MADISON, Wis (SPECTRUM NEWS) –UW School of Medicine and Public Health’s top medical leader says the state needs to be more diligent in following safeguards designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“We [Wisconsin] need to do better. The bottom line is we need to do better and we are not in a good spot now,” Dean Robert Golden says. “And I guess it’s all relative. I had no shoes and complained until I met someone who had no feet, I mean we’re doing better than some of the areas of the country that are doing a horribly desperate in. attempt to save lives. But we must do better.”
He says when it comes to undergrads returning to campus, it is vitally important parents talk with their college-aged kids about following social distancing — wearing masks and frequent hand-washing.
“Now more than ever, they have to really be mature and understand that if and when they violate these public health principles, they are putting their entire year at jeopardy,” Golden says.
The medical leader hopes UW’s COVID-19 on-site testing and other safeguards will help prevent flare-ups felt at other campuses countrywide — but says all-virtual classes could become a real possibility should outbreaks occur.
“I am so pleased and proud with the way this university’s leadership is addressing it transparent straightforward, being fully prepared to respond to realities rather than having a kind of headstrong full speed ahead regardless of what happens attitude that we’re seeing in other segments of the country and other segments of our society,” Golden says. “So I think we’re going into this with a good plan with good leadership eyes wide open. But we shouldn’t sugarcoat it. The future is very uncertain,” he continues.
As for UW’s School of Medicine and Public Health, a similar plan is in place for students to continue learning despite the pandemic. He says, for now, med students have plenty of PPE available for on-site instruction as they return to campus on Friday.
“So we are prepared to push a button, and to switch again, back and forth, as the epidemic demands for virtual versus on site for hands on clinical training versus other simulated methods. And I think it’s going to be that way for a while,” he says. “So we are prepared to push a button, and to switch again, back and forth, as the epidemic demands for virtual versus on site for hands on clinical training versus other simulated methods. And i think it’s going to be that way for a while,” he adds.
Meanwhile, Golden wants everyone to get a flu shot and consider enrolling in numerous vaccine studies and trials coming out in the weeks to come.