3 cases of COVID-19 detected among workers who sought access to Wisconsin Center ahead of 2020 DNC

The Wisconsin Center in downtown Milwaukee.

Three positive cases of COVID-19 were detected this week among workers who wanted access to the Wisconsin Center, site of the 2020 Democratic National Convention.

But convention organizers said those positive tests didn’t trigger Wednesday’s announcement that speakers, including Joe Biden, would not be traveling to Milwaukee.

A convention spokesperson said Thursday: “Ensuring the safety and well-being of everyone involved with the convention is our top priority. In consultation with public health officials and experts, the Democratic National Convention Committee has implemented stringent health and safety protocols — including daily testing for anyone accessing the convention complex and contact tracing.”

The news about the positive tests was first reported by The Daily Beast.

Daily testing for the novel coronavirus began last week during the build-out for the Aug. 17-20 convention. The tests were part of stringent health protocols being put in place for the event that is taking place in the middle of a pandemic.

The testing system was set up three weeks before the convention. The aim was to make sure the system worked and to screen workers who were required to be on the site.

Organizers sought to identify cases early before people entered the site and were around others.

Under the protocol, anyone who needed to access the Wisconsin Center needed to test negative 24 hours before entry.

Last week, there were two “equivocal test results” that indicated the potential presence of the virus. But follow-up testing showed those were false positives.

This week, three positive cases were detected and the cases were reported to the Milwaukee Health Department. Those who tested positive were given instructions to self-isolate.

“It demonstrated the system was working,” said a source familiar with the matter.

A representative of the Wisconsin Center District said staff there “followed the guidelines set forth by our client regarding daily health screens.”

“The Wisconsin Center has followed all of the guidelines established for everyone entering the building,” the statement said. “Ensuring the safety and well-being of everyone involved with the convention is the top priority of the client and the venue alike.”