By Patrick Lynn
The Wisconsin National Guard will offer free COVID-19 testing on Mondays beginning next week.
The testing will be available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Dec. 7.
It’s the third opportunity each week for residents to get a free coronavirus test. The county announced in early October a pilot program being offered by Portage Co. Health and Human Services in partnership with Ascension, Aspirus, and Marshfield Clinic that offers testing from 1-5 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. That testing will be held weekly through Dec. 17.
All of the testing events are being held via drive-thru service at the rear carport of the Aging and Disability Resource Center, also known as The Lincoln Center, 1519 Water St. in Stevens Point. Motorists should access the ADRC from Arlington Place, then turn south onto Elk St. The entrance will be clearly marked.
Residents are asked to preregister using COVID Connect for all testing days.
The testing is available for all Wisconsin residents who are at least 5 years old and experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19, or are identified as a close contact to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Anyone who has had close contact with a person who tested positive should be tested 5-7 days after their last contact.
Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever and chills, shortness of breath, the new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, fatigue or muscle aches, and diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea.
The county hopes to collect up to 600 tests weekly between the three testing days, the county health department said in a news release.
Individuals tested will receive their test results through an email or by phone 3-7 days after being tested. Anyone who has not received their results within five days should call the COVID Hotline at 1-866-419-6988.