Thousands line up for free coronavirus tests in Milwaukee as National Guard adjusts to meet demand

Posted at 11:20 AM, May 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-12 13:55:28-04

The Wisconsin National Guard resumed free coronavirus testing for Milwaukee residents at two different locations on Tuesday after performing nearly 2,000 tests the day before. Due to such high demand, additional lanes were set up to offer more tests at once, helping keep the line moving.

The Wisconsin National Guard was originally forecasting a need to conduct about 500 tests per day at each of the two sites. On Tuesday morning, Capt. Joe Trovato said nearly 2,000 tests were conducted in Milwaukee on Monday.

He said teams are prepared to conduct as many tests as requested in the days ahead. At this time, there is no cap on the number of tests being conducted daily, according to Capt. Trovato.

Free testing is being offered from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. located at 5825 W. Hope Ave, and 2701 S. Chase Ave. outside of UMOS. The nose-swab is currently being offered, for free, to anybody who wants one, regardless of if they have any symptoms.

Drivers began to line up for a test at around 5:30 a.m. on Tuesday. Because of adjustments, most people waited less than 30 minutes once the line began to move.

"We came early because we saw the lines yesterday," said Diane Schneider, who was fourth in line at the testing site on Milwaukee's North side. "The line was all the way around here. All the way around to Capitol," said Harris. He was first in line on Tuesday.

Many of the residents waiting in line to be tested did not have symptoms.

"I don’t have any symptoms but I want to make sure everything is 'a-okay," said T.J. Martin, who was second in line.

The hope is that the nose swabs being offered will provide a test result that will bring clarity to both community health professionals and concerned residents.

"We're hoping that with more people being tested, too, We can get Wisconsin back going again," said Schneider

These community sites are not your only option. For those with symptoms, 17 different testing sites exist throughout the city. For more information, call 211.

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