Around 180 Wisconsin residents tested for COVID-19 at Douglas Co. drive-thru site

Ryan Juntti
Updated: May 06, 2020 11:04 PM

The Wisconsin National Guard was in the Northland on Wednesday to help Douglas County officials with free drive-thru testing for Wisconsin residents with symptoms of COVID-19.


Officials in Douglas County had the ability to test 250 to 300 people. Douglas County Public Health Officer Kathy Ronchi tells WDIO News they administered about 180 tests.

Patients who got tested Wednesday at Solon Springs Community Center were able to do so without even leaving their cars. They first just had to answer questions about their symptoms, verbally consent to have the test done, and then they were given a nasal swab.

While Ronchi says there have been misconceptions about the drive-thru test, she wants to stress the results will help the county decide how they should move forward.

“I think the importance of this is for us to really know today this is what it looks like in our community,” Ronchi said. “There’s so many people that are fearful or so many people that think it’s not even in our community. This is a way to have proof of what’s happening,” Ronchi added.

Douglas County health officials say after testing, people should go straight home and isolate themselves until they receive their test results.

The drive-thru testing is also happening Thursday in Ashland at Lake Superior Elementary School from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. 

Wisconsin residents five and older are able to get tested if they show even mild symptoms of:

  • Cough
  • Loss of taste/smell
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Chills
  • Muscle aches

While people with mild symptoms may not feel sick themselves, Ronchi says it is still important they get tested, as they can still spread the disease.

"If you’re having some mild symptoms, and you’re just not sure, this is a way to do it for free, and to know exactly if you have it or not, and it’s a way to protect those people around you, in case you do have it,” Ronchi said.

People who work in Wisconsin are also able to get tested, even if they don't live in the state.


Ryan Juntti

Copyright 2020 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved


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