Beginning the week of October 5th, the hours for the Alliant Energy Center COVID-19 community test site will change. The test site will be closed on Mondays beginning Monday, October 5th, while continuing to be open Tuesday through Saturday until the end of the year.
The new hours for the site are:
· Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:00pm to 8:00pm
· Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 8:00am to 4:00pm
· Closed on Sundays and Mondays
“Based on demand, we know this site is a valuable resource for our community, particularly for those who don’t have health insurance, our essential workers, and for our communities of color, who are so disproportionately affected by this virus,” says Ken Van Horn, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator for Public Health Madison & Dane County.
Since the test site opened in May, an average of 1,643 people have been tested per day. “Just since early July, we’ve detected 5,985 positive tests at Alliant Energy Center,” says Van Horn. “Of those people who tested positive approximately 1 in 5 were asymptomatic, meaning they were out and about in our community and able to spread the virus without feeling sick at all themselves. This is one of the reasons we feel it is important to keep the site running through the end of the year,” continues Van Horn.
Testing site details:
· Testing is done in the New Holland Pavilion at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison.
· The site is open until the end of the year.
· The test is free and available to those 5 years and older who may arrive by car, bike, or on foot. No appointment is necessary. Translation is available in Spanish and Hmong.
· No identification is needed and immigration status is not asked.
· Pre-registration is available in English, Spanish and Hmong, and is encouraged in order to get through the site as quickly as possible.
· Free transportation is available for those that need it by calling the Public Health Transportation Line at (608) 243-0420.
· The test is not an antibody test and does not indicate if someone has had COVID-19 in the past.
· It is very important to limit contact with others until test results are received, especially if someone has been exposed to COVID-19 or has symptoms like fever, cough, or sore throat.
· Test results are provided via email or phone call within 3-7 business days.
This change in hours coincides with a large decrease in staffing from the Wisconsin National Guard, who have been providing the majority of the staffing at the site alongside Public Health Madison & Dane County. “We’re sorry to see the National Guard go, but are incredibly grateful for their herculean effort in providing over 192,000 tests at the Alliant Energy Center site since it opened in May,” says Van Horn.
Public Health Madison & Dane County will staff the majority of the test site moving forward.
“We will continue to provide about 10,000 tests per week. This keeps us well above the critical testing metric that we closely watch to detect active infection and prevent COVID-19 transmission,” continues Van Horn.
Wait times at the testing site might see moderate increases with the decreased hours of operation.
Public Health recommends testing for:
- People who have had close contact (within 6 feet for about 15 minutes) with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
- People with COVID-19 symptoms
- People who have regular exposure to a large number of people (e.g., people who work in grocery stores)
- People who work closely with high-risk populations (e.g., healthcare workers, people who work with people who are incarcerated, people who work in long-term care facilities)
If a test result is negative, it means the person did not have COVID-19 at that moment. It does not mean they cannot get COVID in the future. Still follow Public Health recommendations to stay home as much as possible and keep up with prevention measures known to prevent the spread of the virus.
For more information and answers to questions about the community testing site, visit publichealthmdc.com/coronavirustesting.