COVID-19 testing resumes at Racine's Festival Hall as shortage of rapid tests continues

Testing resumes Sept. 16
Racine national guard Covid testing
Posted at 8:58 AM, Sep 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-16 19:23:35-04

CITY OF RACINE — The Wisconsin National Guard started up COVID-19 testing again at Festival Hall in Racine on Thursday. The Guard said nearly a third of the people looking for a test were children.

Martha Montes brought her 5-year-old son, who is now spending two weeks at home because of the exposure.

“He was exposed to someone at school, and he came into close contact with someone at school, so he had to be sent home,” said Montes.

Martha Montes sits with her 5-year-old son who is being tested for COVID at Festival Hall in Racine.

Don Boyl is trying to be proactive and brought out his grandson, who is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

“He woke up not feeling good this morning,” said Boyl.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, there were 3,436 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday. Of those who tested positive, nearly one in five are under the age of 19.

“I'm concerned that it is easier to have him catch it with the Delta variant,” said Boyl.

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Now more municipalities are considering new COVID-19 testing sites. The Milwaukee Health Department says it is solidifying plans to open a mass testing site in the city to replace the American Family Field site.

This comes as the CDC says there is a shortage of point of care tests and over the counter tests, which give results in 15 minutes. If appointments are booked and you can’t find a rapid test over the counter, there is another option. The state offers at-home kits that can be ordered here through the DHS website.

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“Wisconsin has made it possible for every Wisconsinite to get an at-home test at will, when you need, shipped to you direct by UPS or in some cities by Door Dash. Shipped to you in the same day. You have that test sent to you at home and you log onto a website, and we are going to ask you to do a spit collect right in front of us on a video screen, and you put that right back into UPS and your results come in 24 hours,” said Jason Feldman, CEO of Vault Health, which operates the at-home COVID-19 tests.

Montes is just grateful their family was able to quickly get a test by drive up, but the wait for results and the green light to get back to life is hard.

“It’s overwhelming because of our jobs. I have three kids, so if one of them gets sick, then the others sick. So it’s a lot,” said Montes.

The National Guard site is now open Mondays and Thursdays for drive up and walk up testing from noon until 6 p.m.

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