Milwaukee COVID sites closed Tuesday, Jan. 25 due to bitter cold

The extreme cold is forcing three Milwaukee COVID testing sites to close on Tuesday, Jan. 25. 

The Milwaukee Health Department will be closing COVID-19 operations at the Northwest Health Center, Southside Health Center and Menomonee Valley Site.

The National Weather Service has issued a wind chill advisory for Tuesday for portions of Wisconsin, including Milwaukee, with wind chills expected to reach 20 to 30 degrees below zero. 

The health department is trying to keep workers safe, telling people to go online if you need to find a test on Tuesday.

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"They just go out of their way to make it convenient for people," said Julie Noel. 

Noel visits about once a week. She is vaccinated and boosted and trying to make sure she and others stay healthy.

"I need to have physical therapy later this week, and I don’t want to go in until I know I’m safe after being in a gathering on Saturday," said Noel. 

On Tuesday, this site, along with the Northwest Health Center, Southside Health Center, will be closed because of the bitter cold.

"There are registration staff and parking and traffic control staff that are really out in the elements, exposed," said Nick Tomaro, Milwaukee Health Department.

The closures come as testing is starting to slow down again. A surge in the city saw more than 40,000 tests the first week of the year.

"We still have a fair number of people coming in for testing daily," said Tomaro. "It is down from the peak of the surge."

If people need a test on Tuesday, the health department is directing them to the HealthyMKE website.

"We don’t make these decisions lightly, but we really think it’s important at these extreme temperatures that we protect staff with these decisions," said Tomaro. 

Testing will resume Wednesday with increased staff to help with the anticipated increased testing demand. 

"This is the only way we’re going to keep everyone safe is wear your mask and get tested," said Noel. 

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