Photo of the Covid-19 virus under a microscope with the text, Covid-19 Why it Matters, Why is COVID-19 Testing so Important?"

Video: COVID-19 Why it Matters: Part 14, Why is COVID-19 Testing so Important?

This video series features UW-Green Bay’s Immunologist Brian Merkel on COVID-19 and Why it Matters. This series empowers viewers with knowledge to help them navigate through the pandemic. Merkel has a Ph.D. in Microbiology & Immunology from the Medical College of Virginia. He is an associate professor in UW-Green Bay’s Human Biology & Biology programs and has an appointment at the Medical College of Wisconsin Department of Microbiology and Immunology. He will be responding to a number of questions related to COVID-19 and try to get behind the “why” it’s important to be educated in your decision-making as we navigate the pandemic together.

Video Transcript – COVID-19 Why it Matters: Part 14, Why is COVID-19 Testing so Important?

Brian Merkel, Microbiology and Immunology and we are continuing with our series on “Why COVID-19 Matters to You.”

Testing represents the eyes that we have into the extent of the problem that we’re having in any population. If we don’t test, we simply don’t know, we’re just we’re blind. But a population that we’re particularly concerned about (With COVID-19), are those 30 years and younger. These are individuals that may become infected. They may have very few symptoms and this is a problem for these individuals because if they’re not tested, they certainly have the capacity then to spread it to other members of the population, whether it’s on the college campus, whether it’s in your community and what have you.

The reason why this is all particularly important is for those individuals that cannot handle the infection, they go into hospitals. A little less than five percent of all COVID infections now end up in hospitals and we are near exceeding hospital capacity at this time. It’s never been higher. And if we don’t reverse the trajectory that we’re on in the State of Wisconsin that is a big concern as we head into the months of December and January because we don’t have the vaccines yet.

So, we have to all do our part when it comes to testing. To make sure that hospitals can do what they need to do and to make sure as always that we continue to prevent those individuals that cannot handle the virus, to prevent them from becoming infected.

COVID-19 Why it Matters Video Series:

Introduction with Brian Merkel

Part 1: What are viruses and where did this one come from

Part 2: Two main types of viruses

Part 3: Why is this virus serious?

Part 4: Why wash hands/wear mask?

Part 5: I’m young! Why should I care?

Part 6: Can pandemics be stopped before they start?

Part 7: Pandemic is not local, why wear a mask?

Part 8: Why does everyone need a flu shot this year?

Part 9: What is the science behind a vaccine?

Part 10: Where can I find accurate information?

Part 11: What type of mask should I wear?

Part 12: Why HUGE COVID-19 spikes in Wisconsin?

Part 13: Fall break, protect yourself & others

Part 14: Why is COVID-19 Testing so Important?

Common CAHSS keynote is Nov. 30

November 30, 2020 from 6 to 7 p.m. Prof. David Voelker (Humanities, History) leads the discussion, Beyond Sustainability; Imagining an Ecological Future. Here’s a description:

“It’s time for an honest conversation about sustainability—not to demolish the concept, but to recognize that it has fallen short in helping us change our unsustainable ways. Although the dominant models of sustainability in theory recognize that environmental problems are entangled with economic and social justice issues, in practice sustainability efforts have tended to focus rather narrowly on what we usually call “the environmental impact” of our activities. We have thus failed to transcend not only the polluting energy systems of the past two centuries but also the economic and ideological systems that see unlimited growth as the only viable option. Unsustainability is not simply a technical problem that can be solved through technological means. To mitigate the multiple environmental crises into which we are rushing, we need to reconsider our roles on this living planet as human beings. Can we imagine an ecological future in which we thrive as members of the larger community of life?”  See more on the Common CAHSS page.


Reminder: Kwanzaa Celebration is Saturday, Dec. 5

Join online for UW-Green Bay’s annual Kwanzaa celebration on Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. This year’s celebration theme is Ujima principle, which stands for collective work and responsibility. Keynote speaker is UW-Green Bay Vice Chancellor for Inclusivity and Student Affairs, Corey King, Ph.D. This event is open to campus and the community. Register here, by Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. For more information, or if you have a disability and would like to discuss accommodations, please contact the Office of Student Life at 920-465-2720. UW-Green Bay students, faculty and staff only can request a Kwanzaa meal and ‘Kwanzaa at Home’ packet to be picked up on Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020 prior to the virtual event. Students/staff/faculty who register after this date cannot request a meal. The event is sponsored by the UW-Green Bay Black Student Union (BSU), the Office of Student Life (OSL) and Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs (MESA).

New certificate program aims to promote social evolution

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is launching a new noncredit Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Certificate Program in February 2021. The goal of the certificate program is to promote social evolution in our workplaces, organizations and communities, giving everyone a voice.

The program is being offered at two levels, both of which are 100% online. Level 1 includes four core courses over four weeks, covering multi-facets of diversity and privilege. The second week will include a live online discussion and Q&A of workplace conversations, and the fifth and final week will engage participants in a panel discussion with DEI spokespeople and experts.

Reverend Cade-White
Reverend Cade-White

The Level 2 program will encompass a deeper dive into DEI and how to make it central to your culture, culminating in a capstone course in which participants will be asked to develop a tangible plan for their business or organization

Included  in the program are panel experts Lisa Koenecke, founder of Inclusion Ally, and Stacy Christian, Ph.D., Director of Inclusive Excellence and Pride Center at UW-Green Bay.

Lead instructor for the program is Reverend Lex Cade-White, hospital chaplain at Advocate Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center in Milwaukee and community minister affiliated with Ebenezer UCC in Sheboygan. Reverend Cade-White has facilitated dialogues and conversations in communities and congregations about race, class, gender and spirituality for more than 10 years.

Find more information and register.


Tested Negative For COVID-19? Here’s What You Need To Know | Wisconsin Public Radio

Prof. Brian Merkel joined other experts in this story regarding testing for COVID-19. Even if you tested negative, be careful, they advise… “Because testing is a snapshot from the time of testing, public health experts say it’s not advisable to use a negative test as a justification for spending time with family during the holidays. Brian Merkel, associate professor of biology at UW-Green Bay, said a better option before seeing others is to quarantine for 14 days first.” Source: Tested Negative For COVID-19? Here’s What You Need To Know | Wisconsin Public Radio

Photo of an UW-Green Bay student-athlete wearing a ‘Nix the Vid face mask to help keep the UW-Green Bay community safe!

Video: Student-athletes press on to ‘Nix the Vid

UW-Green Bay student-athletes have worked together to ‘Nix the Vid and help keep the UW-Green Bay community safeIt’s been a year of pressing on during the pandemic but these Green Bay athletes are not allowing COVID-19 to hold them back! Members of the Phoenix family take pride in protecting themselves and others by following the 3 Ws—wear a mask, wash your hands and watch your distance. Go Phoenix!



Next Coffee Break Q&A is Monday, Nov. 23

Join Mike Alexander, Sheryl Van Gruensven and Kate Burns for the next Coffee Break Q&A, Monday. Nov. 23, 2020. Campus leaders will provide a brief update and allow the remaining time to take questions from UW-Green Bay faculty and staff via Please note, at times there is a delay in the questions populating to the inbox. Please submit questions promptly or even ahead of time to be read during the Q&A. Colleagues from all campus locations are strongly encouraged to attend. Those who can’t attend should be able to use the registration link to watch the recording at a later time. Check your e-mail for a TEAMS invite.

WIT featured as panelists in Fox Cities Chamber event

Last week Emily Sawall, Amber Honnef, Annie Skorupa and Advisor, Director of Career Services Linda Peacock-Landrum, were featured as Q & A panelists for Fox Cities Chamber’s “Smart Girls Rock Mentoring Event.” They spoke about their experiences as women in technology and offered words of advice for younger girls going into the STEM/Tech field.

You’re invited: Virtual Advocacy Forum, Dec. 10

The Brown County United Way Advocacy Council and the UW-Green Bay Center for Public Affairs are co-hosting a Virtual Advocacy Forum on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The format will be an interactive, roundtable discussion with local leaders. Contribute your voice in coming together around long-term solutions to support nonprofits, vital safety net services, and our community’s wellbeing during the pandemic and over the long-term.

Associate Prof. Lora Warner will share the results from Phase 2 of Survey on the Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Wisconsin Nonprofit Organizations. Registration is free but required in order to receive the Zoom link to join the event. Learn more about the forum and register.

Tonight: Exploring Intersectionality within Blackness Event

Tonight, Nov. 18 at 7 p.m., Miriam Brabham of Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs (MESA) will virtually host a panel discussion, “Exploring Intersectionality Within Blackness.” The panel consists of Brabham and Professors Tohoro and Gichobi, Jonathan Allen of Admissions, and students Azi Onama and Rania Jones. This discussion is open to the public. The different perspectives offered by this panel should invoke a lively discussion on how different the lived Black experience can be. Please join via TEAMs for this open, honest, and authentic conversation. It is free and open to the public.