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Senator Nass says Gov. Evers will mandate virtual learning for Wisconsin schools; Evers denies claim

Published: Aug. 3, 2020 at 1:48 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 3, 2020 at 1:54 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- State Senator Steve Nass (R-Whitewater) says there are growing indications that Gov. Tony Evers will prohibit all Wisconsin schools from starting the year with in-person classes, a claim Evers has since denied.

Nass said in a press release on Monday he heard the information from education sources, but did not elaborate on who those sources were.

“I have been hearing from education sources that Governor Evers will act within days to prohibit in-person classes at the start of this school year,” says Nass. “The mandatory face mask order was nothing more than political cover for the real purpose of the Governor issuing an illegal emergency declaration–keeping public and private school buildings from reopening in September.”

He also called out DHS for using what he called “flawed data” saying more than 30,000 COVID-19 tests and growing, have not been included in state data since June.

“The Legislature has the power to stop Evers and Palm from doing more damage under the illegal state of emergency,” said Nass. “Failure to act by either house would make the Legislature complicit in empowering Evers and Palm, two of the most untrustworthy people to serve in state government, in my opinion.”

Governor Evers told Milwaukee NBC affiliate WMTJ “there’s no secret plan out there”. Evers denied Nass’ claim, saying these decisions should be made on the local level as districts vary in enrollment. “If you’re already in a small school district and your average class size is 10 and 15 and you have big classrooms, it’s a lot easier to keep socially distant than some school district that has lots of kids in a very small space,” Governor Evers said.

NBC15 reached out to Senator Nass’ office and requested an interview but have not heard back.

UNACCOUNTED TEST RESULTS

Public Health Madison Dane County recently added 17,000 uncounted negative test results to its data dashboard.

When NBC15 spoke with PHMDC on July 27, they said they redirected efforts to focus on positive cases and contact tracing.

COVID Data Team Lead Katarina Grande said staff have to manually check for duplicate tests to make sure each result is sorted into the right county, which can cause delays in reporting those results.

PHMDC is expecting an upgrade to the state’s COVID-19 data tracking system in October.

Nass also announced last week Waukesha County confirmed to him, their negative test result backlog is at 4,700 and growing.

DPI GUIDANCE

The state Department of Instruction released its guidance for reopening classrooms in June.

They suggested schools should be flexible and be prepared to shift between in-person, physically-distanced, and virtual learning as they deal with the changing aspects of COVID-19.

Under state law, the DPI does not have the authority to order schools closed except for what is written in Wis. Stat. 115.33(3)(a), pertaining to safety precautions following inspections of school buildings.

Copyright 2020 WMTV. All rights reserved.

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