More COVID-19 testing sites are opening Monday in southeastern Wisconsin, including two state-sponsored locations in Milwaukee. While COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted some black and Latino neighborhoods in the city, the coronavirus testing locations are open to everyone.
The testing is free, and the two Milwaukee sites are located at 5760 W. Capitol Dr. and 2701 S. Chase Ave. They will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett urges people to take the free tests, saying citizens do not have to have symptoms of the virus.
"There's some controversy to this because this will be the first time we are offering asymptomatic testing. You do not need to have an appointment. You do not need to have insurance," Barrett said.
He says the Wisconsin National Guard will do the testing and have the ability to do 500 tests per day at each site.
Barrett says some politicians and health officials believe it's better to focus limited resources on people with COVID-19 symptoms so individuals can be quickly isolated if they test positive and contract tracing can center on them.
But Medical College of Wisconsin President and CEO Dr. John Raymond agrees with Barrett that asymptomatic testing should be done.
"We have excess [testing] capacity. There's a lot of mythology about how many people are asymptomatic and they have the infection. The best thing we can do is go study our community,” Raymond said.
Ten Milwaukee Common Council members, including Council President Cavalier Johnson, have issued a joint statement supporting the new COVID-19 test sites.
A National Guard spokesperson said on Sunday that the Guard has not been told when the new Milwaukee locations will cease operations.
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