MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) on Thursday, October 7 announced the relaunch of the pilot testing program, now called the Community Testing Support Program.
This program will provide approved applicants throughout Wisconsin with free testing supplies and courier services through contracted vendors, as well as reimbursement for sample collection.
“Easy access to COVID-19 testing in all communities is critical to protecting Wisconsin residents from exposure to and illness from COVID-19,” DHS Secretary-designate Karen Timberlake said in a press release. . “Through this program, we will bring additional testing resources to the communities that need them most and strengthen existing testing efforts, ensuring people have the resources they need to make informed decisions and protect themselves and those around them from COVID-19.”
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Through the initial program, more than 750,000 tests have been carried out at more than 70 sites.
“People have confidence and are more eager to access services in their trusted local spaces, and this is also true for COVID-19 testing,” DHS Deputy Secretary Deb Standridge said in a press release. . “We are grateful to all of our partners across the state who have worked throughout this pandemic to ensure that all Wisconsin residents have access to COVID-19 testing services. We encourage all who are eligible to apply to this program so that we can continue this important work.”
The following entities are eligible to apply for the Community Testing Support Program:
- Local or tribal health services
- State of Wisconsin Licensed Healthcare Providers
- Other individuals or organizations trained in specimen collection under the authority and supervision of a physician or local or tribal health department
Interested applicants can find more information about program eligibility and steps to follow on DHS Community Testing Support Program Web page.
The Community Screening Support Program is funded through the ELC Enhancing Detection Expansion(link is external) grant project, and the deadline to apply is December 15, 2021.
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Tests and vaccines
People who have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19 or who have symptoms of COVID-19 should get tested — regardless of their vaccination status — the DHS said.
With the high level of disease transmission in Wisconsin, DHS continues to urge everyone who is unvaccinated to get vaccinated against COVID-19, and everyone to add additional layers of protection, including by hiding indoors, staying home when feeling sick, and avoiding large indoor gatherings.
To find a COVID-19 testing location in your community, visit DHS COVID-19: community testing sites webpage or call 211.
To find a vaccine provider in your community, visit vaccines.gov(link is external)or call 211 or 877-947-2211.
This story was reported from Milwaukee.