MPS behind schedule on COVID testing, less than halfway finished with scheduled tests

NOW: MPS behind schedule on COVID testing, less than halfway finished with scheduled tests

MILWAUKEE (CBS) -- Milwaukee Public Schools said Friday, May 7, they had only tested 66 of their 137 schools, despite their schedule calling for all of those schools to begin testing by this point. 

“Pooled surveillance testing in the district is not going well," MTEA President Amy Mizialko said during a press conference Friday. "And it’s safe to say that the MTEA is alarmed at the current testing situation.”

Superintendent Dr. Keith Posley said the district is behind on testing because they needed parent consent forms and had to contract out the testing work.

“Working to make sure they’re on, there was professional development training they had to go through before doing this,” Posley said.

Pool testing is when MPS tests an entire classroom. Swabs from every child are placed into one tube for testing and the test comes back either as negative or positive for the entire class.

MPS is not counting those results as one of three positive COVID-19 cases required to force a school to go virtual.

“Imagine if a school tests a pool testing, they test four classrooms and get three positive tests," MTEA Executive Director Ben Ward said. "They’re going to close those classrooms, but not close the school. We think that’s a ridiculous outcome.”

Dr. Keith Posley said pool tests require a follow up because they are not FDA approved.

“There is a letter given out to the families, and to have all of those individuals tested to confirm a positive," Posley said. "Because it was made clear with us through the company that there are false positives.”

Eight MPS schools have had to close due to positive COVID-19 cases.

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