The Department of Emergency Medicine is committed to providing reliable and helpful information to individuals and families during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. For information and questions about symptoms, physical distancing, and talking to a healthcare provider, please visit UW Health’s COVID-19 Resource page.
COVID-19 is a constantly changing situation. Please continue to check this website for updates and resources. You may also call the UW Health COVID-19 informational hotline at (608) 720-5300.
What is Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)?
UW Health and the University of Wisconsin are closely monitoring an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that continues to expand. On February 11, 2020, the World Health Organization named the disease coronavirus disease 2019 (abbreviated “COVID-19”).
In order to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services recommends the following preventative measures:
Avoid close contact with others and practice physical distancing
• Stay at home as much as possible. Cancel events and avoid groups, gatherings, play dates, and nonessential appointments.
• Avoid gatherings of 10 or more people.
• Stay at least 6 feet away from other people, when possible.
• If possible, wear a cloth face covering in situations when physical distancing is difficult.
• Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
Practice good hand hygiene
• Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
• Avoid touching your face, eyes, and mouth when in public.
Enjoy summer safely
• Explore the outdoors, but keep it local.
• When you're enjoying time outside, the safest option is to spend time with the people you live with.
• If you are gathering with other people, limit the number to under 10 and practice physical distancing.
• Avoid sharing food.
• Wash your hands frequently, and avoid touching shared surfaces.
Additional information for patients and families can be found below:
Wisconsin Community Testing
Do you have symptoms of COVID-19? Have you been exposed? You may be able to get tested.
- Contact your doctor and ask to be tested.
- Complete an online health screening assessment, and a licensed health practitioner will contact you.
- See if a community testing site is available near you.
Members of the public who think they may have been exposed to coronavirus in the past can seek antibody testing through these health providers:
Trusted Health Resources
- Public Health Madison & Dane County
- Wisconsin Department of Health Services
- University of Wisconsin-Madison COVID-19 website
- University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health operations updates
- UW Health COVID-19 information
- World Health Organization (WHO)
- Coronavirus.gov (information and resources from the federal government)
- Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)
Information from UW Health
COVID-19 hotline: 608-720-5300
- What does physical distancing mean?
- Frequently asked questions
- Information for deaf patients
- Un mensaje importante sobre COVID-19
- Use of NSAIDS, ACE inhibitors, ARBs or RAAS in suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients
- Seeking heart attack care during COVID-19
Call first! If you have symptoms, please call or send a MyChart message to your physician and wait for a response. Do not go to Urgent Care or the Emergency Room. Read more...
Resources for Patients and Families
For individuals and caregivers:
- UW-Madison: Managing fears and anxieties around COVID-19
- World Health Organization: Coping with stress during the 2019-nCoV outbreak
- CDC: Managing anxiety and stress (CDC Resource)
- WI DHS: Learn what to clean, how to clean and disinfect, and what products to use
- Governor Evers: FAQs about the Safer at Home order issued March 24, 2020
- Washington Post: Which outdoor sports and athletic activities are safe during a pandemic?
For parents and families:
- 14 affordable cloth face masks for kids you can find online — plus 7 things to know before you buy, according to a pediatrician
- UW Pediatrician: How to help your teenager manage stress during COVID-19 pandemic
- UW Madison Psychologist: How to talk to kids about COVID-19
- UW Health: How to help kids cope during the uncertainty of Coronavirus
- AAP: Finding ways to keep children occupied during these challenging times
- Center for Healthy Minds: Well-Being Toolkit for Children, Educators and Parents
- HealthyChildren.org: Social Distancing: Why Keeping Your Distance Helps Keep Others Safe
- PBS Kids: Parent Resources, Tips and Advice