Today, Governor Tony Evers announced that COVID Connect(link is external), the Department of Health Services (DHS) COVID-19 test registration website, is now available in Spanish and soon will be available in Hmong and Somali. Since COVID Connect launched in July, more than 180,000 test registrations have been logged on the site. In order to increase access to COVID Connect for all Wisconsinites, DHS will continue to translate this registration tool into more languages.
“COVID Connect has been critically important for streamlining the registration process – creating efficiencies in processing tests, getting results back to those tested, and tracing the contacts of individuals who test positive,” said Governor Tony Evers. “We want to continue making sure our resources are accessible to everyone who needs them as we continue responding to this pandemic.”
Despite making up 7% of Wisconsin’s population, Hispanic and Latinx communities have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. As of September 1, Hispanics and Latinos made up nearly 23% of the state’s 76,584 confirmed cases. Additionally, Asians and Pacific Islanders make up almost 2,000 of the confirmed cases. Many systemic factors exist that contribute to these higher rates of infection for Spanish- and Hmong-speaking populations, including language barriers.
“If we’re going to be successful in boxing in this virus, we need to reduce any obstacles that may prevent any individual from accessing a test,” said DHS Secretary-designee Andrea Palm. “Making the site available in multiple languages is a big part of that effort.”
Typically, people register for testing using COVID Connect at a physical testing site. There are people and devices available to assist in registration, but people can also preregister(link is external). DHS encourages them to preregister as close as possible to the time of their actual test to ensure accurate tracking of symptoms and exposure among those tested.
If you are experiencing any symptoms, even if they’re mild, or have been in contact with someone that has tested positive, please get tested. More information about COVID-19 testing and a list of community testing sites, including sites that accept this preregistration, is available on the DHS website.