Mobile coronavirus testing to target Milwaukee hot spots

The City of Milwaukee has launched a mobile COVID-19 testing site on the city's north side -- a new tactic to tackle the pandemic.

Located near Custer Stadium near 44th and Fairmount, where city leaders say testing is needed the most, the mobile location ran from 8 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, Dec. 29. The goal is to boost testing in what has been a coronavirus hot spot.

The city contracted with a private company to run the drive-thru operation. Patients administer the tests themselves with a health care worker nearby to help with the process.

The mobile testing site is being placed where COVID-19 is hitting Milwaukee communities hard. The city plans to add an additional site on the south side.

"The message here is first and foremost, the testing will be provided at no cost," Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said. "As soon as the health department sees higher levels of COVID-19 in particular parts of the city, the mobile testing sites can be moved to those locations."

Mobile coronavirus testing site at Custer Stadium in Milwaukee

The operation comes as vaccine distribution continues across Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services says more than 47,000 doses of vaccine have been administered since it rolled out. 

"A vaccine is being widely disseminated and light is at the end of the tunnel," said Dr. Ben Weston with the Milwaukee County Office of Emergency Management.

Mobile coronavirus testing site at Custer Stadium in Milwaukee

Back near Custer Stadium, resident Robert Walls is taking testing seriously.

"I work in a place and several people have caught it. I want to make sure I don’t have it," said Walls. "May as well get tested. It can’t hurt. Only thing it can do is help. Help you, your family, your community. It’s very important to get tested on a regular basis."

Walls said the process takes just a couple of minutes. He hopes the pandemic's end is not too far away.

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"I’ll be glad when it’s over with. Until then, I’m going to mask up every day," Walls said.

The mobile testing site will be at Custer Stadium for at least two weeks. It will complement the city testing sites at Miller Park and the Northwest and Southwest Health Centers.

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