Free National Guard COVID-19 testing available in Merrill this week
Courtesy of the Lincoln County Health Department
MERRILL – The Lincoln County Health Department (LCHD) is collaborating with the Wisconsin National Guard to provide free COVID-19 testing at the Merrill Festival Grounds, 2001 E. 2nd St., Merrill, on Friday, Aug. 14, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The entrance for the event will be on Memorial Drive, next to the National Guard Armory in Merrill.
Anyone five years and older that lives or works in Wisconsin is eligible for testing.
The Nasal Swab PCR test that will be used at the event is over 99% accurate, LCHD said. The National Guard will be in uniform and in full PPE (personal protective equipment including gowns, mask, gloves, etc.) during the event.
The National Guard will be using a system called Covid Connect, which allows individuals tested to pre-register while they wait in line at the test site, streamlining the process.
“The system allows for a faster testing process, and individuals get their results faster via email,” said Jeremy Blankenship, LCHD Testing Coordinator. “After registering online on a personal device, the individual will receive a confirmation email with a QR code and an email with a link to the system to report suspected COVID-19 exposures. The QR Code replaces filling out paperwork onsite.”
“Please be aware that the testing will be provided first come, first serve and that attendees may have to wait to be tested,” LCHD stated. “Testing supplies are limited. Vehicles will form a line while waiting for testing, and all attendees will need to stay in or on their vehicle at all times. No restroom facilities will be available onsite; please plan accordingly. Attendees are asked to wear face coverings upon arrival.”
LCHD said the goal of the event is to “provide our county residents with free COVID-19 testing.”
“Following this event, we will continue to support local healthcare providers as they continue building capacity to meet patient demand,” LCHD stated. “Please note that anyone tested is required to stay home until test results come back. Test results will be provided via email or phone by the National Guard or by your local health department in a timely manner.”
There are additional community testing sites in Wisconsin throughout August. Any Wisconsin resident is welcome to attend any one of the testing events. Information can be found at www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid19/testing.htm.