Milwaukee considers on-site community testing for COVID 19

NOW: Milwaukee considers on-site community testing for COVID 19

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett says, fortunately, demand for COVID 19 tests in the city has not hit their capacity of 25-30 a day.

"Nationally, this has been a major issue," Barrett said. "And there’s, I think, bipartisan pressure, on the federal government, to create the testing capacity.”             

Milwaukee Health Department Commissioner Jeanette Kowalik expects testing capacity to increase dramatically by next Wednesday, and eventually to a minimum of running 300 tests a day.

“We are seeing more samples being sent to us for testing even in the last 24 hours, which is great," Kowalik said. "We want to be able to run more tests, so that we can really be sure of the true impact of COVID 19 in this community.”

Testing no longer needs to be approved by the Milwaukee Health Department. Your physician now needs to relay their professional opinion on whether you should be tested.

Barrett says the city needs to be prepared for much more.

“What happens if we have a demand of 100 a week from now or 500 ten days from now?” Barrett asked.

That’s why Milwaukee is working with providers and hospitals to see if they can create a system like Denver, with on site testing locations.

“This is all very very much in real time," Barrett said. "We want to make sure that there are no physical barriers to testing, obviously no economic barriers to testing.”

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