UW-Madison Professors Teach Schools How To Do Antigen Testing

Tom Friedrich, professor in the UW School of Veterinary Medicine, explains a consent form and the process of volunteers spitting in a small vial as part of a trial of a new COVID-19 saliva test

A team of UW–Madison researchers this year taught nurses and personnel at more than 100 Dane County schools how to conduct rapid antigen testing for the virus that causes COVID-19, allowing them to react quickly to possible cases and prevent spread.

“A school can identify quickly if a staff member or a kid who comes in the school who might have symptoms comes in the school and should get sent home,” said Shelby O’Connor, associate professor of pathology at UW–Madison.

Schools appreciate being able to react quickly to potential COVID-129 cases.

“The partnership with UW has been pretty amazing, to have that option for families right away,” said Mandy Harvey, principal of Kennedy Elementary School in Madison. “Families seem to have a lot of comfort when we offer that we can do that, when their child is having symptoms.”

The team of specialists at UW–Madison who worked on the project include David O’Connor, Shelby O’Connor, Thomas Friedrich, Ellen Wald, Matt McLaughlin and Katrina Fauser, as well as Rachel Goldberg of Public Health Madison & Dane County.

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