Wisconsin National Guard adds additional space to free COVID-19 testing sites

Posted at 10:19 PM, May 11, 2020

MILWAUKEE-- After hundreds of people waited for hours to get a free coronavirus test at two new sites in Milwaukee, officials are already preparing to help cut the lines down.

The Wisconsin National Guard added two tents at the Midtown Center, located at 5825 W. Hope Ave. The other site is located at 2701 S. Chase Ave. outside of UMOS.

Lines stretched around both testing locations for blocks on Monday. Many were in line hours before testing opened at 8 a.m.

However, as the end of the day approached, local residents were met with a short wait who were interested in being tested.

"It wasn't bad, maybe a half hour total," said Jeanne Ertell.

"As soon as we got an opportunity, we came and got it done, we wasn’t here longer than 15 minutes, the test it was a little tickle up there, and that was it," said Stacey Love.

Love and her family don't have symptoms, but they wanted to get a test because her father in-law tested positive for the virus a few weeks ago.

"He’s well, he beat it, that's a good thing, we went into quarantine, now we need to know to be on the safe side," said Love.

Monday testing numbers won't be released until Tuesday morning, but as of 3 p.m. Monday, officials said that 790 people were tested so far.

This is the first time people without symptoms can get tested. Right now, health officials aren't worried about running out of tests. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett says they will know in the next few days if they need to open up more sites like this.

If you're thinking about getting a free test in the next few days, Love has some advice.

"Just come, it don’t matter, they here to 8 o'clock, just come, don’t hesitate," Love said.

The two sites are open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week for as long as it takes. A spokesperson for the Wisconsin National Guard said those in line who aren't tested by 8 p.m. will be asked to return the following day.

For those with symptoms, 17 different testing sites exist throughout the city. For more information, call 211.

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