Wisconsin National Guard sees 'strong demand' for continued COVID-19 testing

MILWAUKEE -- As the number of positive COVID-19 cases rises, the availability of two local testing sites has decreased.

COVID-19 testing site in Milwaukee

A steady stream of people lined up before the Midtown Center testing location in Milwaukee opened on Monday morning, May 18. They also snaked through the parking lot at the UMOS site on S. Chase Avenue.

"There does still seem to be some pretty strong demand for continued testing," said Capt. Joe Trovato of the Wisconsin National Guard.

Trovato told FOX6 News about 100 to 150 guard members are at each site. As they enter the second week of testing in Milwaukee, more than 5,000 specimens have been collected from the north side mobile site -- and about 6,000 from the south side site.

COVID-19 testing site in Milwaukee

"We saw multiple days last week. We were average about 1,000 a day per site -- so 2,000ish in Milwaukee alone," Trovato said.

Though this weekend's numbers were slightly down, both locations now have new hours. Free testing will now be available from 11 a.m. through 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday. A nasal swab is taken, sent to a state lab, and results come back within three to five days.

COVID-19 testing site in Milwaukee

While the process is simple, Trovato admits it can be intimidating -- when you approach the team decked out in their personal protective equipment (PPE).

Capt. Joe Trovato

"The reason we use it is because it's what we train with, it's what we are already familiar with, and that is military-issued PPE, and it's reusable as we--  so we are not depleting any civilian stockpile when we are wearing that," Trovato said.

Testing is for anyone who needs it -- even if they are not showing symptoms. In addition to the two mobile sites, one National Guard team is conducting specimen collection at the Department of Corrections Women's Center in Milwaukee as well.

COVID-19 testing site in Milwaukee