Jeramey Jannene

Free COVID-19 Testing Sites Will Be at UMOS, Midtown Center

Sites are on border of areas of city with highest number of COVID-19 cases.

By - May 8th, 2020 03:23 pm

3D medical illustration of 2019 Novel Coronavirus. Image by https://www.scientificanimations.com [CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]

3D medical illustration of 2019 Novel Coronavirus. Image by https://www.scientificanimations.com [CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]

UPDATE: The information contained in this article is out of date. One of the testing sites has been relocated and operating hours have changed. See details in our latest article.

Starting Monday people will be able to get free, no-appointment COVID-19 tests at two testing sites in Milwaukee.

A southside site will be operated at the United Migrant Opportunity Services (UMOS) headquarters at 2701 S. Chase Ave. A northside site will be operated in the Midtown Center shopping complex at 5760 W. Capitol Dr.

The sites will be open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and staffed by plainclothes members of the Wisconsin National Guard wearing personal protective equipment (PPE). According to a Department of Health Services email, the sites will each be able to collect 500 specimens per day, up from an earlier estimate of 400.

Individuals will need to wait 48 to 72 hours to get lab results back. Contact tracers will follow-up with all individuals that test positive.

Unlike other testing sites, including those operated by community health centers, individuals will not need to make an appointment. The centers currently operate 17 sites that provide free testing. Healthcare providers, including Ascension and Advocate Aurora, also provide testing to patients with a referral from a physician.

“We built up the capacity at the community health centers and we simply haven’t had enough people coming in yet,” said Mayor Tom Barrett during a media briefing Thursday.

“The hope with the National Guard sites is to do a push,” said Dr. Ben Weston, medical director of the Milwaukee County Emergency Medical Services Division.

Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley said anyone that lives in an area with a high number of cases or works in a job that interacts with the public could be tested, including grocery store workers and delivery drivers. “If you have symptoms, please do not take public transportation,” he said. Individuals needing transportation should call 211 to be connected to a community health center that can provide transportation.

“Anyone who wants to be tested can be tested,” said Barrett. You will not need to be symptomatic to be tested at the two sites, nor will you need to be a Milwaukee County resident.

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