National Guard COVID-19 testing sites

The Wisconsin National Guard became part of the COVID-19 testing effort last spring by traveling to communities to do surge testing. That then turned into numerous testing locations — including two that started during autumn in Eau Claire County.

EAU CLAIRE — The two COVID-19 testing sites run by the Wisconsin National Guard in Eau Claire County will shut down next week.

Monday is the final day to get tested at Peace Church, 501 E. Filmore Ave., in Eau Claire, and Wednesday will mark the end of testing at the Augusta Senior Center, 616 W. Washington Ave.

Next week has been the scheduled end date for the Eau Claire and Augusta testing sites, which have been in operation on select days each week since October. (The Eau Claire site has had hours of operation on Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays while the Augusta location has only been open on Wednesdays.)

Since it opened in fall, the Eau Claire testing site has administered 5,197 tests and there were 649 at the Augusta location, according to statistics provided by the Eau Claire City-County Health Department.

Demand for the Eau Claire testing site peaked between the end of October and mid-November, declining afterward except for a slight uptick at the end of December, according to the Health Department. The Augusta site had its strongest use during its first weeks, but has had a consistent decline since mid-November.

During 2021, the Eau Claire site has averaged 38 tests per day while the August site gets about 16 daily.

Though these options for testing will end soon, public health officials urge people to continue to seek free tests available through local health care clinics and a pharmacy.

“Testing remains a very important strategy to maintain a low number of COVID-19 cases in our community,” Lieske Giese, Health Department director, said in a news release.

Marshfield Clinic Health System, Mayo Clinic Health System, Prevea Health and Walgreens all do testing for people who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or came in close contact with someone who has the coronavirus.

For more information on symptoms and testing, go online to bit.ly/SymptomsTesting or call the local COVID-19 call center at 715-831-7425.

The Wisconsin National Guard continues providing staffing at COVID-19 testing sites in communities that continue to request its assistance. As of Thursday there were 45 active testing sites throughout the state that utilize citizen soldiers or airmen, according to the Wisconsin National Guard’s website.