A new mobile COVID-19 testing site will open Tuesday morning on Milwaukee’s North Side to expand coronavirus screening capacity in the city.
The city’s first mobile testing site will be at Barack Obama School of Career and Technical Education, 4300 W. Fairmount Ave. The school had been a fixed testing site staffed by the National Guard until the shifting of operations to Miller Park in October.
The mobile facility will be open from 8 a.m. to noon on weekdays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends and will remain at the location for at least two weeks.
“It’s important that people take advantage of this opportunity to be tested, particularly in light of the holidays,” Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said in a virtual press briefing on Monday. “Given the amount of interaction that probably took place over the last five days, not surprisingly people want to be tested.”
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Barrett said it is important that testing be easily accessible to Milwaukee residents and delivered at no cost.
“Mobile testing will provide additional testing capacity in parts of Milwaukee where the COVID-19 virus is prevalent,” Barrett said. “What our Health Department will continue to do is monitor where all the outbreaks are and look at all the numbers by census tract and see where we believe there is the most need for testing. When the Health Department sees higher levels of COVID-19 illness in particular areas of the city, the mobile testing will be moved to those locations.
The mobile testing sites will complement the city’s fixed testing sites at Miller Park, the Northwest Health Center and Southside Health Center
“We know that testing is an essential tool in limiting the spread of COVID-19 because it alerts individuals if they need to isolate and it triggers the need for testing among the close contacts they have,” Barrett said.
The city is also planning to establish a mobile testing site on the South Side in the next few days.
Unlike the city’s fixed testing sites, the mobile screening locations will be operated by a private firm, Curative Inc., which formed in January to develop tests for sepsis by shifted to COVID-19 testing.
“What we’re trying to do is give people as many options as possible so that they will be able to get tested as quickly as possible,” Barrett said.