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sm200513-Z-VN142-1005Citizen Soldiers and Citizen Airmen from the Wisconsin National Guard collect specimens for COVID-19 testing May 13 at Midtown in Milwaukee. The Wisconsin National Guard has 25 COVID-19 specimen collection teams operating throughout the state. Wisconsin National Guard photo by Spc. Emma Anderson

A total of 25 specimen collection teams from the Wisconsin National Guard continue to operate across Wisconsin supporting local health departments and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services effort to increase the state’s COVID-19 testing capacity.

The teams, comprised of more than 600 Citizen Soldiers and Airmen in total, established mobile testing sites at locations ranging from correctional facilities and health clinics, to private businesses, and community-based testing sites.After collecting the specimens at each site, Wisconsin National Guard troops send the test kits to a state lab for analysis, and individual citizens receive their results via a phone call from their local health department or a state call center within three-to-five days following the test.

A number of specimen collection sites have ongoing operations including:
  • Brown County: Operations began at the Resch Center April 30 for focused-community testing for select businesses and their families. The Resch Center site opened for community-based testing May 4. As of May 16, more than 5,500 specimens had been collected at the Resch Center. Another Wisconsin National Guard specimen collection team began supporting a second community-based testing site that opened at Casa ALBA in Green Bay May 6 and has collected more than 3,100 specimens as of May 16.
  • Dane County: Two teams established a community-based testing site at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison May 11.  Nearly 2,800 specimens have been collected as of May 16.
  • Fond du Lac County: One team established site-based specimen collection in Fairwater May 16.
  • Menominee County: One team established a community-based testing site at the Menominee Department of Transit Services in Keshena May 15.  More than 300 specimens have been collected as of May 16.
  • Milwaukee County: One team continues supporting two local health clinics after arriving in Milwaukee the week of April 20.  Three teams established a community-based specimen collection site May 11 at 2701 S. Chase Avenue (UMOS) and it has collected 5,267 specimens as of May 16 (May 15 total: 4,297).  Three teams also set up May 11 a community-based specimen collection site at 5760 W. Capitol Drive (Midtown) and has collected 4,563 specimens as of May 15 (May 15 total: 3,795).  
  • Outagamie County: One team established a community-based testing site at Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton May 11.  This site also supports Winnebago and Calumet counties.  The team has collected more than 1,400 specimens as of May 16.
  • Racine County: A team has collected specimens at Department of Health Services facility in Union Grove since May 14 and has collected 571 samples as of May 16.
  • Rock County: Two teams established community-based testing sites at Krueger Park and Telfer Park in Beloit May 15 and have collected 444 specimens as of May 16.
  • Trempealeau County: One team established facility-based specimen collection in Whitehall May 16.
Previously concluded missions include:
  • Ashland County: One team completed a community-based specimen collection mission at Lake Superior Primary School in Ashland May 7. The team collected approximately 150 specimens.
  • Barron County: One team supported a community-based specimen collection mission at the St. Croix Casino Campground in Turtle Lake May 3-4. The team collected 230 specimens.
  • Brown County: One National Guard team on site at a food processing facility that began April 28 and concluded by 2 May and collected 738 specimens.
  • Buffalo County: Community-based testing in Alma concluded May 1, where a National Guard team collected nearly 200 specimens.
  • Burnett County: One National Guard team supported a community-based testing site in Burnett County May 5 and collected 130 specimens.
  • Clark County: One team conducted a community-based testing site at Thorp High School in Thorp May 13 and collected nearly 150 specimens.
  • Crawford County: One National Guard specimen collection team collected nearly 300 specimens from a factory in Prairie Du Chien May 5.
  • Dane County: One team tested more than 1,000 staff and inmates at the Dane County Jail in Madison from April 24-27.
  • Dodge County: One team collected over 400 specimens at a food processing facility in Beaver Dam May 8-9.
  • Douglas County: One National Guard team supported a community-based testing site in Solon Springs May 6 and collected more than 170 specimens.
  • Eau Claire County: One team supported a community-based testing site at Chippewa Valley Technical College in Eau Claire May 10-11 and collected just over 500 specimens.
  • Florence County: One team conducted a community-based testing site in Florence May 12 and collected 209 specimens. 
  • Grant County: One team tested more than 270 staff and residents at the Orchard Manor senior living facility in Lancaster April 25. Another team collected more than 230 specimens at a factory in Platteville May 4.
  • Kenosha County: More than 650 specimens collected April 28-29 at the Kenosha County Pre-trial facility and Kenosha County Detention Center. One team tested more than 130 individuals at a Pleasant Prairie meat processing facility May 2. Another team collected more than 400 specimens after completing a mission at meat packing facility in Kenosha May 7.
  • Marinette County: One team conducted community-based testing site in Crivitz May 12-14 and collected nearly 770 specimens.
  • Milwaukee County:One team tested nearly 1,000 staff and inmates at the Milwaukee County House of Corrections, and a second team completed more than 500 tests at a local meat processing facility April 28. A third team completed testing at a food processing facility in Milwaukee May 4 and collected more than 450 specimens. Another team collected more than 100 specimens at a meat-processing facility in Milwaukee May 8.  Additionally, one team collected over 160 specimens May 12 at the Felmer O. Chaney and Marshall E. Sherrer Department of Corrections facilities.
  • Portage County: One team collected nearly 350 specimens at a community-based testing site at Portage County Health and Human Services in Stevens Point May 11-12.
  • Racine County: One team collected more than 160 specimens at a food processing facility in Burlington May 4. Another team collected more than 150 specimens at a medical facility in Sturtevant May 7-8.  One team conducted a community-based testing site at Burlington High School in Burlington May 11-15 and collected 1,662 specimens. 
  • Rusk County: One team collected nearly 120 specimens at a community-based testing site at the Rusk County Fairgrounds in Flambeau May 14.
  • Sauk County: More than 175 specimens collected during testing in Baraboo that concluded April 29; Lake Delton seasonal staff dormitory testing concluded April 25 with approximately 175 specimens collected. Another team collected more than 130 specimens at a community-based testing site May 7 in Spring Green.
  • Sawyer County:  One team collected over 100 specimens at a community-based testing site at the Winter Fire Hall in Winter May 14.  One team collected 262 specimens at a community-based testing site at the Hayward Wesleyan Church in Hayward May 15.
  • Sheboygan County: One team tested nearly 170 staff and residents at the Sunny Ridge Health and Rehabilitation Center April 5.
  • St. Croix County: One team collected nearly 230 specimens at a community-based specimen collection site in Baldwin May 8 and one team collected nearly 190 specimens at a community-based specimen collection site in River Falls May 9.
  • Walworth County: One team collected more than 400 specimens at a food-processing facility in Darien May 7-8.  One team collected over 225 specimens at a community-based testing site at West Park in Darien May 11-12.
  • Waukesha County: One team operated a community-based testing site at the Waukesha County Expo Center in Waukesha May 9-12 where it collected nearly 925 specimens.
  • Wood County: One team collected over 250 specimens at a community-based specimen collection site in Wisconsin Rapids May 8-9.

sm200513-Z-VN142-1021Citizen Soldiers and Citizen Airmen from the Wisconsin National Guard collect specimens for COVID-19 testing May 13 at Burlington High School in Burlington, Wisconsin. The Wisconsin National Guard has 25 COVID-19 specimen collection teams operating throughout the state. Wisconsin National Guard photo by Spc. Emma Anderson

As of May 15, Wisconsin National Guard teams had collected 39,021 specimens statewide; 5,343 specimens were collected on May 15.

In addition, 39 troops are working at a call center that informs people of their COVID-19 test results.

The Wisconsin National Guard has fulfilled a variety of roles across the state since its response to the COVID-19 pandemic began after a March 12 public health emergency declaration from Gov. Tony Evers. Ongoing Wisconsin National Guard missions include a warehousing mission where 20 Citizen Soldiers are assisting the Wisconsin Department of Health Services at a state warehouse receiving personal protective equipment (PPE) shipments from around the state, repackaging them, and redistributing them to areas in need.

Teams of 15 troops are serving as medical and administrative staff at two separate state-run voluntary self-isolation facilities in Milwaukee and Madison, while another 8 are serving at a Milwaukee County-run self-isolation facility.

Meanwhile a team of Guard members is supporting the Dane County Coroner’s Office and assisting their office with mortuary affairs operations.

The Wisconsin National Guard has completed a number of other missions since the state’s response began in March including when it sent a team of six medics to a senior living facility in Grafton for three days to augment the staff after a COVID-19 outbreak resulted in a temporary staffing shortage.

More than 2,400 Citizen Soldiers and Airmen mobilized to support the Wisconsin Elections Commission during the April 7 election, where they served as poll workers across 71 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties. Guard troops also procured and distributed hand sanitizer, wipes, spray bottles, and PPE to polling sites statewide in advance of the election.

Another 160 Guard members served on State Active Duty as poll workers during the May 12 special election in Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District.

Guard members also transported a group of Wisconsin citizens returning from a cruise ship with confirmed COVID-19 cases back to their homes in mid-March after a weeks-long ordeal.

All told, nearly 1,400 Citizen Soldiers and Airmen from the Wisconsin National Guard are now serving in direct support of the state’s response to COVID-19 in a variety of statuses.

Tags: NEWS , COVID-19
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