MILWAUKEE - The spread of the coronavirus is unrelenting in Wisconsin and across the country -- which has prompted more testing. Health officials are also offering a reminder of when you should be tested.
As testing got started at Miller Park on Nov. 21, a queue of vehicles quickly formed on the first day of Saturday availability.
"We’ve seen really high volumes," Nick Tomaro said. "It's just really reflective of the surge of cases we are seeing of COVID."
Tomaro, the preparedness coordinator with the Milwaukee Health Department, said the extra hours for the area's busiest COVID-19 testing site needed to be added.
"This side was planned for 1,500-2,000 tests per day," he said. "Commonly, we’ve exceeded that, up to 2,500-2,800 tests per day. Recently, we’ve been around the 2,000 mark this week."
Folks wanting to get the nasal swab waited anywhere from 20 minutes to two hours.
As thousands of people and cars snaked through the line, anxious to learn their status, health officials warned about getting tested too early.
"If you are of close contact to someone who has had COVID-19, please understand you should not be tested the next day or the day after," Tomaro said. "You should be tested three to five days after a close contact. It’s so imperatively important for best use of this resource, which is significant, and for accurate info. for yourself. We want to make sure people aren’t testing too early and get a false-negative result."
Tomaro said the lines are a reminder to help stop community spread.
"We are in a really significant situation right now," he said. "We are in a public health crisis, and obviously, I think it's really important for people to realize the status of where we are at both locally and throughout the country, and adhere to the public health measures."
The Miller Park facility will now be open for drive-thru and walk-up testing on Saturdays between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. The new hours are in addition to the current schedule of testing from Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m.
CLICK HERE for a list of testing locations.