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Milwaukee Community Health Centers increase COVID-19 testing capacity; will now offer diagnostic testing

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee Community Health Centers announced Monday, April 27, all five organizations have increased testing capacity and now offering COVID-19 diagnostic testing and care for their patients and community members without a regular doctor who have COVID-19 symptoms. 

“Everyone, regardless of your ability to pay, and regardless of whether you have a primary care doctor or not, will be able to have immediate access to receive diagnostic testing,” Milwaukee Health Services, Inc. CEO Dr Tito Izard said.

According to a news release, the expansion of COVID diagnostic testing at CHCs has been made possible with support from the state and county Emergency Operations Centers coupled with contributions from other community partners; including local health systems. 

The news release says, individuals enrolled at a health center as well as people without a regular doctor who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should call their nearest Community Health Center to determine if there is a need for a diagnostic testing appointment. It is very important that all people call before coming in. This will allow the health centers to limit exposure to patients as well as staff and help the community #flattenthecurve. Individuals who need more information on their closest health care center should call 211.

“It is critical that all people in Milwaukee have easy access to COVID-19 diagnostic testing and health care services in their own community -- especially those communities hit hardest by this virus,” said Jenni Sevenich, CEO of Progressive Community Health Centers. “Community Health Centers are there for you if you don’t have a regular doctor or usual place to get health care services.”

Izard said you can generally schedule an appointment day of, and results generally take two-three days.

“Whatever location that you’re going to in the city, they would tell you what that process would be." Izard said. "It’s either drive up, and then some people obviously don’t drive, so working with a person to be able to get on site in a safe manner

The expanded diagnostic testing, the news release, says, is a collaborative effort among the Wisconsin Primary Health Care Association, Milwaukee’s five Community Health Centers, the area health systems and other members of the Milwaukee Health Care Partnership as well as the city, county and state to increase access to diagnostic testing in neighborhoods most impacted by the coronavirus.

Sixteenth Street Community Services Pediatrics Director Dr. Emelia Arana said the health centers do still provide other services. She encourages people to continue getting regular checkups, and especially, immunizations for children.

“We don’t want the pandemic to be the reason why these kids are behind in immunizations because now we’re going to add another risk to this population,” Arena said.

COVID-19 Symptoms

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Body or muscle aches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of smell
  • Loss of taste

Health Center Contact Information

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