MILWAUKEE - Starting this week, Milwaukee Public Schools will begin testing students and staff for COVID-19. This comes as children in grades 4 to 8 return to schools on Monday, April 19.
Ten percent of each school will be randomly tested for COVID-19 every other week. Students will self-administer the nasal swab test.
MPS said pool testing works as follows:
- Each child is given something like a Q-tip to swab their own nose
- Up to 25 of those Q-tips are put into a tube
- The rube is sent off for testing
- If any of those Q-tips have a positive test result, the entire class goes virtual for 14 days
The teachers union questions whether young students, especially when some are as young as three, will be able to properly swab their own noses.
One parent is choosing to keep her daughter home. The mandatory COVID-19 testing is one of the reasons she isn't returning to school in person.
"For Robyn, she has ADHD as well as autism and she’s nonverbal," Peace said. "With occupational therapy her being able to hold utensils and stuff of that nature, she still struggles with, I am not sure if she’ll be able to hold it steadily or follow the instructions of inserting or whatever the procedure would be."
Forty-two percent of MPS students opted for in-person learning and will head back in phases over the next two weeks.
With classes resuming, the walk-in vaccination clinics at North and South Division High Schools are now permanently closed. They have moved to the Northwest Health Center and the Southside Health Center.