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Community COVID testing site set to open in Appleton

Published: Oct. 14, 2020 at 4:27 PM CDT
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APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to grow in Northeast Wisconsin, additional community testing sites are preparing to open.

Signs along College Avenue in Appleton call attention to the public health emergency, asking people to avoid large gatherings. These warnings come as the Fox Valley continues to see high numbers of COVID-19 cases.

According to Dr. Mark Cockley, ThedaCare Chief Clinical Officer, “This has really started since about the first of the month, we started seeing the increase in cases, positivity rate has been going high and as you noted we’ve been setting records of positive tests and the positivity rate over the past two weeks.”

Starting Thursday, and running three days a week from 8 a-m to 4 p-m, through the beginning of December, Appleton and Outagamie County along with the Appleton School District and the Wisconsin National Guard will operate a community COVID testing site at Appleton North High School.

The drive-thru testing site will run similar to the community testing already taking place in Winnebago County at the Sunnyview Expo Center. County officials tell Action 2 News the idea for an Appleton site has been in the works for awhile, it just took some time to find a location with access and room for parking.

The Appleton site will have the capability to test several hundred people a day, something health experts say is needed as we look to slow the spread of the coronavirus in our communities.

Dr. Cockley says, “The more testing we have, even three days a week, opening up tests, getting two to three hundred people through or whatever the capability there is, the more information we’ll know. We’ll know people are negative and people who are positive that need to isolate.”

In addition to the Appleton location, a community testing site will also open in Calumet County at Christ the Rock Community Church most likely next week. Details on that are expected in the next couple of days.

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