MILWAUKEE — Mayor Tom Barrett announced that Miller Park will become Milwaukee's centralized hub for COVID-19 testing beginning Oct. 19.
The news came during a Milwaukee County COVID-19 update Tuesday afternoon, and as coronavirus numbers in Wisconsin continue to surge.
"I am pleased to share with you our plan is to create a consolidated, centralized community testing location at Miller Park," said Barrett. "Miller Park brings a lot of advantages to this because of its location."
According to Barrett, the goal is to have a testing location that is accessible to everyone both in the city of Milwaukee and in surrounding areas.
Construction will begin at Miller Park on Wednesday, Barrett said, in order to make the park more suitable for testing.
According to a press release from the Brewers, the central community testing site will be a temporary structure in a parking lot off of Miller Park Way.
There will also be two additional sites opened at the Milwaukee Health Department's Northwest Health Center, 7630 W. Mill Rd, and South Side Health Center, 1639 S. 23rd St.
Once these testing sites are established and open, the sites at UMOS and Custer will ramp down their testing and eventually will close. This way, the National Guard can move to testing sites in smaller cities across the state.
According to a press release from the Brewers, the other testing sites will close Oct. 17.
With winter on the way, it wasn't possible to protect the people working at the current sites from the harsh weather.
The change will also result in more testing. During the county update, Barrett said testing will likely increase from 2,000 tests a day to 2,800.
"Milwaukee is grateful to Governor Evers and the Wisconsin National Guard for their support and hard work to keep two community testing sites up and running for the past five months,” said Mayor Barrett. “Thanks to their service, we were able to increase testing capacity in areas impacted the most by COVID-19 and provide tens of thousands of tests to our residents.”
About 2,000 of those tests will be done at Miller Park, and the other 800 will be split evenly among the two Wisconsin Health Department's health centers.
Barrett emphasized that testing will remain free of charge, you will not need an appointment, and tests will be available for people who aren't showing symptoms.