Gov. Evers announces $175M in federal funding for school-based COVID-19 testing program

Gov. Tony Evers wearing a mask

MADISON, Wis. — Gov. Tony Evers announced Tuesday more than $175 million in federal funding for the state to develop a school-based COVID-19 testing program for students, teachers and staff.

“We know this pandemic has been tough on students, educators, and staff and administration alike,” Evers said. “Expanding access to testing is one tool we can use to help decrease disruption in classrooms across the state.”

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction will work in tandem with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services to create a program that uses testing infrastructure that’s already in place throughout the state.

Officials said testing would be voluntary and would not be mandated.

“Testing has been, and will continue to be, a critical part of Wisconsin’s COVID-19 response,” DHS Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake said. “This funding will allow us to implement a COVID-19 testing program for schools that supports the safety and wellbeing of teachers, staff members, and students throughout the state.”

Health officials said more information will be made available when more concrete plans for the program are in place.