Two labs in Wisconsin will begin to test for coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, as health officials in Wisconsin are waiting for results on two pending cases of the disease.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, 21 tests have been administered to Wisconsinites. Of those 21, 19 tested negative, one tested positive and one case is still pending.
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Despite the testing, the Department of Health Services said the risk of coronavirus for Wisconsinites is low.
“Although one case of COVID-19 has been detected in Wisconsin, the immediate health risk to the general public in Wisconsin and the U.S. as a whole remains low,” the Department of Health Services said.
Wisconsin public health officials will begin testing for coronavirus at two labs in the state, according to the Wisconsin State Journal. One facility is located in Madison in a state hygiene lab at the University of Wisconsin, and the other is located in Milwaukee, according to Channel 3000.
Previously, samples from potential cases were sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but now testing can be done in-state. Positive tests will still be sent to the CDC for confirmation, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.
“Having the ability to test at the State Lab and the City of Milwaukee Health Department lab will allow for faster results to let people with symptoms of the illness know with certainty if they have COVID-19,” Jeanne Ayers, State Health Officer and Administrator of the DHS Division of Public Health said in a press release.
UW released an update on coronavirus to students Monday night. Jake Baggott, Executive Director of University Health Services, said in an email the risk to students, faculty and staff was low.
UW also suspended all study abroad programs in Italy after the CDC and US Department of State elevated their travel advisory, according to a UW press release.
The suspension affects 170 UW students studying abroad, according to the press release. Jake Baggott said students returning from any suspended study abroad programs were told to quarantine themselves at their permanent address for 14 days and to monitor for symptoms.