As we reported in an earlier blog post, Wisconsin is receiving $175 million in federal funding to implement testing programs in schools.
The first phase of this testing program will include options for schools to begin conducting tests in Spring and Summer 2021. Future phases will expand testing options and supports available to schools in Fall 2021 and during the 2021-22 school year.
To provide school leaders with information about getting schools certified to become part of these new COVID-19 testing opportunities, the DPI and the state Department of Health Services will be conducting a webinar today (Friday, April 23) from 1:00-2:00 p.m.
Advance registration is required to receive the Zoom link and call-in information. You can register here.
With this new federal funding being made available, schools school districts, private schools, and independent charter schools that are properly certified could receive immediate access to the BinaxNOW rapid-results, point-of-care COVID-19 tests developed by Abbott Labs. However, testing with the BinaxNOW point-of-care test requires that schools obtain a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment (CLIA) Certificate of Waiver, a process that is not time consuming or difficult but not familiar to most school personnel.
Today’s webinar will provide information on the process for obtaining a CLIA Certificate, including:
- CLIA Certificate application process
- Testing using the BinaxNOW kits
- Test result reporting requirements
- Other testing considerations
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.
Please email DHSK12CovidTesting@dhs.wisconsin.gov with questions.
- Ruth Sullivan, DHS COVID-19 Response Team Deputy Director
- Michael Thompson, DPI Deputy State Superintendent
- Angela Mack, DHS Division of Quality Assurance Health Services Management Section Chief
- Dr. Alana Sterkel, Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene Communicable Disease Division Associate Director