COVID-19 testing on the rise in Milwaukee as city plans to replace American Family Field testing site

NOW: COVID-19 testing on the rise in Milwaukee as city plans to replace American Family Field testing site

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The announced closure of the American Family Field COVID-19 testing site on Sept. 25 comes as demand for testing of the virus has gone up dramatically in recent weeks.

The spike in demand is driven by the spread of the Delta variant. It is also being boosted by people seeking tests for work, school and leisure activities like concerts and weddings.

The American Family Field drive-thru testing site has been an important and convenient tool in the city's and county's fight against the virus.

Its closure is in anticipation of the Brewers needing the parking lot space for their expected playoff run. Some people who have used the site multiple times are concerned about the impact its closure may have going forward.

"It's very convenient because it's remote, everybody can get access to it pretty quick, the people are doing an awesome job here," Joey Cadiz of Milwaukee said. "If they do close this place, or they're trying to do something else, it will be a big, big impact."

The City of Milwaukee Health Department told CBS 58 it has selected a new drive-thru site to replace the American Family Field, but details are being finalized. An announcement is expected soon.

At Hayat Pharmacy on West Layton, health workers are also seeing long lines of cars for testing.

The pharmacy has had to hire more staff to handle the increase in demand.

On top of that, in-home tests are also in high demand.

"In the last couple of weeks, we quadrupled the number of tests that we have been selling over the counter for the at-home test," Hashim Zaibak, Hayat's CEO, told CBS 58.

One positive Zaibak has noticed is that many unvaccinated people who arrive for tests and are positive for the virus, come to the conclusion to get vaccinated.

"More and more people are realizing that the only way to get rid of this pandemic is through vaccination," Zaibak said.

Other community COVID-19 testing sites will operate as usual, even as the American Family Field location closes next week. That includes the Northwest Health Center at 7630 W. Mill Road and the Southside Health Center at 1639 S. 23rd Street.

More information can be found here.

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