Two new COVID-19 testing sites to open in Milwaukee for anyone with or without symptoms

Posted at 10:39 PM, May 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-12 11:31:49-04

Two new coronavirus testing sites will open in Milwaukee on Monday for anyone — with or without symptoms — to get a free coronavirus test.

The sites will be located at 5825 W. Hope Ave. in the Midtown Center parking lot, with another located at 2701 S. Chase Avenue outside of UMOS in Walker's Point. Testing begins at 8 a.m. and goes through 8 p.m. seven days a week.

Citizens interested in receiving a test can walk or drive up to both locations. No appointment is necessary.

"Those who don't have symptoms, we’re going to test you as well, but we want those individuals who have that cough, who have that fever, who are having that shortness of breath, please make sure that you come and get tested," said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

Members of the Wisconsin National Guard will operate the testing sites dressed in full personal protective equipment. Officials stress you shouldn't be alarmed by their appearance. Testing is only expected to take minutes, with officials expecting an ability to conduct nearly 500 tests per day.

"Our teams are gathering the sample from individuals using a non-invasive nasal swab, and then we send that sample off to state labs for analysis," said Wisconsin National Guard Capt. Joe Trovato.

You'll get a call from your local health department in about three to five days with your test results. The Wisconsin National Guard is helping make those calls from a center in Madison as well.

If you test positive, a health official will tell you to self-isolate for 14 days, and then a contact tracer will call you. The contact tracer will ask for a list of people with whom you have been in close contact, which means spending more than 10 minutes within six feet of someone.

"Those individuals who would have been within a household or potentially a workplace or other setting where they have had known contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID or a suspect case, again another important situation where that testing is very appropriate," said Dr. Nick Tomaro of the City of Milwaukee Health Department.

Officials say increased testing is a key vessel to achieving Wisconsin's Badger Bounce Back goals.

"That's the goal for all of us is to get our life back to normal as quickly as possible," Mayor Barrett said.

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