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Marquette delays classes, urges students, staff to boost

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Marquette University is delaying the start of its spring semester by a week and urging students and staff to get vaccine booster shots as the COVID-19 omicron variant surges across the state.

The university announced Wednesday that classes will begin Jan. 24 rather than Jan. 18. University officials are recommending all students, faculty and staff get booster shots and upload evidence of the shots by Feb. 1. Anyone who doesn’t comply will be subject to weekly tests for the disease.

Edgewood College in Madison also announced Wednesday it will delay its spring semester by week, with classes starting on Jan. 24 rather than Jan. 18.

University of Wisconsin-Madison spokeswoman Meredith McGlone told the Wisconsin State Journal the state’s flagship school has no plans to delay its spring semester and class are still set to begin Jan. 25.

Health officials in Dane County, meanwhile, announced Thursday they would open a walk-up testing clinic beginning Monday at the Alliant Energy Center, an exhibition center and arena in

Madison. The clinic is expected to provide up to 750 tests per day before ramping up to 1,000 tests per day on Jan. 17.

Wisconsin’s seven-day average of positive cases stood at 6,260 as of Tuesday, according to data from the state Department of Health Services. The seven-day average of people hospitalized stood at 1,784 on Tuesday, with 11.4% on ventilators. Almost 80% of Wisconsin hospitals’ intensive care units were operating at peak capacity on Tuesday.

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