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National Guard provides COVID-19 testing in Northwest Wisconsin

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SOLON SPRINGS, WI -- On Wednesday, residents in Douglas County got something many in the country are still waiting for, COVID-19 testing.

The state of Wisconsin increased its testing efforts as part of Governor Tony Evers's mandate and the Badger Bounce Back plan.

The Wisconsin National Guard has provided free COVID-19 testing sites throughout the state.

"We're here today to support the Governor's mandate to increase testing throughout the state," said National Guard Chief Pamela Rous.

Douglas County Public Health officials chose Solon Springs as the testing location.

"We selected this site as a rural area to make access easier for Douglas County residents where access otherwise might be challenging," said Kathi Ronchi of the Douglas County Department of Health.

The National Guard had roughly 300 free tests for county residents, it was all set up to ensure everyone's safety.

"Basically we have set up in three different stations. We have our control point, our sample collections point," said Chief Rous. "And our exit to try and expedite this process as quick and painless as possible."

One goal of the free testing is to give the state more data about how and when to reopen the economy.

"We're hoping to provide a bigger picture so that needs to be made in order to get things moving along," said Chief Rous.

Douglas County health officials urge anyone with symptoms to get tested.

"Up until this point less than 1 percent of our populations been tested in Douglas County. Not everybody gets critically ill," said Ronchi. "So we really wanted to make this testing available to people with the most minor of symptoms. To know is this really still in our community."

Douglas County health officials said those who were tested at Wednesday's testing event will get their results back in two to three days.

As of right now, they said there haven't been any positive cases in Solon Springs.

For anyone who is having symptoms of COVID-19 and doesn't have access to a testing event, you're asked to contact your local health care provider.

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Emma Quinn

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