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COVID-19 testing will increase at universities

More than $8 million has been allocated, to support COVID- 19 testing efforts at Wisconsin’s private, non-profit, and tribal colleges and universities. This effort follows Gov. Tony Evers’ investment of more than $10 million in general COVID-19 support for Wisconsin’s campuses, announced earlier this summer.

“All across our state, we are seeing an alarming increase in positive cases of COVID-19, especially among 18 to 24 year olds in our campus communities,” said Evers. “No campus exists in a bubble, so it is critical that we all work together to stop the spread of this virus for the health and safety of not only those on our college campuses, but for Wisconsinites in every corner of our state, and testing is a key step in doing just that.”

“We are indeed in a crisis,” said Dr. Rolf Wegenke, president and CEO of Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (WAICU). “In a time of crisis, some run around saying that ‘the sky is falling,’ while others roll up their sleeves and get the job done. Today, we are getting the job done.”

The testing effort is funded through the Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act dollars. Administered by the Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA), the program provides reimbursement for COVID-19 testing, specimen collection and other related expenditures incurred by private, non-profit colleges and universities.

Institutions may use the funding to procure COVID-19 tests and testing services to test students, faculty and staff who are symptomatic, asymptomatic or in close contact with confirmed COVID-19 positive cases.

“The health of our students, faculty and staff during this unprecedented time is a priority, especially as we see increases in COVID-19 cases among college students throughout the nation,” said DOA secretary Joel Brennan. “I am proud we can support Wisconsin’s higher education institutions, in their efforts to provide sanitary and safe learning environments.”