Directing traffic at COVID-19 testing site

UW-Eau Claire Police Chief Jay Dobson directs traffic at the Memorial High School parking lot, the site of free drive-up community COVID-19 testing.

EAU CLAIRE — A free COVID-19 testing site run by UW-Eau Claire that provides rapid results to community members reopened Wednesday.

Located in the parking lot of Memorial High School, the testing site operated from Nov. 14 to Dec. 20 but had been closed over the holidays.

The site will now be open from noon to 8 p.m. Wednesdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

Part of the UW System's "surge testing operations," the Memorial High testing site was originally supposed to end in December, but has been extended to mid-January because supplies of testing kits remained available. (The university was unable to provide an exact end date for local site as that depends on demand across all 22 surge testing sites in the state affiliated with public universities.)

Tests are available for people who are not experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, but believe they may have been exposed to coronavirus.

People who want to get tested at the Eau Claire site are asked to register in advance at doineedacovid19test.com.

Between Nov. 14 and Dec. 20, the site administered 5,842 antigen tests with 228 coming back positive for COVID-19. Those tests provide results in 15 minutes, but the site also has administered 468 of the more accurate PCR tests that take more than a day to get results. The university did not have statistics available for the number of PCR tests that came back with positive results.