Temporary Drive-Thru Site Offers Coronavirus Testing in Ashland
ASHLAND, Wis. – Temporary coronavirus testing sites are popping up in northern Wisconsin.
As of May 7th, more than 9,200 people have tested positive for COVID-19 across Wisconsin. But in Ashland, Bayfield, and Iron Counties combined, there have been only seven positive test results.
Now, the National Guard is bringing testing sites to that region to get an accurate look at how prevalent the virus really is there.
“We haven’t had a lot of positive cases identified as of yet, but this will help to show if there’s anybody who’s mildly symptomatic that might have the virus, and we’re able to follow up with those individuals to isolate and quarantine,” explained Ashland County health officer Elizabeth Szot.
More than a hundred cars drove through a pop-up testing site Thursday at Lake Superior Elementary in Ashland.
“Nobody has to get out of their vehicles. We have the different screening stations for the different people to come up, so it’s been a pretty slick process so far,” said Szot.
Public health officials partnered with the Bad River and Red Cliff bands and the Wisconsin National Guard to bring testing to people living in the region.
“It’s important for people to have a sense of comfort, so sometimes not knowing is worse than knowing,” explained First Sergeant Cyle Coppinger of the Army National Guard.
Anybody with symptoms can be tested with a nasal swab at the drive-through sites.
People are notified of their results within several days.
The National Guard tells us Governor Evers ordered them to conduct the tests to the state has more information about when it’s safe to reopen businesses and public gatherings again.
“Even if we don’t have positive cases identified here, it will help us to show that the Safer at Home order is working and that we’re doing a good job with being safer at home,” explained Szot.
More pop-up testing sites are coming to Northern Wisconsin.
The National Guard will conduct tests in Baldwin on May 8, River Falls on May 9, Eau Claire on May 10-11, Thorp on May 13, and Ladysmith on May 14.