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It's never been easier to get a free Covid-19 test in Milwaukee

Wisconsin is running out of time to slow its already catastrophic spread of Covid-19 before Thanksgiving gatherings could fuel an even deadlier surge in new cases. On election day, the state recorded a record 5,771 new cases of the virus, only to smash that record once again on Wednesday, with 5,935 new cases and 54 deaths in one day alone. More than 2,150 people have already died of the virus in the state.

Credit: Wisconsin Department of Health Services

"Make no mistake about it — this is an urgent crisis in our state and we are in a nightmare scenario," Gov. Tony Evers tweeted yesterday. "Wear a mask, stay home, avoid gatherings with folks who are outside your household, and take every precaution."

While there are no bright takeaways in Wisconsin's Covid-19 numbers, there is one abundant weapon we have at our disposal to stop the spread: testing. Everybody is eligible for free, drive-thru or walk-up Covid-19 testing, no appointments or symptoms are necessary. Below you can find everything you need to know to get tested.

How can I find a testing center?

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services maintains a website with a list of community testing sites. There are currently dozens of them in Milwaukee. The list changes often and is updated daily. Patients can also call their doctors to get tested.

One prominent center: Miller Park's. The stadium's testing site is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday and easy to access thanks to two free shuttles with many stops downtown.

What should I expect?

That varies from location to location. “Each site may have different requirements,” according to the DHS. “Some sites may ask you to stay in your car. Other sites will screen you before you come indoors. Many sites will require an appointment before you arrive in order to ensure they’ve collected your contact and insurance information.”

Who should get tested?

Anybody who has symptoms of the virus or may have been exposed to a carrier of the virus. “If you develop symptoms such as fever, cough, and/or difficulty breathing, and have been in close contact with a person known to have Covid-19, stay home and call your healthcare provider. If you do not have a healthcare provider, call 2-1-1 to find the nearest testing center,” according to Milwaukee County’s Covid-19 website. “Older patients and individuals who have severe underlying medical conditions or are immunocompromised should contact their healthcare provider early, even if their illness is mild. If you have severe symptoms, such as persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse, or bluish lips or face, contact your healthcare provider or emergency room and seek care immediately.”