In-person learning thanks to rapid COVID-19 testing

While much of the focus has been on the vaccine-- health experts say getting a COVID-19 test remains a priority.

For some Milwaukee area schools, testing has helped allow students to return with the confidence they are safe.

The company is being credited for being part of the efforts that are helping keep more than a dozen Milwaukee area schools. 

A small nasal swab is offering a huge amount of relief for staff members at Seton Catholic Schools in Milwaukee.

As the group of 11 schools balances in-person and digital learning, they've put into a place a comprehensive plan to keep everyone safe. In addition to mask-wearing, social distancing and heavy cleaning, bi-weekly onsite COVID-19 tests are helping them determine who should be in the building.

The CEO of the testing company Novir says their healthcare workers provide this service to thousands of people daily. 

"We use rapid test, antibody and antigen tests and that facilitates a quick turnaround time on results which is 10-15 minutes and then you know and essentially take action if you need or have an understanding of the setting you are in to make it safer than it was before," said Melissa Benson, director of operations for Seton Catholic Schools.

She says the added layer of protection, helps the schools have the information on hand to make decisions on a regular basis and catch positive cases to avoid them from coming into the building. Keeping everyone safe while still learning. 

As the CDC released new guidelines for reopening, Novir says its already in talks with several more area schools hoping to be a critical resource in helping them return. 

Benson says they were able to use money from the CARES Act to help fund the onsite COVID-19 testing program.

DHS: 405 new positive cases of COVID-19 in Wisconsin; 4 new deaths

State health officials reported 405 new positive cases of COVID-19 in Wisconsin Monday and four new deaths.