MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin National Guard will provide COVID-19 testing in 38 Wisconsin counties this week as Guard members help the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and local health departments expand testing throughout the state.
The Wisconsin National Guard teams, which can be tailored to meet the needs of a specific facility, are dispatched from a larger task force of several hundred Soldiers and Airmen. They have been establishing mobile testing sites since early April at correctional facilities, health clinics, businesses, senior living facilities and community-based testing sites.
Most community-based sites will now be conducted regularly through the first half of December. All visitors seeking a test at these sites are urged to contact their local health department for more information about a particular testing day.
After collecting the specimens at each site, the test kits are sent to a lab for analysis. People receive their results via an email or phone call from their local health department or a state call center within three to seven days.
As of Oct. 19, Wisconsin National Guard teams had collected 654,007 specimens statewide.
In addition, approximately 30 troops are working at a call center that informs people of their COVID-19 test results.
Since Gov. Tony Evers declared a public health emergency March 12, members of the Wisconsin National Guard have fulfilled a variety of roles across the state. Missions have included processing and distributing personal protective equipment, providing medical and administrative help at self-isolation facilities, and assisting the Dane County Coroner's Office.
In addition, six Guard medics augmented staff for three days at a senior living facility in Grafton after a COVID-19 outbreak. And more than Citizen-Soldiers and Citizen-Airmen served as poll workers during elections April 7, May 12 and Aug. 11.
Guard members also transported a group of Wisconsin citizens returning from a cruise ship with confirmed COVID-19 cases back to their homes in mid-March.
Approximately 700 members of the Wisconsin National Guard are currently serving in direct support of the state’s response to COVID-19.