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Officials hope new drive-up testing site will offer insight into combating COVID-19 in Kenosha County

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Posted at 11:54 AM, Apr 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-29 12:54:35-04

KENOSHA — A new drive-thru testing site will help Kenosha County officials test a higher percentage of Kenosha County Residents for the Cornonavirus (COVID-19).

The testing site, located in the parking lot of Gateway Technical College's Kenosha Campus, is a joint venture between the Kenosha Community Health Center and the Kenosha County Division of Health. The site is open to patients who have been selected by health care providers for screening by the Division of Health.

Officials say an average of 10-15 people are testing positive with COVID-19 daily in Kenosha County. The data collected at the new drive-up testing site will help doctors track the spread of the virus more efficiently.

"We have seen a desperate need for more testing in Kenosha County, said Dr. Jen Freiheit, Kenosha County Health Officer.

Around 1% of Kenosha County's population has been tested for COVID-19. 358 people have had confirmed cases of COVID-19 and nine people have died.

With the state's safer-at-home order extended until May 26th, current data projects COVID-19 to peak in Kenosha County on June 3rd. 2,480 people are projected to test positive.

"After we get some testing ramped up here we will be alter those projection modelings," said Dr. Freiheit.

The new site will initially offer about 50 sites per day, according to Dr. Mary Ouimet, CEO of the Kenosha County Health Center. County leaders hope to increase to 257 tests per day in the weeks ahead.

"We’ve designed it so that we have minimal interaction at the site," said Dr. Ouimet.

Drivers can pull up and be tested while sitting in their cars. It takes 24 to 48 hours for test results to be returned.

County leaders hope this site will help combat the virus using the data collected at this new testing sites.

"It allows us to contain the virus. It allows us to know exactly who is positive, who is not, we can look for hot spots within the county. We can then do our contact tracing, our disease investigation and be able to contain it much quicker that way," said Dr. Freiheit.

For now, the test site will serve people who are referred to the site because household members and other close contacts of theirs have tested positive for COVID-19. A referral for testing will come directly from health care providers. Individuals should not call the Kenosha County Division of Health directly to seek screening.

Learn more about coronavirus in Kenosha County here.

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