LCHD: Free weekly drive-through COVID-19 testing now open to those 12 months and older
For the Tomahawk Leader
LINCOLN COUNTY – The Lincoln County Health Department announced earlier this month that its free weekly drive-through COVID-19 testing, provided in collaboration with the Wisconsin National Guard, is now open to those 12 months and older. Previously, only individuals five years and older could get tested at the events.
The weekly testing events, set to run until March 10, are held each Wednesday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Merrill Festival Grounds, 2001 E. 2nd St., Merrill, with the entrance on Memorial Drive. The testing events are only available to people that live or work in Wisconsin. No appointments are necessary; however, pre-registration is strongly encouraged and can be done at www.register.covidconnect.wi.gov.
“Testing is intended for symptomatic individuals or close contacts who are 12 months and older,” LCHD stated. “Previous testing was for individuals five years and older; however, the Wisconsin National Guard has given additional training to its teams for swabbing younger children.”
COVID-19 symptoms include fever, cough, loss of taste/smell, shortness of breath, sore throat, fatigue, body aches, diarrhea, vomiting or nausea, chills, and muscle aches.
LCHD said individuals receiving a test or their guardians should be prepared to provide a current address, county of residence, phone number, and email address when they arrive at the testing event.
“Testing will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis, and attendees may have to wait to be tested,” LCHD stated. “Vehicles will form a line while waiting for testing, and all attendees will need to stay in or on their vehicle at all times. No restroom facilities will be available onsite; please plan accordingly.”
The National Guard will be in uniform and in full PPE (personal protective equipment, including gowns, mask, gloves, etc.) during testing events and will collect nasal swabs from those being tested to conduct a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. LCHD called the PCR test the “gold standard test” for COVID-19.
“Please note that anyone tested is required to stay home until test results come back,” LCHD said. “Test results will be provided via email or phone, if you do not have email, by the National Guard.”
For more information about COVID-19 testing, contact Lexi Buntrock, COVID-19 Response Coordinator with LCHD, at 715-539-1374 or [email protected].
Information on additional community testing sites in Wisconsin can be found at www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/testing.htm.
For the more information on COVID-19 in Lincoln County, visit www.co.lincoln.wi.us/covid19 or follow LCHD on Facebook. You can also visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website (www.cdc.gov) or the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) website (www.wisconsin.dhs.gov).