New dates, times set for COVID-19 testing at UWM

MILWAUKEE _ New hours and times have been set for the free, rapid-results COVID-19 testing at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s three campuses.

Beginning Monday, Nov. 16, all testing will be done between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. The first hour of testing will be reserved for UWM employees. Community members age 5 and older can get tested from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Testing will be done Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays at UWM’s Milwaukee campus. Testing will be at the Washington County campus on Wednesdays and Waukesha on most Thursdays. On Thursday, Dec. 17, testing will be done in Milwaukee, and on Friday, Dec. 18, testing will be done in Waukesha. A complete list of testing dates and times is available on UWM’s COVID-19 website.

The testing is provided by the University of Wisconsin System in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It uses Abbott BinaxNOW diagnostic tests, which are self-administered using a light nasal swab under the supervision of medical professionals from eTrueNorth, a federal contractor. Abbott BinaxNOW tests provide results in about 15 minutes. Confirmatory PCR tests from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services will be provided — also free of charge — to people who have symptoms but test negative with the Abbott BinaxNOW antigen test and to people who don’t have symptoms but test positive with the Abbott BinaxNOW antigen test.

Antigen tests, which are relatively fast and inexpensive, look for proteins from the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19. PCR tests, which are more accurate but may take longer to process, look for genetic material from that virus.

Community members must make an appointment for a test. They will go to the testing site, administer the test and wait for results that they will retrieve by logging into the same website via their smartphone. There will be a computer terminal available for those without access to a phone. If they need a confirmatory PCR test, it will be done immediately at the same location, with results available in about four days.