Miller Park

As Milwaukee continues to navigate the COVID-19 virus, there’s been a transition in the National Guard drive-up testing sites.

The new COVID-19 drive-thru testing sites opened Monday, Oct.19 at the Miller Park parking lot, the Southside Health Center, 1639 S 23rd Street, and the Northwest Health Center, 7630 W Mill Road. The testing is free. No appointment is necessary.

UMOS and Custer stadium testing sites have closed.

“The reason for the transition was because the State Department of Health Services needed to redistribute the National Guard resources across the entire state because there has been an increase of disease state wide,” said Katie Lepak, MS Unified Emergency Operations Center (UEOC).

Nick Tomaro, public health emergency response planning coordinator for the Milwaukee Health Department said that logistics of the sites, the larger scale sites, needed to come up with a solution that was going to take us into the fall and winter. Part of the choice was finding a structure that was winterized.

The weather played a role in choosing the sites. It allows a place where the staff can have shelter for breaks to keep them safe.

Tomaro mentioned that the Brewers were incredibly generous to allow the use of the site for free.

“A site like this, it’s a landmark site that is well known and is very accessible. The large number of people who we are able to accommodate with the parking lot is incredibly important; it is centrally located,” Tomaro said.

The average number of people that were being tested at both the former UMOS and Custer Stadium sites was approximately 2000-2500 people a day.

On Monday, between the new sites of Miller Park, Northside Health Center and Southside Health Center tested a more than 2400 individuals.

Lepak said “We typically expect test results in 2-4 days. Given the volume of tests changing, sometimes it’s faster.”

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. The CDC suggest people with the following symptoms may have COVID-19:

• Fever or chills
• Cough
• Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
• Fatigue
• Muscle or body aches
• Headache
• New loss of taste or smell
• Sore throat
• Congestion or runny nose
• Nausea or vomiting
• Diarrhea

Getting tested will provide the diagnosis you need to determine your next steps.

“We really want to send the message that symptomatic people seek testing, for instance, I had a person reach out to me yesterday who was experiencing headaches and was concerned about exposure.,” Tomaro said. “It’s really important to acknowledge that because of the variety of symptoms that people exhibit with the virus, testing becomes really important to protect yourself and others.”

“There are a lot of respiratory diseases that happen in the fall –  colds and influenza. I would encourage people to take care of themselves,” Lepak said. “COVID is a big concern. People need to take care of themselves by watching their distance, wearing a mask, washing their hands. We also strongly  encourage getting a flu shot.  This year, preventing the flu is more important than ever. ”

Hours for testing sites:

Miller Park
1 Brewers Way
Monday – Friday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Northwest Health Center
7630 W. Mill Rd.
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Southside Health Center
1639 S. 23rd St.
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Wednesday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.