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COVID-19 testing takes over Omni Center parking lot

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ONALASKA, Wis. (WXOW) - The Wisconsin National Guard in partnership with the La Crosse County Health Dept. and city of Onalaska helped administer hundreds of free drive-up COVID-19 tests on Thursday for residents in the county.

Ages five and up were permitted to receive a nasal swab test if they had a symptom of COVID-19. 400 tests were available for residents.

"The more educated we can be about for what’s in our community, the better off we will be to protect ourselves and keep each other safe," said Rachel King, a representative for the La Crosse County Health Department.

King added that the La Crosse County Health Department administers on average 70 tests per day. The influx of testing will help their team better understand the spread of the virus.

"In our community is really crucial so that we can get a really clear picture of what we are seeing in our community," said King.

People came from Holmen, La Crosse, and Onalaska to get tested. For many it was a chance to help protect others.

"If you can get it done earlier than later, and you find that you’re positive, then you’ve done a good thing for yourself and probably others," said Jim Towers, a drive-up patient from Onalaska.

Others got tested to help protect themselves.

“To get a little piece of mind, I’m asthmatic so I’m a high risk,” said Marjorie Bazluki, a drive-up patient from La Crosse.

Patients from other counties were also allowed to participate in testing. Their county health department will contact them if they test positive for COVID-19. The Wisconsin National Guard will reach out to patients who test positive.

Testing results comeback within 24-48 hours. King said that the federal government is helping cover the cost of this type of testing.

Mike Beiermeister

WXOW Weekend Anchor and Reporter

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