The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Fox Cities campus will serve as a free community testing site for COVID-19 Wednesday.
In a collaborative effort between the Wisconsin Army National Guard, local health departments, UW Oshkosh, the American Red Cross and county emergency management teams, 500 tests will be available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. or until all tests have been used. The entrance to the drive-up site will be off University Drive.
In a continuation of the effort, more testing will be available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Sunnyview Expo Center in Oshkosh.
“These testing sites open up great opportunities for those who need to get tested without the angst of affordability,” said Lt. Trent Martin, campus emergency manager with the UW Oshkosh Police Department. “It’s a win-win for our community as the testing sites provide a resource at no cost and our public health experts have a more accurate data set to understand where the spread of COVID-19 is occurring within the region at the highest levels and push additional resources to those areas to help flatten the curve.”
The tests are free and available for Wisconsin residents ages 5 and older experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Those symptoms can include fever, cough, difficulty breathing, sore throat, runny nose, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, chills, muscle aches or loss of taste or smell. A doctor’s referral is not required.
Those needing a test can register in advance at register.covidconnect.wi.gov to help cut down on waiting time. (To register, click the blue button that directs to a screening questionnaire. For multiple registrations, you can use the same email address but a questionnaire must be completed for each person.) Walk-up testing is available, but advance registration is highly encouraged.
The testing site will be overseen by Winnebago County Emergency Management and the Wisconsin Army National Guard. University police will assist with traffic control and security and the Menasha Police Department will help with traffic control outside the lots. Test results should be delivered via email and/or phone call within three to seven business days. While waiting for the results, those tested should limit contact with others.
The testing opportunity comes five weeks before the Sept. 9 start of the fall 2020 semester at the three UWO campuses.
“As the fall semester approaches, the buy-in to prevent the spread has to happen from everyone, including students, faculty, staff, guests and surrounding community partners in order to be successful,” Martin said. “If we fail to comply with those measures put in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, we likely resort to more restrictive and undesirable operations.”
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