The Department of Health Services (DHS) is offering convenient school-based testing for teachers, staff, students, and their families for the 2021-2022 school year. This testing program is intended to help K-12 public, private, and independent charter schools provide safe and healthy learning environments by connecting them with appropriate program vendors to meet their testing needs. Regular COVID-19 testing can help support schools in making decisions about their efforts to protect the health and well-being of those in their buildings, such as universal and correct use of masks, maintaining adequate physical distance, isolation and quarantine, ventilation improvements, and thorough handwashing.
Free of charge and convenient COVID-19 testing services are now available through approved program vendors for the 2021-2022 school year. The program is designed to simplify the testing process for schools. Under the new program:
- COVID-19 testing is free of charge. COVID-19 testing supplies, diagnostics, and specimen collection services will be made available to schools free of charge.
- COVID-19 testing is safe and accurate. Whether the school chooses to use highly accurate laboratory-based testing or rapid, point of care antigen tests for their students, staff, and families, these tests provide reliable results.
- COVID-19 testing is flexible. While DHS recommends following CDC guidelines for school testing, Wisconsin schools can conduct testing on their own or select a program vendor to provide full-scale COVID-19 testing operations that are flexible to the school’s needs, including conducting testing registration and obtaining consent, specimen collection, shipping, resulting, result reporting, and patient result notification. The school chooses the model and services that are appropriate for their community.