U.S. Surgeon General announces COVID-19 surge testing center in Neenah
NEENAH, Wis. (WBAY) - U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams visited Neenah Friday to announce a new COVID-19 testing site. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services opened a surge testing site at ThedaCare Physicians-Neenah, 333 N Green Bay Rd.
The goal is to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus and identify people who might be asymptomatic carriers.
Thirty-thousand test kits are available. The Wisconsin National Guard will administer them.
Vice Admiral Adams was on-hand to explain its necessity. “I want you all to be aware that Wisconsin is currently one of our red states, meaning your positivity rates are over 10% and going in the wrong direction.”
Friday, 26.47% of all test results the state received were positive -- the highest positivity rate for any day with more than 10,000 test results.
The decision for the surge testing site was made late Wednesday. The test site will be fully operational next Wednesday, Oct. 21.
Testing is by appointment only. Sign up at doineedacovid19test.com. The tests are free and you don’t need symptoms to get a test. Most people should get results within 3 days.
The goal of the surge testing is to identify more people who don’t have symptoms but could still spread the virus. ThedaCare says the best way to manage community spread of COVID-19 is testing and contact tracing.
“We anticipate that about 18,000 people in our community are actively positive for COVID and only about 5,600 know they are positive. That means that all of those other people are interacting with people in their family, outside their family, going to work, etc.,” ThedaCare Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jennifer Frank said.
“I came to Wisconsin because I want everyone to know that one of the most important things to getting this virus under control is knowing who has it, and two-thirds of people here do not know they had the virus even though they’re carrying it around and passing it to each other,” Adams said.
HHS has previously set up surge sites in Florida, Louisiana and Texas.
The testing site is a joint effort between ThedaCare, State Sen. Roger Roth (R-Appleton), and state and national agencies.
“We’re seeing hospitalizations go up, which we know will inevitably turn into people dying, and you don’t want to be responsible for someone dying in this community. We know that Wisconsin is a place where people really pull together," the surgeon general said.
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