MADISON — Wisconsin National Guard specimen collection teams continue supporting local COVID-19 testing efforts as they operate a number of regional community-based testing sites.
Teams have collected a cumulative total of over one million specimens since April 2020 at community-based testing sites and institutional-based testing missions. The Wisconsin National Guard’s collection activities support the Wisconsin Department of Health Service’s efforts to expand COVID-19 testing throughout the entire state.
As of Monday, Wisconsin National Guard teams have collected 1,036,869 specimens statewide.
The teams, which are tailorable to meet the needs of a specific facility or community, are dispatched from a larger task force of several hundred Citizen Soldiers and Airmen. They have established mobile testing sites since April 2020 at locations ranging from correctional facilities, health clinics and institutional facilities, to private businesses, senior-living facilities, and community-based testing sites.
Most community-based testing sites across the state are conducted on a regularly scheduled basis at the request of local health departments. Testing is conducted at a variety of facilities and extreme cold temperatures may impact some testing sites to the point where a local health department may close its site. All visitors seeking a test are urged to contact their local health department for more information about a particular testing day.
Those seeking a test at a Wisconsin National Guard community-based specimen collection site are urged to register online in advance using the Dynamics Testing and Registration Application (DTRA) program, which is also known as COVID Connect.
After collecting the specimens at each site, the test kits are sent to a lab for analysis, and individual citizens receive their results via an email or a phone call within three-to-seven days following the test.
In Dodge County, a community-based testing site operates each Monday and Wednesday in Beaver Dam through March 10. It has collected more than 3,600 specimens as of Monday. A team gathered nearly 1,000 specimens Feb. 16-17 at the Dodge Correctional Institution.
In Jefferson County, one team conducts a community-based testing site each Friday and Saturday through March 6 at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds in Jefferson and has collected more than 1,800 specimens as of Monday.
Approximately 20 troops since late December have been assisting the Wisconsin Department of Health Services with managing COVID-19 vaccine inventory at undisclosed sites across the state. The Wisconsin National Guard since Jan. 19 also supports the state’s vaccination efforts by providing mobile vaccination teams to local health departments who request assistance. These teams have assisted in administering 16,623 vaccines as of Monday.