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COVID-19 testing sites reopen in area

This week starts up bi-weekly free National Guard testing events in Taylor County again. This Friday, Jan. 8 from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Medford Fire Hall at 844 W. Broadway Ave.

While no symptoms are needed for people to be tested, those being tested must be at least 5 years of age. People taking part are asked to pre-register at www. The testing has a 24 to 72 hour turnaround time.

Wisconsin National Guard specimen collection teams will break the one million mark this week for COVID- 19 tests collected since April 2020.

Teams have collected a cumulative total of nearly 996,000 specimens at community-based testing sites and institutional-based testing missions. The Wisconsin National Guard’s collection activities support the Wisconsin Department of Health Service’s efforts to expand COVID-19 testing throughout the entire state.

The teams, which are tailorable to meet the needs of a specific facility or community, are dispatched from a larger task force of several hundred Citizen Soldiers and Airmen. They have established mobile testing sites since early April at locations ranging from correctional facilities, health clinics and institutional facilities, to private businesses, senior-living facilities, and community- based testing sites.

After collecting the specimens at each site, the test kits are sent to a lab for analysis, and individual citizens receive their results via an email or a phone call within three-to-seven days following the test.

The National Guard’s Taylor County testing site will be open Jan. 8, Jan. 22, Feb. 5, Feb. 19 and Mar. 5 in Medford. As of January 4, they have collected 90 specimens. In addition to the PCR testing being done by the Wisconsin National Guard, there are also opportunities for free rapid testing with a 15-20 minute turn around.

Sites are listed below, these require appointments that can be made at : UW-Stevens Point Wausau Campus

Monday, January 11, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Thursday, January 14, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

UW-Stevens Point Marshfield Campus

• Tuesday, January 12, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

UW-Eau Claire Memorial High School

• Saturday, January 9, 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.

• Sunday, January 10, 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.

• Wednesday, January 13, 12 p.m. - 8 p.m.

• Saturday, January 16, 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.

• Sunday, January 17, 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.

Taylor County has seen a dramatic drop in new cases compared to last month, although health officials remain concerned about the potential for a post-holiday surge. Area residents are urged to exercise caution, avoid gatherings and maintain social distancing in efforts to slow spread of the virus.