Wisconsin to get nearly 2M rapid COVID-19 tests

Nearly two million COVID-19 rapid tests are on their way to Wisconsin as infection rates continue to break records in the state.

Adm. Brett Giroir M.D., the national coordinator for COVID-19 testing, said help is on the way in the form of 1.75 million point-of-care tests.

"For the governor to use to keep K-12 schools open, to safely reopen them, and to also use for other critical infrastructure projects," said Giroir.

Giroir said those tests come in addition to 600,000 tests already sent to nursing homes and assisted living facilities across the state.

"It is 97.2% sensitive compared to the best laboratory PCR, and over 98.5% specific," Giroir said. "These are very, very, very good numbers, particularly for a test that you get back within 15 minutes."

The state's health department reports that more than 206,000 people have now tested positive for COVID-19. 

It is important to know that testing alone is not a mitigation plan, and federal officials are quick to point that out.

"It does not substitute for avoiding crowds and wearing masks. We really have to guard against this mitigation fatigue," said Giroir. "We cannot test our way out of the pandemic. The testing is an important component of it, but it's not the whole answer." 

FOX6 News is told that the U.S. Public Health Service is sending a couple dozen medical staff to hospitals across Wisconsin to assist with operations.

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State officials say, despite the recent donation of tests, there isn't aren't enough of them considering Wisconsin's population.

Officials say wearing a mask, avoiding gatherings and washing hands continue to be key methods to stop the spread of the virus.

DHS: COVID-19 cases up 3,815, deaths up 45 in Wisconsin

More than 2 million people have now been tested for COVID-19 in Wisconsin, of which nearly 1.8 million have tested negative.

Wisconsin remains COVID-19 hot spot, per White House

Local and state health officials say there is still a big problem with compliance when it comes to wearing masks and social distancing.