The University of Wisconsin opened a second COVID-19 rapid testing site at the Kohl Center for students and employees Wednesday.
This site will additionally provide the standard polymerase chain reaction test that has been previously used by campus testing facilities, according to a UW news release.
The first rapid testing site opened to the Madison community Nov. 12 at the Nielsen Tennis Stadium, according to the news release.
UW students, employees and residents ages 5 years and older can get tested at the Nielsen Tennis Stadium. The Kohl Center and Nielsen Tennis Stadium testing sites will use a Binax test for its rapid testing system. UW spokesperson Meredith McGlone said this was the new site’s intention in an email statement to The Badger Herald.
“The additional testing site at the Kohl Center is intended to serve UW–Madison students and employees,” McGlone said.
According to UW’s COVID-19 Response website, the Binax test searches for proteins present in the virus. Results from this test can be received in as little as 15 minutes, and these tests are free for individuals who wish to take them.
“We began by making these available to the general public, due to the current high demand for community testing at sites like Alliant,” McGlone said. “Our hope is that this will help more people be tested more quickly.”
According to the Public Health Madison and Dane County Twitter page, the Alliant Energy Center testing site had wait times varying from 90 minutes to over four hours in the last two days. The opening of the new testing sites at the Kohl Center and the Nielsen Tennis Stadiums is an attempt to lessen these wait times.
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McGlone said the new testing sites hope to alleviate the number of tests the other sites may be conducting as the holiday season approaches and many people go home to visit their families.
“Having both testing options and an additional testing site will help us support that [holiday] testing,” McGlone said in an email statement.
In an email statement to UW students, University Health Services Executive Director Jake Baggott encouraged students to get tested before traveling home.
Rapid antigen testing is only available by appointment, according to UW News. Those who are interested in making an appointment to receive a test can go to https://covidresponse.wisc.edu/testing/ and schedule an appointment.