The City of Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and the Milwaukee Health Department (MHD) announced on October 6 the transition toward a centralized community COVID-19 testing site as the deployment of Wisconsin National Guard troops to assist with testing winds down.
As the National Guard begins its planned drawdown of COVID-19 testing personnel in Milwaukee, a consolidated, centralized community testing location will begin offering COVID-19 viral testing at Miller Park beginning October 19. The current National Guard testing facilities will conclude testing on October 17.
The central community testing site at Miller Park will be staffed by a mix of National Guard and civilian personnel and will be completely civilian staffed after the Guard’s deployment ends. The site will have the capacity to test up to 2,000 individuals per day, the same volume currently provided at the Custer Stadium and UMOS locations combined.
In addition, testing will be available at Milwaukee Health Department’s Northwest Health Center, 7630 W. Mill Road, and Southside Health Center, 1639 S. 23rd Street. The sites will ensure residents on the north and south sides of the city of Milwaukee have access to no-barrier testing, meaning individuals who wish to be tested do not have to display symptoms.
“Milwaukee is grateful to Governor Evers and the Wisconsin National Guard for their support and hard work to keep two community testing sites up and running for the past five months,” said Mayor Tom Barrett. “Thanks to their service, we were able to increase testing capacity in areas impacted the most by COVID-19 and provide tens of thousands of tests to our residents.”
The Wisconsin National Guard members will assist with the transition to local staffing at testing sites. As local staffing increases, the Miller Park site will remain a central hub, accompanied by several other sites throughout the community.
“Milwaukee County is eager to support our municipal health departments in standing up no-barrier testing sites in their communities,” said Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley. “Especially as we approach the winter months, we encourage the public to continue getting tested for COVID-19. It’s the best way to understand the impact of this virus on our community and decrease transmission.”
The Milwaukee County OEM Community Oriented EMS Team (CORE Team) will oversee the medical aspects of the Miller Park testing site and ensure high quality, safe testing and efficient patient flow. The CORE Team is a group of specially trained paramedics within Milwaukee County.
“With Miller Park as a central location with ample space, we are pleased to support the City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County’s efforts to provide accessible COVID-19 testing to those in our community who need it,” said Rick Schlesinger, Milwaukee Brewers President of Business Operations.
The central community testing site will be a temporary structure in a parking lot off Miller Park Way. The structure will be weatherized to protect staff and residents getting tests from the elements as temperatures drop in the fall and winter months. It will accommodate up to six drive-through lanes for testing, including walk-in testing.
The central community testing site joins 22 other COVID-19 testing sites throughout Milwaukee County. In addition to a handful of pharmacies, residents on the city’s north and south sides can find ample COVID testing access at testupmke.com.