The Wisconsin Department of Health Services today unveiled a plan to offer free, school-based COVID-19 testing for teachers, staff, students and their families for the 2021-22 school year. This voluntary, opt-in testing will be provided to school districts that sign up for it through pre-approved vendors in order to ease the logistical and paperwork burden on schools.
From the Department of Health Services…
“The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) today announced COVID-19 testing support for Wisconsin K-12 public, private, and independent charter schools for the 2021-2022 school year.
“This testing is intended to support healthy learning environments by helping to identify COVID-19 cases earlier and reduce community spread. Participation in the program is voluntary and free of charge. While DHS recommends following current CDC’s guidelines for school testing, the program is flexible for participating K-12 schools and districts to choose the type of COVID-19 testing that best meets their needs.
“To opt-in to this federally funded resource, schools should complete the K-12 COVID-19 Testing Program Participation Survey by July 9, 2021 at 5 p.m. A PDF version of the survey is available for reference. Schools and districts will still be able to sign up for the program after this date, but those who complete the survey by July 9 are more likely to have testing services available for their first day of school.”
This voluntary, opt-in testing program was discussed during a portion of today’s DHS COVID-19 briefing. Here is video from that briefing describing the opt-in testing programs and some of its advantages for schools:
The DHS will also be providing a free webinar on July 1, 2021, at 4 p.m. for school leaders who wish to learn more about the COVID testing supports available in the 2021-22 school year through this program. Advance registration is required to receive the Zoom link and call-in information. You can register for the webinar here. The webinar will be recorded, made available on the DHS website, and a link to the recording will be sent to all individuals who register.