Gov. Evers Announces Increasing COVID-19 Testing Capacity

testing

MADISON, Wis. – Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers announced Monday morning that the state has ramped up COVID-19 testing throughout the state.

According to a press release from the governor’s office, in the last month, the state has gone from eight labs performing COVID-19 tests to 36 labs.

More labs are expected to begin testing in the weeks ahead, but the governor says to sustain and expand these efforts a federal partnership will be needed.

Testing in the state needs to be increased, and thanks to Exact Sciences, Epic Systems, Marshfield Clinic Health System, the State Laboratory of Hygiene, the Wisconsin Clinical Lab Network, the City of Milwaukee Public Health Lab, the Wisconsin National Guard, and other important partners, Wisconsin is making that happen,” Evers said.

This week, plans are in place to greatly accelerate testing in Wisconsin, including:

  • 11 National Guard teams serving a rapid response role in hotspots and underserved areas of the state will collect specimens for COVID-19 testing. This weekend, one of those teams began using 1,100 Exact Sciences test supplies to offer testing to all inmates and staff at the Milwaukee House of Correction to help control the outbreak there.  Starting today, two teams of citizen-soldiers will also be staffing standup specimen collection sites at Milwaukee Health Services Inc.’s clinics on Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. and Silver Spring Road.
  • The state is working with Tribal partners to ensure that their communities receive testing they need. Starting this week, 1,000 tests will be delivered per week to Tribal health clinics.
  • Exact Sciences is devoting a significant portion of its lab capacity and resources to COVID-19 tests processing. This will enable them to provide the state with approximately 20,000 tests and processing each week, which will be distributed to health care systems throughout the State. This was a major effort by Exact Sciences undertaken in a very short amount of time.
  • Epic is providing crucial assistance in our effort to distribute Exact Sciences’ tests by providing the interoperability necessary to connect healthcare providers with Exact to ensure timely processing of tests and reporting of test results.
  • Promega is providing major support by sourcing high demand reagents and materials for several labs in the state including Exact Sciences’ lab. In addition to these materials, they’ve also shared equipment and provided invaluable problem-solving skills. They are a critical part of the supply chain in supporting expanded testing.
  • This week, the Marshfield Clinic Health System will be working on ramping up to process 10,000 tests per week from providers around the State.
  • 2,200 test collection supplies and PPE are headed to Green Bay in response to an outbreak with significant risk potential to the community. Having these tools is essential to the local health department and healthcare system response.
  • In partnership with Exact Sciences and the Community Health Centers in Milwaukee, the state is supporting additional testing capacity. The Health Centers will work first with their patients, and as additional capacity becomes available, they will broaden their outreach to support access to testing for others in need. Community Health Centers have networks within the community and with other social service organizations and will work through those channels to support additional testing.
  • Wisconsin Diagnostic Labs provided much-appreciated support to the 16th Street Community Health Clinic drive-thru testing project. They’re also expanding their capacity and offering help to clinical partners experiencing challenges with access to lab capacity.
  • Through additional procurement efforts by the state, Wisconsin will be receiving over 250,000 additional test collection supplies in the coming weeks.
Categories: Coronavirus, News, News – Latest News, Wisconsin