Milwaukee, Waukesha officials explain COVID-19 test site closures, urge appropriate testing

NOW: Milwaukee, Waukesha officials explain COVID-19 test site closures, urge appropriate testing

MILWAUKEE COUNTY (CBS 58) -- Some coronavirus testing sites in Milwaukee and Waukesha counties were forced to close early because of the high demand for tests.

Officials in both counties say they have enough test kits, and they’re not closing because they’ve run out.

Instead they cite staffing, long lines and the day of the week as potential reasons.

Waukesha County has three main sites.

“But on particular days, because there are test kits allotted to each of those three entities, it is possible that on a given day we run out of tests with that particular entity," Bridget Gnadt, Waukesha County Health and Human Services emergency preparedness coordinator, said.

Gnadt said they get approximately 4,100 test kits from the state each week.

Capacity is up 250% since October and the National Guard site can now handle 600 to 700 tests, depending on the day.

“We recognize that Mondays are typically the days we have the longest lines," she explained.

It’s a similar story for Milwaukee County’s four community sites.

Officials say they did more than 18,000 tests last week.

Dr. Nick Tomaro, preparedness coordinator for the City of Milwaukee Health Department, said the kits are available.

He said the Miller Park site received 13,500 this week, while the north side, south side, and south shore locations received 2,000.

“Testing too early is not recommended at all," said Tomaro.

To save time, and resources, he urges people to get in line at the right time.

“You want to seek testing, from a close contact exposure, three to five days after you’ve been exposed. Testing the first two days is inappropriate.”

Tomaro added that he understands the anxiety that comes with being turned away from a testing site.

He said hours could possibly be expanded at Miller Park, but stressed quarantining first and making safe health choices.

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