Need for testing spikes as MPS goes virtual due to COVID-19

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The scramble for covid-19 testing continues to intensify after the new year, with people waiting hours in line once again. This comes as Milwaukee Public Schools made the call to go all virtual once again.

MPS employees getting tested Sunday pushed the dial past the point of comfort for school officials. Starting Tuesday, students will be back to virtual learning but there's still opportunities for students to get tested as well.

"Although I haven't been around really large gatherings, I have been out and about, and I know all these variants spread quickly and I wanted to make sure that going back to school I was negative," said school Councilor Lisa Moos, on of many getting tested Sunday.

Councilors, teachers, and other staff out being tested Sunday said it was a better option than waiting in long lines elsewhere.

"The process was super easy, it was very simple, I was impressed with how organized it was, and I believe it's important because I'm trying to keep my students safe," said MPS Teacher Blasant Imo.

MPS Superintendent Keith Posley said testing is to make sure when students are back in classrooms, they're safe.

"It's an opportunity we have provided for our students and our staff just want to make sure everyone is safe," said Posley.

Elsewhere, other MPS employees waited in line at places like Hayat Pharmacy.

"Right now we've been waiting about a little over three hours," said MPS Teacher Paige Pierzchalski who was waiting with her family.

Hayat pharmacy pharmacist Hashim Zaibak said they're testing 1,500-1,600 people a day. 

"I want to apologize for the people who are waiting, I want to apologize even for the businesses in the area because some of the businesses in the area got upset because of the lines," said Zaibak.

Several Milwaukee Public Schools will have testing available for students and staff Jan. 3.

Hamilton, Marshall, the Obama school, Pulaski, South Division and the Wisconsin Conservatory of Lifelong Learning will all have testing from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m..

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