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COVID-19 Testing - Approximately 200 people were tested for COVID-19 in Crivitz on Tuesday, May 12. Eric Burmeister, Marinette County Emergency Management Administrator, arranged the test site at the Marinette County Highway shop on Co. W, just east of Crivitz. Thirty members of the Wisconsin National Guard did the testing along with nurses from Bellin Health. The tests are now open to anyone who wishes to be tested, Burmeister said they have enough tests for 900 people. The final day of testing will be Thursday May 14 at 5pm. Top Photo: Nurses from Belline Health take information from individuals before testing. Bottom Photo: Members of the Wisconsin National Guard direct vehicles to the testing area.

COVID Tests Available Free For Everyone At Crivitz Site

Issue Date: May 13, 2020

Free testing for COVID-19 with assistance of the Wisconsin National Guard at the Marinette County Highway Shop on County W in Crivitz started at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, May 12 and will continue daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. until 5 p.m.Thursday, May 14. Emergency Management Coordinator Kathy Frank said the Crivitz site is able to do up to 900 of the nasal swab tests, and results are expected within 48 hours.

Test kits and result evaluations are being donated by Exact Sciences of Madison, which manufactures the widely used "ColoGuard" test kits, and converted operations to produce coronavirus test kits after the pandemic began.

By Tuesday evening over 200 tests had been done at the Crivitz site. There were 30 Guardsmen on duty to do the tests, along with nurses from Bellin Health. Security was provided by Marinette County Sheriff's Department deputies and Emergency Management Administrator Eric Burmeister and Emergency Management Coordinator Kathy Frank were also on hand.

Frank said her office had been working with County Health Officer Mollie Bonjean to get a test site for Marinette County and everything fell into place on Wednesday, May 6 and Thursday, May 7.

Burmeister said in addition to providing a service for residents, the county is trying to help get the number of tests done that Gov. Tony Evers has said are needed to keep his "Bounce Back" program moving forward to get the state open again. Burmeister said the state's goal is to get 85,000 persons tested each week, averaging about 12,000 tests per day, and then do appropriate follow-up for those who test positive. The goal is to test 9 percent of Wisconsin's population.

On Monday, May 11 Gov. Evers, and State Health Secretary designee Andrea Palm issue a new emergency order that slightly relaxes Wisconsin's previous "Safer At Home" orders by allowing retail stores to open with restrictions in place, and allows drive-in movies to operate provided people stay in their cars except to use restrooms and buy refreshments. personal services such as barber and beauty shops remain off limits, but veterinarian office and some medical clinics are again open.

Crivitz is among municipalities that have adopted a resolution requiring compliance with emergency health orders, and has imposed a fine of up to $250 per day on anyone who violates.

As of 5:30 p.m. on Monday, May 11 there had ben 724 persons tested for coronavirus in Marinette County, with 665 negative results, 21 positive and 38 pending. One person who tested positive had died and one had recovered. The free testing on Tuesday raised that to over 924 persons tested.

During its first day the Crivitz test site was open only to Marinette County residents with at least one COVID-19 symptom.

Symptoms are fever, cough, loss of taste/smell, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, sore throat, headache, fatigue, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, chills, or muscle aches. Testing is available to all Wisconsin residents and employees of Wisconsin businesses, provided on a first-come first-served basis. Generally, test results are known within 48 hours of samples being submitted.

Later on Tuesday the free drive-through testing was made available to everyone, with or without symptoms.

Due to the unknown amount of interest, those coming to be tested are advised to prepare for potential wait times.

Participants are to remain in their vehicles at all times.  No restroom facilities will be available onsite, so people must plan accordingly. Participants are asked to provide a current address, identify county of residence, a phone number, and answer screening questions.

The National Guard members doing the testing are in uniform and wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) including gowns, masks, and gloves while conducting tests. Participants are asked to please have patience, drive with caution, and follow directions.

Individuals tested are also asked to return directly home after being tested and self-isolate themselves until they receive their test results and further guidance from Public Health. Each participant will be informed of their results by phone.

Bonjean said contact tracing of positive cases will be used to stop further spread in our communities, and added in her prepared statement, "A lack of positive cases as a result of this event doesn't mean we're in the clear.  Physical distancing has and will continue to be an effective strategy at minimizing the spread of disease."

To date, the state has provided over 60,000 tests to hospitals, clinics, local public health, long term care facilities, and other community partners. Fifty-seven of Wisconsin's 72 counties have requested and are receiving testing supplies from this program.

"We've made great progress in expanding our testing capacity these last few weeks, and now we're taking the next step to ensure our tests performed match our capacity," said Gov. Evers. "Everyone in the state that needs a test should be tested, and through the Badger Bounce Back Plan, we're taking a comprehensive approach to make sure that's the case."

Plans are also in place to provide free testing and diagnostics to all of Wisconsin's 373 nursing homes to test all nursing home residents and staff, with the goal of testing more than 10,000 residents and staff per week during the month of May and to use a combination of public and private partners to call nursing home facilities to coordinate supplies, logistics and test results.


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