Milwaukee opens new drive-thru COVID-19 testing site in Menomonee River Valley

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The Milwaukee Health Department opened a new COVID-19 testing site Monday, Oct. 11, to replace the site at American Family Field that closed last month to make room for the Brewers playoff run.

The new drive-thru testing site is located at 2401 St. Paul Avenue in Milwaukee in the Menomonee River Valley. It's located at the former Department of Transportation emissions testing site. The Milwaukee Health Department is administering PCR tests on weekdays.

The new testing site will be open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 12 to 6 p.m., and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. In a news release, Mayor Tom Barrett said "testing remains an extremely important element" in fighting the virus.

Nick Tomaro, emergency preparedness and environmental health director for the Milwaukee Health Department, said testing remains a key strategy in lowering COVID-19 transmission.

"Obviously in June we were all feeling pretty good, and then the Delta variant really took hold," Tomaro said.

Unlike the testing site at American Family Field, the new testing site has an indoor structure. Tomaro said that makes it ideal for reasons of safety, efficiency and convenience.

"As we head into this winter and cold weather, this is just a really nice ability for us to bring staff inside and support community testing in this type of a building," he said.

Convenience was key for those among the first to get tested on Monday.

"It's a new site so I think it's very convenient," said Jerome Edwards. "The city seems to be heading in the wrong direction, so I want to make sure I'm not contributing to that."

Tomaro recommends people register online before they come get tested, but it's not a requirement.

The health department also plans to administer COVID-19 vaccines at the site in the near future. Tomaro said the focus will likely be on booster shots.

The Milwaukee Health Department says whether or not someone is vaccinated, they should get tested if they're experiencing symptoms or come in close contact with someone who is.

In addition to the new Menomonee River Valley site, there are still two other city-run testing locations in Milwaukee: the Northwest Health Center at 7630 W. Mill Road and the Southside Health Center at 1639 S. 23rd Street.

You can find more information about testing and getting a vaccine here in Milwaukee on Milwaukee's Health Department website.

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