LA CROSSE, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – The La Crosse School District is implementing a new program to help track the spread of COVID-19.
First News at Nine’s Alex Loroff tells us about free testing opportunities available across the district.
The school year is fully underway in La Crosse, and staff hope a new program will help keep students in the classroom.
The School District of La Crosse is offering free COVID-19 testing opportunities five days a week at different sites throughout the city.
Director of Student Services Aimee Zabrowski says the goal is to provide convenient options for anyone wanting a test.
“How can we make testing accessible to families so that we can identify students or staff that have COVID, and we can take necessary precautions to make sure that we don’t have sick individuals at school,” Zabrowski said.
In order to track the spread of COVID-19, nurse Sara Lieurance says the district is offering tests to as wide an array of people as possible.
“If someone’s a close contact and they just want to be tested, they can be tested, if they’re symptomatic they can be tested, or if they just want to check for whatever reason they can have a test done,” Lieurance explained. “It’s open to our students, their families, anybody who brings them to and from school, and also open to our staff and their families.”
Lieurance adds providing easy access to testing can help identify cases early and prevent large outbreaks across the district.
“The more tests that are done, the more we know about what’s going on in our community and it just gives us more data to keep kids safe at school,” Lieurance said.
Zabrowski says the district is cautiously optimistic that the entire school year will be held in-person, despite an early rise in cases.
“The reality is, we haven’t had full, in-person learning when the activity in the community has been as high as it is now,” Zabrowski said. “We are seeing cases, we are needing to quarantine students, and we’re following all of our mitigation strategies that we can.”
Drive-up testing began on Wednesday, but symptomatic students can also be tested at each school site.
Consent from a parent or guardian is required before any student can be tested.
More information on testing sites and their hours of operation can be found here.