Increase Wisconsin COVID-19 testing/tracing to safeguard Back-To-School 2020

We the undersigned ask that the State of Wisconsin and the Evers Administration increase resources for community testing and contact tracing of COVID-19 to every county in the state, in advance of public schools re-opening for in-person education for the 2020-21 school year. This is in light of the number of cases increasing rapidly statewide, with most counties now classified as "high" for virus activity by DHS and the CDC. Masks and social distancing are only one component of re-opening schools safely. The critical need for increased testing and contact tracing statewide is woefully lacking, and is out of the purview of local school districts. Therefore, a key component to keeping communities safe is the State of Wisconsin's function and responsibility for increased testing and contact tracing statewide, and must be accomplished in order for schools to function safely. We base our expectations on the following scientific guidelines:

The State's current testing efforts are currently not even close to meeting objective metrics.

Contact tracing outside urban areas is virtually non-existent. This situation puts students, teachers, staff, nurses, and whole communities at risk for sudden and uncontrollable outbreaks of COVID-19, if schools were to re-open under these conditions. Reliance on temperature screening to identify potential carriers is insufficient, as the virus is spread largely from asymptomatic/presymptomatic individuals – particularly in the case of children and adolescents.

Specifically, we ask that the State of Wisconsin meet the following, measurable metrics:

  • Every county in the state to have testing capacity that is easily accessible to any person who wants and/or needs a test. For larger counties (in area), and more densely populated counties, this will require multiple sites to reduce wait times and ensure accessibility.
  • Every county in the state to have contact tracing capacity to ensure that they meet CDC standards.
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