation/quarantine. UWL is a tobacco-free campus and students will be unable to go outside while in isolation/quarantine.  

Last modified: 08/27/2020

Residence Hall services

Can I still use the kitchen? expanding section

The kitchens will be available for use. However, there will be no cooking utensils/supplies available for check out. Nothing can be stored in the kitchen (the refrigerator will be turned off). Students must bring all items and ingredients to the kitchen and remove all after their food is prepared. The kitchen must be cleaned by those who use it after every use.  

Last modified: 08/19/2020

Can I still use the study lounges? expanding section

There will be some study spaces available for use by students. Furniture will be reduced and we will promote physical distancing expectations. Masks will be required in all common spaces. There will be some study spaces that are closed because they cannot be configured to support physical distancing regulations. 

Last modified: 08/19/2020

Are the computer labs in the residence halls open for use? expanding section

No, the labs in the residence halls will be closed. The building networks have been upgraded this summer to make sure the network can withstand the virtual campus needs. If there are individual needs around technology and computer access, we encourage you to inquire about options with ITS. 

Last modified: 08/19/2020

Is there enough bandwidth in the community for me to engage in virtual learning and programs? expanding section

Yes! ITS has upgraded all the buildings this summer. 

Last modified: 08/19/2020

What services will be available at the front desks? expanding section
  • Desks will be staffed from noon to midnight, Sunday-Thursday and noon to 2 a.m. on Friday-Saturday. They will assist with lock outs and connecting students to campus resources.  
  • For those of you who are returning to campus, we will not be selling food items from the desk.
  • Mail will be processed in a central location (Eagle Hall). 

Last modified: 08/19/2020

Where can I get my mail? expanding section

To further safeguard our community, we will be having all mail (USPS, FedEx, UPS, etc.) delivered to  Eagle Hall. We have shifted the use of a space for mail only. Residents will be asked to enter the mailroom space from the exterior of the building.  We will create a process for collection that reduces risk. The Eagle front desk will NOT be processing mail. 

Last modified: 10/05/2020

Will my Resident Assistant and Hall Director be available/accessible? expanding section

Yes!  The hall staff will be focusing on making connections with every resident through virtual spaces. They will be seeking out each resident and we encourage residents to connect with their RA for support, access to resources, guidance, and ways to connect with other residents. We do want to reduce risk for hall staff as well, so we ask that you not knock on their door. Instead students will be provided with virtual ways to connect with hall staff. In addition, the staffed front desk can provide answers to questions and resources as well. 

Last modified: 08/19/2020

Will hall staff be doing rounds and enforcing policies? expanding section

Yes!  We are providing necessary PPE items for hall staff to do their jobs in this way. They will document policy issues and report them as they always have. Students documented for a policy violation will still need to go through our standard conduct process. 

Last modified: 08/19/2020

Will laundry be available? expanding section

Our laundry rooms will remain open. As other common spaces, we will encourage personal responsibility for maintaining appropriate distance, use of face coverings, and reducing the number of people in the space.

Last modified: 08/14/2020